Best way to install a radiator, shroud, and lower hose
I have replaced the front cross member and radiator support due to rust. When I removed the shroud to get the radiator out, it was a bear to put it lightly. I actually damaged some fins on the radiator pulling the shroud out. The lower rad hose is also very difficult to get on, once the radiator is in.
Is it easier to install all these as one piece? My thoughts were that the radiator itself was the biggest obstacle in getting the shroud out. So, I'm thinking the best way to get it back in is in one piece.
I've always done the radiator w/ the bottom hose attached and then the shroud. Definately a job I don't like to do. Takes a lot of patients which I don't always have.
I've never tried it all at once. I think you would still have the problem of getting it to fit within the control arms.
Have to remove 6 bolts and maybe bottom bolts holding the rad support, swing it forward, and remove the fan, at that point I think you can sneak that shroud out,
before you reinstall it, you need to cut the shroud on each side, forming two halves, top and bottom, you put two metal tabs on the top or bottom section, 4 on each side, making a sandwich with two tabs and one section two on each side, the overhang makes a slot the other section can slip home in, I use aluminum pieces for this job....done it to many a car.....many cars come like this already....
If you try to do it as one piece, The shroud wont clear the control arm without pushing the support forward. The way I did it was to get the radiator in the car, then lift it and push it forward while slipping the shroud into place. Definitely not easy. And NOT a one man operation. Pushing the radiator support forward helps a lot.
The hose is easy to do after the fact. (And Im not sure that it will clear with the hose attached.)
My experience is that if you loosen the top 4 bolts on the support that it will swing out of the way just enough to squeeze the shroud in place. If memory serves me I had to wiggle the support back and forth some once I started to slide the shroud in place.
Do it on a very warm if not hot day so you can manipulate the shroud around the control arm. I had to use a large screw driver to get the last 1/4" or so.
Be careful and make sure the two studs at the bottom to not get caught and break off.
All this is done with the fan removed.
I had to lay underneath to see exactly where to use the screw driver as a "persuasion bar". Be careful and it will go. Use something like really thick card board to protect wherever you place the blade of the screw driver to gain leverage.
Mine went in with no damage but it did take some time to figure out exactly how to squeeze it in place.
I just did my '79 last week. I have to assume the earlier cars are different because mine was a piece of cake. Shroud goes in first, then the rad, then fan blade, and finally the lower hose. Could probably put the hose in before the fan blade.
I already installed the rad support. Sounds like I need to either unbolt everything except the bottom two side bolts to swing it, or remove it completely and install as one giant piece. The one giant piece (support, rad, shroud) is an interesting approach. If no "persuasion" is required with this set up, I think I will opt for that one.
Anything has to be better than the way I removed it!