How To: K-Frame removal and re-installation

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How To: K-Frame removal and re-installation

Post by Red1996ACR » Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:49 pm

Most of you probably already know how to do this, but for those of you who don't here goes:

This consists of 2 sets of 5-step processes, and 1 2-step process.

Step 1) Gather up a breaker bar and a cheater pipe (a piece of pipe to use for leverage) along with a good and strong 18MM socket and a socket big enough to take off strut tower nuts, and unbolt the torque dampener (bobble strut), along with whole steering rack, or steering knuckle. If you have air-tools even better, it's less strain.

Step 2) Place the car on jack-stands and put a floor jack under the K-Frame to keep it from smacking the ground and ripping your arm off.

Step 3) Unbolt any suspension parts you want to keep on the car (This includes control arms, struts, spindles brake components, etc (If you prefer to leave the struts leave the strut tower nuts tight)). Remove steering rack from K-Frame , OR remove it from the knuckle all together (saves time in the long run).

Step 4) Loosen all 4 K-Frame bolts (I'll provide pictures of the locations later), and unbolt torque dampener (bobble strut)

Step 5) If you have K-Frame resting on floor jack, slowly lower the floor jack until it has reached bottom and slide K-frame out from under the car.

Once you have removed the old K-frame, now it's time to install the new, or reinstall the old one if you removed it to make repairs that *could* be made. It's pretty much a reverse process of the removal, with some quality and safety checks.

Step 1) Remove old K-frame from floor jack (if using a new one). Put the new K-frame (or old one whichever the case is) on the floor jack. After doing so slide the jack with the K-Frame on it back under the car and raise it up until all holes line up.

Step 2) Reinstall torque dampener (bobble strut) bolt and nut and torque to specified ft lbs (I did mine around 25-30).

Step 3) Reinstall K-Frame bolts and torque to specified ft lbs (I did mine around 200 ft lbs).

Step 4) For those of you that left struts etc on the car, reinstall all hardware needed to mate the suspension components and the Spindle back together, as well as the brake calipers. Reinstall steering rack to the K-Frame or the whole she-bang to the knuckle whichever you chose to do.

Step 5) Check for play within the K-Frame by moving it side to side and trying to move it up and down.

If everything checks out okay, then take the car off the jack stands and place it back down on the ground.

Step 1) Start the car, and take it for slow passes up and down the road, check for play in steering, front-end play (front-clip moving side to side but wheels not moving side to side).

Step 2) Once the slow passes are complete, return to garage or drive-way and re-check all torque on nuts and bolts, then do another pass, adding 10-20 mph, if everything checks out fine you did a wonderful job, and the car is safe to drive on the streets and highways.

Now, the only reasons for changing a K-Frame are:

1) Bad accident and you want to rebuild your Neon (like I did)

2) Yours is old and worn out and you want something safer under your wheels so you don't have something like #1.

3) Motor swap to a 2g motor in your 1g Neon and you want the bigger K-Frame.

Any questions can be PM'd to me or emailed to me. I also have AIM and MSN Messengers, they are better ways of contacting me.

1996 Plymouth Neon ACR -
2001 Chevy Silverado - 363ci 380 rwhp. (Swapped out to 383 stroker :: 350 bored out .40 and stroker kit)
1993 Chevy S10 - 4.3L Turbo (Syclone engine) with MTX Trans.
1988 Dodge Diplomat - 318ci with 3sp ATX trans.

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Post by metal_gear_jon » Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:50 pm

Now of course, if you don't mark the relationship of the k-frame to the cars' frame rails, you'll need to get an alignment too. Sometimes at work we loosen the k-member a tad to get the alignment within specs. This is especialy true on anything that was hit hard in the front.......
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Post by 1st ANGLICO » Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:51 am

What is the part number or the size of the bolt that holds the K-frame to the car? (NOT the bolt that runs through the A-arm)

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