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Old 07-15-2011, 11:16 PM   #57
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Well, here's a start. Click on # 7. for more autos. there's quite a list.
HowStuffWorks
"Towing Capacity Chart"
With a Chevy if its bigger than a little red wagon you have to buy a truck TV. Interesting

I think two things contributed to U.S. cars not being able to tow. When the removed the compression from the engines and introduced unleaded fuels. That was a Government push after the first oil crises. They destroyed the muscle car industry for for a while. The didn't run everything with a computer and there was sine pinging going on for a few years. They also put the uni-body frames on a lot of mid size cars.
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:20 PM   #58
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@ gringo: a delorian tv sounds interesting...but does all of the aluminum affect the Flux Capacitor?
I don't want the job of polishing the Delorian that was brushed stainless.
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:08 AM   #59
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I think two things contributed to U.S. cars not being able to tow. When the removed the compression from the engines and introduced unleaded fuels. That was a Government push after the first oil crises. They destroyed the muscle car industry for for a while. The didn't run everything with a computer and there was sine pinging going on for a few years. They also put the uni-body frames on a lot of mid size cars.
Leaded fuel was phased out because it poisons catalytic converters, which were needed to keep the air breathable (ever live in LA in the 60s - I did) and it turns out lead was poisoning people who lived in cities as well, since the lead compounds from the fuel ended up in the air and dirt. Remember changing plugs every 15K miles because they ended up lead-fouled?

60's and 70's cars ran very crudely, with rich air-fuel ratios and very high emissions. They also got terrible mileage. Modern cars cat accelerate faster, stop quicker and last far longer than their 60s and 70s counterparts, and use less fuel doing it. Find a 3000 lb 70s car that does 0-60 in less than 8 seconds, does 120+ mph and gets 40+ mpg at 70 mph - like my Jetta.

The reason towing ratings have been reduced is far more likely lawyers than engineering, although people's preference for front wheel drive also may have something to do with this.

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Old 07-16-2011, 06:27 AM   #60
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The reason towing ratings have been reduced is far more likely lawyers than engineering, although people's preference for front wheel drive also may have something to do with this.
I get to talk with a lot of fellow vehicle engineers through work. I've been told point blank that they don't spend the money validating higher tow ratings on certain vehicles because their marketing department tells them "3500 pounds is enough capacity for 90% of the buyers."

If there is no competitive advantage to up the tow rating, the engineers can save the money and weight beefing up cooling systems and hitch structure and put it somewhere else. Plus an automaker assumes anyone who wants to tow will just go buy one of their shiny (high-profit margin) SUVs.

Given the level of performance of modern vehicles using unleaded fuel and the strength of modern unibodies, those reasons don't really pan out. Consider that the Jeep Grand Cherokee has long been a unibody and it is rated to tow a good-sized trailer; same goes for the German SUVs. The Chevy Caprice towing the triple-axle AS in the brochure linked earlier in this thread was built during the dark days of strangled engines and low power; I think it had about 150 hp from its V8. But it was still rated for towing...

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Old 07-16-2011, 07:24 AM   #61
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I love the idea of towing with a classic Caddy or even a comfy Lincoln...plenty of room in the trunk for the generator etc. Sadly, I think I need the ground clearance and pull of a 4x4 for what we have planned. Indeed, the main reason we bought the trailer was to be able to spend a big part of the summer in the middle of this property we bought last year. The nearest pavement is something like six or seven miles away over fairly good gravel road, but the last thousand feet is offroad, by automotive standards.
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Old 07-16-2011, 05:05 PM   #62
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Was anything 70's and earlier "rated " for towing?


Had a Grand Wagoneer, worstest toe'r ever.
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Old 07-16-2011, 05:13 PM   #63
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Oh, we seem to have survived the 70's without ratings on everything that moved, and the TSA to feel us up when we flew. With all the quality control changes in the past 20 years, the ISO standards, competitive market pressures, improvements in manufacturing standards.....am I the only one who is starting to think the whole world has somehow become incompetent?

I grew up in a family that travelled around north america with a land seismic crew. The families travelling with that crew were all living in house trailers. I remember what a big deal it was when Hurricane Carla totalled our trailer in 61, and the insurance bought us a new 55x10!!! My brother and i got our own bedroom, and our two sisters got their own bedroom, too! Before that, it was four of us in two bunk beds in one room. A front bedroom, come to think of it.

I bet those trucks my dad used to tow his house trailer from Texas to Sasketchewan, from North Dakota to Wyoming, to Colorado.....

wasn't rated by anyone to tow anything at all. Good thing nobody told him.

Was that Wally guy's vehicle rated?
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Old 07-16-2011, 06:38 PM   #64
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With all the quality control changes in the past 20 years, the ISO standards, competitive market pressures, improvements in manufacturing standards.....am I the only one who is starting to think the whole world has somehow become incompetent?
Or maybe the world has grown too competent - with very high demands in everything we buy and build and do. Not many things are "good enough" anymore.

Mind you, I'm not complaining about owning cars that don't need anything beyond oil changes for 100k or airlines that go years without a fatality...

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Old 07-17-2011, 01:03 AM   #65
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It was all a evolution. Required the computer age too accomplish what couldn't be done mechanically. All the sensors and then the metallurgy in the new frames and skins. The new cars have to be fixed in a well equipped body shop with the high strength light weight steel that will be destroyed of a torch is used on it.

I am sure we will be heavily into carbon fibers skins in a few years as we go for the higher MPG requirements. I did a start up on three carbon fiber manufacturing lines. They were making fiber to manufacture interior car parts in Europe.
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:17 AM   #66
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TOO competent? I am having a totally different experience. I think I must be turning into one of those cranky old farts or something, but I am finding people in general are far less competent in their occupations than they were thirty years ago. I am absolutely sure that I got a far better education, for example, in the Texas public school system than any of our five sons have gotten in a combination of Massachusetts and New Jersey schools. These days, all a kid needs to do is show up for the minimum legal number of days, and he graduates feeling good about himself.

He can't work a simple ratio problem with a pencil and paper, but his telephone will do it for him. A telephone designed and built on the other side of the world, mind you.
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Old 07-17-2011, 08:48 AM   #67
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TOO competent? I am having a totally different experience. I think I must be turning into one of those cranky old farts or something, but I am finding people in general are far less competent in their occupations than they were thirty years ago.
Ah - you're talking about people, I'm talking about things. I agree with you - too many distractions/busywork/paperwork under the auspices of "quality control" cuts into people's ability or desire to do their primary job.

But we're veering from the original thread...

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Old 07-17-2011, 10:22 AM   #68
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I blame it all on video games and cell phones.
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:22 AM   #69
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Veer here....thats what we do best!!!

Especially without sway stuff, we back on track yet?
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:00 AM   #70
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I blame it all on video games and cell phones.
And TV. A nation in its third generation of believing TV a norm; constantly on and never questioned (what other industry had governmental coupons to offset the individual purchase of new technology [analog to digital]?) Americans can neither read nor write with any measured fluency any longer. Ergo, can not think. F-e-e-l-i-n-g-s are the only thing that matters. A nation of 12-year olds. The perverse "pride" of never reading the instructions is the result.

Was anything 70's and earlier "rated " for towing?

Yes, from the mid-1960's onward; by the manufacturer. Regularly exceeded, often quite well.

SAE J2807 has big holes in it. Propaganda. The belief that an open-deck construction trailer with some concrete blocks on it properly represents a TT or 5'er is bunk. To some degree all tow "ratings" are bunk. They pre-suppose a set of assertions. Which may not apply in all situations. A guy moving his household with an old small car (foreclosed, jobless) across the state needs more than this to ascertain a reasonable ability. He'll do it anyway, is the problem. His being able to do it well is the heart of the problem. Captive engineers working for a cartel that in turn dominates the "regulatory" governmental agency means that there is no disinterested party weighing in on what a vehicle can do and cannot do. Many avenues foreclosed by default. In the name of dollars (truly, the American Way).

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