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.
--- The upper "wings" of the radiator support fit inside the inner fenders like a hand in a glove.
--- 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.