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Thread: Buying a tube chassis door car in Kentucky...

  1. #1

    Buying a tube chassis door car in Kentucky...

    What should I be looking for to determine if the chassis is straight or not? Is there someplace I could take it to have it checked before I buy it? The car is located in Murray, Kentucky. Your feedback would be appreciated.


  2. #2
    Senior Member EXPERT BUILDER
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Tell City, IN
    I would look at the front and rear shocks and see how they are as far as height. They should all be close from what I understand. You shouldn't have one rear spring adjuster alot tighter than another side.
    I will try to find a picture to post..
    Here is a pic..The black line to the left that measurement should be close on each shock from left to right. (Guys if I am off please correct me if I am wrong.)..

  3. #3
    Senior Member EXPERT BUILDER
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    it is difficult to explain to someone over the internet, who doesnt really know what to look for.....
    if you can find a chassis guy in your area to come and look it over, but they could be biased and say it is crap, or tell you it needs a lot of work, just to get some buisness from you...
    some pointers...
    first off, who build the chassis origianally? There should be a manufacuters tag on it, and date of manufacture if it is from a good well know shop...
    when was the chassis last certified?
    how fast is the car, what times and mph. Can you see it run? Does it run straight and true, or is it a squirrel and a handful to drive.
    Dont look at the car in a garage, push it outside on level ground and see how it sits.
    Is it higher on one side?
    Do the rear tires look about the same on each side for distance in and hight on the lip of the fender openings,. also the gap on the front of the rear tire to the rocker look or measure about the same, take a tape measure with you....these measurements do not have to be exactly the same, but they should be close.
    Look at the rear shocks, do they look about the same angles, side to side, front to back?
    As us7 said, is there a big difference in the hight of the shock adjusters? A little is ok, but you sould not see over 1/2" or so.
    Look at the 4 link, anything look bent or crooked, are the rod ends looking dirty and rusty, indication of poor maintanance, and never replaced.
    check the front struts also for a big difference in spring adjuster hight..
    Does the motor look centered and strait in the engine bay, or is it crooked or on an angle....if not engine in the car, stand out front of the car in the center, close one eye and try to deterimin if the frame looks centered to the body, or is it off to one side.
    look at the overall condition of the front suspension, dirty rusty rod ends on the rod ends indicates poor maintainance.
    how many thread on the rod ends exposed, on 4 link, and suspension and front suspension rod ends, no more than 6 or 7 should be seen. I cannot tell you how many cars ive seen with the rod ends threaded most of the way out, because someone screwed up the measurement for the lenght of the arms or bars...
    does the driveshaft run on a side angle, look down the driveshaft tunnel for this, may need to jack the car up for this...
    remove the trunk lid, and sight down the rear frame bars, do they look centered in the trunk, or off to one side, indication of rear frame not built strait.
    look through the back window, do all the horiziontal bars look level, do the main hoop support bars look even on both sides.
    also the front window bars, do they look even on both sides with the window...
    the overall quality of the welds and workmanship.
    non of these things necessarly mean it is a bad chassis, but could indicate expensive problems, or a car that is a handfull to drive or is unsafe.

    Look at the car with a critical eye, dont be fooled by fancy paint jobs, shiney chrome and cool wheels or because it is your favoite style of car.
    Dont be fooled by the guy trying to unload his car, take what he says with caution, after all , he is trying to sell it...
    If in doubt, walk away, it could cost you more to fix problems than if you started from scratch.
    It is a buyers market out there. There are lots to choose from, there is a lot of junk out there, but also a lot of gems... you just gotta find them...

    good luck

  4. #4
    Senior Member EXPERT BUILDER
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    us7, you are sort of correct on this, but the back shocks and front shocks (or struts), do not need to be the same, as different spring rates and shock lengths and front /rear vehical weight will be different.

    the rears should be about the same with each other, and the fronts about the same with each other.


  5. #5
    Thank you very much us and mcracecars...

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