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A step-by-step series on what is involved in building a state-of-the-art rear engine dragster. We take the mystery out of what is involved from start to finish. This is the first article in our "Project 4-Link" series. I hope you will enjoy it and check back with us in about two weeks.

Who should we have build the chassis? Is it smarter to buy a used dragster? How do you know whom to trust? Should we build a conventional solid rear-end (hardtail) type chassis or go for a suspended 4-link style? This month I will tell you what I found out while I was looking for a builder and why I decided to have Dragstar Chassis Co. in Old Monroe, MO build our new dragster.

I feel the toughest choice you have to make once you decide to get a dragster is whether or not you want a used chassis or a new one. A quick look through the classifieds in National Dragster or Drag Review will offer you any type of dragster you could ever want. The question I had when we started looking was "Why is it for sale?" If it is so good how come the owner is getting a new one? Has the tubing been broken or repaired? I called about several cars and the one thing I found helpful was to be sure to get some names of people you can call to get their opinions on how the car worked when they watched it. I decided I didn't want to inherit someone else's problems so we opted for a new car.

The choice of a chassis builder is another tough decision. I called several big name chassis builders and all were friendly and answered as many questions as I could hit them with. I was at Bowling Green, KY racing the Dart and looked at a couple of Ray Miller Race Cars 4-link cars. They were very high tech and the craftsmanship was superb. The only thing holding me back was the 2500 miles it took to get to his shop in Florida and I would not be able to watch the progress in person.

I had seen a car at the NHRA race at Tri-State Raceway built by Dragstar Chassis Company and owned by Aeromotive Fuel Pump guru Kyle Fickler. Then I noticed that car won best engineered at the Joliet points race. I was going to the PRI Show and met up with the owner of Dragstar, Jim Pulliam. He showed me some detailed photos of his 4-link dragster and it was detailed to the extreme. He was very knowledgeable and took time to answer all my questions. Plus he was only 250 miles away so communication and personal inspections will be much easier. Later on you will see the conveniences of this fact.

Now that I felt I had found a builder, my understanding wife (that is an understatement), Barb, accompanied me to look over Dragstar Chassis Company and meet with Jim, the owner. We had no idea what to expect as far as a chassis shop. We were astounded at the beautiful, high tech shop Jim had constructed. The photos look great but they hardly do it justice. Everything in its place and so organized, really professional in every manner. Now we were feeling more confident.

As Jim gave us the "tour" he answered all our questions and explained why he wanted me there for a proper "fitting." Everything on the car, and I mean every part, is CAD-designed and installed with templates. With his computer aided design and extremely accurate chassis jig he can build "exactly the same chassis" time after time. Even the Dzus fasteners are mounted within hundredths of an inch from chassis to chassis.


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