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BigIrish

Flat-towing autocrosser

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I'm hoping I don't get flamed to badly for proposing this, but I need to come up with a solution to my problem.

 

I have a 76 that have resurrected from sitting for 10+ years.  The only thing I use the car for is autocross and an occasional cruise around the neighborhood.  I've taken it to 3 autocrosses so far and had a great time, however suffered a strange intermittent ignition failure on 2 occasions and had to be towed home both times.

 

I think I have the current issue fixed, but it's just a matter of time before something else breaks on a 40 year old car.  

 

I really need a way to transport the car to and fro and get it home when it breaks.  I live in the city and don't have room for a huge auto transport trailer.  I might be able to find room for a dolly.  But what I'd really like to do is just use a tow bar.  

 

Anyone know of people doing this with track cars?  I understand I would need to overfill the trans to get lube to the main shaft (any idea how to do this?).  I'm comfortable fabricating mounts for the bar.

 

Keep in mind this is not a nice restored car and probably never will be.  Thanks!

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When faced with this problem,

I built a small 2- wheel trailer, and never regretted it.

 

Eventually I moved out of the (car and real-people unfriendly) city.

 

Flat- towing sucks, and dollies are worse.

 

No help,

t

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Small custom trailer is certainly better than large generic one.  Do you have any pics of your trailer?  I imagine you didn't need to build a suspension on the trailer since the car has it's own?  Does it fit in a garage?

 

I'll probably try flat towing first.  TX is all straight, flat roads, especially where I'm going.  

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I flat towed my race car for a couple of years until someone took pity on me and loaned me a trailer.  Later I used the same tow-bar to tow my '68 2002 around.  As I remember, the '02 towed perfectly well. You just need to drive carefully and plan on never backing up with the tow-barred vehicle.

 

I don't understand your concern about the transmission, but then I presume it is a manual.  We just ran with the cars in neutral.  If you are still concerned, just disconnect your halfshafts.

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The 4- speed doesn't get lubed if it is towed in neutral.  It's only an issue at high speeds for long distances, but you

can (theoretically) kill the needle bearings that run on the output shaft, since they're spinning and the countershaft is not.

 

Hmm, trailer pictures.  Somewhere.  I used a narrow axle so that it would fit through an 8' garage door (barely)

and did use springs, simply because it's not hard to do.   Many don't.  Mine tilts, and I use a small winch for loading, so

that makes things even easier.  It's steel, but weighs #800 or so.  The car lives on it in the garage, and I use a boat

jack in front (it has a wheel) so I can roll the whole mess around.  When I had a bigger shop, it made things a lot easier.

 

t

 

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I searched the forum before posting and saw several responses about possibly killing that bearing, but several others including the above that said they've actually done plenty of flat towing with no ill effects. 

 

I'll be going 20-40 miles on the highway.  I'll try to add extra oil to increase the chances of some splashing onto that bearing though. 

 

I'll try this before building a trailer and see how it goes.

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I towed barred my 74 when the head gasket gave way, probably 100 ++ miles, no ill effects. The 74 big bumper cars are easy to do, find a spare front bumper, bolt the tow bar attachments to it, and bolt to the car. I towed it with the bumper shocks in place too. Also handy to tow around the shell while prepping for paint.

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uhaul rental. I see them at the track for every event.  

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I decided to build a towbar bumper and see how it worked.  It really works great; towed it to the autocross today.  It followed me just fine and I could barely feel it back there at all.

 

I used the original bumper shock tubes and and fabricated a small bumper out of 3/16" thick steel.  I bought a simple towbar kit that unpins from the bumper.  It takes about 10 mins to get it all hooked up including the magnetic tow lights.  Way easier than a trailer IMO...as long as you don't need to back up.

 

 

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Theory time:  if you ran the motor, leaving the car in neutral, shouldn't that keep everything lubed?  Ignore all the other issues.  :)

 

The 4- speed doesn't get lubed if it is towed in neutral.It's only an issue at high speeds for long distances, but you can (theoretically) kill the needle bearings that run on the output shaft, since they're spinning and the countershaft is not.

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Yeah the steering followed fine and the car did not wander around behind me at all.  I tried to take wide, slow turns where possible but I didn't feel any resistance whatsoever when turning.  

 

I added an extra 1/2 quart of trans fluid and ran the car around the neighborhood before hitching it up.  

 

Engine running - I don't think that would work.  Looking at a transmission schematic, it looks like it would need to be in gear with all shafts spinning to get lube to that bearing.  I do think that theory would work with an automatic however, since the engine powers the pump that lubricates the internals.  

 

If I had to tow it long distance, the only thing I can think of would be to stop every so often, jack up a rear wheel and run the car in gear for a few minutes.  At that point, it might be easier to disconnect the driveshaft.

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I towed a full size van that way from Milwaukee to Kansas City. No issues. I originally worried about the steering as I sure most would. Unless you alignment is total wacked it works fine. Another option would have been tow dolley as you could back the car up on it and not worry about the tranny at all. My bet is that if you track enough you will "find" a way to budget for a trailer. Your work looks great on the tow bar!

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 My bet is that if you track enough you will "find" a way to budget for a trailer. Your work looks great on the tow bar!

 

Thanks!  It actually doesn't look too bad, esp with the foglights on it.  

 

Actually, I'd rather tow it this way, assuming the trans will not be hurt.  At the end of the day, I had my car hooked up in about 10 mins and headed out.  The trailer guys were still racheting their cars down, putting ramps away, etc...and their trailers were already hooked to the trucks.  They would have quite a bit of work to do when they got home as well, assuming they had to get the car off and trailer put away.

 

My issue is storage space.  Even if someone gave me a trailer I'd have no place to put it. 

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