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revhead90

s15 rad support. help!

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Purchased an s15 a few weeks ago, finally got it to my mechanic for the RWC and he says the car is perfect and clean except for the radiator support. Apparently a section has been removed for what I’m assuming was for a front mount intercooler. He says he can’t road worthy it like this and that I would need to go to a panel shop to see if it could be repaired or worst case need replacing!

 

So, looking at the worst case.. If it needs replacing does the radiator support need to be cut out and welded in, or is it a bolted on structure part of the car?

How difficult is the job and how much (from knowledge/experience) would I be looking at to set this right with a new radiator support?

 

Really need some help here, don't know what to do. The car is so clean everywhere else, I bought it stock, but there is this underlying issue from its past.

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Not a difficult job. 3 bolts at the bottom and around 20 spot welds.

  • Buy a new radiatior support from Nissan
  • Strip the entire front end
  • Sit the car on flat ground
  • Punch and drill a tiny divot in the center of each spot weld
  • Use a $15 spot-weld cutting bit in a drill to cut the metal around the spot weld on the support-side only
  • Remove the upper section of the radiator support (doesn't sound like your lower section has been tampered with, so better to not screw with it)
  • Drill out the spot welds on the lower section of the new support
  • Align up the new support
  • Weld in place

It can be done in a few hours, in fact I did one for a strawberry conversion on Friday. What you should do is post up some pics of the 'cut' section, and confirm it has factory spot welds and has not previously been welded. If it has been badly repaired in the past, then the job is much harder.

 

It should also be noted that if the offending section is one of the support arms, then they're only lightly welded in place on the S15. You could be sly and simply remove it and weld in another one.

Edited by pmod

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You are a legend my friend! Its people like you with fantastic knowledge the reason why I joined this page. Excellent help :) Thank you very much.

 

I will be picking up the car tonight from the mechanics as it is getting a full service as well, I’ll take some pictures and post them up here. hopefully it’s no to big of a job but I don’t have any welding/spot welding skills or tools so I would have to get it done at a shop unfortunately, so I’ll get bit by the labour costs.

 

don’t know if this helps with identifying the offending section, but I have suspicion a PBM cooler was used based on the circular cut outs that straddle the radiator that I could see (I did not notice what the mechanics saw as he described it over the phone)

 

here are some pictures i posted up on a previous thread about the circular holes...

http://www.nissansil...l=&fromsearch=1

Edited by revhead90

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Given the holes were cut in the radiator support panel behind the headlights, you would have to either weld in new metal to fill in the hole, or replace the upper section of the radiator support.

 

S15Trimsection_zps7daec3a0.jpg

 

Welding in replacement metal would be significantly easier and likely stronger than welding in a new core, as cutting and grinding to install a new panel will slightly thin the chassis side. However the question would be whether the RWC inspection deems it acceptable to patch the cut section. On that I don't have an answer, however it would be worth your time raising it with the relevant goverment body. They may reject the idea because they'll classify it as a crumple zone, and welding in new metal *might* change the crumple characteristics, or reject it for no other reason than they like being painful. I'd still make enquiries before buying a new panel and paying for shop costs.

 

Another option would be to hit up the VIC fabricators on NS and see if they're prepared to do a cashie one day on the weekend, providing you strip and reassemble the front end, and hand them a new radiator support to use.

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Yeah I knew the holes where there but I’m still unsure if the mechanic has picked up any other sections that have been trimmed. That above panel is all one piece yeah?? So if I was to only replace a section a shop would have to cut out a portion and re fit that portion from a donor panel that is original?? Wouldn’t it be easier to just drop in a replace the unit as a whole or is it welded at all contact points to the car??

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Ok so I just picked up the car for the mechanics and it was just the two holes that I already knew about which is a good thing, nothing else has been chopped or altered. I personally think they are just being overly critical, but its procedure.

 

This link: http://www.nissansil...l=&fromsearch=1 shows where the holes are. would having a shop patch up these holes by welding in metal to replace what was removed and give it the original factory functionality be deemed enough to satisfy a road worthy inspection?

 

Simple or difficult job? Would I still need to replace the entire upper portion of the radiator core support just for these too small, not even complete circle cut outs?

Edited by revhead90

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