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The K-frame was introduced during the development of the unitbody design, which increases strength by incorporating the chassis or frame into the body components. While forward and rear frame rails protruded from the central cab, certain crossmembers were used to tie the exposed rails together.

The K-Frame is both an engine cradle with motor mounts and the suspension's lower control arms. The front spindles go between the lower control arms and upper A-arms, which are mated to the inner fender wells and forward frame rails. The steering is then attached.

Factory K-frames were made from two pieces of stamped and molded heavy-gauge sheet metal, spot-welded together into the characteristic "K" shape from which it got its name. Thick plates were welded on for the steering box perch and motor mounts.

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