Radiator Support Removal

by Will Chandler
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The radiator in a vehicle is responsible for properly cooling the motor. The radiator support bracket is a metal frame that is welded to the main frame of the vehicle. Without the radiator support bracket, the radiator would not properly be stabilized and the vehicle would overheat. The radiator support bracket is spot-welded every few inches, and so the removal process involves breaking these welds.

Preparation for Removal

There are a lot of items that must be removed before the radiator support can be removed. All seals, glass, panels and components must be removed to expose the radiator support and provide an adequate place to install the new radiator support. Note the number of spot welds that secure the radiator support to the frame. Spot welds will appear as circular dents in the metal. Pressure and heat between two diodes create a metal-on-metal seal, and this is a spot weld.

Removal of the Bracket

Removing the bracket is a fairly straightforward process. There are special drill bits made for removing spot welds. Drilling out the spot welds is the easiest way to remove them from metal. The holes that are formed from drilling will serve as guides when you replace the old metal with new. There will be multiple spot welds depending on the vehicle. Larger vehicles will typically have more spot welds. Generally spot welds can be used every 6 inches. Once all of the spot welds have been drilled out, the radiator support can be pulled out and replaced.

Tools for the job

There are several hand tools that will be needed for this project. The most important tools for the removal are a good drill and drill bits. The drill bits need to be slightly larger than the spot welds so that all the welded material can be removed. Additional tools that will be needed are a ratchet, extensive socket set, assorted screwdrivers and a hammer to tap out the radiator support. The ratchet and sockets will make the removal of all the fascia a lot easier and quicker. The screwdrivers will come in handy for prying out stubborn parts and removing screws on pieces like the headlights and hose clamps.

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