Detour, continued

Got a big load of parts on the front stoop Thursday.

IMG_5288Turned out to be the new radiator, condenser, windshield washer bottle, headlights and hood. I unboxed them and they all look good. Still awaiting the fender and the bumper cover.

I got back after it today by removing the old radiator and condensor, hoping to test-fit them both by day’s end. IMG_5295Easier thought than done.

Turns out that lower radiator mount that I could not seem to pull or bash out could not be left bashed-in. The radiator would not even come out!

So the pry bar did.

Also the hammer.

And a few pieces of lumber.

Then the sawzall.

I also learned two things about my truck. 1.) The little rubber hoses going into the bottom of the radiator, that you can’t disconnect without jacking the truck up and climbing underneath, are filled with transmission fluid which will drip on the head of anyone so situated. 2.) The fan shroud is busted. So that’s another $30.

Eventually the old stuff came out but I was more than an hour with the sledge hammer, pry bar and a hand chisel trying to get that lower rad mount straight enough that it would not twist the new radiator upon installation. Finally got her test-fitted around 6 pm, but still a little tight in the lower right corner, so I may have to bash it some more.

IMG_5296 IMG_5297

The good news is I did not have to buy the whole radiator support piece which, although amazingly cheap at about $50, would require a weld-in installation and a lot more hammer/pull work on the inner fender well to get something out there to weld to it. I did not find a listing for a new inner fender well. Also I don’t have the kind of welder, or welding skill, to personally do that kind of repair.

It would be the only right way to fix the truck, of course. But the truck’s 13 years old and has most of 170,000 miles, so I’m determined to try to get by doing it the wrong way.

Not too obviously wrong, though: I did order two rattle cans of the correct paint code, along with the urethane clear coat. When everything’s ready to go back together–hopefully next week–I will try to make it look more-or-less as though the accident never happened.

I wish my dad were still alive so he could wander over and point and laugh.

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About stuntmidget

I'm a poor mechanic and general wisenheimer. I love old cars and the stories behind them, true or not.
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