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Thread: Dragster Chassis Explanation

  1. #1
    Senior Member MASTER BUILDER
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    Dragster Chassis Explanation

    First, let me say Hi to all. I'm new here and have already had many of my questions answered. One which still plagues me is a detailed explanation of just what the different types of dragster chassis are and how they work. It's confusing me...hardtails, swingarms, slipjoints, 4-links. Where can a guy find details of the different types?
    I'm ready to start looking for my first dragster and need help. Any and all would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE
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    1st of all the engine belongs in the front (see pic). Not in the back like most of these guys are doing.

    Good question. There are guys on here alot more knowledgeable than me. Your answer will probably be here soon. Good luck with the car!

  3. #3
    Junior Member APPRENTICE
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    Engine in the front, 120" wb.
    You can accomplish almost anything if you throw enough money at it!

  4. #4
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE
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    Engine in front, 90-95" wb. :shock:
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  5. #5
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE
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    My brother's car is a hardtail slipjoint car. From my understanding, hardtails are fine for smooth tracks. If you race at rough tracks, you may want to look into a suspened car. As far as the slip joints, I think you have to be putting alot of power to the ground to make them work. I've always wondered about the joints. You have metal on metal rubbing. Seems to me like it could wear out in those spots.

  6. #6
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE curtisreed's Avatar
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    kod99, a hardtail car has no suspension of any kind. A slipjoint car has no shocks but does have a suspension of sorts, there are different ways of achieving a slip joint. Our slip car has uprights on both sides in front of the footbox that has a pipe coming down from the top rail into a larger diameter pipe on the bottom rail allowing the chassis to bow. Not many uprights on our car so you have to stay on top of chassis maintenance. There are single, double and triple slip cars, where the slip joints are in different places, ours is just how Victory chassis did it. You can have a hardtail that has front suspension, David Lanning AKA- Hammertime on here has that on his car.

    A fourlink car has a rear suspension just like a fourlink door car with a wishbone and drive shaft. Some people claim that a fourlink is not as good as a swimgarm car because fast cars can be upset going on and off the stop or when whipping the throttle at the big end because of roll rotation.

    A swingarm car has the bottom bars tied together and pivots like the swingarm of a motorcyle except that the heim ends allow it to roll rotate more but not as much as a fourlink. It's possible maybe someone has some pics of the rearend of a foulink and swingarm car they can post up for comparison. David???

    Suspended cars are definitely smoother to drive and are better on rough tracks and bad shutdown areas. I don't believe they are more consistent than our car on the tracks we race on and we have data to prove it, although the resale on them is better. You would have to make the judgment call on your racing surface. I can say our slipjoint car hits like a truck ran into you when it takes off compared to a suspended car, it's a blast. I hope this helps some.

    Curtis Reed

  7. #7
    Senior Member MASTER BUILDER
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    Thanks for the replies so far.

    Doorracer hit the nail on the head with the kind of info I was looking for. I am beginning to understand the differences.
    I would surely welcome any elaboration on his descriptions.

    Does anyone know where I can view some detailed dragster chassis drwaings. That would really help.
    Thanks.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Senior Member EXPERT BUILDER
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    I have some pictures of my front suspended hard tail car on here under ad 1419318.

    It was a non suspended car when I got it and was very rough to drive. After I had it front halved it smoothed it out about half. On the track it is really smooth but driving around the pits can be rough.

    Davids car (hammertime) is a dual suspended and he says that is the only way to go. If I would have had the money, I would have had it done.

    I recomend at least a swing arm and preferably dual suspended.
    Josh VanHorne

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  10. #10
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE
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    Quote Originally Posted by doorracer
    kod99, a hardtail car has no suspension of any kind. A slipjoint car has no shocks but does have a suspension of sorts, there are different ways of achieving a slip joint. Our slip car has uprights on both sides in front of the footbox that has a pipe coming down from the top rail into a larger diameter pipe on the bottom rail allowing the chassis to bow. Not many uprights on our car so you have to stay on top of chassis maintenance. There are single, double and triple slip cars, where the slip joints are in different places, ours is just how Victory chassis did it. You can have a hardtail that has front suspension, David Lanning AKA- Hammertime on here has that on his car.

    A fourlink car has a rear suspension just like a fourlink door car with a wishbone and drive shaft. Some people claim that a fourlink is not as good as a swimgarm car because fast cars can be upset going on and off the stop or when whipping the throttle at the big end because of roll rotation.

    A swingarm car has the bottom bars tied together and pivots like the swingarm of a motorcyle except that the heim ends allow it to roll rotate more but not as much as a fourlink. It's possible maybe someone has some pics of the rearend of a foulink and swingarm car they can post up for comparison. David???

    Suspended cars are definitely smoother to drive and are better on rough tracks and bad shutdown areas. I don't believe they are more consistent than our car on the tracks we race on and we have data to prove it, although the resale on them is better. You would have to make the judgment call on your racing surface. I can say our slipjoint car hits like a truck ran into you when it takes off compared to a suspended car, it's a blast. I hope this helps some.

    Curtis Reed
    He hit the nail on the head here. A smooth track with a good shut down a hardtail or slipjoint can be made to work. Everyone thinks different on this subject but not every non-suspended car can make it down a bad track a suspended car can. I look to want to get down a track consistent, all track in any conditions so the choice for me was simple shocks were a must. Like stated mine is Dual Suspended front mono shock and dual rear shock with a swingarm setup.

    Body/Chassis roll is the biggest reason I do not run a standard 4 link setup even with a anti-roll they still roll. A swingarm will not do this. A 4 link car is better then a hardtail or slipjoint though. A lot of guys will tell you they can get down any track my car can, yep sure they can and I've been down them without shocks also. But I can promise them my car will do it smoother, more consistent and when it does I can flat out park my car between the cones at the finish line, they can not do that.
    David Lanning
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