Project Leopard's radiator support

I was wondering what the issue of the hood was. I get the car was banged up, but I didn’t know until I went over it. There was an issue with the hood not locking and actually flying open during a drift event.

I knew it wouldn’t be as simple as forgetting to close the hood (or at least I would think). 

When I started looking at the radiator support, I can see it was tweaked. Even the support pieces were cracked. 

This means I need to get these parts to replace. 

I didn’t realize all the parts I needed. It took about 6 M30s to get everything I needed (2 failed attempts).  That’s because I didn’t realize exactly what I needed. The failed attempts I either didn’t have the right tools or not enough time. 

  • Rocklin Pick N Pull – hood latch
  • Moss Landing Pick N Pull – didn’t have the Security Torx bits – failed to get front parts.
  • Oakland Pick N Pull (white M30) – hood and mounting brackets.
  • S. San Jose Pick N Pull – mounting hinges (back up).
  • Oakland Pick N Pull (beige M30)- didn’t get radiator support.
  • Tumwater Pick N Pull – cut out top radiator support.

Why I didn’t get the radiator support at first was because Greg (Sakura Garage) said he could straighten it out if he had to. So I ignored it at first and tried to get other components. I also didn’t know how much I needed and how involved it was. I threw the idea to Greg that if I can get the radiator support, let’s replace it.  That is when I decided to focus on getting a clean radiator support. A couple times I looked at what I needed to take off, but I didn’t know how time intensive it would be. When I finally got to the Tumwater convertible.. the main goal was to get the radiator support. So I spent 2 hours taking everything off (since I never done all of this). I got to the point where I cut the whole top part of the radiator support.

Before Greg (Sakura Garage) took the car to get painted, I wanted to put on the front end. At this time, I gather most of the front end parts that need to be replaced except the radiator support. Hung helped straighten the radiator support a bit. 

As of this posting, I’m planning to head to Arizona in a couple weeks. This is when I will concentrate on getting the Project Leopard to a point of most of the front end is taken cared of (along with the door handle and engine bay clean up).

I want to get it to the point that it can be painted not to long after that. 


Update - 2/28/21 Return from Arizona.

I went to Arizona and while the initial focus was to work on the radiator support, cleaning out the engine bay (which was one of the most time consuming things to do). But after that, we then started to work on the radiator support.  Greg and I lined up the front end just to see how it looks. What he was wondering was how the intercooler piping was done.. and with this different front end… that’s something that will need to be addressed. 

After I left, it looks like the old tweaked radiator support was finally taken off.

April 30th, 2021 update.

I’m back at Sakura Garage and it is in place!


Chuck wanted to work on the hood, but before he could do that, he wanted to mock up the front end for measurements.

We put on all the parts and realized the bottom end was kinked too! Ughh.. Had I known, I would have gotten this part too.

Chuck pounded it out and got it to work.