Should I replace this radiator support or try to hammer it back in place?

Discussion in '1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk-' started by ryan7663, Mar 12, 2013.


  1. ryan7663

    ryan7663 New Member

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    I got the front end of my 95gt taken off so I can show you guys some pictures of what's going on. My radiator support was damaged a while back when my car had chopped springs in it. It was so low I got it stuck on a parking space curb and it got banged up pretty bad. Judging by the pictures do ya'll think I should go through the trouble of ripping it out or should I try to hammer it back in shape? There seems to be a crap load of spot welds where the factory used those pincer electrode thingamabob's on it and it looks pretty difficult to remove. If I need to remove how do you break it free from the spot welds? Only way I can think of is to slowly and carefully use a dremel to cut away the flaps. Thanks for any help on this.

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  2. FiveLiterSN95

    FiveLiterSN95 Member

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    It definitely looks like it could be pulled back. I wouldn't want to drill out a hundred spot welds if I could avoid it, personally.
  3. HuskerNation

    HuskerNation Member

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    Replace it IMO. The support is already weakened. You can find them for cheap from your junk yard, someone parting one out on CL, or buying it new.

    As for replacing, just grind/drill off the spot welds. Before welding the new one on, make sure everything is aligned. I am sure there are a few guides online for this, or contact your local body shop to see how much the will do that part for you.

    If you don't want to spend the money or time, just hit it back in place, but just remember, that support is weakened, and will be easier to rebreak and/or bend if hit.

    Paint it as well, to prevent the bare metal from rusting.
  4. ryan7663

    ryan7663 New Member

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    I actually have a new radiator support I bought on ebay for $70 it's just that it looks like it'd be a ordeal to remove it. I've had some people telling me to just bend it back and weld some bar stock along the bottom and along the sides and it'd be good to go. I've looked for write ups on this and didn't find any I'll look again though. The new support dosen't look as stout as the old one either so I don't know. As far as aligning I could take some measurements down first of where the old one is and make sure the new would go back the same way.

    I'm sure I could get it off eventually but like FiveLiterSN95 said it'd be a major pain. I'm gonna have to think about this some more I guess. I might explore the idea of pounding it back and reinforcing it first and see how that goes. If it doesn't go well I'll remove it and put the new one in. Thanks for the help guys
  5. FoxMustangLvr

    FoxMustangLvr Active Member

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    It's a ton of work but it looks like your car is already torn apart so it's all about drilling out every single spot weld and then cleaning it all up and rewelding the new one back in. It's not worth it since the factory core support is weak straight from the factory.

    I have the same problem with the core support and yours looks 10x better than mine. I'm going to chop out the bottom part and weld in 1.5x2 rect tubing in place of it. See the picture below of RaceOholic's car and you can also check out his build thread and see the pictures of his lower core support fix and you'll see what I'm talking about.

    [​IMG]

    Good luck!
  6. ryan7663

    ryan7663 New Member

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    I like this idea the only problem is that I lack the ability to do any real welding. I have a lincoln 225 stick welder so the most I could do is tack it. What I'm thinking I could do though is use some plate steel and make a sandwhich attaching the new bottom piece and pass some bolts through it to hold it together. That could hold it till I could get to a shop and have it properly welded. I could use the bottom portion of the replacement radiator support or I could use rectangular tubing like what your talking about. I figure I'd make the cut a few inches below the bumper bracket. Still contemplating but I think this will be the winning idea here. Thanks man
  7. HuskerNation

    HuskerNation Member

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    ryan7663, your best bet, if you want to put a new one on, go to a shop your comfortable with and ask them how much they would charge to weld on a new one. From my understanding, you want to install the hood and fenders, with the front support to make sure its all even and not out of place.

    If you can find someone to weld, cut the bad part (basically whole bottom and part of the left side support), after taking measurements, and cut out the same part off the new one and weld that in place.

    Or, like you said, hit it back in place, weld a support brace and call it a day. I am a perfectionist, so I would replace it lol. I can't have things done like that, knowing the support is all mingled looking still haha.
  8. FoxMustangLvr

    FoxMustangLvr Active Member

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    If you straighten your existing damaged core support, please do not hammer it straight. Use a come-along to pull it back in to form. Attach one end to something sturdy (like a tree if possible) and the other to the core support and make sure your car is e-braked or get some tire chocks to keep your car from rolling forward. Once you pull it back as close to straight as possible you can then take a hammer and take out any left over bumps/dents or deformations.

    If welding, get some scrap metal to practice on before you try to weld the rect tubing. Or you can do a series of tacks that resemble a continuous bead weld.
  9. ryan7663

    ryan7663 New Member

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    Actually anything I need to do I would pretty much have to do myself I'm out of funds having gone through thousands rebuilding the rest of the car. I already have a replacement radiator support like I said but it is decidely flimsy compared to the old one. Here's a link to one just like the one I bought
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Radiator-Support-Core-Black-Ford-Mustang-96-95-94-1996-1995-1994-FO1225128-/370618251282?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&fits=Year:1995|Make:Ford|Model:Mustang&hash=item564a91b812&vxp=mtr. I'm pretty handy I can cut the bottom off myself no problem I'll be cutting on the nice flat area right under the bumper bracket. There's no distortion at the top of the radiator support so that's why I'm not wanting to rip it out at the top plus the fact that the new support steel isn't as heavy a gauge as the old one.

    I think this is the best I can do with my remaining budget. It seems pretty straightfoward I have some pretty good mechanical skills I'm just not that good at welding. Also I try to do everything I can myself I rebuilt the motor, t-5 and even set the differential gears up myself. A couple little square steel plates on both sides with bolts passing through should have no problem holding the new bottom section on. When I take the car to the shop and get some of the exhasut pieces welded I'll pull the bumper back off and have them weld all the seams up. I know the guy that works there he's a pretty damn good welder I know he'll weld it up no problem.
  10. ryan7663

    ryan7663 New Member

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    I think the best bet here would be to just replace the section underneath the bumper brackets with the replacement radiator support. Everthings fine up top so I'd like to leave it alone if possible. Your original suggestion was a good one it pointed me in the right direction. I think the strongest fix I can make here would be to splice in the new lower half bolting it together temporarily and getting the seams welded up at the muffler shop once I get her running. I could add some bar stock or rectangular tubing to the replacement piece if it feels like it needs to be stronger.
  11. FoxMustangLvr

    FoxMustangLvr Active Member

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    Post some pictures of your fix when you get it all done. Good luck.
  12. ryan7663

    ryan7663 New Member

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    Will do thanks for the help buddy. It'll be a month or two before I get it running and to the shop but I should have the new piece bolted on in a week or so. I'll post some pics of where I cut it and of the brackets I'm gonna use to hold it together.
  13. FoxMustangLvr

    FoxMustangLvr Active Member

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    Thanks, I'll be doing my lower half from below the bumper brackets down on mine soon too. I just converted my flux welder to gas and now I can fix my floor pans and lower core support. It's warming up around here and with the time change I have more daylight to get more work done when I get home through the week.
    ryan7663 likes this.
  14. ryan7663

    ryan7663 New Member

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    I have a grinder with a metal cutoff wheel and a mikita band saw at my disposal. I'm thinking the bandsaw would make a straighter cut what do you think?
  15. ryan7663

    ryan7663 New Member

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    Good luck I'll definetely post some pics then hopefully they can be of some help to you.

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