1. Malicious

    Malicious Well-Known Member

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    Just going to throw this out to the group to discuss.

    I see a lot of custom fabbed K frames and all use good thick steel but a lot of new cars are using a lot of aluminium in structural components such as the rio bar and front & rear K frames. There's obvious benefits in weight, but how realistic is it to be able to fabricate something that can handle the loads of the K frame out of aluminium? What are the main forces that the K fram is going to see in this aged body?

    I honestly feel like it is entirely viable using the correct thickness for a coil over application but I wonder if a K-frame that uses the stock style suspension such as the Q-a1 K, would be achievable?

    Would you need steel sleeves for the lower control arm pivots? Maybe captured bearings? I would think that heim joint / hinged and dampened strut rods (such as PST's) would be necessary. But the lower control arm pivots remains point of concern for me.

    Yeah I am contemplating building one, but its more long term for the moment. I'm mulling over improvements for 'Stage 2'.... And I enjoy fabricating & design challenges.
     
  2. HEMI-ITIS

    HEMI-ITIS STREETER on LI FBBO Gold Member

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    If you slice and dice the stock "K",the weight diff would be mininal.

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    • Kern Dog

      Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      XV Motorsports offered an aluminum K member with one of their front end packages. I don't know of anyone that bought one though.
       
    • dieseldazzle

      dieseldazzle Well-Known Member

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      This ones pretty light

      IMG_0095.JPG IMG_0096.JPG IMG_0097.JPG
       
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      • Malicious

        Malicious Well-Known Member

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      • Malicious

        Malicious Well-Known Member

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        Yeah the Qa1 is nice, but I have a nice swaybar that I don't think works with that set up. I have their upper control arms, pretty good quality stuff.
         
      • Torkmnstr

        Torkmnstr Well-Known Member

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        I talked to a guy who got all the xv stuff and he said his alum setup was all out of whack. Had to cut it all up and reengineer. I like the idea of have a little beef up from with steel for the fact that it handles a lot of work and alum is overall pretty soft...
         
      • HEMI-ITIS

        HEMI-ITIS STREETER on LI FBBO Gold Member

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        Some of those front end kit are very nice.But then your changing to a rack and coilovers.By the time your done there is 6 to 7 grand missing outta yer wallet!

        download.jpg
         
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        • 69 GTX

          69 GTX FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          In my mind there are better place to lose weight than the K member. I wouldn't even consider it with out a front & rear engine plate. Just me. In this case more HP may be cheaper than less weight.
           
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          • Stanton

            Stanton Well-Known Member

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            Modern vehicle aluminum K frames are designed in conjunction with the rest of the car using CAD CAM programs. Other portions of the car would be strengthened to compliment the K frame and maintain strength. Designing an aluminum K frame for an older car without CAD CAM would likely yield an inferior piece. Using CAD CAM you'd likely have to add support elsewhere in the car and there likely wouldn't be any overall weight savings. FWIW, you don't see anyone cranking out aluminum Mustang II front ends - probably for a very good reason.
             
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            • BobJ

              BobJ Well-Known Member

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              Hell I made my K frame heaver when I welded all the seams and installed Firm Feels bracing kit with skid plate. I wanted to take out as much flex possible.
               
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              • HEMI-ITIS

                HEMI-ITIS STREETER on LI FBBO Gold Member

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                The stock "K" is not all that heavy,this notch might weigh 3 or 4 lbs

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                • Kern Dog

                  Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                  I think when the Sales department/Ad department writes ads for these aftermarket setups, their "math" for weight savings is based on a power steering stock setup versus theirs with a NON power rack to make the weight difference seem greater.
                   
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                  • streetwedg

                    streetwedg Well-Known Member

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                    I have seen factory aluminum k frames before. Not sure but I think they came on the altered wheelbase cars. I have a friend with a 64 Hemi car and he's always looking at rare SS parts. K member couldn't have weighted more than 5 or 6 pounds.
                     
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                    • Mike67

                      Mike67 Well-Known Member

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                      I agree with Stanton, those are all engineered as an integral piece of the whole car.
                      My other thought is how many modern cars are running cast iron big blocks that even come close to the stock torque output of a big block.
                      I would think you would have to have some really thick aluminum to make it reliable for a driver. May even be the same weight as a stock k by the time you engineered it for durability...
                       
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                      • glassman

                        glassman Well-Known Member

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                        The light weight k members that Mopar built were Magnesium and they cracked and were deemed unsafe. I run "John Holt Racecars" light weight k members in 3 of my cars. He modifies the stock unit and after he is done, it is half the weight. A lot of the SS/AH cars on the circuit today use his k members.
                         
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                        • Badvert65

                          Badvert65 Well-Known Member

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                          Any chance you have pics of one of these K frames? I checked his website but they weren't mentioned.
                          The k frame on my 65 Belvedere started out at 43 lbs, when I finished cleaning and modifying it, it was down to 35 lbs. Was a heck of a lot of work for 8 pounds.
                           
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                          • biomedtechguy

                            biomedtechguy Accelerati Rapidus Maximus FBBO Gold Member

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                            I haven't lifted my stock K-member, but I lifted my new QA1 K-member and it's seems light...and...pretty! :D
                             
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                            • glassman

                              glassman Well-Known Member

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                              Sorry, cars are put away for winter. He uses chrome molly round tubing and there is no part of the original k member left in the center and all of the 5/8" tab around the edge is gone and then welded. stock steering box still mounts to k frame. Hold downs and tow strap mountings are optional. $750
                               
                            • HEMI-ITIS

                              HEMI-ITIS STREETER on LI FBBO Gold Member

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                              I do not know if this has changed,but several guys I know that went to a rack lost considerable turning radius............
                              I have a steering box brace because the motor mount was totally removed as I have a front engine plate and a mid plate.Also ran braces to both sides of the modified "K"
                              Also added "J" bars to stiffen the front chassis.

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