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Old 04-26-2019, 07:36 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Aerowood,

I'm thinking about the cam. The motor came out of a pulling truck set up with dual 460's, the tranny came apart and smacked the guy in the leg on a run, so I got the motor cheap. I was gonna just run it as is, but yeah, that cam. I'll do some research, see if I can stay around 475 hp, and maybe torque in the 400's at a reasonable rpm.

Air conditioning? I live a ... rugged... life, lol.

Spent this winter in an unheated machine shed, gutting the Argosy. I've spent considerable time in the ME, and Africa. I think I'm ok, but I am getting older.
.......racing engines weren’t built for use of towing.....
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:25 PM   #22
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I'm impatient to get to Quartzite though
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:50 PM   #23
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Maybe the 351 makes for a better solution. The hot 460 might be sold for cash to fund the whole project.

Or, how about installing the 460 in the 3/4 truck. Get it running and sell the whole thing to a budding pulling driver with a dream.

If the 460 can be detuned to make it a good tow motor, go for it. Concerns - timing, fuel delivery requirements/control, cam power bandwidth, valve trane, compression ...... condition after a run that broke a transmission.

The challenge is to define a workable path forward with the available resources to meet your objectives.

If you have not found this, it might help. http://www.mre-books.com/ranchero.html
Evidently you might be able to use some Crown Vic parts in your rebuild.

Great project. Pat

Quartzite? - raise your sight a bit. At least go to Pismo before you roll into a cloud of dust.
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Old 04-26-2019, 09:15 PM   #24
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Ok, Pismo?

Google maps here I come.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:02 PM   #25
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https://www.google.com/search?q=pism...e.0.0j69i57.14

Have fun. Pat
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:40 PM   #26
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My 78 jeep cj5 has a detroit locker in the rear axle, zero complaints in the offroad enviroment but onroad manners suck. When you say locker, are you refering to a detroit? The chirping and tire spin/grab is not something I would want in a tv.
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Old 04-27-2019, 08:03 AM   #27
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My 78 jeep cj5 has a detroit locker in the rear axle, zero complaints in the offroad enviroment but onroad manners suck. When you say locker, are you refering to a detroit? The chirping and tire spin/grab is not something I would want in a tv.
Ok. Any recommendations?
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Old 04-27-2019, 09:39 AM   #28
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If you are on a limited budget the number one thing I would spend money on is the best radiator and shroud you can buy stick with the factory type cooling fan but ad electric cooling fans that you can control manually. Hot rods like to run hot with pulling and if you go automatic get all the cooling you can for the transmission that will control the life of it. I have a 55 nomad with a complete stock 91 corvette 350 tbi with Griffin four row aluminum radiator wit stock fan clutch and two 10 inch high cfm fans and on a hot day it will run 210 215 with the air on
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Old 04-27-2019, 09:55 AM   #29
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Your Ranchero will pull it.....Its really gonna be too light, ,but it will do it.....Stopping may be interesting......
......The biggest issue I see, is that you are going to need a 50 gallon fuel tank to go more than 150 miles!

I think you can expect to get about 5-6 mpg towing....

I have a 1963 Falcon with a roller 302 that pushes 375hp.....gets way better milage than a 460!

I am chomping at the bit for a 1958 Ranchero !
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Old 04-27-2019, 10:59 AM   #30
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I'll be installing a locker in the 9 inch, and converting to 4 wheel disks. I can change front and rear coils to adjust balance and ride height, and add bags to rear if needed. No vacuum, cam probably too aggressive.
I modernized my 1966 C10 Suburban to tow a 27' foot (2016). I learned a few lessons on the way.

aggressive cam = low vacuum at idle which means vacuum boosted brakes don't work well at all at low speeds. I had to put hydra-boost to ensure a quality brake assist at all times. (maybe you know this already)

Truck is bagged all around and works very well. Bags are great for minor height adjustments and setting height where you want it (within reason.. allows you to negate any tendency to squat in the rear) . My rears are rated at like 3200 lbs each (max capacity) and I have a range of suspension capacity that is there for me with a simple inflate. My tongue weight is 800lbs. (I am not pretending I have 5th wheel capacity, even though the bags could support it). Air bags have long been the industrial trucking standard. I have trailing arm suspension with heavy duty trailing arms.

I recommend some hi performance adjustable shocks so that you can set the rebound how you like it. Bags alone have a slight bounce. With dampner adjustment you can regulate the ride quite well. Also rear sway bar is a must.


I have Moser limited slip rear end with 4.30 gears and it pulls awesomely from a standstill. I have no issues with high rpm's, or other winding up on the fwy, with or without the trailer. About 11-13 mpg towing and 17-21 non towing with an LS3 6.2L and 4L85E trans.
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Old 04-27-2019, 11:10 AM   #31
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Old 04-27-2019, 12:03 PM   #32
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Towing with vintage

We have towed our 22’ 1949 Model 5 Curtis Wright Clipper and our 16’ 1946 Model 1 Curtis Wright about 90,000 miles. Mostly with our 1948 M5 Studebaker pickup

Mildly tuned 400 ci SBC, headers. Air. 700R4 with deeper pan with cooling tubes, trans oil cooler. 3:07 rear but 3:76 would be better, light trailers though. 44gal saddle tanks, mud flaps. Air compressor to lift rear, some leaves removed so it doesn’t ride like a locomotive

Front disc brakes and trailer brakes

Friction stabilizer on simple hitch. Hidden hitch receiver in front also

On both trailers our center rear view mirror allows us to look all the way through the trailers, which helps

Folks come up to talk before we even get parked. Jane says you have to brush up on your “rodeo queen” waive as you go

We use same lug pattern for truck and trailer to simplify

Certainly is fun
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Old 04-27-2019, 12:35 PM   #33
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Our rig
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Old 04-27-2019, 12:40 PM   #34
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Dream Rig

My all time fav is the 72 Ranchero w a big block.
(to hell with mpg) so ima follow this thread and see how it goes.
Im thinkin' tho, most folks on here are about the same age group and must remember what towing in the 60s-70s was all about (I was just a kid, a teenager, goin from Miami to Buffalo with a family of 7 in a brand new '70 Colony Park wagon pulling a 22' SOB thru the Blue Ridge). Big block sedans and station wagons were the most popular bumper pull TVs at the time. Now ya got these 4 door pick up trucks and class III receivers, so...
Ima guess your biggest expense once you get rolling will be gas.
Engine source: Was the pulling machine a "racer"? or a torquer? The cam will make a big dif in driveability. (And I'll guess 3.73 LS in your nine inch should pull just fine if you really lighten the Argosy up).
You're building a dream rig. Cant wait to see how it all turns out...
now if I can only find a '72 Ranchero in really good stock condition...
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Old 04-27-2019, 01:02 PM   #35
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I think you will have a great combo with the right pieces. You definitely need an equalizing hitch, very very good shocks, and of course trailer brakes. Ive owned many Rancheros , including one exactly like you are using, and have had a lot of experience with both the 429 and the 460 motors. If it was me building for myself I would use the 429 and gear it around 3:50-3:73. Keep a cam profile about the same as that motor came with or equal to the police interceptor motor. Stay at around 650-700 cfm carb. You will have plenty of power and get should get better mpg than the 460.
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Old 04-27-2019, 01:28 PM   #36
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Towing With Old Cars - It's been done well for years

Quote:
Originally Posted by BadCall View Post
Hello all. New to the forum, and have a few questions.

I guess I should explain what I have, then ask.

I have a 76 Argosy 26, purchased completely trashed but with a good she'll and frame for 500$.

It's gutted now. I'm replacing the subfloor. The interior will be different. It will be lighter, I'm not sure how much yet. I have access to scales to measure side to side and tongue, and each axle separately.

I have a 72 Ranchero Cobra Jet. That's the tow vehicle. I'm pulling (and storing) the 351c 4v, and dropping in a 500 ish hp 460. I'll be installing a locker in the 9 inch, and converting to 4 wheel disks. I can change front and rear coils to adjust balance and ride height, and add bags to rear if needed. The Ranchero will be stock looking. C6 on the tree. No AC. No vacuum, cam probably too aggressive.

I will be full timing, between wisconsin (family, work) and Arizona (Dec through March).

I'm 46, single, I had my kids early they are grown.

I can make anything I want, I have free access (well, electric costs) to a full paint and mechanical shop. I have some skill at fabricating and wrenching, but there's always something new, so I sure don't know it all.

Any suggestions on making it a nice experience? I'm pretty well travelled, I have always lived in small spaces and travelled for work. But never in a TT, pulled by a musclecar.

I'm curious as to your thoughts, I don't personally know a TT fulltimer or I would ask them.

Thanks for any thoughts, or advice.
Trailer mods are up to you but be sure to have brakes in perfect condition

Suggestions:
* helper springs on back of ranchero - get the kind that only offer support under load, many sources including Rock Auto, Summit,etc
* class five hitch - the stronger the frame connection the better, even with a lightened trailer tongue (best of intentions usually still wind up a few hundred heavier, and you will want a strong hitch to pass load from the WD unit back to front of TV
* run the biggest tranny cooler you can get, consider a new, high-capacity one from someone like Summit with a 12V helper fan. 460 makes heat and towing makes heat, and cooler tranny lasts longer, shifts better, and stands up better to using gears for brake boosting on long downhills
* consider switching engine radiator to electric fans on thermostat control for helping the warmed up engine stay cooler
* like someone else mentioned, get the best brake controller you can buy, and tune it carefully. You will need the trailer brakes working properly to aid in safe stopping
* watch your actual hitch height when loaded and fully fueled for towing. Hitch weight can be too low s well as too high, and that coupled with correct or incorrect hitch height can make or break a safe towing experience
* you'll have enough power to drag the train down the road a lot faster than will be safe. Watch your tow speeds and do your fast driving when the trailer isn't behind you and you should do great
* the best of luck and fun to you! I think old style is great. Wally did not start the trailer business with a one-ton dually with weight distribution, On-Star, electric mirrors, GPS, etc.
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Old 04-27-2019, 03:41 PM   #37
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We had a "neighbor" for a few years at one of the vintage trailer rallies who towed a similar length 22-24" `60's Airstream similar to your Argosy, with about the same year (same body style) "Rancherito" with the 351 & front discs (I think they were a factory option). He did fine with it, but eventually got an offer on the Rancher he couldn't refuse, & sold it.



We also have another vintage trailer buddy who had a `56 Chevy Nomad set-up with all new drivetrain (350 crate engine/PS/PB/AC, their newer MY GM/Chevy 4 spd xx400 AT, aftermarket rear end, etc.), Wilwood disc brakes, etc. (he stored all the stock stuff), which was tricked out for towing. Again - an offer came his way at the same time as a Woody available - so he's changed, but had towed for 5-10 years with the Nomad. It was written up in some auto/hotrod magazine if you want to google for it (blue/white).



That approach can also be done with Ford & aftermarket for Ford parts too.



My thoughts -



Most of the 60's & 70's cars & trucks offered a towing or camper package, which included HD cooling engine & trans, HD springs & shocks, PS/PB & often at least front disc brakes, HD trans & rear end geared for towing. So use the link to the specs & other original 72 Ford docs to find out what they did for towing set-up, & try to replicate that or better.



That would include: refresh or replace the AT cooler + HD radiator with aux elec fan (Alum units will help you save weight too), do the disc brakes with a good MC & power boost (Wilwood? or ??), add or refresh/replace the power steering too since you'll have 6000+/- lbs behind you, & add friggin AC so you don't fry in AZ!, set-up your AT & rear end gear ratios for towing & highway - not the drag strip, get a nice form fitting shell for the bed to carry stuff weatherproof & lockable (which if roof ht or stepped/sloping up may help aerodynamically to shed airflow up & over the Argosy), etc.



Probably best to follow TT mfgrs lead & locate the heavy stuff like holding tanks near the axle(s), insulate & get a low profile AC for the Argosy too - same reason (it's already 110 there this week!), use lightweight marine plywood/veneer & true RV/Marine rated fixtures & appliances (house stuff from Lowes/Home Depot/etc. weigh more & won't hold up with the road use/vibration/etc), 3-way 110v/12v/LP for fridge, WH, Heat - so you can use 110 at home & campgrounds with hookups to save the LP for when you need it on the road/boondocking/etc., check the frame & repair any rust/damage, etc.



Shortchanging now will probably cost you more in the long run.



Along those lines - that 500 HP 460 or 351 Cobra Jet will probably get you crap mpg - especially when towing & on long distances. So you may be better served to get a "modern" crate engine with better mpg - even if more modest HP than 500 - to be able to afford fuel for long trips towing, like my 56 Nomad buddy did.



I think he got mid-high teens mpg while towing their 18-20' canned ham, which probably weighed what your stock Argosy did originally (will?), & was far less aerodynamic with more drag from the flat front eating into his mpg. So you may be able to get into the higher teens with your rig on that engine.



Sounds like a fun project & fun plan - except for the WS part, but then I'm spoiled in SoCal.


Cheers!
Tom
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Old 04-27-2019, 03:58 PM   #38
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.... And remember - these older pre-2000's trailers were specifically designed to be CAR towable for most families (with the right HD equipment & sensible driving habits) - trucks & SUVs were not & are not required.


While we've been renting trucks for the 3-5 vintage trailer trips we do per year - rather than the cost of having our own TV 365 days a year & all cost of same. However, the pic below is from the 1960 Avion dealer/factory brochure of our model T20 4 sleeper "Tourist" model, with it towed by a 1960 Olds 88 Wagon (not sure if 396 Super 88 or 371 Dynamic 88 V8 - but it looks like 88 & 5-letters so "88 Super"). The T20 in the picture could be our actual T20, since it's equipped as ours apparently was from the factory in 1960, & ours is #2 T20 off the line, & they used the early ones for pix like this.



I had to include it with all the great pix of other folks vintage rigs!



Good Luck!
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Old 04-27-2019, 06:11 PM   #39
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The biggest pro's to have towing anything is:

1) Torque: better to have torque than lots of horsepower and no torque.
2) Cooling: make sure you run oil and transmission coolers as well as a really good clean radiator.
3) Gearing: Getting the gearing right for a low powered but high torque motor is better than the wrong gearing in a high powered low torque motor.
4) Endurance: If you're having to pull over every 200 miles to fill up; that gets tiring fast. IMHO, look to get 500- 600 miles between fill ups.

Love the vintage Suburban.....awesome TV!

Cheers
Sidekick Tony
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Old 04-28-2019, 09:34 AM   #40
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Great tow vehicle for that size camper. You shouldn't have any problems with the upgrades you are talking about. I think the one thing that you will want to spend more time on is the cooling system. TomT mentioned it. Big motor with big cam will = lots-O-heat. While most people think HP, suspension and brakes are what go in to tow capacity Cooling will limit you capacity as well. I suggest you invest in high capacity water pump, large volume aluminum radiator, high cfm cooling fans, and a good fan shroud.
Good luck.
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