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Auto body repair & detailing/replace welded radiator support

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Question
Hi
I am a dig mechanic and have a 2001 suzuki grand vitara which has right front fender damage. I want to fix and have removed bumper support, fender, and inner fender, the radiatop support is bent where the headlight assembly mounts, upon inspection it appears the radiator support is spot welded to the frarme behind the fender. I found I can get a replacement radiator support assembly. What is the process to remove and install this spot welded part? Thanks

Answer
Hi Tim!....To replace a rad support properly on any vehicle, first of all, you will need to drain the radiator and remove it completely. Next, if the vehicle has A/C, you will need to evacuate the system, and remove the condenser as well. A/C systems of your year will have R134A as a refrigerant. Next, remove any necessary wiring, hoses, cables, etc. that are attached to the rad support. Once you have removed all necessary parts, you can start removal of the rad support assembly. For this, the first thing to do, is to mark the position of the current rad support in various places, using a scratch awl or even a felt pen. That way when positioning the new rad support, you can place it in the same position. To remove the rad support, you will need a "Spot Weld Cutter", in a 3/8 size. They are available at most auto parts supply stores. They are simply an arbor, with a double sided reversible cutter that will fit in any 3/8 air or electric drill. Drill out the spot welds as necessary, and remove the support. Be sure as to only drill through the current rad support and not what it is welded to. This way you will have a backing for welding the new one into place. You will now need to duplicate the spot weld positions and amount on the new support. Simply drill a hole with drill bit, or use a metal punch if one is available. Once you have positioned the new support into place, use a few sheet metal screws to secure it into place before doing any welding. Next step is to put the fenders, hood, header panel, etc. on, as to make sure all holes align correctly, and you have proper gaps throughout. Once you are satisfied, you can now weld it into place. Remember to use corrosion protection when welding also. Paint as required, and re-install all parts removed in the reverse order.....Hope this helps you out...If you have any other questions, please drop me another line....Thanks....Dave

Auto body repair & detailing

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Dave Norgardt

Expertise

Absolutely anything autobody related... Frame repair, suspension, alignment, panel replacement, panel repair, fiberglass, plastic repair, paint, air bags, etc.....

Experience

Over 30 years in related areas. 25 years in HEAVY frame repair, suspension, and alignment procedures. As well as panel replacement and repairs, etc.....

Education/Credentials
Journeyman Autobody Technician with Red Seal/Interprovincial certification from N.A.I.T. in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Top Achiever award second year, also from N.A.I.T. Also have Platinum status from I-Car Canada...Also have Journeyman Partsman Certificate, Lethbridge, Alberta...

Awards and Honors
Second Year Top Achiever from N.A.I.T.Edmonton

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