The installation process for the New Found Metal stainless steel port light was different in many ways from the New Found Metal tri-matrix. I will be completely upfront – the tri-matrix was easy and the stainless steel has been a real pain. I’m not even completely finished because I am waiting for more parts from New Found Metals.
Removing the old Beckson port was a bit of a job and required a lot of patience. Once all the fasteners were out I really had to fight whatever sealant was used to pry off the frame:
The first thing I did after removing the old ports was scrape out any excess sealant that crept down in between the cabintop and the headliner. I used a paint scraper 5in1 tool to complete this job.
I then filled this gap with epoxy thickened with 406 Colloidal Silica Adhesive Filler. I’ve found that one source of leaks, especially leaks in the lockers, is caused by this gap. A breakdown in whatever sealant was used will let water in and it will drip down in between the headliner and cabintop, eventually escaping into the locker. I want to avoid this at all costs. The epoxy works well and is easy to apply with a syringe. I may experiment with using 5200 on the next port but fear that it will not be as easy to get deep into the void.
Once the epoxy set up I sanded down the opening to widen it for the new port. I used a screwdriver handle wrapped in sandpaper to deepen the drain semi-circles.
I then had to drill new holes for the New Found Metals port. NFM suggests drilling these holes from the inside out with a 3/8 drill bit. You then need to counterbore the outside. I did not have a counterbore this large and shallow so I measured the width and depth of the finishing ring female threaded holes and used a 1/2 inch drill bit marked with a permanent maker for a depth gage.
At this point the process got a little frustrating. I dry fit the port and the fasteners included were too long to pull the port and finishing ring tight around the cabinside. A quick trip to newfoundmetals.com confirmed that I was not crazy, their website states that a standard length spigot will install on cabinside thickness of 1/2″ to 1 1/2″. A re-measure of our cabinside confirmed that it was comfortably over the 1/2″ thickness but the port was way loose. I uninstalled everything and threaded the bolts until they bottomed out in the finishing ring and measured the space in between: 13/16″. Thats a little over 3/4″ and explained the gap I was experiencing.
After a somewhat confusing email exchange with NFM they suggested that I purchase the teak spacer and use a different length bolt. Hopefully they have shipped these items out and we will just have to see how things shape up once we have the additional parts.