Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Having bought and scrounged all the materials, last weekend I made the towbar for the 3a.

I based it on the plan from Watling towbars, but with additions to improve strength.

Their main arms were made from 2"x1.5"x1/4" angle, I used 50mmx50mmx6mm as it was easier to find.

Watling just used a 3.5"x2"x1/4" cross bar to carry the ball, but I was not too happy with just the 2 bolts holding that to the ends of the main arms, so welded an angle between the main arms drilled to take 2 standard tow ball bolts, so the removable section is now held with 4 bolts.

The removable section was made from a standard 4" drop plate, with an angle section welded across the back to pick up on the holes in the main arms, the lower 2 holes of the drop plate mating with the holes in the extra welded in cross bar.

Fittings are as per Watlings plan, 2 x 10mm "U" bolts over the rear chassis tube, but  with extra half round saddles made from a short piece of scaffold bar split lengthwise to spread the load and stop the U bolts crushing the chassis tube.  Clamp bars and bolts secure the front ends of the main arms to the spring hanger chassis tube.

I am happy that the extra welded in cross bar together with the larger section angle used on the main arms will prevent any flexing of the tow plate.

The finished item has ended up with the back of the tow ball bolts being nearer to the spare wheel cover than I would have liked, (about 6mm clearance), and may have to put the bolts in from the back with the nuts on the ball side which will give an extra 10mm or so clearance.

I am devising a way of making the electrics removable too so that on arrival at campsite the whole tow ball and electrics can be removed leaving just the bar showing (see pics), and the whole tow bar assembly is easily removable when not needed leaving no holes in the car, and no evidence one has ever been fitted.

Ralph

Note,  bottom bolts are not fitted in the last picture as I did not have them at the time.

20210508_090610.jpg

20210508_090627.jpg

20210503_074719.jpg

20210503_074759.jpg

20210502_191022.jpg

20210502_191011.jpg

Edited by Ralph Whitaker
spelling mistake
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope you dont need your spare tyre.

Stuart.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, stuart said:

Hope you dont need your spare tyre.

Stuart.

Me too.  Have to keep the spanners in the boot to take off the top section.

Ralph.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not dissimilar to mine, I doubled up on the "U" bolts on the rear tube to spread the load, & used larger "U" bolts & slipped some stainless pipe (cut into halfs) under them to spread the loads further.

     634100042_TowbarTR3.thumb.jpg.d2d937c50bea2987137e6fbd1040255f.jpg  20210508_115526.thumb.jpg.b8c62e3fd6d53be558685d99257eb532.jpg    

I can get my spare wheel out without touching the tow ball, and although the ball height is a bit on the low side I get away with it.

Bob.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Lebro said:

Not dissimilar to mine, I doubled up on the "U" bolts on the rear tube to spread the load, & used larger "U" bolts & slipped some stainless pipe (cut into halfs) under them to spread the loads further.

     634100042_TowbarTR3.thumb.jpg.d2d937c50bea2987137e6fbd1040255f.jpg  20210508_115526.thumb.jpg.b8c62e3fd6d53be558685d99257eb532.jpg    

I can get my spare wheel out without touching the tow ball, and although the ball height is a bit on the low side I get away with it.

Bob.

I was concerned about the height of the tow ball, recommended is between 350 and 420mm with vehicle laden.  I have ended up with 420mm unladen to the centre of the ball using an Alco ball, which is taller than a standard 50mm ball, which may reduce as my new rear springs settle.

Out of curiosity what do you normally tow. Watling recommended a maximum towing weight of 2000 lbs (907 kg) for their bar. The little Freedom caravan I bought has a max laden weight of 840kg so I should have about 87% towing match assuming the TR3 weighs around 960 Kilos.

The advantage of having a lower ball height is less leverage on the assembly.

Ralph

Link to post
Share on other sites

Shame you did not post a request in "buy-sell-trade", I have most of a Watling tow bar for a sidescreen TR in the shed.

Peter W

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Ralph Whitaker said:

Out of curiosity what do you normally tow. Watling recommended a maximum towing weight of 2000 lbs (907 kg) for their bar. The little Freedom caravan I bought has a max laden weight of 840kg so I should have about 87% towing match assuming the TR3 weighs around 960 Kilos.

Ralph

Only thing I tow is a small camping type trailer to carry the BBQ, gazebo & other stuff needed for group meeting (IWE etc)

Bob.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, R.M. said:

OOPS, rather like painting yourself into a corner

Should be no problem, only 4 bolts to undo and none will be seized as they would only be fitted when I need them. As long as I make sure I have the spanners, and conveniently the 2 side bolts are 19mm, the same size as the caravan wheel nuts.

It has all gone to be powder coated today satin black, but I may overpaint conifer green to match car.

Ralph

Link to post
Share on other sites

FYI Ralph, initiated by a TR4 member in Germany, we have an article on towing weights in the next TRA.  Included are the UK rules as they seem to be, the latest gobbledygook from HMG is not easy to decipher (it's not all in the same place and the Police can have a different view) so I hope it's right!  I mention it as we discovered that more EU countries are including a requirement that tow balls must be removed when not in use. Whether or not they enforce is another matter.

MikeJ

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, mikej said:

more EU countries are including a requirement that tow balls must be removed when not in use.

That is going to upset a few around where I live! Many fit tow balls to their every day hack just to protect themselves from being rear ended

Quite a few of those don't even use a trailer!!

james

Edited by james christie
Link to post
Share on other sites

Slight drift but does the MOT now include an electrical test of the 9 pin trailer socket fitted to a vehicle with tow ball?   
 

James. I too keep the tow ball fitted as a parking protection for the rear plastic bumper on my Citroen Euro Box.

Peter W

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi 

here at Germany a removable tow hook has to be removed if not needed because it can make serious damages - and more!

I was a 16 years old teenager when I bought me a BRAND NEW Suzuki TS50ER.

One night I drove on a residential road with the cars parking 90deg. to the road.

Suddenly one of the residents drove fast backwards, me and my Suzuki smashed with about 20 km/h on his tow hook,

mc and me looped over it, the front wheel hooked in there and the bike felt on my leg.

What did the driver when he realized the accident: he shifted to 1st gear, drove forward and pulled the mc over me leg, "luckily" he stopped when he heraed me shouting.

 And luckily I had only a broken arm, the new mc was scrap.

So please, what ever idea you knidded yourself about the benefit driving without reason with a tow hook:

please forget it and don't only mind your own advantage.

Still alive, Marco

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, ntc said:

The Police are doing random checks at service stations and are requesting weight paperwork they are having a clampdown you have been warned 

Presumably I will have to get the car and caravan weighed seperately and carry the paperwork around.  From what I have read 85% match is considered ideal, but up to 95% is legal. I have read a TR2/3 came out of the factory  at 960 KG, and my van weight is 840 max giving me 87% match so should be OK . I have always preferred to leave the van as light as possible and carry more in the car, tipping the balance even more favourably.

Ralph

15 hours ago, BlueTR3A-5EKT said:

Slight drift but does the MOT now include an electrical test of the 9 pin trailer socket fitted to a vehicle with tow ball?   

Peter W

The MOT does include a test on towing equipment if fitted, inc a check on the wiring of the towing socket. Tow bars for "modern" cars have to be type approved too, but not sure of the situation regarding historics. Presumably a "new" bar should be tested but an existing bar would not. Warwick are still prepared to sell one of their original bars for a TR, but would not consider alterations as I assume that would then need to be tested. However they will make one-offs so ho how that relates to type approval laws I am not sure.

Ralph

Link to post
Share on other sites

My modern has a vertical hitch weight for the car and the ball. 
you have to go with the lesser value. Car it 120kg and the ball is 75kg. And I used one of these to get the trailer load balanced. 
 

Calibrated Aluminium Nose Weight Indicator Gauge - Caravan / Trailer 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/163525362937


car towing capacity 1900kg
admittedly it is the TR with spare set of wheels. But it allowed me to set the wheel chocks in the right place.

moving the car back and forth 6 to 8” made quite a difference.

but I recognise this is completely off grid when towing WITH a tr as no weights quoted. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

My day car has a removable tow hook. Turn a lockable catch knob thingy and the hook falls on the other arm, it's very heavy and it hurts!

The trailer subject has been complicated (UK) by a change to driving licences, with two subsequent alterations. As well as meeting variously interpreted weights, younger drivers will need to take a test if towing a large trailer (i.e. a car transporter) and us over 70's are default restricted to 3.5t all up weight unless they apply for their licence using a paper form rather than the DVLA web site. 

The Police are reported to be not accepting a driver's estimate of all-up weight and use the max load "Plate rating" on the trailer (which is at variance with HMG wording). So you could be over the limit with a half empty trailer and in another conversation altogether if the trailer has no manufacturer's plate fitted. Was all this a problem that needed fixing?

Link to post
Share on other sites

So what happens if you made the trailer yourself, (or have a very old one with no plate or manufactures markings) ?

Bob.

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, ntc said:

The Police are doing random checks at service stations and are requesting weight paperwork they are having a clampdown you have been warned 

What 'paperwork' would that be Neil?

As an occasional car transporter trailer user, anyone have any links to the current regs particularly as it applies to older vehicles (my tow car is 2004).

Jerry

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Lebro said:

So what happens if you made the trailer yourself, (or have a very old one with no plate or manufactures markings) ?

Bob.

Bob

just make your own to suit

;)   
 

not that ANYONE would :o

 

 

Trailer Blank VIN & Weight Chassis Plate with Number & Letter Stamp Punch Set

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/143303460768

Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Hamish said:

Bob

just make your own to suit

;)   
 

not that ANYONE would :o

 

 

Trailer Blank VIN & Weight Chassis Plate with Number & Letter Stamp Punch Set

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/143303460768

I lent someone my stamp set many years ago so they could 'create' a chassis plate for a Cooper Junior racing car.  The local authorities (not UK) DEMANDED a chassis plate with all the serial numbers of the vehicle be attached to the chassis.

Is that required in UK motorsport?

Peter W

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, jerrytr5 said:

What 'paperwork' would that be Neil?

As an occasional car transporter trailer user, anyone have any links to the current regs particularly as it applies to older vehicles (my tow car is 2004).

Jerry

Hi Jerry

Unless the car and trailer has vin plates showing max loads, if not then you have to have paperwork or of to the weighbridge.They are getting tough on this due to booming sales of caravans.

Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, BlueTR3A-5EKT said:

I lent someone my stamp set many years ago so they could 'create' a chassis plate for a Cooper Junior racing car.  The local authorities (not UK) DEMANDED a chassis plate with all the serial numbers of the vehicle be attached to the chassis.

Is that required in UK motorsport?

Peter W

 

Probably does for a “racing car” they can then create the MSUK fia passport.

but like any car - there is a risk of creating a copy car or creating yet another car to add value or provenance 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, ntc said:

Hi Jerry

Unless the car and trailer has vin plates showing max loads, if not then you have to have paperwork or of to the weighbridge.They are getting tough on this due to booming sales of caravans.

The vin plate on the TR has a max gross weight (1120kg from memory), but no axle weights or train (towing) weights. It will be interesting to read the article in the next TR Action.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Please familiarise yourself with our Terms and Conditions. By using this site, you agree to the following: Terms of Use.