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how do I replace the radiator support?

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Old 04-23-2009, 04:11 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Calgary
Vehicle: 2001 Ford F150
Posts: 13
how do I replace the radiator support?

I took the hood, grill and bumper off my 2001 to paint them and discovered a serious rust problem in the radiator support where it bolts onto the frame. On the driver side it is rusted through so badly that it is almost gone. (its only 8 years old - how can this be?).

I want to try to replace it myself. I have questions if anyone can answer them.

Is the radiator support the same on all 97-03 or do I have to find one for the specific year of my truck?
Do the fenders also have to come off to get access?
Are there any particulary diffcult steps that I will encounter?
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:44 PM
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Location: Memphis, TN 38135, USA, Earth
Vehicle: 1983 Ford Bronco
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1. Probably interchangeable - ask the dealer parts department, or an aftermarket supplier, or any large junkyard.
2. Probably not.
3. Working it around the condenser, & wiggling it out between the fenders. Then realigning the fenders when you put it back in - you have to raise them slightly to put some weight on the core support.
Walk softly & carry a BIG SIX ! ! !

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Old 04-26-2009, 10:57 PM
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The early 97 models, had a different header panel. Mine was built in April 2006, and had old style headlight mounts.
That not a hard job, but a little meticulous. Most of the front cap is connected to it.

But, 'what caused it to rust out?' is a bigger question. Has it ever been in an accident, radiator leak, brake fluid or battery acid?
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:27 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Calgary
Vehicle: 2001 Ford F150
Posts: 13
I'm not the original owner, but there is evidence of some repainting in the front end, so it may have been damaged, or was already getting rusty. I just replaced the aluminum hood that was also corroded. The previous owner was living in Toronto where the humidity is high and they use tons of salt on the freeways in winter. Here in western Canada I would not expect to find rust on an 8 year old car.

I looked at it again, and I think it might be best to take the fenders off too, so that I can get easier access to the spot welds.
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