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Old 08-01-2004, 08:24 PM
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mustang radiator support

ive had my stang since i was 16 and let it fall apart in a number of accidents that my girlfriend did to it and now im planning to fix everything and restore it and first thing im asking some help on is the radiator support on the stang, im planning on buying a new one because the old one is bent up. The only thing im wondering is if it is welding on any parts or just purely bolted on before i jump into this task, also im going to need to replace the support under it too. I have a pic attached to show the front end.

Thanks for all the help

Jose
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Old 08-01-2004, 11:08 PM
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I just replaced the radiator support and right front apron (where the battery sits) on my 67 mustang. The support is spot welded on the top of each apron, down the front and along the bottom. I didn't replace the lower front portion of the frame as mine was ok, other than a little surface rust. I would get the paint off of it and you can then see most of the spot welds. They make a tool for drilling out spot welds but i just used my grinder. Its not really that hard. I've probably got 8-10 hours total in replacing mine. Be sure and take measurements before you start cutting it out.
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Old 08-01-2004, 11:29 PM
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thanks for all the information i really appreciate it.One last question is where exactly am i going to have to make the cuts to the radiator support? and also im planning on pulling the block out and redoing the front end with primer and flat black engine paint. Just wondering what you guys recommend on primer type and black paint.

Thanks Again jose
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Old 08-01-2004, 11:36 PM
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If you're going to replace the support, i'd suggest getting the new radiator support prior to cutting out the old one. That way, you'll have an idea where to cut.
I just cleaned my engine compartment real good with a pressure washer, then sanded some of the worst areas. I didn't use any primer, just rustoleum satin black from Home Depot.
Jerry
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Old 08-03-2004, 10:53 PM
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You shouldn't have to "cut" anything to just replace the support. You just have to drill out a lot of spot welds. After a bunch of drilling you'll need a chisel to separate the sheetmetal, the drill never seems to get quite all the weld. Not an awful job, but it is a lot of work. You will need to weld to install your new one.
A word on new ones, they are flimsier than the original. I had a chance to compare them but didn't care to pay the extra bucks for an NOS one for my modified car. My new one fits nicely but feels a tad flimsy at the top where you tend to rest your hand.
Before you begin this project I recommend making sure your hood and fenders are lined up correctly. Then measure in a big "X"pattern across the engine compartment from the corners of the radiator support. It wouldn't hurt to do the same across the radiator support after you take the radiator out. Don't expect your measurements to be exactly "square" as your 37 year old car likely isn't exactly square either. What you are after is a set of measurements to make sure your new support will line up like the old one did just before you start welding it back on.
Good luck!
My 67, about 2 years ago-(hopefully link will work):http://members14.clubphoto.com/_cgi-...58-dd66&trans=

Last edited by GypsyR; 08-03-2004 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 08-09-2004, 04:49 PM
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the fenders and hood are already off so im not sure if thats gonna make it alot harder or not. any help with this problem would be appreciated.

Thanks
Jose
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Old 08-09-2004, 10:46 PM
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You may not have to be so picky about it. Due to reading of others woeful experiences with reproduction parts, I was being extra careful. My radiator support proved to be well made and fit quite well. Another reason for the care is that I also had to replace some of the front frame rail at the same time. My frame patches were not well made as the bumper brace holes were placed wrong. I discovered this only during mockup and comparing to measurements I had written down. The problems were pretty simple to correct but if I had gone ahead and welded the parts in the way they "looked" correct I would have been sick when I went to try and reinstall my front bumper.
Take it slow and careful (and use a lot of vise grips). As these things go the replacement isn't that bad at all compared to something like a quarter panel. I don't think I'd even attempt a quarter panel replacement, but I wouldn't even hesistate to do another radiator support job. Floor pans are another comparison. I can and would do some again, but they are are no fun AT ALL. A job I would put off as along as possible.
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Old 08-09-2004, 11:12 PM
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GypsyR, when i click on the link it tells me:
"This high resolution is not permitted. Need to link it to the medium or thumbnail version."
Yep, those repo parts are sometimes pretty flimsy as in the radiator support. I was contemplating replacing the drivers side quarter panel, but after reading about the problems with repos i decided to repair the orginal since it wasn't rust, just dents.
My repo radiator support did fit pretty good except its a little thinner than the original but everything did line up ok. And yes several vise grips or clamps are needed to hold it in place to measure.
Just take your time Stangman and it'll all work out.
Jerry

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Old 08-10-2004, 11:43 PM
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Sorry, my picture linking seems to be hit or miss. Try this picture page
The intended pic is down at the bottom. If you're feeling nosy, feel free to poke around the other albums. Everything there is meant to be public.
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Old 08-21-2004, 03:06 AM
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I'ld drill holes and bolt the support in as soon as I had the panels fitting right. Then it won't move on you as you weld it in. I'ld drill as many spots in the support as the original one and then weld the spots in to reinstall to original strength. If you drill the side spots first, you can probably just use a sledge hammer and hit it from the inside to pop the bottom ones. If they don't pop, you haven't hit it hard enough yet. Saves a lot of time removing spot welded parts. Usually comes off pretty clean too. You might have to do a little straightening on the edges. To ANYONE rebuilding these cars. They run strong, but have a weak upper A frame that will buckle with little stress. I rolled a new 66 that was 3 months old, end over end 3 times, because the left upper A frame buckled on a corner. A friend of mine had a 67 that buckled on a turn from a stop sign on an ordinary high way. Rolled his too. They make stronger replacements that are a MUST for these cars. Otherwise I had 14 trophies with mine on an eighth mile track in the same 3 months..................
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Old 08-21-2004, 12:07 PM
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I hate to say it, but beating a part off shouldn't be an option. If it was welded properly (and the factory ones sure are) you are going to rip a hole in the metal, peal the metal back, and distort the adjacent panel, this just isn't a way to do in my book.

Look at those spot welds as "bolts", you simply "unbolt" the part by drilling the welds, it is that simple. The hard to reach ones can be ground off. You wouldn't "beat" a bolted part off, right?

You can usually grind the weld off with a die grinder and cut off wheel. You put the cut off wheel on edge over the weld and move it back and forth AGAINST the direction of the spinning wheel. Not how the wheel is spinning , but the direction of the shaft that holds the wheel, understand. Using this method you can cut thru the top layer of metal and not damage the bottom one. I have even used my burr cutter with a rounded end on it to carefully cut the weld that is impossible to reach any other way.

You should be able to simply pull the part out just as you would the fender after all the bolts are out.

The tool I use to separate the weld is a "gasket scraper". As mentioned, there is commonly a little bit of weld that you didn't drill out. I use a Snap On one inch wide gasket scraper by sticking it between the panels right at the weld and giving it a nice light rap with a hammer. If it needs more than that, you are just not removing enough of the weld. Beating the living crap out of it is not an option, simply grind more of the weld.

The cleaner you get the thing out, the better the new one will fit and the easier it will be to weld it in. The time spent drilling or grinding spot welds out is time VERY well spent.


You'll want to hammer and dolly all the surfaces where the panel is welded on to get it all nice and flat again. I usually grind the welds flat before doing this because they get in the way of getting it flat. After working it nice and flat and trial fitting the panel, I use a ROLOC "surface conditioning disc" to clean the metal SPOTLESS. Then a light coat of "Weld thru primer" is applied.

Punch holes in the new rad support as discribed earlier and set it in place. By the way, do this with the car sitting on the ground on it's wheels, you don't want it on jack stands or something like that to distort the body and weld the thing in there with the body distorted!

Set the part in place and cross measure the from the front fender bolt holes to the rear ones. And after that find a few other "control points" to measure from and BE SURE this thing is square. After that, go ahead and put a few screws or bolts if you have big holes to hold it in place. If you have big holes, you messed up of course. Drilling the part off correctly you should have no big holes. But if you do, you can weld them up like the other plug welds so it isn't a big deal.

I commonly use a small number eight (approx 1/8") self taping screws to hold parts in place. These little holes are a breeze to weld up so don't worry about them. After screwing it in place with a few well placed screws BOLT THE FENDERS ON. Make sure your fenders are bolt up right, you may even want to put the hood on and make sure the latch lines up. On your mustang, if the rad support is mounted at the correct distance from the firewall it and is square it is pretty much there, but fitting parts is NEVER a waste of time.

Last edited by MARTINSR; 08-21-2004 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 08-21-2004, 01:49 PM
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MARTINSR

You know, I thought about the same thing the first time I saw a guy take a sledge to a quarter panel. I thought he was either awful mad at it, or just plain stupid. Then after he was through, I walked over to take a look at the results and spent about 30 minutes scratching my head and wondering why he didn't destroy things. All I know is this method has worked many times and I guess over the last 50 years working commission in high production shops I've about tried them all. To each his own, but I don't recommend things that cause people trouble. One further note here. Before you weld, you should use a weld through primer to keep rust at a minimum.
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Old 08-21-2004, 08:11 PM
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I know I make some long posts and they can be hard to hang in there if you aren't really that into it, but I did say to use weld thru primer. You are very right, weld thru is needed, that is for sure.

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Old 08-23-2004, 12:21 AM
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By the way, there is much more that can be said on top up drilling all the welds out. I got to thinking today, another thing that is over looked a lot is the fact that you don't have to remove the part all in one piece.

You are replacing the rad support right? Well, you can cut the thing up as you remove spot welds. It is much easier to drill a few welds (or grind them) and then remove that area, than it is to drill out all of them and remove the thing as a unit.
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