Core Support/Radiator Mount
I used my old core support, but it had to be modified. I had to cut down the old core support, by cutting off a horizontal line at 20” from the lowest part of the top, it angles in the corners at the top, so be sure to account for that. I then welded on a 1” angle iron to the inside on top of the X bars. My new radiator measures 3 ¼ thick, so I added another piece of angle iron at 3 ½ inches, making a nice little box for the bottom. I welded on some legs, to sit on top of the s10 frame.
Positioning the Core Support to line up with fenders
I bolted the fenders on, hood on and the little metal plate that the hood attaches to and shut it down. I then put a block and floor jack under the plate and raised it until the hood and fenders matched up. I then bolted in the core support and marked the point on the core support that was even with the s10 frame. I took the core support back out and welded on a 1×2 tube 3” long to the outside of each side of the core support and drilled a hole through it. I was able to easily bolt on the left side, but on the right side, there was a plate in place that helps support the steering gearbox. On the side of the frame, behind the gearbox mount, is an oval hole, I decided to open it up some with a 1 1/4 hole saw, this allowed me to put a nut and lock washer on the bottom side. I could have just welded the core support on, but wanted to be able to easily take it back out if I needed to.
Fitting the Radiator in the Core Support
I chose a 19×22 Radiator. For fitting the radiator, I had to remove the inside L from the c channel of the original core support, easy to do with a plasma cutter. I also had to grind down the back side of the 5/16 welded square nuts for the fender brace, as they kept my radiator from sliding in.
Radiator Bracket and Cushions
Now that it was in, I had to mount it, I chose to buy some Radiator Brackets and Cushions. I placed the large brackets at the bottom inside the channel I had made out of angle iron. I drilled a hole through them and installed the cushions. For the top, I used the shorter brackets, with a hole drilled for fitting the cushions. They were a bit low, honestly, I could have moved the radiator up, but I just drilled 2 holes in the top of the core support and ran some long screws down to the brackets and used some nuts as spacers.
Radiator Fan & Transmission Cooler Mounting
I spaced out the lower brackets to line up with the fan holes, I then installed the Fan. I bolted the bottom of the fan to the radiator bracket on both sides. For the top of the fan, I mounted my Transmission Cooler on the other side of the radiator, it came with plastic ties that pass through the radiator. I pushed them through the fan mounts on the top and applied the little rubber pads to the radiator fin for protection. I then passed them through the cooler and put the caps on them, to lock them in place. This gave me a nice clean one-piece unit that gives about a ¼ inch of clearance in front of the engine. Once I finished up fabricating, I cleaned it all up and sprayed some bed liner on it.
I had a hard time finding the right hose to fit, my radiator had about the worst possible lower output location in relation to my water pump. I needed a flexible hose, that wouldn’t collapse if put in a tight bind. To complicate things even more the radiator and water pump hose sizes were different on all four ends. I did some digging on the Gates site and ordered what I needed. I would recommend looking through the Gates catalog and ordering whatever measurements work for your application, they have a lot of options.
I had to trim out quite a bit to clear the S10 frame, but mostly the steering gear box. The process was simple. I kept the fenders, inner fenders, hood and core support in, I used a floor jack to lift the grill into place. The top fits no problem, so I used the plasma cutter to take off a little bit at a time, until it fit on the bottom too. I did have to chop off the brackets that originally held it to the core support. To support it, I added 2 pieces of flat steel inside the gap of the angle iron bottom of my core support and bolted it to the flat plate behind the grill. Other than that, it simply bolts on.
I trimmed them straight along the bottom line inside of it. I don’t know what it’s called, but it’s an easy to follow line. Once I had them shortened, I laid them inside the engine bay and marked where the A arms are, I then simply cut up to the 2nd line. They were ready to paint with bed liner and throw back in after that.
Buy a Plasma Cutter
I highly advise you to go buy a Plasma Cutter, it’s nearly magical. Once you try it, you’ll know what I mean. You will also need a cord plug in HERE, you can go with 220v too, but I only have 110 in the garage, so that’s what I went with. It also has a barb fitting on it for the air side, I simply bought 1’ of ¼ air hose and a quick coupler in ¼. This allowed me to easily attach my air hose to it. The unit came with a regulator too, but I didn’t use it as I have one on my compressor. I did take a sharpie and write the PSI needed (55) on the hose though, which is what I do with all my air stuff. Once you have it setup, wear a welding mask, it’s fairly bright. I set mask on 9, but it was still too dark to see my line. I did have a pair of torch glasses though, so I just put them on and it worked great. The plasma cutter will slice right through the sheet metal like it’s barely even there… much, much better/faster than a cutoff wheel or reciprocating saw.