The radiator on the Unsolicited Explorer has been replaced. I have a few choice thoughts about the assortment of substances flowing through Ford engineers’ brrrrains when they designed the frame that holds the radiator, transmission cooler, and AC condenser in place, but alas, a kind soul posted a video on YouTube showing how the lower bolts holding the radiator to the frame can be accessed through the vents on the bumper cover. This gave me just enough access to stick a socket hanging off the end of a wobble extension train and give it ugga duggas with a bit driver. Best of all, I did not have to dick around with the transmission cooler lines (yay!).
Putting the new one in took some jiggering with the carrier frame, though, since it wasn’t straight. Turns out that the Explorer at one time got a smoosh to the underside of the radiator and the crossover tube underneath it. The tube took the brunt of the impact, however none of the parts involved came out of it unscathed. Nevertheless, nothing leaked, so the previous owner left it for me to fix.
I’m now waiting for a replacement for the crossover tube to arrive so I can finish the work and fill up the cooling system. A friend suggested straightening it out with clamps and a deadblow hammer, however I don’t trust aluminum to not come out extra janky after such treatment.