How to mount the radiator has gone round and round in my head many times and i have fabricated a few ‘brackets’ in various styles that were simply not right. One problem is that the radiator also supports the weight of the bonnet and it is huuuuge so its pretty heavy when full of water. Another problem is the chassis rails angle away from each other so you can’t do a simple L bracket. The final problem is that the Dynamo has a tube for the starting handle sitting directly below the radiator preventing me from installing a simple flat support rail stretching from one chassis rail to the other.
Ultimately I had the thought – ‘lets keep it simple’ make an L shaped bracket BUT using a shaped piece of metal (rather than a straight flat bar) so that i could accommodate the angle in the rails but have both brackets pointing towards each other. Hmm, what a gobbledygook paragraph that is…
The picture above gives you a better idea of what i am trying to say but I am not too sure about that strengthening strut – its not very elegant.
Aha a new challenge – how to bend 5mm steel plate… i tried putting it in a vice and tapping it with a club hammer, then tried hitting it with a club hammer, then ultimatly belting it with a club hammer – all i succeeded in doing was moving the work bench around the garage. No there had to be a better answer and there was…
Having posed the question on a welding forum I was advised that the simple answer is to cut half way through the metal plate, put in in a vice, then belt it with a hammer. Whats the difference? Once a groove is made, the 5mm plate becomes a 2.5mm plate along the cut… ah yes but now it is weaker you may say and you would be right. So the solution to regain strength is to now fill in the ‘cut’ with weld which builds it back up to 5mm again… sneaky – i like it.
Below you can see the slight shape of the plate to accommodate the angle of the chassis. Using an angle grinder i carefully cut down the marked line
Popped it in the vice to bend it..
Then filled in the ‘cut’ with weld which was then ground back to make a nice curve
The bracket as a simple “L” was strong enough to hold my body weight but it occurred to me that it could slowly bend out of shape over the years and maybe it needed a little support so i welded in a small fillet whilst it was on the bench and easy to do so. Also because its the kind of thing i do… i shaped the bracket so that it was more pleasing to the eye, rounding off edges and creating a large radius that is parallel to the radiator when fitted (if you were wondering why it looks slightly off centre)
Oh and I needed one for the other side – so there you have it. Two brackets for the radiator. Strong and simple.
Here it is in position: it just needs a good coat of chassis paint to hide those nasty bright bolts… a lot of work for something that most people will never see.