You make a good point Bob, it is only two hoses and two nuts
to remove the radiator once the hood and gas tank are off.
If the hood bolts twist off or the carriage bolts in the bottom
of the radiator twist out, or the sediment bowl fuel valve doesn't
shut off and it leaks fuel all over, it can get a bit more interesting.
All of these should have been fixed anyway, but they all
happened to me at one point or another.
I've done it both ways and you are right, it is much easier access
with the hood and radiator off. However if I just needed it to get
back to work I would change it with the hood in place.
I use a 90 degree angle die grinder with a Roloc bristle disc to
clean the front of the block. Cleans it up in a jiffy.
Here's a demo of the disc I'm talking about for folks who haven't
seen them. They're spendy, but they work very well. BTW, they
are NOT left hand thread and eye protection would be good. Roloc