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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, thanks for the warm welcome, and I need help with my autobody repair work already! This is for a 94 Taurus GL 3.0 V6. It has collision damage to the front end, specifically passenger side.

One of the pieces I'd planned to replace was the radiator support. Mainly because the mechanic's estimate I got said I needed to. Tonight I pulled off broken pieces of header panel to get a closer look, and the damage is not as bad as I thought. It's mainly the piece of metal jutting out in the front that was attached to the header panel that got mangled. I saw no other denting or damage, looking at it from above and below. I took some pliers to it and tried to straighten it out some. I have photos of the results, as well as a photo of the intact driver's side.

Could anyone look at the photos and tell me, based on this part alone (I don't hold you accountable for advice on the whole support as you can't see it all) if I need a new support? Is it important to have a very straight edge here or will a slightly mangled one be functional? I want it to be a good repair job, but if it's a small problem I don't want to go overboard.

Admittedly I am disappointed at the thought of not replacing it. I was really looking forward to the welding! But the money I would save would make me feel a little better. I have the part on hold, not purchased yet.

http://s36.photobucket.com/albums/e1/kisme...ator%20Support/

Thanks!

p.s. if you're interested in a more first hand look at the damage, I have a 6 minute video on youtube showing the car and my plans: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3-Sm6h1bRg
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hey guys,
I just found some similar situations on the forum, sorry I didn't notice them sooner, I think I wasn't searching right. I'm trying hard not to bore you with the same old questions! I'm still not sure if this will work, but judging by the guy who hooked ropes to a tree and went in reverse to pull the dent out of his supports, my little wavy piece of metal probably won't be a big deal. I just don't want it to make anything (esp header panel) crooked. I'll try to do some testing tomorrow. You're input would still be great. Been researching radiator supports and welding aaalll day so kinda burnt.

But damn, no new support means no welding. Bah.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here's an update on the radiator support for you, or for the sake of anyone who might check this thread for information:

Well I got a better look at it today, and discovered the piece has to be shaped into a right angle, so I went back at it with pliers. Then I tested the piece of header panel that had been attached to it, and it looked like it would hold it straight. I won't know for sure till I get the new panel. Plus I need to check the radiator support more closely once I've got the bumper and grill off. But for now I won't buy the part till I'm sure I need it.

Here's a test a mechanic told me to use to check the support:
Loosen the radiator mounts, and see if the radiator is in a "bind", in other words, to be able to bolt the mounts on, they would put a load on the radiator. They should not, the radiator should sit against it's mounting points without having to force it in any way. I'll need to get the car apart to check that.

So far so good.
 

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