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Thread: Bent chassis rail - Implications for drift suspenion setup

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    Veteran Golberg's Avatar
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    Default Bent chassis rail - Implications for drift suspenion setup


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    Well I wanted to ask peoples opinion. An AE86 with a slightly bent drivers side chassis rail. Its not massive, but its bad enough that you can just see it. Car doesn't wheel align properly either. Can get all adjustments the same except the camber is I think 20' different on either side.

    This is all with stock suspension.

    The car drives fine, drives straight, you wouldn't know unless you saw the damage, apart from the fact that the front end doesn't line up perfectly, the bonnet, drivers side guard, headlight etc aren't spot on.

    Now I'd have no worries about using this car just as a daily, but what I really want to do is set a car up for drift. I'm not experienced enough to know how critical having a perfect alignment on the front end is. So for instance am I likely to find the car will be more happy to slide in one direction than other? From my internet knowledge of drift suitable suspension setups I have been under the impression that its important to be able to dial everything in perfectly. This is mainly what I'm worried about.

    So basically, I see my options as being to sell the car and buy another ae71 or something (with straight rails too and set that up). Or just start working on the suspension on the sprinter and start learning in it and it doesn't matter so much if I crash it because its already got a slightly stuffed rail? It wouldn't be like I'm ruining a great example of one. So what I am really asking is, when starting out in drift, is it going to mean anything if the car's rails aren't perfect?/Am I only going to notice the effect of it once I actually get good at it?

    I can put up a photo of the rail, but you can't really see anything, its not that easy to see in a photo.

    Also, I don't really want to sell the car, as I put it back together from scratch, so I know that everything is 100% (apart from the rail, and a couple of diff seals). And you just don't get that with a second hand car.

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    Senior Member ae86 slide's Avatar
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    I have driven 2 bent 86's and they both didnt feel right to slide. It depends how bad the damage is. Can you see a kink in the rail after the strut tower? If it is then it shouldnt be hard to get it straightened. Get some quotes from chassis aligners and get it done if possible. You really need a straight car to start with or you will be pushing shit up hill all the way.

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    one its bent it will never be the same.. ive recently bent mine up and done alot ov asking around because i really wanted to keep the thing, but the feed back ive had is pretty much yeah we can fix it but it will never be the same again.. and thats with chasis alignment, ive even spoken to guys who a awsome drifters who have bent rails, had them fixed and said the car doesnt feel the same again,
    Thats y i went down the Ke70 or ae71 route, for the simple fact that if u bin it u can pick up a new shell for under $500 unlike a sprinter. ill just leave the hachi untill i stop hitting things

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    Veteran blair's Avatar
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    ^ ive been told that often they get them straighter then before bending them (from years and years of twisting etc) from a mate that actually got his 70 straightened (thats obviously what the guy told him).

    O.P > if the damage isnt bad enough that you cant align it out, i wouldnt be worrying about it i reckon, then again thats 90% because i couldnt afford the 1k to get it straightened ha! so to answer your question, yes it will affect the car, but until you'ev had a fair bit of experience i say it will be fine.

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    Just drive it bent, it will be fine.

    If you drive a corolla you won't be in the running to win drift for the state anyway. And if you were a shit hot driver, you could drive around it anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonny Rochester View Post
    Just drive it bent, it will be fine.

    If you drive a corolla you won't be in the running to win drift for the state anyway. And if you were a shit hot driver, you could drive around it anyway.
    Jonny with alot of things id have to say your pretty spot on the money, but what u said their is absolute crap. (in the nicest posible way)

    look at all the top drivers that drive hachi's or 70's/71.. same same

    Ueo, Hibino, YOSHIOKA! and Yates... all keeping the hachi in the top positions consistantly, stuff modern cars.. their ghey, heavy and have all this rediculous power and are worth a bucket load more than any corolla out their and they still cop an ass whooping!
    Light weight, agile + insane driver = corolla FTW!!
    Last edited by sundee; 16th May 2009 at 05:36 PM.

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    User fantapants's Avatar
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    this is little on the simplistic fan boy angle itself though isnt it?

    Aussie drift equals smoke. as much as we may whine and spat about agility, in the end it comes down to smoke. And most any car when you spend the coin these lads do - yates, ed, young et all will be fun to drive, and make smoke.

    But for the general drift monkey out for some fun and maybe a kick at the state events, an na hachi like most of us drive will NOT be in contention.

    Also the few drivers you have mentioned have the skill. NOT the car.

    Not trying to start shit or anything and sorry for the off topic

    my 2c - get quotes, fix it if you can, dont if it aint worth it. Yes you will be able to drift it. Yes you will be able to work around it. No it wont be perfect, but it will probably just be added to the growing list of NOT perfect things on our cars

    Also im pretty sure josh ran with a bent car for a fair while - his opion from a different thread - sorry if i miss quote you josh - was "yes its different. its bent. but it still drives and you figure shit out " He won a few times like that two.

    ant has also had goldie straightened. That still went well in its day

    Quote Originally Posted by sundee86 View Post
    Jonny with alot of things id have to say your pretty spot on the money, but what u said their is absolute crap. (in the nicest posible way)

    look at all the top drivers that drive hachi's or 70's/71.. same same

    Ueo, Hibino, YOSHIOKA! and Yates... all keeping the hachi in the top positions consistantly, stuff modern cars.. their ghey, heavy and have all this rediculous power and are worth a bucket load more than any corolla out their and they still cop an ass whooping!
    Light weight, agile + insane driver = corolla FTW!!
    RIP Carly - a smile to light the world.
    06/07/2011

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    My green 86 has a bent rhs chassis rail i have masively adjustable suspension tho and can get it to work, i did weld 2mm plates along all sides of the rails when i rebuilt it.

    I have a cage and tower to firewall braced strut to strut brace, and chassis rails have been massively strengthened and a custom rad support which is also over engineered, didnt have a wheel alignment (or an accident) for the 2nd half of the season last year and camber had adjusted 1 degree on the lhs this related to 10mm adjustment on the camber top.

    so after all that im pretty hapy with the way my car slides with a bent rail and even a strengthened front end in an ae86 moves like fk so imagine a std one!!!!!
    AE86 THE BEST

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    Senior Member Hen may possibly be a nut's Avatar
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    Agree with Jonny, just drive it. Especially if you are just learning, it will be a while before a slightly kinked chassis rail will be limiting your drifting. Plus as you said, you won't be pissed off when you give it some more taps.

    I know a guy who drifts his Sprinter flat out and checked tyre temps throughout a day. To get consistent temps across the tyre he runs 1 degree different camber side to side, and it still drives fine.

    Less worrying, more drifting.

    Hen

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    my laurel has a maggoted left chassis rail, probably the worst ive ever seen, but it still aligns fine and slides perfect, but I have a cage, bracing, adjustable arms etc.
    The only problem is it will probably never ever pass a RWC or Regency inspection.
    I did this on a ripple strip at malalla.

    DTF - Danzo Technical Factory

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