Radiator Support Repair – Part I

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.

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