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aboveall1

Tech 3 sand cars

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 Looking for some information on anybody who has ever had these cars or currently has one. I’m thinking of buying a two seater and I like the look of this car. The one I’m looking at is a mid engine 2.5 Subaru/2-D. Anybody thoughts and experience Would be helpful and appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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I have always loved these cars, looks fast and nimble

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I think flip flop owned one. I also duned with a guy that had one. They are a sandcar built to be light and handle well. They way I have seen them run, they do handle and I have never heard any negatives about them. 

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Tech 3 cars are great cars. They are very stable at high speeds and turn on a dime. They don't fishtail as easy as a rear engine car but that will most likely happen with any mid-engine car. A few areas of needed bracing would be the rear shock mounts need a X-brace and the rear 5-link mounts have a floating  spacer that needs to be welded to prevent elongating of the bracket hole. Front X-brace would be recommended as well. Is the one you are looking at have trailing arms or 5-link rear?

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I rode in an early model of the car. It was nimble and light, fairly quick considering the light weight.

However, the design and lack of triangulation led to it feeling like a magic carpet. I could watch the front end twist and turn as we hit the bumps. It looked to me as if half of  the suspension travel was actually chassis flex. I couldn't wait to get out of the thing because I was pretty sure at some point it was going to hit a dip and break apart.

I'm sure later models were stronger and stiffer, but I don't know when that happened. Lightweight is good, but not at the expense of chassis stiffness and safety.

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There is one on RD.com with a turbo 3.5 and 2d, cheap, excellent condition that I was drooling over......

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Love my Tech 3. I bought it about 10 years ago and have driven the crap out of it. I've had to fix a few cracks here and there over the years, but I feel that's pretty normal wear and tear.

It's a blast to drive. Light, nimble and a damn rocket ship in the dunes. I have the turbo Honda in mine. ~450hp and 1780 lbs 

IMG_20190119_095829843_HDR.thumb.jpg.6dd3bb9ff4a3aa951855694b4fb31f63.jpg

IMG_20190216_135205770.thumb.jpg.c3d7ee689389d47052e32415f3e74ae0.jpg

1323867645_IMG_3403-2(Large).thumb.jpg.5454d2fa1a407fac44eb67f8fb02f95f.jpg

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2 hours ago, JM PRO said:

Tech 3 cars are great cars. They are very stable at high speeds and turn on a dime. They don't fishtail as easy as a rear engine car but that will most likely happen with any mid-engine car. A few areas of needed bracing would be the rear shock mounts need a X-brace and the rear 5-link mounts have a floating  spacer that needs to be welded to prevent elongating of the bracket hole. Front X-brace would be recommended as well. Is the one you are looking at have trailing arms or 5-link rear?

The one that I’m looking at right now is a five leaf rear. I’ve never had or driven a car with five link rear. But I’m sure one of my buddies had a suspension unlimited ultralight that was a slightly, if I remember correctly. In the car seem to handle really wellThe one that I’m looking at right now is a five leaf rear. I’ve never had or driven a car with five link rear. But I’m sure one of my buddies had a suspension unlimited ultralight that was a slightly, if I remember correctly. In the car seem to handle really well

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37 minutes ago, aboveall1 said:

The one that I’m looking at right now is a five leaf rear. I’ve never had or driven a car with five link rear. But I’m sure one of my buddies had a suspension unlimited ultralight that was a slightly, if I remember correctly. In the car seem to handle really wellThe one that I’m looking at right now is a five leaf rear. I’ve never had or driven a car with five link rear. But I’m sure one of my buddies had a suspension unlimited ultralight that was a slightly, if I remember correctly. In the car seem to handle really well

X2😀

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5 link rear suspension mid-engine cars handle great. They are pretty much sand only in most builds though.

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5 hours ago, aboveall1 said:

The one that I’m looking at right now is a five leaf rear. I’ve never had or driven a car with five link rear. But I’m sure one of my buddies had a suspension unlimited ultralight that was a slightly, if I remember correctly. In the car seem to handle really wellThe one that I’m looking at right now is a five leaf rear. I’ve never had or driven a car with five link rear. But I’m sure one of my buddies had a suspension unlimited ultralight that was a slightly, if I remember correctly. In the car seem to handle really well

There must be a glitch in the Matrix.

Does everything taste like chicken?

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Sandphsyco is right. I had a mid engine Tech 3 about 5 years ago with an LS, 2d and trailing arms. Great car very quick and nimble. Awesome dune car and that is what  I love doing. 

However, I did flip it, hence my new board name, but it did it’s job and I walked away without a scratch.  Proof of a well built car IMO.

Fastbarry, on the board, bought it from me and fixed it. He put a big turbo on it and now it just flys. 

I think a five link car is fine with a subi. I had a Mazzone 5 link mid with a subi turbo and it was a great dune car. 

Good luck. 

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19 hours ago, dunefreak said:

Love my Tech 3. I bought it about 10 years ago and have driven the crap out of it. I've had to fix a few cracks here and there over the years, but I feel that's pretty normal wear and tear.

It's a blast to drive. Light, nimble and a damn rocket ship in the dunes. I have the turbo Honda in mine. ~450hp and 1780 lbs 

IMG_20190119_095829843_HDR.thumb.jpg.6dd3bb9ff4a3aa951855694b4fb31f63.jpg

IMG_20190216_135205770.thumb.jpg.c3d7ee689389d47052e32415f3e74ae0.jpg

1323867645_IMG_3403-2(Large).thumb.jpg.5454d2fa1a407fac44eb67f8fb02f95f.jpg

That is one sexy ass car! The sister of this car is up for sale soon.

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Posted (edited)

5-link has geometry working for and against it: anti squat and roll (see the way dunefreak’s car is under power but at ride height-ish), and less travel because the pivot is in/out instead of front/back and bind comes into play.

Going to handle really well, but don’t skimp on replacing rod ends and keep an eye on the mounts for cracks. 

Edited by Rockwood

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1 hour ago, Rockwood said:

5-link has geometry working for and against it: anti squat and roll (see the way dunefreak’s car is under power but at ride height-ish), and less travel because the pivot is in/out instead of front/back and bind comes into play.

Going to handle really well, but don’t skimp on replacing rod ends and keep an eye on the mounts for cracks. 

The track width does change as the suspension cycles but explain why less travel and what binding are you referring to that is associated with a 5 link design?

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, JM PRO said:

The track width does change as the suspension cycles but explain why less travel and what binding are you referring to that is associated with a 5 link design?

Trailing arm pivots from the “torsion housing” so you run longer arms and only the wheelbase changes. 5-link pivots from the center, so longer arms mean the car is wider, which has a limit. 

Binding is just from all the links, which helps anti squat, hurts travel. Two tow control links/trailing arms mounted with vertical separation, plus two lower control arms with horizontal separation means they’ll want the knuckle to rotate in 2 planes.  Add in no compliance heims at every end and the upper arm trying to keep the camber curve flat, and you’ve got all 5 links fighting each other when geometry gets extreme (big travel). 

Not a bad thing, as they still get plenty of travel out of them for intended use (sand) and handle great without needing sway bars/big springs, just don’t expect to be king of Whoopsmobile. :bigrin

Edited by Rockwood

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I had one for about 6 years and was extremely please with it as a duning machine (especially loved the 5 link). That frame combined with a low Cg built Subi motor is a hard-to-beat combo (mine was a 20PSI 400 horse motor on 114). I eventually moved onto a Suspensions Unlimited frame due to my driving style and speed. The tech 3 frame just was having a hard time handling what I was asking for and I needed more overall strength.

If the price was right, I would but one again though.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Rockwood said:

Trailing arm pivots from the “torsion housing” so you run longer arms and only the wheelbase changes. 5-link pivots from the center, so longer arms mean the car is wider, which has a limit. 

Binding is just from all the links, which helps anti squat, hurts travel. Two tow control links/trailing arms mounted with vertical separation, plus two lower control arms with horizontal separation means they’ll want the knuckle to rotate in 2 planes.  Add in no compliance heims at every end and the upper arm trying to keep the camber curve flat, and you’ve got all 5 links fighting each other when geometry gets extreme (big travel). 

Not a bad thing, as they still get plenty of travel out of them for intended use (sand) and handle great without needing sway bars/big springs, just don’t expect to be king of Whoopsmobile. :bigrin

My only experience with a 5-link is on the car pictured above (a Tech 3) and there is no binding at all. Travel IS NOT limited because it is a 5-link. Travel is limited by axle length and cv angle and that applies to all styles of suspension. The Tech 3 pictured above has 17 1/2" wheel travel with roughly 4-5' ground clearance. At full droop the CV's are at a modest 20-21 degrees of articulation and the car could easily get another 1/2-1" of travel if you pushed the CV angles. Another worthy note is the axles only have 1/4" of axle plunge throughout its cycle which is a positive for CV life.

I could understand your statement above if it was applied to an improperly designed 5-link, however Tech 3 did a solid job on the Geometry of the links.

Edited by JM PRO

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Pointing out areas for inspection if contemplating buying a Tech 3.

The picture is of the inner pivot bracket on a Tech 3. This style bracket came from the circle track industry and in its original style uses a floating spacer that would be removable along with the bolt. The long term problem would be the hole the spacer went thru would become oblong over time. The solution was to weld the spacer into place as it is in the attached photo. 

IMG_2645.JPG

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39 minutes ago, JM PRO said:

My only experience with a 5-link is on the car pictured above (a Tech 3) and there is no binding at all. Travel IS NOT limited because it is a 5-link. Travel is limited by axle length and cv angle and that applies to all styles of suspension. The Tech 3 pictured above has 17 1/2" wheel travel with roughly 4-5' ground clearance. At full droop the CV's are at a modest 20-21 degrees of articulation and the car could easily get another 1/2-1" of travel if you pushed the CV angles. Another worthy note is the axles only have 1/4" of axle plunge throughout its cycle which is a positive for CV life.

I could understand your statement above if it was applied to an improperly designed 5-link, however Tech 3 did a solid job on the Geometry of the links.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s junk (Tech 3 is my favorite dune ride), and I’m not talking about bind as in you can’t move the suspension and shit breaks. It has a lot of anti squat built into it based on vertical separation and angle. Anti squat is geometric bind to prevent the suspension from squatting under power/braking, but not as much when hitting a bump. This anti geometry will stress the heims, bolts and mounts more than a simple trailing arm with only 2 pivots. As a result, it’s a good idea to replace/inspect often. Given the penalty for link failure, I don’t think this is bad advice.   

Even still: I love the cars, and this is no means an attack, just something to look out for. Look great, handle great, light. Everything a pure sand car should be. 

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Check the frame at the front upper shock mounts. A friend had a Subi powered 5 link 2 seat mid eng. Tech 3. It was a great handling car but the frame at both of the front upper shock mounts cracked.

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Posted (edited)

I have a tech 3 and love it, super fun car. Bought a stripped down chassis and threw a Honda and 2d in it. The next season I turbod it and before last season I ditched the Honda and threw in an LS1. Mine is trailing arm and not 5-link though. The only issue I’ve had is with the front end geometry and bushings ripping/tabs ripping. I just added some gussets and cut off the end of the arms and put uniball in and haven’t had any issues since. I drive pretty hard and make 15+ Weekend trips a season.

C9A79260-C1C8-467E-9B1F-E51B36D9F7EA.png

B224B8E5-89B5-4325-B430-21FB4BF46357.jpeg

 

Edited by travelah

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Thanks for all the information guys! I really appreciate it and I do believe that this will all help me make an informed and educated decision.

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There seem to be quite a few variations or styles of Tech 3 chassis over the years. I have never had an issue with front end tabs on my car.

Either way, I don't think you can go wrong with one. There is alot of value in these cars for those that like to dune. Lots of fun for the money!

 

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