I think you're talking about the cross member that the rads rest on. They're not structural and can be removed (2 bolts either side) This also has plastic mounts for the power steering and ac pipes attached.
I recently had to replace mine (rad) and did it from the top, however had to do it bit by bit. Whole assembly wouldn't go in directly. So water rad in first, then ac then fans.
Sounds like the fans have been off the rad before as the self tapping bolts/screws corrode badly and usually break off when removing. I tried easyouts but one refused to budge. Ended up having to use a self tapping screw (with liberal coating of grease for next time it's out) to get it back on.
If you chase the answer, it moves away.