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How difficult is it to replace the entire radiator support includung the lower supports that angle in from the shock towers? What is involved? Can I square it up with a tape pulling corner to corner? I have 2 parts cars with decent supports that I was planning to canibalize to get the entire supports. Is this worth the trouble?
 

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We recently replaced our radiator support on our 68. Well, 'we' didn't actually do it, one of my dad's friends did, and he made quick work of it too, but it seemed pretty easy. Let's see if I can remember how he did it...

First: Cut the old radiator support off with a sawzall or soemthing like that. Don't really worry about cutting it away from the shock towers, that comes later, just cut it close to the shock towers so you don't have hunks of metal just hanging around. He cut it at the bottom right along the frame, leaving all of the factory welds inside the engine compartment.

Second: Drill out all spot welds along the shock towers and then he used some sort of air impact tool that just looked like a chisel and kind of hamered away at the support where the welds were to finally and completely separate it from the shock towers. Once the whole old radiator support is completely off, then you get the new one.

Third: Well, I wasn't watching as closely here, but I think he just tack welded the support in place and then once it was good and in there, took off the clamps, and did the final welds. He cut the new support around the bottom radiator support/pads (don't really know what they are called) and around where the frame comes up on the sides and just welded it to the frame down there. Once he was finished, it was more sturdy than it had been previously.

Long story short, it is definently worth the trouble to do it. It seemed easy, and if I could weld myself, I probably could have done it. Do use a gas welder, though. He had a cheap electric welder, and the welds aren't nearly as clean, but they work if you grind them down and then put some bondo to make it smooth.

Good luck with your replacement and the rest of your car!
 

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On my '68 Vert, I replaced the Rad Support and Front Crossmember (along with both front aprons). Not a difficult job, but lots and welds. If you're replacing the Rad Support, you might as well do the crossmember as well (my opinion only). Once off, you can look inside the frame rails and POR if needed (I did and turned out pretty good). I used an Undercoating gun that I got from Eastwood. I know it could be done cheaper some other way, but I was impatient :(. After searching and not finding the brackets. I just banged out, and added weld metal (then ground down and added more, and ground down...as needed) to the strut rod brackets (diagonal braces). I tried to put all the welds back into factory spots, based on the Osbourne Weld and Sealant guide. All in all, a time consuming, but relatively easy job. BTW, it was my first real welding project on the car. If you want any pics, I've got plenty, PM me and I'll try to post them on my site, or send them to you. Good Luck,
Gregg
 

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I agree that it's one of the more straightforward sheetmetal replacements to be done. After wrestling with complete floorpan replacement, the radiator support was almost a pleasure.
One thing I did was to leave the hood on the car. I used pieces of masking tape on it and the car as "match marks" to make sure stuff went back in where it was supposed to. I also made a bunch of measurements since part of my frame railhad to be replaced too. Basically I just measured anything and everything that might be helpful. I took particular care measuring an "X" from the right rear hood hinge area to the left frontmost fender bolt and vice versa. Also an "X"from the top front of each inner fender to each frame rail. Since I discovered the front end of my car to be "square", I took pains to keep it that way.
I recommend a good used radiator support. I couldn't find one that suited me in time for my repairs, nor a reasonably priced NOS. I laid hands on an NOS one for a '66 and a repro one at the same time and was disappointed to find the repro was very noticeably flimsier. The repro 67 I ended up with is also flimsy. Since my car is modified anyway, I had no problem adding a bit of reinforcement. Although flimsy, I am very pleased (and surprised) with how well it fit. If you buy a repro, you'll also need to get what they call a "crossmember" that welds on to the bottom of it. Another fairly flimsy piece, though my original seemed no better. You'll also need the "hood bumper" brackets. I was able to reuse my originals, but new ones are cheap. NPD's catalog makes it pretty clear that radiator support buyers will also want these other parts.
Seems like NPD also sells strut rod support brackets for certain years. I didn't look too closely as mine are in pretty good shape.
 
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