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DRR Trophy
posted
I've been bracket racing a door car for about 30 years. Same car, have also driven other's cars in that time.

I'm kind of burned out on my car. At this point there isn't a whole lot else I can do to it to make it more consistent yet still fit within the rules. I "could" do some IHRA racing but honestly I don't know if I'll ever have the time for it. Secondly the car runs 5.80, good index car, but it won't pass tech for the ET so I have two options. Buy another car, or completely rebuild this one. I've owned it for so long, I don't think I really want to rebuild it.

Thus, looking at a used dragster. Problem is I know nothing about them. I'm 6'6" tall and about 210 lb give or take. Last time I set foot in one, the cage was REALLY tight, I wanna say it was an 18" cage but it's been so long I don't remember. Other than not being comfortable, what's the allure with the big boy cages? Also, I'm kind of stuck with this 24' enclosed trailer, which I assume limits what wheelbase I need to be looking at. I'm thinking a 225 or 235 should work, am I right? The trailer is a dovetail and I understand that the dove complicates matters?

I figure no more than I get to go to the races anymore, it doesn't make sense to put $50k into the existing car when I could possibly sell it as a roller and put my engine in a RED, and go race.

as you can tell I know nothing about them, so I'm all ears.
 
Posts: 124 | Location: Il,IL | Registered: March 22, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Top Comp
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Where is this "tech" of which you speak? If that door car is safe, I mean really safe, I would go bracket racing and not worry about this tech of which you speak. My cert is to 8.50 and is current but I feel I waste my money as no one has ever checked it but once in years. That time they opened the door saw the sticker and sent me on my way. That track sold a lot of belts that day!
 
Posts: 6234 | Location: everywhere | Registered: March 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Top Comp
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I've been actually meaning to post something on buying a used dragster. This is a good excuse since M80 is asking about it.

I have had three friends who have bought used cars and basically have been screwed. It seems that there are a lot of folks out there who have no scruples and will do their best to screw you over.

My advice to you is GO LOOK AT THE CAR YOURSELF!!! Do not let one of your friends go look at it. Do not go by the pictures they send you of the shiny paint and so forth. Some of these clowns actually removed good parts and substituted broken and junk parts and of course lied about it.

We just won a race with that car, we just had FTI freshen the transmission, we've just been through the whole thing and it's all great. Bull-hit!!

M80, if you know what you are looking at then fine and if not then PAY someone who does know to go with you to look at the car. Pull the rear wheels and look at the brakes, drop the transmission pan, look for cracks in the frame but make sure that you are getting what you paid for. Don't get screwed!

Okay, I'm off the soapbox now. Carry on.


Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right. Here I am.......
 
Posts: 5326 | Location: stuck in the middle with you! | Registered: March 11, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Trophy
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I've raced both types and both are fun, but here is my opinion.

Dragsters tend to decrease in value the older they are. Keep a doorcar nice and updated, you'll usually get your money back. You can get a decent 4 link 225-235 but I'd swing more for a name brand. When I buy something used, condition is paramount compared to options/features. As stated before, don't be shy about taking off every body panel.

I went to look at a car one time and the guy wanted to know if "I actually needed him to pull it out of the trailer" Goodbye!
 
Posts: 295 | Location: Midwest  | Registered: January 12, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR S/Pro
Picture of Big Steve
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Dragsters are easy to work on but can be a PITA to load and move around. Like others have said stick with name brand cars and dont get a hard tail. 24 inch cage and a 4 links are a must. Undercover is a really good car and there is a lot of them out there.. Absolutely take someone you know and trust with you to look at the cars. Pull all the panels off and of course sit in the car to make sure you fit and feel comfortable. Good luck!
 
Posts: 2491 | Location: Moving back to the door side | Registered: April 30, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Sportsman
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I have a 24' beavertail trailer that floor actually measures 23'9".
No front floor cabinets, just a bench.
I could fit a 225" dragster with a wing without removing the nose.
I could fit a 235" but the nose had to be removed.
Tounge had to jacked up to load/unload.



Cool
 
Posts: 621 | Location: Atco, NJ | Registered: March 14, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Sportsman
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A few thoughts

Like has been mentioned, take the whole body off and look at the chassis on anything you're looking at for cracks. Pay attention in particular to the front uprights, the area under and behind the seat, and the rear end where the four link brackets are welded.

You could consider an older car as long as it's a 4 link and you fit in it as they are typically a little smaller. You can find some good deals too, as mentioned they depreciate more than door cars. My car is a 99 Undercover 230", one of the first 4 links, 19" cage, I fit perfect (5' 11" 190) and it's deadly consistent. I keep thinking about getting something newer and shinier but my car is so good I can't justify it. I've seen some good deals on some 05-15 cars with 23-24" cages lately though. The allure of the big boy cages is mostly resale value because they can fit larger drivers. At your height I would sit in anything and make sure you have head room. Pedals will be adjustable on any name brand car.


My wife's 235" Miller fits in our 24' Vintage Outlaw with about 5" in front and 5" behind it, the car does have a wing. No floor cabinets across the front, just on the side. The trailer has a beavertail but it isn't a problem at all. The beavertail on my old 28' US Cargo was a PITA though so it depends.
 
Posts: 732 | Location: Upstate NY | Registered: July 02, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post



DRR Top Comp
Picture of Curly1
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I would not put a dragster in a 24' trailer some will fit but you have little room for spare parts and tool boxes ans can not walk around the thing.

What is the big deal about a Big Cage? Well you can not hardly give away a car with small cage. Nobody wants them. You want a cage that fits you with out too much room to move around or be thrown around in a crash. Still go with bigger cage if you can, you can always go with a poured in seat and not lose the resale value.

A hardtail dragster is hard to sell to, they may work well but what ever you put into it would not plan on ever getting much of it back.

I also want to mention that the future of racing is not looking too good. A dragster may lose value much faster if it tanks. A nice door car could always be put on the street for cruising or what ever so I do not think it will be hurt as bad if racing was to get worse.

If I was you I would consider a good altered or even a Roadster as they are much shorter and will fit in your trailer better. They can be very fast and fun to drive.


https://postimg.cc/gallery/np3zpruo/
"Dunning-Kruger Effect"
-a type of Cognitive bias where people with little expertise or ability assume they have superior expertise or ability. This overestimation occurs as a result of the fact that they do not have enough knowledge to know they don't have enough knowledge.

Before you argue with someone ask yourself, "Is this person mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of a different perspective?" If not there is no point to argue.

4X NE2 CHAMPION. 2020 TDRA NE2 Champion
 
Posts: 4138 | Location: United States of Texas | Registered: April 02, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Sportsman
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I wouldn't hesitate using a 24' trailer.
I have a closet next to the curb door and cabinets across the top above the workbench.
Top and bottom tool box on street side of trailer. Next to that is where I strap 55 gallon drum and Pop up.
Jack is only thing on the floor curb side.
Generator is on the tounge
Dragster isn't in the trailer if you're at the track.
I prefer a bicycle that I put in bed of truck. I could fit a scooter and a spare trans if needed in the trailer.

I guess longer trailer would be nice but not needed IMO if you are stuck with current 24'.



Cool
 
Posts: 621 | Location: Atco, NJ | Registered: March 14, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR / Crew
Picture of DragRaceResults
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I know guys 6-6 that drive Americans. 23 or 24" cage is standard. 23" be fine unless your a bigger wider guy. No difference in cage height. For a reference older cars 08-12 are 235, 13-18 are 242 and 20's and up are 245.

SL...
 
Posts: 2123 | Location: Gallatin, TN - U.S.A. | Registered: October 12, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Sportsman
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All I can say is that its best to fit snug in the cage.
When I crashed my Mullis, I lost it a little before the 1/8 and after flipping, rolling, and skidding I wound up at the 1/4.
I'm a small guy 5'9 and 170 at that time and the cage fit tight. Can't even remember the cage size now.
The car was totaled but all I got out of it was a concussion.
 
Posts: 268 | Location: Irving, Texas | Registered: March 24, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Trophy
Picture of Nim Rod
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Does anybody here have first hand experience with shortys? They look like a handful at times and I'm wondering what is the advantage they are after? I've seen them but never driven one, only an early 2ks 4-link dragster. I don't have it anymore but enjoyed it while I did. I went back to the door car way of life, I like it better.


------------------------------------
Not Hot Rod, not Super Rod, not Quick Rod, but the one and only NimRod
 
Posts: 223 | Location: The Weeds | Registered: August 10, 2023Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Trophy
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I don't, but for the sake of argument, I'd say performance wise, a longer dragster works better according to the laws of physics. A shorty would be better for off track maneuverability and storage though.
 
Posts: 295 | Location: Midwest  | Registered: January 12, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Trophy
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thanks for the suggestions. I had my eye on a couple cars but they were sold before I could get to them. Kinda discouraging but I'll keep looking as I can.
 
Posts: 124 | Location: Il,IL | Registered: March 22, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post



DRR Pro
Picture of CURTIS REED
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quote:
Originally posted by M802138:
thanks for the suggestions. I had my eye on a couple cars but they were sold before I could get to them. Kinda discouraging but I'll keep looking as I can.


Don't get discouraged. There are thousands of dragsters out there. I see tons of them on Facebook groups. I would be willing to bet the way money is right now that people will start taking offers they wouldn't have before.



____________________________
2017 and 2018 Osage Casinos Tulsa Raceway Park No-Box Champion

2018 Div4 Goodguys Hammer award winner
 
Posts: 3027 | Location: KIEFER, OK. | Registered: August 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Sportsman
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I have a HT dragster that I'm about to give away.
Good car but I'm not racing anymore.

Cage is only 19.5" so tough sell.
All good stuff. MW rear and brakes.
1.80 PG. Weld wheels.
It sitting outside in the snow as I type.

PS Fuc3 Len Capone!



Cool
 
Posts: 621 | Location: Atco, NJ | Registered: March 14, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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