Archive for the ‘Radiator Support’ Category

Radiator Support Repair – Part I

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

The battery really did a number on the driver’s side portion of the radiator support over the years. The piece will have to be repaired since no aftermarket support is being produced for the 81 Trans Am yet. Work started by removing the rusted portions of the metal. All of these pieces were carefully removed from the support to ensure they were’nt bent as these will be used as templates for the new metal.

I find it’s easiest to take sheet of paper and cover to entire area of the old part making sure to follow the contour of all bends then use this to draw out the pattern on the sheet metal. I leave all pieces over sized as it’s easier to trim after bending than to start over if later you find pieces happen to be cut too small. All of these pieces were bent with a cheap 18″ sheet metal brake from Harbor Freight or hammered over some piece of scrap steel with the proper radius or contour needed at the time. No expensive equipment is necessary. With enough time, a piece can be made that nearly exactly replicates the original.

Radiator Support Cleanup

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

Today the radiator support was sand blasted. All paint, dirt, and rust was removed. Radiator support was in decent shape but still in need of repair. Once down to bare metal it was coated with self etching primer. Repair will begin next week.

Radiator Support Disassembly

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Today’s Trans Am restoration work included dismantling the radiator support. The battery box was almost non-existent as well as small portions of the radiator support. No one is reproducing this piece yet so some patch panels will have to be cut in another week or so. The battery box is available and will be replaced. The brake booster and steering box was also cleaned up this week. It was pretty nasty and took a while to clean. Some mineral spirits and then some soapy water did the trick. It appears that it only leaked around the inlet. The input shaft seal may still be in good shape. I’ll paint it as is and be on the lookout for any leaks since the steering box is easy to pull back off after installation if needed. Brake booster will needed a little more cleaning to prep for paint.