Many years ago in a discussion about center link to oil pan interference I offered my direct experience that I encountered when I installed a 454 using Hooker Super Comp headers which is what you did, the idler arm was upside down as installed by a previous owner, Not a bearing conversion though, just stock bushings. In my my case the incorrectly installed idler arm limited steering due to interference with the header tube, which is what immediately alerted me to the problem. Flipped the idler arm to the correct orientation- interference gone, Funny thing though was that many replies from members on this site said NO THAT ISN'T POSSIBLE.
Point of interest is that the steering gear pitman arm and idler arm should be identically oriented such that the center link is horizontal for the proper steering geometry (Ackermann), .
Glad you got some good input here and your concern is resolved.
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