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Old 08-06-2011, 03:30 PM   #225
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Got that right

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melody Ranch View Post
It hurts to recount the prep.
rebuilt the 364 motor. New aluminum radiator and transmission cooler with dual electric fans. Rebuilt entire brake system and put large discs on front. Air conditioning. Large Optima battery. Rebuilt the entire suspension system. New radial tires. Rebuilt the transmission. Radio update for the Ipod..rock and roll. Electric brake controller and a good modern hitch assembly. Two pink fuzzy dice.
Hi Melody That is just what I think I only worry about the weight of the 55 ford I am looking at I plan on all the upgrades Just thinking of small car longggggggggggggg trailer but that is what they make trailer breaks for ? Oh wish you could of made it to our Central TX Rally would of loved to see your set up , well Rondi would of had me buy the pink paint for the ford!!!!! Sean
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Old 08-06-2011, 05:04 PM   #226
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Originally Posted by lwebb View Post
Yikes I'm finally getting the picture. I called Walmart to see if they were hiring part time for the night shift.

OK I'm dumb as a brick on this topic. Realistically, what am I looking at ball park if I took a vintage vehicle like the 49 Plymouth I started this about and refitted it to pull a 1948 Airstream Liner? Skip the Ipod connection and the frills like the pink dice? I know this is probably just way to open ended a question as there are hundreds of variables. I have a friend who has worked on cars all his life and he says he would only help if I went with a box engine. He's figuring on the conservative side $8-$10 grand.
I could likely do much of the work myself. Lt me tack on another question. I want to drive this daily. Is that just a really naive idea?
Lanny
Seriously, if I wanted a bone stock early fifties car to tow a trailer it would be a 1953 Chrysler New Yorker or Saratoga with the hemi V8 and Fluid Torque Drive transmission. The best engine, and best transmission for trailer towing at that time.

An even better car would be a 1957 or newer Chrysler product with torsion bar suspension, 3 speed Torqueflite automatic and OHV V8.

1965 and newer Chrysler products had a more modern rear axle design, standard gearshift instead of pushbuttons and available disc brakes.

It is all according to what you want. But at least get a car that came with a V8 and automatic, even if you swap them out the new one will fit a lot easier.

Chryslers B engine or big V8, debuted in 1958 and continued in production till 1978. They are still very popular for hot rods and all parts are available.

I am partial to Chrysler products but Oldsmobile, pontiac, and Ford all made excellent tow cars. I regard Chevs as too lightly built and the independents like Studebaker, packard or American Motors too obscure.

Certain models of pontiac and Olds 1959 to 64 used an inferior transmission called a Slim Jim or Rotohydramatic, best stay away from them. Dont like Buicks for tow vehicles because of the 2 speed transmission and torque tube drive, and relative rarity. Cadillac not bad if you have plenty of money.

This is just touching the high points. Of course if you are only talking about towing 5 miles at low speeds to a show almost any car will do.
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Old 08-06-2011, 05:21 PM   #227
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Greetings Sean!

Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpiontimo View Post
Hi Melody That is just what I think I only worry about the weight of the 55 ford I am looking at I plan on all the upgrades Just thinking of small car longggggggggggggg trailer but that is what they make trailer breaks for ? Oh wish you could of made it to our Central TX Rally would of loved to see your set up , well Rondi would of had me buy the pink paint for the ford!!!!! Sean
It is more than just trailer brakes. You also need a tow vehicle with a combination of weight, power, and torque that can force the trailer into submission if it decides to misbehave. The Ford that you are considering concerns me to a smaller degreen on the issue of GVW than it does on the power issue . . . I have driven two Fords with the 302 V8 engine, and I wouldn't consider towing anything larger than my 3,250 pound Minuet with either of them as the power curve of those motors (1970 and 1986) was such that there was very minimal reseve beyond what was needed to power the car let alone tow a 30+ foot Airstream that will likely scale in at a figure of 6,000 pounds or little more when it's loaded to travel. Even before I would have towed my Minuet with either of those Ford Galaxy 500 or Crown Victorias, I would have insisted upon changing the differential gears to at least 3.90 or 4.10 for a little better towing performance.

Most of my towing the past five years has been with my 1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible. The Sovereign would even be a bit beyond what I would feel comfortable pulling with the Eldorado (the HP and torque is good but it is unbelievably expensive to change the final drive ratio on its front wheel drive system). The Eldorado has a modern 425 Turbohydramatic 3-speed automatic transaxle, and the near bullet-proof 502 cubic inch V8 - - its biggest fault is the inability to pass gas stations without sampling the available product . . . . Five years ago, I spent close to $6,000 going through all systems on the Cadillac and preparing it to tow, and it has been every bit as reliable as my '99 GMC Suburban . . . its only breakdown was a defective remanufactured alternator that was replaced under warranty during its first long road trip with the Argosy in 2008. The Suburban does return somewhat better fuel economy than the Eldorado, but the fun to drive factor is certainly with the Eldorado.

Kevin
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Old 08-06-2011, 07:16 PM   #228
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Thanks Keven I been on-line looking at every option to make this 55 work and I think you are right and even though I just love the looks of this car we travel every where with our TV when not loaded to the trailer and it would be fine but trying to tow our baby you and others are right. When we looked into a vintage TV a while back we were looking at a 58 cad conv but the deal went south, so we been hanging on with our 89 F350, you have helped me back to earth thanks once more Sean
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:22 PM   #229
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On the other hand if you are planning to improve your tow car with uprated brakes, engine, trans, etc there is no easier car to do it to than a Chev. More things are available and at lower prices too. So, easier and cheaper to upgrade.
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Old 10-14-2011, 07:23 PM   #230
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68 ranchero with a 66 overlander?

New to the forums, and fairly new to airstreams as well.
Just picked up a sound 66 overlander 26ft, and have had my eyes on a pretty, but in need of rejuvenation 68 ranchero with an aluminium canopy that will polish up well.
Am I looking to kill myself, or others mating these two together? Weight, wheelbase and other considerations I may not be considering.
The ranchero is a gt model with a disc front end, and a small v8.
Thanks in advance, Adam.
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Old 10-14-2011, 08:37 PM   #231
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Bintage Tow Car

I have a 31' Excella 500 (1975). I am looking at a 67 Cadillac Eldorado convertable as a tow vehicle. Has anyone had any experience with that vehicle? Thanks. Neil
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Old 10-14-2011, 11:31 PM   #232
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Greetings Neil!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstream Ownership!

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Originally Posted by RVGuyRaleigh View Post
I have a 31' Excella 500 (1975). I am looking at a 67 Cadillac Eldorado convertable as a tow vehicle. Has anyone had any experience with that vehicle? Thanks. Neil
I have towed rather extensively with my '75 Cadillac Edlorado Convertible. Your Excella 500 would concern me from the standpoint of weight. The trailer tow rating of the 1973-1978 Eldorados was 6,000 pounds. While my '75 does well with my '64 Overlander, I wouldn't want to tow any more weight with the car as it does struggle more than I would like in the hills.

One of the greatest limitations that I know of is the final drive ratio. With the 1967 Eldorado, my understanding is that 3.07 or 3.05 was the only final drive ratio available. This is somewhat better than the 2.70 that became stock in the 1973 and later Eldorados. Changing the final drive ratio is economically difficult to justify. Hitch adjustment is paramount with an Eldorado as it is very easy to loose traction at the front wheels if there is insufficient weight being transferred forward by the weight distributing hitch.

It is possible to beef up the transmission/final drive as it is shared with the GMC Motorhome of the mid-1970s. The TurboHydramatic 425 is the same front wheel drive setup utilized in the GMC Motorhome . . . so there are some heavy duty components available that are interchangeable.





I had to go through the following to get my '75 Eldorado tow-ready:
  • Custom 4-row-core Heavy Duty Radiator
  • Heavy duty transmission fluid cooler
  • Moog Cargo Coil replacement rear springs
  • Monroe (rear) air shocks (car had factory level-ride)
  • AirLift (rear) spring inserts (inflated to 15 psi for additional stability)
  • Four Rebuilt stock Steel Wheels (these wheels are notorious for being out-of-round and/or being bent) I even tried to find aftermarket wheels, but none are currently available with the correct offset, size, and weight rating to permit towing with the Cadillac.
  • New Monroe front shocks.
  • Front torsion bars adjusted for maximum lift. Ideally, I would have preferred new torsion bars but none were available according to my extensive search.
  • Heavy duty alternator . . . went with one that was normally utilized in the P30 motorhome . . . . made the car much happier when towing in city traffic.
  • Heavy duty starter . . . went with one designed for the P30 motorhome chassis . . . eliminated hot start difficulties following fueling stops.
  • Installed complete dual exhaust system including dual catalytic converters . . . this wouldn't be an issue with your 1967 or pre-1975 Eldorados.
  • Custom Welder-Fabricated Reese Hitch. This was the most difficult obstacle as it was a major multi-month search to find a welder who was willing to custom-fabricate a hitch
  • Hayes-Lemmerz Electronic Trailer Brake Controller with optional remote control button.
  • Five 245/75-R-15 special limousine tires . . . needed for additional weight carrying capacity when towing.
The only thing that your 1967 might require that my '75 didn't would be valve seat inserts. I don't believe that GM started utilizing hardened valve seat for no-lead or low-lead fuels until 1971. If the valve seats aren't hardened for no-lead fuels, valve recission would likely become a problem rather quickly particularly when towing a 31' Airstream.

I owned my '75 Eldorado prior to the purchase of my Airstream so I pressed it into service as a tow vehicle. Had I purchased the Cadillac after the Airstream, I would have held out for a 1970 Cadillac DeVille Convertible. The DeVille provides the option of changing differential gearing very easily when compared to the Eldorado . . . and there are far fewer "unique" parts on the DeVille that can be an issue when being utilized as a tow vehicle . . . the wheels are a much more readily available size and offset . . . and there are a number of possibilities available in the aftermarket.

The photo below is of my Eldorado towing the Overlander for the first time . . . we had just completed a 200 mile trip returning from having the Reese hitch properly installed by Ace Fogdall RV in Cedar Falls, Iowa:



The photo below is of the Eldorado several years later. The wheels are aftermarket Boyd Coddington Wheels . . . they improved the solo performance of the car, but there was insufficient clearance for the the wheel/tire combination when towing.



Overall, I am happy with my Eldorado as a tow vehicle for my Minuet, but I would only consider it marginal for my Overlander. My longest trip was with the Minuet in 2008 . . . we traveled from Carbondale, IL to the WBCCI International Rally in Bozeman, Mt. During that trip, we encountered numerous steep grades (included Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park in the tour) and the combination was able to handle grades . . . steepest in 1st gear at 25 MPH. For the trip, fuel economy varied from 6 MPG to 10 MPG while towing.

Good luck with your research and investigation!

Kevin

P.S.: I hope that I didn't jump the gun. It just occurred to me that 1967 might have been the last year for the rear-wheel-drive Eldorado.
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:54 PM   #233
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Here's our Jeep Wagoneer hauling our 31' Soveriegn.
http://travel.webshots.com/photo/215...d?vhost=travel
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:27 AM   #234
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Something's wrong with the way you initially posted your link, I believe. It's not showing the image.

I took it out of the image setting and it can now be clicked to show.

Welcome to Airforums.com, by the way! We're eager to hear lots more about your rig.
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:44 AM   #235
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Here's our Jeep Wagoneer hauling our 31' Soveriegn.
Travel the world through Webshots photos!
Very nice! How much heavier is the Cummins vs the OEM engine? Did you have to beef up the front end? Adios, John
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:45 AM   #236
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I entered the wrong URL info...let's see if that's better:



The 4BT Cummins is not much heavier than a AMC 360 with all the add ons. A fabricated crossmember was used to beef up the frame as well as provide a mounting system. The Waggy is my daily driver with occasional Airstream duties.
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:57 AM   #237
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OK, I think I see what you are doing wrong: you are not posting an image, but the URL to get to it.

In other words, don't use the "post an image" mechanism when you post, just paste the link into the post.

You can embed the link in a word by highlighting a word, and then clicking on the little picture of the earth with a chain link on it. Then you can say the ubiquitous click here.
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:09 AM   #238
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What a neat thing to do I love it but what is the cyl number of the engine 4cyl ? and it is a cummins or INH what did it come out of? road veh or equipment? This type of change over gives me motivation to find a vintage truck to slip my 7.3 INH in . What kind of fuel mileage do you get with it pulling? a great job from our brothers up north Hats off to you.
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