QA1 Aftermarket K-member Problems?

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering and Chassis' started by racerdude5, Jul 27, 2018.

  1. racerdude5

    racerdude5 Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone else out there bought the QA1 K-member? I purchased one and have had it on my car for a few years now, quality is very good. However, there are a few things that are questionable about the design. I changed my k-member without taking the engine out of the car, about a year later I had the engine out and realized that the mounting plate for the steering box seems to be at the wrong angle. The tie rod end seems to be very close to the torsion bar on the driver's side, and the steering column is slid way up in the hole through the firewall. Has anybody else had this experience? Does anybody know where you can purchase the steering box shims? I am using the later style steering box with the big sector shaft, when the K-member is made for cars made from 67-72, but Firm Feel said that there is no difference in the box size or shape between boxes with the big and small sector shaft so I don't see how that would make a difference.
     
  2. 5.7 hemi

    5.7 hemi FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    I have one on my 69’ Dart GT and using a manual small sector box and don’t have any issues.
     
  3. GeorgeH

    GeorgeH FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Check and see if the center link is parallel to the car side to side. Measure the center link to the frame rails on each side or something similar where it's easy to get comparative measurements. If the box mount is off or tilted it would be higher or lower on the box side which could introduce some bump steer issues and check to see if you have the same number of turns side to side. Mines all stock but I know it comes pretty close.
     
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    • racerdude5

      racerdude5 Well-Known Member

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      Thanks for your response, I have checked the height and compared it side to side. The driver's side tie rod end that attaches to the center-link is significantly closer to the torsion bar than the passenger side. In other words, the center link is not parallel to the ground.
       
    • Duane

      Duane Well-Known Member

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      I have the same problem. My centrelink looks crooked front to back.
      I do not know why and qa1 knows nothing of a problem.
       
    • racerdude5

      racerdude5 Well-Known Member

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      What year is your car? What steering box do you have?
       
    • 72bluNblu

      72bluNblu FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      Not all idler and pitman arms are exactly the same, and there are some different styles out there. If the centerlink isn’t level, it would be worth looking at the idler. Some of them can be shimmed too, so if you alter how the idler is shimmed top and bottom it can have an effect on the height of the idler as well.
       
    • racerdude5

      racerdude5 Well-Known Member

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      Definitely worth looking at, but the height on the passenger side is good. The height on the driver's side is where the problem is. Well I'm aware of the difference between the 67-72 and the 73-76 steering setup, but are you saying that you've found differences between different pitman or idler arms from the same 73-76 "generation"?
       
    • Duane

      Duane Well-Known Member

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      68 Dodge Dart. Standard manual steering box.
      All my front end components were on the stock k member.
      I transferred them all to the qa1 and now my centrelink does not look right.
       
    • racerdude5

      racerdude5 Well-Known Member

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      Okay, well with that said it doesn't matter if we have a 67-72 steering setup or 73-76 setup, which is what I have. The problem must be with the K-member.
       
    • Duane

      Duane Well-Known Member

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      Not according to qa1.
       
    • 72bluNblu

      72bluNblu FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      Yes. Not all pitman and idlers are created equal, even within the 73-76 range. Some of the brands out there have slightly different styles, and then of course there’s quality control. I know that on one particular moog pitman arm I installed the pitman slid further up onto the splines than then previous one did, to the point that the pitman nut bottomed out before the pitman arm was secured. And no, that wasn’t a small sector/large sector mismatch, it was a large sector box.

      You swapped the parts over from the stock K, but do you know if they’re stock, or aftermarket, or even the same brand?
       
      Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
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      • bOb shingler

        bOb shingler Well-Known Member

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        body shims should work to change the angle on the steering box.
         
      • Duane

        Duane Well-Known Member

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        Well I called qa1 about the problem and they gave me a moog part number for the idler arm. I put that arm on and it made no differences.
        It could be the pitman arm that is the problem. But they are not chea
        P and I did not want to buy one only to have the same problem.
        But this is the same parts as before, why should anything look different if the qa1 k member was made properly.
        I have wondered about how far up the spline the arm should be.
        I know many years ago I changed that arm. Is there a step or something stops the arm going up any further?
         
      • pishta

        pishta I know I'm right....

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        so the QA1 steering mount is higher than the stocker or maybe at a different angle that would kick the pitman arm higher? That would alter the geometry of the steering shaft as its almost if not a dead straight plane between the steering shaft and the gear spline. Hows yours lining up to the steering shaft? Those QA1's are most likely made in a jig what would not allow for major variations in the assembly, and Mopar unibody construction has many tolerances that can stack up.
         
      • Duane

        Duane Well-Known Member

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        Well the steering shaft has a type of u joint on the end so I am not having a problem there.
        My centre link when viewed from the side of the car is not parallel with the bars on the qa1. Almost like the steering box is mounted further rearward than the original.
         
      • pishta

        pishta I know I'm right....

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        Is this what your seeing...does this help? Its right from the QA1 installation guide. Maybe its not supposed to be parallel...? Or the steering is turned in this shot...
        qa1.jpg.bmp.jpg Kmember.jpg
         
        Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
      • Duane

        Duane Well-Known Member

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        Yes that's pretty much what I see. I do not recall it looking like that on the stock k member. But I do know that on my stock k member I had to put a lot of shims to get the toes pattern right for drag racing.
        Maybe qa1 corrected the geometry..
         
      • pishta

        pishta I know I'm right....

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        IIRC the fast ratio pitman arm was longer, maybe you could use that and square up the center link. NO Im looking at it backwards, the longer fast ratio would hurt it more....but they got away with it in the AAR?
         
      • Duane

        Duane Well-Known Member

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        Well judging by that picture on qa1 site that is clearly not square with the tubes on the k member.
        Maybe because the stock k member being curved on the inside I just never looked at how parallel it was to the centreline. With the qa1 being straight tubes makes it more noticeable to see, but may have always been like that.
         
      • Duane

        Duane Well-Known Member

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        Actually I just noticed the bottom picture below showing the stock k member being parallel to the centreline. Why would qa1 alter the steering geometry? I was planning to use the old milodon super stock oil pan. I hope I do not have a problem with the centreline going through the oil pan tube.
         
      • 5.7 hemi

        5.7 hemi FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        I’m using the QA1 k frame with my 400/470, center link clears and is parallel. My oil pan is a 6 qt. pan from 440Source and the idler doesn’t come close to the pan always g with manual steering. I had the Borgenson set up on but the power steering pump pulley and Derale fans wanted to occupy the same space, went back to manual.

        I’m having trouble trying to figure out your problem with the center link. Also the pitman arms are around 50 bucks, might be worth it to try another?
         
      • 5.7 hemi

        5.7 hemi FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        Can you measure the length of your idler arm? I’ll measure mine and let’s see if there is s difference.
         
      • Duane

        Duane Well-Known Member

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        Can you describe how you would measure it so I can do it the same way.
         
      • 5.7 hemi

        5.7 hemi FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        Here is the best that I can measure.

        680EE35E-CC44-4D1B-BB8F-E3383149F729.jpeg