Nov 12, 2019

TE72 Drift Missile


ell, here we are again. As I slide the hydraulic jack underneath my 1980 Toyota Corolla, or TE72, I’m nervous. I know what is broken and I have an idea of the extent bit I’m still nervous. I take my time and make sure I get the 30 some odd year old car placed on jack stands at all four corners. I lay on my back and force myself under the car. The view of the Techno Toy Tuning coilovers in the rear and Panhard bar make me smile. The next sight does not. The T3 Panhard bar mounts to a chassis point on the rear passenger side of the vehicle. That mounting location is completely broken and bent. Earlier in the morning, I had a local exhaust shop weld a portion of the exhaust for me, the observant technician noticed the damage. (Props to this guy, even if he did take a picture for his Gram before telling me).

How did this happen? I wish I could tell you. Has this old Corolla been driven in a spirited manner? Absolutely. Was it designed to slide sideways after being lowered, given some sticky front tires and over-inflated rears? Absolutely not. I take a moment to realize this isn’t the end for the ‘Rolla, but an opportunity to make it better. As I searched some online forums and Facebook groups, I quickly realized this is a common issue. So what’s the fix?

Well, I have a couple of options. One, Hammer the old bent and broken steel back to where it was, patch the broken section and reinforce it. Two, cut out the old mounting location close to the frame and fabricate a new one. I’m leaning toward option two, I think this will be the cleaner and more structurally sound option. Stay tuned for the next episode of Dragon Ba….wait, wrong show. Come back to see my journey through learning to weld and fabricating a new Panhard bar mount.