Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-14-2009, 12:18 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
1972 25' Tradewind
Innisfail , Alberta
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 30
Images: 5
1976 Ford for tow vehicle

I might be in the wrong place to be asking this, but would a 1976 Ford LTD with
a 400 motor (52000 miles) be a suitable tow vehicle for my 72 25 foot Tradewind?
I unfortunately am not mechanically inclined so any input is appreciated.
Happy Travels
Garth & Joanne
__________________

__________________
gtijewlr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2009, 07:39 AM   #2
Rivet Monster
 
wahoonc's Avatar

 
1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 7,174
Images: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtijewlr View Post
I might be in the wrong place to be asking this, but would a 1976 Ford LTD with
a 400 motor (52000 miles) be a suitable tow vehicle for my 72 25 foot Tradewind?
I unfortunately am not mechanically inclined so any input is appreciated.
Happy Travels
Garth & Joanne
I would say...maybe. Depends on which rear end and transmission your car came with. You will definitely need a WDH (weight distributing hitch). The car has plenty of power and the curb weight to be able to muscle the AS around. If it has the C-6 transmission it can handle towing loads, but may need an axillary cooler.

Aaron
__________________

__________________
....so many Airstreams....so little time...
WBCCI #XXXX AIR #2495
Why are we in this basket...and where are we going
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2009, 08:53 AM   #3
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,193
Most LTD's with the 400 came with the C4, and something like a 2.73 rear axle ratio. Also, you may not believe it, but that lumbering giant only has a rated 105 horsepower. It does have lots of torque, so it will pull a lot behind it, just not very fast.
The car was built in the beginning days of the EPA pollution control mandates, it was over-smogged and underpowered, and weighed in at a scale-busting 5000 pounds. In short, a car that couldn't get out of its own way.
Now for the good news...You can fix most of this stuff relatively easily in your garage. The rear axle has what is called a "removeable carrier" which means you can jack up the rear end, remove the tires and brake drums, unbolt the outer axles and slide them out, and unbolt the part of the rear axle with the differential, and replace it with somthing better suited to towing.
The C4 can be replaced with a C6, it is also a straight swap out, though it will need to be a C6 for a 351M/400/460 engine, because the bell housing is different for that engine.
The engine will be a little tougher, as it will require opening up and performing internal upgrades, such as a different camshaft and lifters.
Now, how to tell what you have.
The rear axle will have a small metal tag on one of the mounting bolts for the removeable differential, it will have a number stamped in it, something like "2.73" or "3.23", the larger number the better for your purposes. If it's a high enough number, you woin't have to mess with it.
Toi tell if you have a C4 or C6, slide under the car, and look atb the transmission pan. The C4 will have a square pan, and the C6 will have a sqare pan with a square notch in the right rear corner for the vacuum modulator.
Once you determine what you have, and what you want to upgrade, you would want a larger radiator, and a seperate transmission cooler.
Something that would well be worth the investment on that car, is a tempurature and oil pressure gauge set. The Torino and LTDII had a temp gauge, but the LTD just had a light, which will turn on about a minute after it's too late...
Something I just saw in your post, is the car has 52,000 miles. Fords of the era were renowned for slinging timing chains at around 60,000-75,000 miles, and a new timing chain would be a very good idea. While it won't hurt the engine if the engine jumps time, it would be a major inconvenience, especially while towing. And it will never do it sitting in your driveway, it will do it when you are 500 miles from home, at night, in the rain, in a really bad part of town. Ask me how I know ...
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2009, 09:22 AM   #4
Aluminut
 
Silvertwinkie's Avatar
 
2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,334
Wow Terry, we had a 1977 and I learned more about it in your post than I think any of us ever knew about it when we owned it over the course 8 years before upgrading to an 85 454 Suburban, which was also the first year light trucks got all the smog crap as well.

We found our "environmentally friendly" 1977 wagon happy to pull about 5000lbs (maybe it had the beefier trans and rear gears, I don't know). Once we got past 5k lbs, it really had to work at making it happen. We started towing an 18' SOB, then migrated to a 1982 Jayco and the Jayco weighed about 6000lbs which did tax it a bit.

The one thing I really liked about the wagon though were the way back flip up, rearward facing seats. To a kid, it just didn't get much better than that.
__________________
Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
Silvertwinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2009, 09:26 AM   #5
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,193
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie View Post
Wow Terry, we had a 1977 and I learned more about it in your post than I think any of us ever knew about it when we owned it over the course 8 years before upgrading to an 85 454 Suburban, which was also the first year light trucks got all the smog crap as well.

We found our "environmentally friendly" 1977 wagon happy to pull about 5000lbs (maybe it had the beefier trans and rear gears, I don't know). Once we got past 5k lbs, it really had to work at making it happen. We started towing an 18' SOB, then migrated to a 1982 Jayco and the Jayco weighed about 6000lbs which did tax it a bit.

The one thing I really liked about the wagon though were the way back flip up, rearward facing seats. To a kid, it just didn't get much better than that.
The wagon generally got the better rear ratio, and C6.
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2009, 09:53 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
Road Ruler's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
St. Catharines , South Western Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,364
Images: 39
Mt dad bought a brand new 1972 Ford LTD with tow pkg and towed an SOB, 21' Golden Falcon. It worked fine for many years.

I used the LTD once to tow a 67 Dodge Dart (on a car hauler). Without a WDH it was not fun. Stability was an issue but power wise it was OK with the 400/2v.

These cars with a good WDH worked fine, at least here in Ontario.
__________________
Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
Road Ruler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2009, 10:14 AM   #7
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,193
Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Ruler View Post
Mt dad bought a brand new 1972 Ford LTD with tow pkg and towed an SOB, 21' Golden Falcon. It worked fine for many years.

I used the LTD once to tow a 67 Dodge Dart (on a car hauler). Without a WDH it was not fun. Stability was an issue but power wise it was OK with the 400/2v.

These cars with a good WDH worked fine, at least here in Ontario.
Without all the smog stuff, the engine cranked out about 150 hp, or a bit more. Still not a powerhouse, but 50% decrease just for antipollution was a killer. Ford began detuning some of their engines starting in 1970, when valve timing was retarded one tooth on the cam sprocket, and slid downhill from there. I remember in 1975, a customer brought in their new 1975 Lincoln Mark IV for a state safety inspection, I was very surprised to find a catalytic converter installed on the car. Not that there was one, but where it was installed--on the right hand bank only, next to the starter, where it could conveniently cook it. The left bank was allowed to vent straight into the exhaust system.
If nothing else, the 1970's were interesting times.
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2009, 11:03 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
hampstead38's Avatar
 
1967 26' Overlander
Upperco , Maryland
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,087
Blog Entries: 22
I owned a '74 LTD for a short time. While I was stationed in San Diego, I needed a vehicle. My father told me he had a "line" on a very nice used car. While I wasn't thrilled with owning a "boat," the price was decent. To make a long story short, a few months later the car a head gasket north of Los Angeles... on the day before Christmas Eve. Of course, given my limited finances I had to grab a bus back to San Diego. A "grapevine" repair shop fixed the head gasket, but poorly. It blew out again and that ended by my brief relationship with the LTD. My girlfriend's parents (who generally loathed me), sold me a used Volvo. I never had a moment's trouble with the much smaller (and nicer) box.

My experience cured me of the desire to own a "luxury" car... or pretty much any American automobile made in the 70s. I hope your mileage varies.
hampstead38 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2009, 11:06 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
Road Ruler's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
St. Catharines , South Western Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,364
Images: 39
Some good points Terry. Even my 1969 , 427 Corvette had a smog pump that hurt performance.

My buddy worked for a auto specialty tune up shop back in the 70's. They were very busy back then trying to keep that era of vehicles running.
__________________
Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
Road Ruler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2009, 04:21 PM   #10
4 Rivet Member
 
Airstreamer67's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 311
My first towing vehicle was a 1976 four-door Ford Custom 500 sedan with a 351M two-barrel carburetor and a C6 auto transmission and a tall highway axle (2.73?).

I began using it to tow my 27-foot Airstream in about 1986. I removed the factory's catalytic converter and single exhaust and put on duals with free-flowing mufflers. I put a transmission cooler, and several gauges to watch all the temperatures. That's about it.

It was a great tow vehicle on the flats of Louisiana, Texas and Florida at the 55mph speed limit, but got real sluggish in the mountains. I would not have used it much in the mountains without changing out the tall axle. But the old sedan, with weight-transfer bars and friction sway controls, handled my 27-foot Airstream very well. It never left me on the road, and I appreciated that very much.

If I had not begun traveling to the mountains, I probably would still have the old beast. Its suspension was very kind to my Airstream compared with the 1996 F250 that I drive today (but I now use an AirSafe hitch with the truck, which brings back the soft touch of the old Custom 500).

The old heavy sedans made great tow vehicles in many ways.
__________________

__________________
Airstreamer67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ford F-250 as a Towing Vehicle nickmeloy Tow Vehicles 78 04-07-2009 03:46 PM
Ford F 150 as a towing vehicle rgentry Tow Vehicles 19 01-22-2009 07:44 PM
Ford Airstream Concept err vehicle rmpray General Motorhome Topics 6 09-06-2007 08:59 AM
What Ford to tow a 34' Classic? MLake Tow Vehicles 24 05-12-2006 06:48 PM
Ford F-150 As a Tow Vehicle Cstar Tow Vehicles 16 05-02-2004 08:24 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:10 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.