Sunday, June 10, 2012

Radiator Support

This weekend I had to replace the radiator support in the Corvette. GM lists this part as a "skid plate" but makes it to self destruct upon contact with anything. It does not appear to be a bad design but more so that it is manufactured poorly. The design of it would appear that it is to protect the bottom nose of the car from parking barriers etc. it also serves as the lower radiator support.

I took the Corvette into the dealership two weeks ago to have some things looked at, one being a popping sound from the rear suspension. The dealership found the lower radiator support broken, told me it was abused and would not be covered by warranty and that they would not be able to find the popping sound until it was fixed, which they would do for the sum of $380.00. I bought one from a GM dealer online for $130.00 and replaced it in a few hours.

My frustration with the whole thing is how poorly the support is welded. It obviously has some damage from rubbing against a parking barrier, but it would not have failed had the welds been adequate. Looking at them its apparent that there was no penetration on the welds and they have excessive porosity.

This is a picture of the end of the support upside down and the "fang" that sticks down below the nose of the car. I took it to show the amount of "abuse" the "skid plate" had sustained.

These are pictures of the poor welds that failed on the part.

Since there is no other damage than the welds pulling apart I plan to have it re-welded and use it as a backup for when the new one I installed does the same thing.

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