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  #1  
Old 04-04-2012, 10:04 PM
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Vehicle: 1998 F150 4.6
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HELP mounts and rad support- not usual question? PICS

PICS IN GALLERY

Good evening,

First off let me just say I am not a quick fix person usually. But due to really low funds I have to get one more year (max- hopefully just 6 months or so if everything works out financially) out of my rad support.

It's well rusted and I need to do something temporarily. I figure I can fab up a bracket that would mount to the good metal higher up on the support, it follow down to the frame mount and bolt it right up. most likely welded at the top. I would use a hockey puck just temporarily as a bushing.

How does that sound? Any suggests on how to make this project better would be great.

The rad has already been welded into place because it slipped of its mount due to rust.

Its only the bottom of the lip that is really bad, the rest and rest of the truck is pretty solid.

Anything should be better then what I have now I think, just want it to get me a little further.

Thanks in advance for all the help- did a search but nothing specifically came up.
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  #2  
Old 04-05-2012, 05:50 AM
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2000 Ford F-150
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Saint John, NB
Vehicle: 2001 Ford F-150 7700
Posts: 400
chrmar
My '00 went the same way: bottom middle rotted away then the sides went like that. The radiator was sitting at an angle it got so bad. What I ended up having to do is get the bottom half of a good radiator support welded in. The old one was cut out about halfway from the hoodline to the frame and the new one spliced in. All you need to take off is the grille and bumper; the truck had AC and they were able to do the job with the radiator and condenser still in.
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01 F-150 7700 XLS 5.4L 4R100 supercab/short
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  #3  
Old 04-05-2012, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrmar View Post
My '00 went the same way: bottom middle rotted away then the sides went like that. The radiator was sitting at an angle it got so bad. What I ended up having to do is get the bottom half of a good radiator support welded in. The old one was cut out about halfway from the hoodline to the frame and the new one spliced in. All you need to take off is the grille and bumper; the truck had AC and they were able to do the job with the radiator and condenser still in.
That sounds like the hard way, -unless you had a doner right there handy. Couldn't you just fab something up using, iduno, -angle stock ? Of course you would need a welder.
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  #4  
Old 04-05-2012, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilderthing View Post
PICS IN GALLERY

Good evening,

First off let me just say I am not a quick fix person usually. But due to really low funds I have to get one more year (max- hopefully just 6 months or so if everything works out financially) out of my rad support.

It's well rusted and I need to do something temporarily. I figure I can fab up a bracket that would mount to the good metal higher up on the support, it follow down to the frame mount and bolt it right up. most likely welded at the top. I would use a hockey puck just temporarily as a bushing.

How does that sound? Any suggests on how to make this project better would be great.

The rad has already been welded into place because it slipped of its mount due to rust.

Its only the bottom of the lip that is really bad, the rest and rest of the truck is pretty solid.

Anything should be better then what I have now I think, just want it to get me a little further.

Thanks in advance for all the help- did a search but nothing specifically came up.
Can you possibly tie it to anything? With large band clamps or whatnot. Surprised my 98 hasn't rusted out there. It has everywhere else. Usually have to replace it with new metal, -nothing else would last.
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  #5  
Old 04-05-2012, 10:34 AM
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2000 Ford F-150
 
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Location: Saint John, NB
Vehicle: 2001 Ford F-150 7700
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chrmar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrew View Post
That sounds like the hard way, -unless you had a doner right there handy. Couldn't you just fab something up using, iduno, -angle stock ? Of course you would need a welder.
Angle stock was his first idea but there wasn't anything left to weld the angle stock to. I had a complete rad support from another truck and cutting them in half was his idea. I wasn't doing the work myself so whatever he thought was easiest is what he did, heh.
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  #6  
Old 04-06-2012, 06:55 PM
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Same- I thought of angle stock but then realized it was to late for that.

I think what I am going to do is buy a used one, cut the back off it and slide it over my current one- just the bottom of it so I can use the mounts as brackets so it follows the contours exactly. If that makes any sense.

Will keep you guys updated and post pics of the repair- hopefully it will help somebody else get ideas if they find themselves in the same predicament.

Thanks for all the help.
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  #7  
Old 12-14-2012, 11:29 PM
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Vehicle: 2001 Ford F150
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Exclamation Had the same problem

Discovered when I had a tire go flat, I asked my front end man look at a 'thunk' I was hearing when I turned into a driveway. He showed me where both of the angles of the lower support sheet metal had completely rusted away, so that the radiator is hanging by its hoses. Some strain has been put on the transmission fluid cooler lines & the rubber parts are oozing fluid. Mechanic warned that the radiator could come loss & fall into the fan, or worse. The real extent of the damage is almost impossible to see due to everything that was installed around the bottom of the radiator support.
I found a junked 2001 F150 at Pullapart & created the following Youtube video to illustrate the problem -- it has the same framework as my trunk, but someone got to it ahead of me & removed most everything that was in the way. The junked truck looked pretty good except for this. The mechanic said this kind of corrosion is typical in NE Ohio.


It looked to me like a very long piece of angle stock going from the left side of the frame to the right side of the frame might be a substitute for the rusted bottom part of the radiator support. However, so much was removed from the junker I don't know if there is really the space for angle iron.
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  #8  
Old 12-15-2012, 11:48 PM
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I'm in the middle of dealing with this same problem right now. I caught mine a little earlier than you so it isn't as bad, but bad enough. Here are some pics and how I'm going about fixing it.








I cut out all the rotted parts of the lower support:




Then welded plates on each end of what was salvagable of the lower cross brace:




Then welded it back into the corners after I plated them:




I then used some 1/8" plate to reinforce and fill the missing areas in the front corners:




I won't kid you and say it was easy... it was a pretty rough job considering how much stuff needed to be removed just to get in to do the repair...... and I'm lucky enough to be an experienced certified welder/fabricator.

I had painted the entire area with Chassis Saver a couple days ago and just came in from the garage to see this thread... I was applying fresh seam sealer and getting ready for final paint before reassembly.

I hope this helps but you are definitely into more fabricating than me since yours is further along... I wish you luck.
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  #9  
Old 12-16-2012, 10:14 AM
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1999 Ford F-150
 
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Location: Omaha, NE
Vehicle: 1999 Ford F150
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Whoa, I'm going to look at this potential problem on my 99 today! I haven't looked around that area.
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  #10  
Old 12-16-2012, 12:40 PM
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Yeah, to put it bluntly and hopefully without stepping on the toes of members who are in love with these trucks..... Ford really dropped the ball when it came to designing the panels and protecting them from rust.

Where several sheets of stamped steel come together with spot welds at one point (like the area right above the front body mounts) they left many sloppy gaps that beg to be filled with dirt/mud and road salt.

Ford really skimped on the paint too... just go out and crawl around your truck or take it apart down to the point I have mine apart right now and you'll be shocked at how many large areas aren't even painted, just a thin coat of primer between the panels and the elements.

To make it worse they made areas like the top and bottom rad support braces hollow... then punched them full of uneccessary holes that let the unprotected (not even primered) area inside fill with dirt and salt. No wonder they rust apart like tin cans... it's like they went out of their way to make sure they wouldn't last.

It's called "engineered obsolescence"... that way when it falls apart, you come buy a new truck. I think this is a stupid business idea, since all it does is put a bad taste in my mouth when I own a vehicle like this and when it falls apart and I have to buy a new one, I choose a company who builds things to last, not another Ford that falls apart at a pre-determined time to FORCE me to buy a new one.

And it CAN be done with little effort and cost. Case in point, the pictures I posted above are of my '00 F150 driven it's whole life in salty central Pa. and it's a rust bucket!!! Then when I look under my "cheaply" built, "drive it till it dies then throw it away" econo box Geo Metro with the same mileage, also built in '00 and driven it's whole life in salty central Pa.... I see little to no rust AT ALL.

What excuse could Ford possibly give to me that their "Built Ford Tough" truck is falling apart like garbage when my disposable Metro is still rock solid underneath??? Answer... NONE... they simply designed and built their truck cheaper than a Metro... and that is a sad fact.

Don't get me wrong, I love my truck and am working hard to stop the rust it already has and plan on keeping it and driving it for many years to come... but I have the same love for my Metro and didn't have to do a thing to it and it's still going to last for a long time to come. Ford just needs to hear more stories like mine and how bad it makes them look when compared to companies who think a little more about how to put a vehicle together for the long haul.

Now let me go get my flame suit on. LOL.
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  #11  
Old 12-17-2012, 06:34 PM
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by capri debris View Post
To make it worse they made areas like the top and bottom rad support braces hollow... then punched them full of uneccessary holes that let the unprotected (not even primered) area inside fill with dirt and salt. No wonder they rust apart like tin cans... it's like they went out of their way to make sure they wouldn't last.

It's called "engineered obsolescence"... that way when it falls apart, you come buy a new truck. I think this is a stupid business idea, since all it does is put a bad taste in my mouth when I own a vehicle like this and when it falls apart and I have to buy a new one, I choose a company who builds things to last, not another Ford that falls apart at a pre-determined time to FORCE me to buy a new one.

What excuse could Ford possibly give to me that their "Built Ford Tough" truck is falling apart like garbage when my disposable Metro is still rock solid underneath??? Answer... NONE... they simply designed and built their truck cheaper than a Metro... and that is a sad fact.

Ford just needs to hear more stories like mine and how bad it makes them look when compared to companies who think a little more about how to put a vehicle together for the long haul.
I totally agree with you. I also have a 1983 F250 HD that I bought new 30 years ago. When it was new I did undercoat it, not with Ziebart. Most all that undercoating is gone, and I drove it in salt for 15 years at the beginning. Rust on this ancient truck is nowhere near as bad as my 11-year old F150.
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  #12  
Old 12-17-2012, 07:01 PM
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Exclamation Is there any easier way to repair these defects?

capri debris: Looks like you have a 2000 F150. I have a 2001 F150 with 4.2L engine.
  • The YouTube video I created was at a junk yard - I knew it would be easier to see the problem after everything else had been removed. I don't yet know the extent of my problem until I start removing stuff from the front of the truck. It is very difficult to see the extent on an intact truck, I can just see my radiator sagging a bit. Looking at the photos of your work & matching them with my memory of the junker, looks your truck had about the same the extent of the damage of the junk yard queen in my video, almost the same amount of metal looks to be missing.
  • I will have to work outdoors in winter weather. I have a giant tarp to rig over the front of the truck as a makeshift shelter. Should be able to keep it dry & warm with a space heater. I'm waiting for the ground in my back yard to freeze solid before I run the truck back there.
  • Is it necessary to remove the fan and the belts? Others who have commented around the internet thought it wouldn't be necessary
  • I can buy an aftermarket replacement radiator support for about $120.
    After all the work you did, do you think it would have been better to simply replace the entire support? Your work looks much more substantial that the OEM stuff, I must say, and it probably will last much longer.
  • It looks like there would be plenty of room along the bottom of the radiator to simply use a huge piece of angle iron from one frame beam to the other, with 2 shorter vertical pieces of bar stock or angle iron on either side of the main radiator support opening. Drill and bolt the angle iron pieces to the OEM radiator support. Is this doable? I'm not a welder, but simply want to patch the Thing to get a bit more use out of it, before the rest of the body crumbles.

Last edited by artfd; 12-17-2012 at 07:04 PM.
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  #13  
Old 01-28-2013, 02:06 AM
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Exclamation Progress report 2001 F150 rotten radiator support

I was able to park my F150 in the back yard the day after Christmas just before it got buried in snow for a couple of weeks.
This winter is not turning out very good for doing this job.
I have been pulling parts off the front of my F150 to see just how bad the rust is.
It is nearly as bad as that F150 in the YouTube video - the only thing keeping the rusted out lower arms of the radiator support from falling out was the center brace that the hood latch is screwed onto, and the hoses between the auto transmission and the transmission fluid cooler, which is bolted to the lower support. Those hoses have been leaking fluid, probably due to the abnormal movement they've been getting.
The rest of the sheet metal in the engine compartment looks pretty good, just the radiator support is shot.
I am not a welder or body man, strictly a DIY'er.
The two top corners of the radiator support are each attached to the metal of the inner fenders by about a dozen spot welds on each side. The spot welds are covered by the front of the outer fenders.
Click the image to open in full size.

--- The upper "wings" of the radiator support fit inside the inner fenders like a hand in a glove.
Click the image to open in full size.

--- The bottom of the radiator support used to be bolted to the frame beams, but both supports are almost solid rust and are only a couple of bumps in the road away from collapsing completely.
There are many brackets and attachment points all over the radiator support for things like the horn, grounding of cable bundles, hood stops, center support that the hood latch is connected to, etc. These are easy to remove.
As best I can tell, the radiator and the AC condensor were supported by the lower portion of the radiator support. There is a thick piece of detailed rubber molding that apparently was sandwiched between the top of the missing lower support and the bottoms of the radiator & condensor. This was found loosely wedged into the space where the lower support once was.
There are two large brackets at the top of the radiator support through which 2 vertical pins of the radiator once fit -- these seem to serve as alignment points more than support points. When I first spotted this problem, the radiator had already fallen out of these upper brackets holes.
At this point the easiest thing for me to do appears to be to remove the entire radiator support. Its only welds are spot welds at the top corners, which are accessible after removal of the outer fenders. The hood does not need to be removed, and its hinges do not need to be touched.
The attachments of the support to the frame will have to be pulled out piece by piece. Most references I've found to repair of these points indicates the bolts get destroyed along with the bushings during removal of a badly corroded radiator support.
Prices for a complete replacement radiator support are from $100 upward, with shipping costing $125 upward.
I am not sure I really need to re-do the spot welds at the top of the support where it attaches to the inner fenders. There is enough space around these points where I might just install through holes and fasten the support with nuts & bolts or perhaps rivets.
I'm going to take the pieces of my removed radiator support to a parts warehouse to verify that the replacement looks more or less like my original.
I'll be applying the best rust preventative I can find to the new radiator support.
There are a couple of spots of rust on the sheet metal, but nothing like what is on the radiator support.

Last edited by artfd; 01-28-2013 at 02:13 AM. Reason: Adding photo
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  #14  
Old 01-28-2013, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capri debris View Post
Yeah, to put it bluntly and hopefully without stepping on the toes of members who are in love with these trucks..... Ford really dropped the ball when it came to designing the panels and protecting them from rust.

Where several sheets of stamped steel come together with spot welds at one point (like the area right above the front body mounts) they left many sloppy gaps that beg to be filled with dirt/mud and road salt.

Ford really skimped on the paint too... just go out and crawl around your truck or take it apart down to the point I have mine apart right now and you'll be shocked at how many large areas aren't even painted, just a thin coat of primer between the panels and the elements.

To make it worse they made areas like the top and bottom rad support braces hollow... then punched them full of uneccessary holes that let the unprotected (not even primered) area inside fill with dirt and salt. No wonder they rust apart like tin cans... it's like they went out of their way to make sure they wouldn't last.

It's called "engineered obsolescence"... that way when it falls apart, you come buy a new truck. I think this is a stupid business idea, since all it does is put a bad taste in my mouth when I own a vehicle like this and when it falls apart and I have to buy a new one, I choose a company who builds things to last, not another Ford that falls apart at a pre-determined time to FORCE me to buy a new one.

And it CAN be done with little effort and cost. Case in point, the pictures I posted above are of my '00 F150 driven it's whole life in salty central Pa. and it's a rust bucket!!! Then when I look under my "cheaply" built, "drive it till it dies then throw it away" econo box Geo Metro with the same mileage, also built in '00 and driven it's whole life in salty central Pa.... I see little to no rust AT ALL.

What excuse could Ford possibly give to me that their "Built Ford Tough" truck is falling apart like garbage when my disposable Metro is still rock solid underneath??? Answer... NONE... they simply designed and built their truck cheaper than a Metro... and that is a sad fact.

Don't get me wrong, I love my truck and am working hard to stop the rust it already has and plan on keeping it and driving it for many years to come... but I have the same love for my Metro and didn't have to do a thing to it and it's still going to last for a long time to come. Ford just needs to hear more stories like mine and how bad it makes them look when compared to companies who think a little more about how to put a vehicle together for the long haul.

Now let me go get my flame suit on. LOL.
Are you suited up? Good! Keep it handy. To comment on such things you to have a certain understanding with metallurgy, engineering, age, abuse and options offered when purchasing a new vehicle. Ford didn't drop the ball at all as they have proved over the years to last much longer than the competition given the same scenario.

So your comment supports a serious lack of intelligence upon your behalf and I suggest you just stick to what your good at. In fact, I'm not sure I'd trust you with a hot glue gun let alone welding anything for me. From what I've read anyway.

You may not totally understand this comment, which is a given. However, the important part of it should be easy enough to decipher. I suggest that you apply yourself and remain there, -content.

BTW- Good job on the repair. I have an 98 F150 that I purchased new. It's tasted EVERY Michigan winter and FINALLY rusted bad enough that it was in need of repair. The rocker panels, lower doors and bed panels. The core support remains solid, BUT, I have taken care of the truck since new. That means, when the inner wheel well skirts wore out and fell off, I replaced them. I had the vehicle undercoated when new and have done that myself a few more times.

Yes, after 300,000 miles and many winters behind that, the rust eventually began to show and I chose not to drive it until it was fixed.

I salute the Ford engineers for the making of a fine automobile in this truck. However, nothing is idiot proof and lord knows that we have plenty of those behind the wheels. Even more with the daily web feed. I'd serve mankind with the smashing of all there toes, if I could; for some kind of control with infiltration. Hell, that may even put sort of a bump steer in procreation


Last edited by jbrew; 01-28-2013 at 08:23 PM. Reason: Crap, -forgot the beer
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  #15  
Old 01-28-2013, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrew View Post
Are you suited up? Good! Keep it handy. To comment on such things you to have a certain understanding with metallurgy, engineering, age, abuse and options offered when purchasing a new vehicle. Ford didn't drop the ball at all as they have proved over the years to last much longer than the competition given the same scenario.

So your comment supports a serious lack of intelligence upon your behalf and I suggest you just stick to what your good at. In fact, I'm not sure I'd trust you with a hot glue gun let alone welding anything for me. From what I've read anyway.

You may not totally understand this comment, which is a given. However, the important part of it should be easy enough to decipher. I suggest that you apply yourself and remain there, -content.

BTW- Good job on the repair.
I know I posted a very opinionated comment on these trucks and I fully expected to get flamed.... but I'm really not sure how to respond to such a harsh post.

I see you have a high post count and have noticed you give very good advice in many other threads and don't want to get on the wrong side of long time members like you. However, even though I'm a new member here.... I'm not new to forums or working on cars and feel I deserve at least a little more respect than what you dished out above. After all, I'm 47 years old and have been turning wrenches, building engines/transmission, 1/4 mile racing and entering cars I've built in shows since I was 16.

To clarify, I DO have extensive metallurgy knowledge. My training began way back in 1990 when I enrolled in The Welder Training and Testing Institute in Selinsgrove, PA. where I studied structural and pipe welding, fabrication, metallurgy, blueprint reading and was certified in mig, tig and stick welding processes in all position and materials in structural and pipe... basically I hold the highest certifications one could hope to attain in the field of welding other than under water welding.

Needless to say, I have perfected my skills in welding over the past 23 years and for you to make the comment that you wouldn't trust me with a hot glue gun shows a serious lack of intelligence on YOUR part. If you don't trust me to weld something for you, I don't have a clue who you WOULD trust.

I have performed 5 ground up car restorations for myself and helped with many others. Here is a link to my latest project if you care to take the time to see my skills and experience in action. http://captocapri101.smugmug.com/Car...1526&k=hdhb2xJ
I currently own nine vehicles, all fully insured/registered, built three of them with my own hands, drive them all regularly and perform ALL maintenance myself.

Here is a taste.

1986 Lotus Esprit Turbo


1986 Mercury Capri 5.0


1986 Mercury Capri


1982 Mercury Capri


1985 Pontiac Fiero


2000 Suzuki Swift


2000 Ford F150



You, like everyone else on this or any other forum, are entitled to your opinion, but like you on this forum, I also have very high post counts on other forums but choose not to bash new members on those forums... I just don't think it's good representation of the forum and the other long time members. Another reason I don't bash new members is because they may end up being someone who knows what they're talking about and may actually have more knowledge and experience that I do.... and I'd only come off looking like a jerk. I prefer to try and be productive and contribute in a positive manner when I can rather than take cheap shots at new members when I don't agree with them.

I do thank you for at least saying, "Good job" on the repair of my F150... but hopefully, you will acknowledge that I may be entitled to voice an opinion from time to time on this forum without my intellect being called into question in a rather rude manner. Considering my accomplishments so far in life, I think it may lend some merit in what I say when I post my opinions... and that I'm not just another newbie spouting off about things he doesn't know anything about.

Last edited by capri debris; 01-28-2013 at 11:13 PM.
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