Port Light Work

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:

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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.

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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.

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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.


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