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01 Astro RWD Cargo, 97 AWD Mark III
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Everyone knows about the wonderful radiator core support issue. I am wondering if anyone would be Willing/Able to model up the lower section to develop a template where these could be cut out of sheet material and welded together?

It would greatly ease trying to source good parts.
 

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right now if someone could make those and the rockers they could make some cash but I fear the set up and beginning cost would kill the whole idea. I see at least one person a day on facebook looking for these parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The outer rocker panels are available. If caught early enough the inner panels are an easy repair.

A pattern that could be laid out on flat sheet and then welded together would make the core support much easier to take care of.
 

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Hang onto your older vehicle. In a few years all of these fools with their electric Barbie cars will be begging for their "old junk" back after they realize what a nightmare this is going to be. Even if 20% of the older cars get scrapped, and replaced this will be a huge failure. There is virtually no training or support. China is just using this to replace oil with lithium so they can take over. Older cars will be like gold. They already are. Even if your "old junk" isn't that nice, hold onto it. You'll see. There is a reason everything goes into the scrap heap so young now. It's by design. Old isn't necessarily bad.
 

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Yep, every single major car manufacturer has to be wrong. Damn shame that China has such control over them all.
 

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2005 AWD 3+1 on 32X17's.
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So... I'm a cad genius, architect, and I am in need of core support...support. I'll do a drawing model up this morning, post it here and see if we can't get some traction on this item. I am thinking 1/4 inch plate that spans the whole RCS. Upward bend at the front to cradle, shaped like a stretched out handle bar. Similar to how jeeps insert rocker supports on their rusted out bodies, capturing the body mounts. I'll do a sketch and see what this community thinks. If we can get this done, astro/safari could live forever, like jeeps do.
 

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01 Astro RWD Cargo, 97 AWD Mark III
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When a scratched fender becomes a total write off you know the entire market is upside down.

I am thinking 1/4 inch plate that spans the whole RCS. Upward bend at the front to cradle, shaped like a stretched out handle bar.
It only needs to be 1/8" or less to make it extremely solid.
1/4" would make it very hard to form around the curves.

I am not sure how the lower radiator mounts are attached but we may be able to tie in just below them or fashion a suitable mount.
 

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Heck if your gonna make them why not make them out of something that is not so prone to rust? Maybe galvanized or stainless? Of course this is an uneducated post on my part so feel free to let me know why it can't or shouldn't be done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Heck if your gonna make them why not make them out of something that is not so prone to rust? Maybe galvanized or stainless? Of course this is an uneducated post on my part so feel free to let me know why it can't or shouldn't be done.
You are talking special welding processes.
Steel plate with internal coating will outlast the rest of the body.
 

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When a scratched fender becomes a total write off you know the entire market is upside down.


It only needs to be 1/8" or less to make it extremely solid.
1/4" would make it very hard to form around the curves.

I am not sure how the lower radiator mounts are attached but we may be able to tie in just below them or fashion a suitable mount.
Lower radiator mount on both sides is a circular cup a few inches above each body mount location, on the inside of the core support, and rarely rusts. If something was made it wouldn't have to take the radiator mounting into account as long as it tied in lower or on the outside of the support.

The support dips down in the middle to clear the condenser. But could theoretically go straight across as well as long as it took into account the condenser spacing and plastic trim location mounting holes

To me a real clever solution would be a single part that would be flipped around and mirrored on both sides, and something that bolts in instead of welding, with maybe a simple flange to bolt a removable cross piece under neath the condenser. That would facilitate removal of the engine out the front of the vehicle without dropping the subframe.
 

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When I swapped my front frames I coated everything including the frame with a 2 part epoxy paint then rubberized undercoating. I did this because my van is now in the state of New Hampshire till further notice. I have ni idea how long this will keep rust at bay but its better then just factory paint.
 

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So this thread has just become pertinent to me...my passengers side core support is giving way, and I'm sure the other is close behind. I work at a sign shop and have access to all kinds of metalworking equipment and often cnc cut parts from aluminum and steel. I'm thinking that there are two potential solutions to this problem.
  • fabricate a steel tube frame that spans the full width of the front end and is cut and welded to follow the contour of the core support. 2" Sq. x 1/8" wall tube should be sufficient.
  • fabricate patch panels that would go behind the steel bracket that currently bolts to the top of the body support and is breaking free from the stamped sheet metal of the core support. These patch panels could be cut from 16ga. (.060) steel sheet and bent 90 degrees to slide between the core support and steel bracket that lots to the body mount. It could then be welded to the sheet metal on bot sides and above the mount bracket.

The problem with either of these methods is that they both require good un-rusted existing metal to welded to.

In any case, I have to come up with some kind of solution. The rest of my van is in too good of shape to give up on it. I'll follow up as I get into this, and would appreciate updates from anyone else that has tackled this!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The primary issue is getting patterns and measurement to fab up the panels.
After that finding good metal to weld to will be easy.
 
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