After a test fit I pulled the core supports and trimmed the firewall to core support tubes for width and welded patches over the ends. The loop of the radiator mount had a lot of now extra holes which were welded closed, smoothed off, and then repainted. The actual mounts are scrap channel from shelf legs which were drilled, fitted with as many rubber washers and shock cusions as I could devise. With a dropped tube axle and transverse spring the front end gets lots of shock. The whole thing needs some adjustments and finagaleing for alignment but it looks as if it will work. The new radiator mounts a little closer to the fan which is good and I still need to mount the electric fan of the front. Of course the hood and grill all mount off the same square tubing that holds the radiator, so hopefully I have not changed things too much.
I posted some time back in the forum asking about the possibilty of repairing an aluminum radiator. As there was nothing to lose we went ahead with my plan. If we could fix the leak then great but if not well the cooler was junk anyway. With my friend Tom we cut the corner of the tank above the leak for access to the core. A pro had tried to epoxy it from the bottom but the fix didn't hold. After cleaning and inspecting and attempting to solder the leak we finally called a couple of shops for advice. The shop epoxied from the top this time, I guess there are issues with solder and aluminum. Any way after some adventures in aluminum welding the top was replaced and the radiator was tested only to find that the repair hadn't worked. Bubbles at the weld (which we could have fixed) and bubbles at the original leak. So lesson learned and a new radiator was ordered. It is different of course so now I need to modify the mounts and support to get everything to fit.
Work is kind of slow on my garage waiting for it to warm up enough to pour a floor, the header paint is drying and the radiator is ready to be cut. In the mean time my friend Fuzzy took me for a tour of one of the midwest's best up and coming car builders. BBT Fabrications is located in Champaign IL and has built Good-Guys award winners and some of the finest rides to hit the streets around here or anywhere else. Last summer I shared car shows with a 40 LaSalle coupe that belongs to a friend. The caddy recently went to BBT for a complete rebuild. It was a very sound, immaculate car from California. The coupe was disassembled and media blasted, the frame was boxed and a front clip and x-member were fabricated. Under the new LS engine is a complete IFS from Detroit Speed. Out back will be a Moser 9'' with four links and adjustable coil overs like the front. It is going to be an awesome LaSalle. BBT is on facebook too with an incredible Firebird, a Camaro, a 'Cuda and the Coyote equipped Galaxie was next door for some interior work. I was amazed at the quality of work this place turns out...sheet metal magic!!!
At least a little work done, in spite of my propane heater giving out. It seems very strange to me how really small my garage seems with the old section removed. It was always sealed off in the winter any way but of course a lot of the stuff that was in there is now in HERE. The headers have been sanded and cleaned and primed. The radiator is out and the plan is to go ahead with the screwy idea of cutting the corner of the top off to give access to the core. A friend will solder the leak from the top and then reweld the tank. We will seal and pressure it first to be sure of the leak location and again afterwards. When the hopefully repaired unit goes back in it will have a new electric fan added to help the mechanical one.
Work has been pretty slow on my garage destruction because I'm doing this by myself with only a vague notions of what I'm doing. Over thinking every step doesn't help but so far things have gone much better than expected and luckily the garage has fallen in rather than out. The plan was to take it down in parts starting with the end which had been attached to the newer garage so that it wouldn't fall that way. Now that it's down I can't believe it didn't hit any other structure and that I was worried it would fall at all. It took everything I could do to get it to come down in spite of the lean and totally rotten roof. I've hauled it all off and raked the site several times so that I can at least safely park there. Now I need to get some estimates on a floor before I start to rebuild.
In the part of the shop that's left, the headers have been removed so that I can check out the state of the glass pack mufflers in the collectors. I'm thinking maybe repacking with steel wool to quiet them a little. I've also put treatment in the gas for storage and I keep the tender on the battery. You can see that I've covered the hot rod for dust and dirt as well. I still need to get the radiator out so the hood is off for a start.