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All of this is great info, especially because once the Speedster/Spyder is tow-bar-attached to your tow vehicle, most likely it will disappear from rear view mirror view (maybe the convertible top will still be visible) so making sure that the bar is secured to the tow vehicle (with safety chains and cables) and the Speedster/Spyder is secured properly to the bar (with safety clips and cables) is pretty important.  That almost seems obvious, but there is a lot of stuff to watch out for and make sure is right before you head out.  After a while and a few tows it all becomes easier (you develop a routine) but the first few times out can be nerve wracking.

Even after a lotta tows, you can still forget stuff - I still wonder what became of one of my ramps between Carlisle and Rhode Island on a return trip from a Speedster gathering.   Someone on I-78 must have been ducking and weaving to avoid it and for that I'm truly sorry.  I never knew it fell out of the trailer until we got home.

Don't be like stupid Gordon - Secure everything properly before you head out.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols
@Robert M posted:

So you'll have safety chains from the tow vehicle to the actual tow bar and another chain to the beam of the car.

Every bolt holding the tow-bar to the car would have to loosen up or break for this second chain to help in any way. It's theoretically possible, I suppose, but it's also theoretically possible that a chunk of SkyLab could come careening through the atmosphere, penetrate my car's roof, and lodge in my forehead and kill me - but I don't wear a steel helmet to protect myself from space junk. I'm not sure how you'd keep that chain from dragging all the way from here to there.

I've got no idea what the laws in Kalifornia are - but out here, the second chain is not required.

But in other, towing related news, I went to St. Louis today to pick up 3 skids of refrigerant before the Paris Accords change the world again.

For the Glory of the Rep

'Twas glorious.

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Wow, Stan - If that Limo just had a diesel in it........

That, and 15 hours of the old "Car Talk" show on NPR on your iPod, to listen to during the trip.

THAT would be, like, almost heaven.......    For sure....    

A diesel instead of the mighty, mighty Northstar would be fantastic!

We drove the limo to Denver and back a couple of weeks ago - the car got 20 mpg on the highway, and felt like riding a cloud. I picked up the grandkids out there at their school - flags unfurled, tuxedo T-shirt, and the chauffeur's hat. The princes of the Republic were transported in style. They wore crowns.

I took Jeanie and one of the (formerly) homeless ladies she used to work with (Miss Penny) to dinner in it last Saturday. We had a ice bucket in the back with chocolates and Diet A&W (her choice). I wore my chauffeur's hat and a sport-coat. We rolled out the red carpet, and flew the flags of the republic. She couldn't stop gushing about it, and it was a fantastic time.

I used it like a pickup truck today (towed 5000 lbs, drove 400 miles total). It didn't like it very much, but it executed the task without too much complaint.

My local carwash has me on an unlimited wash $10/mo. plan, so all I do is dry it.

This <$5000 joke is one of the best/funnest cars I've ever owned. I've put almost 5000 miles on it in less than 11 months.

Last edited by Stan Galat
@Stan Galat posted:

Every bolt holding the tow-bar to the car would have to loosen up or break for this second chain to help in any way. It's theoretically possible, I suppose, but it's also theoretically possible that a chunk of SkyLab could come careening through the atmosphere, penetrate my car's roof, and lodge in my forehead and kill me - but I don't wear a steel helmet to protect myself from space junk. I'm not sure how you'd keep that chain from dragging all the way from here to there.

I've got no idea what the laws in Kalifornia are - but out here, the second chain is not required.

But in other, towing related news, I went to St. Louis today to pick up 3 skids of refrigerant before the Paris Accords change the world again.

For the Glory of the Rep

'Twas glorious.

My concern is the two flimsy cotter pins securing the tow bar to the beam. I've seen a lot of stupid, and previously thought impossible, things happen in 24 years of being a deputy.

mceclip1

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Last edited by Robert M

Tow bar the right way :  1) The hair pins inserted into the 2nd larger capture point this way there is absolutely no way for it to work it's way back out. 2) Crossed safety chains from the tow bar to the tow vehicle, should the coupler separate, the chains will cradle the coupler and minimize the swaying 3) Two safety chains from the rear of the tow bar to the vehicle being towed. 4) Accessory light bar w/ tail, brake and signal lights on the back vehicle being towed. 5) " IN TOW " placard on the vehicle being towed.

@Robert M posted:

My concern is the two flimsy cotter pins securing the tow bar to the beam. I've seen a lot of stupid, and previously thought impossible, things happen in 24 years of being a deputy.

mceclip1

I haven’t used a tow bar in 30 years, and I don’t remember the OD of the pins, but they are not flimsy.  There is very little load on those pins.  They might even be off the shelf 5/8” hitch pins.

For perspective, a trailer hitch drawbar uses one 5/8” hitch pin, no matter the size of the hitch, from class 1 all the way to class V, which is greater than 10,000lbs.

Tow bar the right way :  1) The hair pins inserted into the 2nd larger capture point this way there is absolutely no way for it to work it's way back out. 2) Crossed safety chains from the tow bar to the tow vehicle, should the coupler separate, the chains will cradle the coupler and minimize the swaying 3) Two safety chains from the rear of the tow bar to the vehicle being towed. 4) Accessory light bar w/ tail, brake and signal lights on the back vehicle being towed. 5) " IN TOW " placard on the vehicle being towed.

@Alan Merklin and I will continue to tow with a safety chain from the tow bar to the Speedster and the rest of you can tow your Speedsters your way. Alan has towed a lot more than anyone else on this forum and in the last year alone I've towed almost 50K miles. A little extra insurance won't hurt.

Last edited by Robert M
@LI-Rick posted:

I haven’t used a tow bar in 30 years, and I don’t remember the OD of the pins, but they are not flimsy.  There is very little load on those pins.  They might even be off the shelf 5/8” hitch pins.

For perspective, a trailer hitch drawbar uses one 5/8” hitch pin, no matter the size of the hitch, from class 1 all the way to class V, which is greater than 10,000lbs.

I think they are usually 1/2" bolts. And you're right, there is very little load on them, the U-shaped pieces take almost all of that.

I never put a safety chain to the vehicle, but I do believe that is the law in some states. I did have crossed chains from the bar to the tow vehicle's hitch though.

I still have my tow bar. I am not selling it or giving it away, but I do hope I never need it.

@mboyd

I have some funny wise guy SOC friends!

If you haven't already been overloaded with 'tow bar' expertise, here's a bit more.

My car is VERY low...Calendar 2

..too low for the tow bar to slide under the front bumper. So I drive up on some 2x8 boards (16" section) so I can slide the tow bar under. You can just see those boards under my tire.20180619_081501_resized

Once I position the tow bar under the torsion tube, I also place 2x4 blocks under the tow bar (yellow arrows)...20180619_081416_resized

...these 2x4 blocks function as a fulcrum for the weight of the tow bar to lift the rear portion of the tow bar onto the torsion tube. This action keep the tow bar up against the torsion tube and allows you to fuss with inserting the tow pins with both hands if need be.

As previously mentioned, it is best to insert the tow pins from the rear towards the front. This way its easier to insert the 'hair pins' into place. Additionally, thanks to @Troy Sloan's idea, I use a 1.5" key ring on the hair pins so it's much easier to remove them (like a grenade pin).20180629_093148_resized

P.S. - I realize that theres some surface rust on my clown car suspension stuff...ironic, isn't it!

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Last edited by MusbJim

Everyone, all of this info from getting the toe bar built properly and all the tips to elevate the car properly, get under it and get the bar hung safely are really helpful! Having a kit with the bar,  wooden blocks, large pins/bolts, hair pins and key rings to take on the road to transport to a destination or use in the event of an emergency is really smart package. What a great forum to be a member of, complete with some good laughs!!.....Thank you!

Mike

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