1967 k member upgrades (idler)

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering and Chassis' started by MObarracuda, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. MObarracuda

    MObarracuda Well-Known Member

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    I have ‘67 Barracuda and i am working on some engine bay upgrades. I was wondering about the 1967 one year only idler arm. I have read about swapping in a later k memeber from a ’68-‘72 to get the bolt through idler arm.

    I have a ‘71 k member. The spare ‘71 k member is a rusty, beat up, small tear from a tow hook and has undercarriage rod rash, dents and dings. The 1967 k member is pristine. I want to get away from the one year only single point 1967 idler arm and I can and do own a mig welder.

    Questions....

    1) would you rework/fix the ‘71 member or is to too difficult to cut off and relocate the ‘71 idler arm bracket over to the ‘67 k memeber.
    2) would anyone weld the k memeber seams solid to increase the k member strength.
    3) are there any common failure points around the power steering mount that need to be shored up while the k memeber is out of the car?

    Let me know what you guys would do with the k memeber out of the car. Once all of the metal work is done the k memeber is headed to the powder coater.
     
  2. Dartnut

    Dartnut I'm H.R. Shovin'stuff

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    Here's my 2 cents.............
    1) I wouldn't fix the '71 crappy K-Member, i would carefully harvest the mount then re and re it on your '67 member.
    Measure lots and it will be in the right place.
    2) Yes, definitely weld all seams. The factory welds are lousy and the more strength you can put in it the better.
    3) Yes, especially near the mounting holes.........build some gussets and weld them in as well as reweld the factory welds near the area.
    I might add, it is a good idea to weld up the area where the small tube goes through the member and the lower control arm bolts to it especially on the torsion bar side. Maybe even weld a big washer that fits over the hole to strengthen the area.
    This is a common failure point on a lot of these cars...........
    I posted these pics of what i did, the welds don't look as great as i wanted, but i used a mig after sand blasting and there was a lot of dirt/grime in the pores of the factory welds that i couldn't get out, but it is much better than factory.
    I would have liked to do them with stick welding, but this is all i had available at the time...........
    Of course, keep in mind that this is a spool mount '73 and up K-Member for my '74 Dart Sport and the motor mounts are different than yours obviously, but the rest is very similar if not the same as on older ones.

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    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
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    • Dartnut

      Dartnut I'm H.R. Shovin'stuff

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      More.........
      (Yes, i did clean up the welds after these pics were taken!)

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      Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
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      • 1994redram

        1994redram FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        I welded up the seams and brackets on my k member. It's surprising how crappy they are from the factory. I spent a couple hours cleaning, welding and painting it. Also boxed up the lower control arms. I did a complete suspension rebuild and a v8 swap so I'm not sure how much of a difference just welding it will make. But it's good insurance atleast.
         
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        • DAndy ART

          DAndy ART dreams becoming reality

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          Firm Feel sell a great K frame gusset kit. And yes, it is possible to upgrade 67 frame. I did it to mine. It is mint!!
           
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          • rustycowll69

            rustycowll69 Well-Known Member

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            on my 66, the power steering box mount broke, so I would extend the welding/gusseting to that area as well.
             
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            • 67Dart273

              67Dart273 Well-Known Member

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              If the 71 is not bent up, there is no reason you cannot make a jig to center on at least two of the frame mounting ears, using a combination of steel and or 2x4's etc to locate the idler mount. Then just remount the jig on the 67 after cutting the mount off the late K
               
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              • Dartnut

                Dartnut I'm H.R. Shovin'stuff

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                Good idea.
                I forgot to mention make a pattern or template too when i posted...............
                 
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                • MObarracuda

                  MObarracuda Well-Known Member

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                  I just got back from vacation. Thanks for posting your pictures. I had a lot of time to think about next steps on the ‘71 k member after seeing what you did on yours. It is looking like the ‘71 can be saved and with some welding and gusseting might be the way to go. I like the nested pockets for a sway bar but when I purchased it had the sway bar that wrapped around the front.

                  I will post some pictures later this evening on the ‘71 maybe you can let know what you think on next steps
                   
                • MObarracuda

                  MObarracuda Well-Known Member

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                  Here are pictures of the ‘71 k memeber. The pictures don’t show the degree of the deflection of the bottom of the k memeber. You can see gaping tear in the metal from a hook where someone dragged the car it can from at one time.

                  I might get it hot tanked and sand blasted be before I make the decision.

                  Would you repair the ‘71 or move the steering bracket over to the ‘67?

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                • 67Dart273

                  67Dart273 Well-Known Member

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                  Hard to judge from the photos. IF it is not bent I'd fix it. That for me would be easier than hacking the 67 idler
                   
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                  • moparmat2000

                    moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                    I have a 67 slant sux K frame thats nice, i plan on using a 69 idler arm mount and passenger side V8 engine mount on it. I carefully harvested them out of a rusty as shit 69 K frame. These cleaned up well with a blaster. Drivers side k frame mount is same from six to small block.
                     
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                    • rustycowll69

                      rustycowll69 Well-Known Member

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                      if you decide to go with the beat-up one, they used to sell a stamped steel Hemi skid plate to recreate Hemi K members. I f they are still available, I'd consider welding one of those on the bottom. It would hide a lot of bent up sheet metal and offer a little extra protection to the oil pan.
                       
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                      • MObarracuda

                        MObarracuda Well-Known Member

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                        I just got the ‘71 K Member back from the engine builder who hot tank cleaned 40 years of junk that collected in and on the unit in preparation for welding. Looks a lot cleaner than the power washing only pictures previously posted.

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                        I was amazed at the poor quality of the factory welds. I see under cut, undersized and areas where they missed the joint. I especially love the spatter trail where they started the ark on the part just to see where the seam was.

                        I will post pictures in the next several days of the areas I will ground out and reweld the factory welds and where the added the .120 thick sheet metal I add to stiffen the steering mount, idler and motor mount. I’m going to try to recreate FirmFeel reineforcent kit.

                        Firmfeel Mopar Suspension and Steering

                        Here are the pictures of the ‘71 demon k member after hot tank cleaning with the very poor factory welds

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                        Last edited: May 11, 2018
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                        • moparmat2000

                          moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                          I agree poor welds at the factory, but they did what they needed to do which was get the vehicle out of the warranty period. Back then this stuff was assembled by low wage earners on the assembly line. Not a whole lotta care went into building this stuff back then. Good enough was good enough. Average vehicle lifespan back then was 10 - 12 years and 100K-150k max. Chrysler had a 5-50 warranty, and most people traded em in at that mark, and on to the used lot they went. If they didnt get totalled in a wreck, or blown up street racing, the salt on the roads ate em up. The undercoating and rust proofing was non existant till ziebart and rusty jones hit the scene.

                          Lots of guys working on this stuff now take tight body tolerances and perfect fitting pieces on new cars for granted. There was a time when it wasnt so. Begrudgingly we really owe the Japanese a debt of gratitude for almost sinking the american auto industry. Say what you want, but at the time tokyo tonkas started rolling into our ports, American made cars were junk. I mean it took the japenese about 15 years to get the rust proofing down because their early stuff rusted out just as bad. But fit and finish at the time was overall better on a new one, they didnt break, and ran like a swiss watch. The disparity in quality was evident. Before this time the attitude from americas auto industry was if you wanted a car, you bought from us or you walked.

                          The reason we have decent cars and trucks made by the big 3 now is because they had to step up their game in a very big way, or die. Thats the beauty of the free market. It dictates the winners and losers. Survival of the fittest.

                          Japanese cars and trucks were at first a curiosity in the 70s, in the 80s they begrudgingly got respect, and in the 90s as they competed against luxury marques they then became objects of desire for people. This is happening with Korean cars now too. I joked about the hyundai excel when it came here in 1986. The V8 RWD genesis luxury sedan is actually very nice.

                          Now i'm not a lover of jap cars n trucks. Actually i cant stand em, but without em forcing the American industry to wake up or die, imagine the rolling piles of crap we would have to drive today.

                          Off soapbox now
                          The good thing however is i think Chrysler knowing the assembly line is a bit slipshod in workmanship at this time tended to overengineer stuff just in case. This is why their stuff tended to last a bit longer and be a bit more robust. It gave us a good platform in which to improve upon.
                           
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                          • rustycowll69

                            rustycowll69 Well-Known Member

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                            I agree, but I have to say that that competition costs money. And that is at least part of the reason why cars and trucks are so expensive, today. Safety improvements, emission requirements, demands for more and more creature comforts, bigger tires and wheels, etc. have added weight and costs, too. I can't afford to buy a new car, and can't afford to pay anyone else to fix it, so here I am, hahaha.
                             
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                            • moparmat2000

                              moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                              I agree. My 1994 silverado cost me $18,500 loaded in 1994. One of the young guns at my work bought a 2018 silverado 6.2L . Really nice truck, but $700 a month payments for 6 years isnt my idea of fun. My 94 runs just fine, and i dont see too many of em around anymore and when i do they are beat to shit. Only things i need to do to my 94 is a paint refresh, install my cowl hood, fix the hail dents on the roof, give it a paint refresh, fix the A/C and maybe rhino line the bed. All told thats cheaper than a new onr by a ling shot, and it looks cooler i think.
                               
                            • autoxcuda

                              autoxcuda Well-Known Member

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                              That “71” KMember you have is a 72 crossover piece. I’ve seen them in 72 model year cars. You sure what year car it came out of?

                              It has the flat biscuit motor mounts they ran in Abodies until the end of the 1972 model year. BUT it has the lower section of the 73 kmember that has the pass thru sway bar.

                              With that Kmember you could use the 67-72 wide sway bar OR run the 73-76 sway bar. You have to run the corresponding 67-72 or 73-76 LCA w/sway bar tabs. Or fab mounts in corresponding locations.

                              The 73-76 member allows you to run high backspacing wide front rims. And it doesn’t hang in front of the Kmember and low that gets hit on curbs and low bumps.

                              Nice piece! The front lip is not bent and bottom not gouge and smashed up. That tow hook rip in it is no big deal.

                              Not a bad place to put a strengthening/skid/jack plate. Just don’t encroach any of the opening. You need all the opening to thread in the sway bar. Especially thick ones.
                               
                              Last edited: May 11, 2018
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                              • 67Dart273

                                67Dart273 Well-Known Member

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                                you talking about the anti-sway bar? Can you comment on that?
                                 
                              • autoxcuda

                                autoxcuda Well-Known Member

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                                The wide 67-72 sway bar attaches near the lower ball joint. When you turn the tire to lock the inner tire bulge gets close to the sway bar. With higher than 4 1/2” backspacing rims and wider than 245 or 255 tires, that distance gets closer and will rub/hit. Note: you can only run higher than 4 1/2” rims in the front with 16” or larger diameter rims.

                                68 Cuda fastback suspension rebuild...

                                Sway bar tutorial

                                Anyone actually running 18x9.5 fronts with 6.5"+ BS?
                                 
                                Last edited: May 12, 2018
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                                • moparmat2000

                                  moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                  Cant you mod the earlier K to run the sway bar through it, that is if you dont have access to a V8 73 up K frame
                                   
                                • MObarracuda

                                  MObarracuda Well-Known Member

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                                  I saw the frame of the car when I purchased the k memeber and it was a demon but i never looked at the VIN or year it was manufactured. The man I purchased that k member from stated it came from a V-8 ‘71 demon. I went to purchased that day an 8 3/4” axle and on a whim purchased the k memeber with the attached lower control arms and sway bar. The intention of the impulse purchase of the k memeber assembly was to use the lower control arms and sway bar. I later found out the improved design for the idler arm is an unplanned bonus.

                                  The sway bar I believe is the 67-72 style that mounts to the front of the k memeber. The brackets that held the sway bar bushings had hit one to many parking curbs. They were deformed to a point where they can’t hold poly urqthane bushings. I have purchased aftermarket sway bar bushings. I was going to drill the ‘67 k memeber to add them until I made the decision to use the k memeber in question.
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                                  I have reworked the Lower control arms and added my one DIY stiffing plates. After reading the link you posted on mopardude318’s 2010-2016 posts it confirms I have lower control arm sway bar brackets that are in the ‘67-‘72 location. I’m running 14” inch diameter Keystone Classics wheel with 235/60R14. Mopardude318 was running 17” with 4” backspacing. Do you think I will have clearance issues with my current tire/rims combo?

                                  image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg

                                  I will update this thread with the welding and stuffing plates that are planned for the next two weekends.

                                  My car is a 1967 Barracuda that came with a worn out 273 car with disk brakes and auto tranny. When I’m done it will have a 418 stroker 340, fuel injection, sub frame connectors and 4 speed auto transmission. All of this work will take me some time to complete. I love this site and I want to give back to everyone that has impacted
                                  My build. I will post my success and failure for the benifit of all. Thanks for all of the great advise.
                                   
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                                  • autoxcuda

                                    autoxcuda Well-Known Member

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                                    You won’t have problems with the narrow 14” rims and tires.

                                    You need to run sway bar adapter to run those sway bar bushings. That will lower the sway bar some too.

                                    Front Sway Bar Bushings with Adapters - 23.81 | Charger

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                                    A lot of 72 A-bodies 318 and even /6 had small bolt 8 3/4 rears. Like they were dumping them knowing they would never be used in 1973 and later.
                                     
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                                    • moparmat2000

                                      moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                      I been looking for the elusive 1972 8.75 rear under the slant sux cars. Havent found one yet, or i would nab it.
                                       
                                    • 67Dart273

                                      67Dart273 Well-Known Member

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