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Old 04-29-2012, 07:47 PM   #505
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Bredlo... nice Town and Country! I think I saw your into on the HAMB... think you got hit a little hard by the tow police there! Some thoughts.. I'm not sure of your budget, but a 360 would be cheap to buy. Also a a518 AOD from a mid 90's Mopar van or truck would be an easy OD tranny to put behind it. Here's a thread that someone put behind their polyblock v8. Seemed pretty easy to do. Sweptline.ORG • Login

Also, look at Rusty Hope for a disk brake conversion for the front. I used his kit for the front of my '55 Dodge C3 pickup and it's both easy and a sturdy kit. I saw another member on the HAMB used it on his T&C as well.

Look forward to seeing this go forth! Can you pm me a thread link if you decide to put a thread up on some forum?
I like it a lot!
Marc
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:16 PM   #506
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Tow vehicle + Engine swap = Diesel.

No other way to go unless you are just playing.

I agree with the 5.9 Cummins swap, in 12V or 24V guise.
Lets face it, 600ftlb and 25mpg is so cheap and easy.
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:24 AM   #507
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Vintage Tow Vehicle Question from Australia!

Hi Everyone,

This is an amazing forum! I have spent hours trawling over all the posts and admiring your photos! I apologise if this question has been answered before, but I could not find it

I have just been given the wonderful task of finding an appropriate tow vehicle for my boss's 1966 Airstream Ambassador and he is keen on a 1950s Chevy Ute (something like this). Our mechanic has told us though that pre 1970s vehicles would be too weak to tow the Airstream because it's chassis is not strong enough. I have seen many of your photos with beautiful vintage cars towing your caravans, so my question is: and a 50s ute tow a '66 Ambassador? If not, what vintage (i.e. curvy) vehicle would suite?

Any help on this would be greatly appreciated!

Airstream Novice,
Simon
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:44 AM   #508
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Simon, there are dozens of models of vintage cars and trucks with perfectly adequate frames. Unibody cars need thought put into the hitch receivers, but there are many with plenty of strength to do the job.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:48 AM   #509
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...
Our mechanic has told us though that pre 1970s vehicles would be too weak to tow the Airstream because it's chassis is not strong enough...
My concern would not be the frame, but the brakes. However, original brakes can be, upgraded to disk systems. It's not that uncommon in even mild hotrodding.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:18 PM   #510
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Our mechanic has told us though that pre 1970s vehicles would be too weak to tow the Airstream because it's chassis is not strong enough.
Airstream Novice,
Simon
You can get you mechanic up to speed by showing him this pic from the late 50's....
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:36 PM   #511
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Thanks for the advice guys, it seems there is certainly hope for us getting the perfect tower. One more novice question:
How do I calculate the towing capacity of vintage cars/pickups? Is there a calculation? It just doesn't seem to be listed under the specs of many older cars.

Thanks,
Simon
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:46 PM   #512
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You can get you mechanic up to speed by showing him this pic from the late 50's....
Interesting! Quite a few spare tires and wheels mounted at the rear. They must have made better trailers then. Or lighter wheels.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:26 PM   #513
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Quote:
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I agree with the 5.9 Cummins swap, in 12V or 24V guise. Lets face it, 600ftlb and 25mpg is so cheap and easy.
I'd sure be the king of tow vehicles... but I just watched a few YouTube videos of Cummins engines and I'm not sure I can handle that "Big Rig" soundtrack everywhere we go. Cripes they're noisy. Tempting amount of power, though.

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Bredlo... nice Town and Country! I think I saw your into on the HAMB... think you got hit a little hard by the tow police there! Some thoughts.. I'm not sure of your budget, but a 360 would be cheap to buy... Here's a thread that someone put behind their polyblock v8.
Marc, that link didn't show up - I'd love to see more example projects than the couple I've found, if you can find it again.

And yes, the "tow police" were out in full force on the HAMB. Strangely, none of them make a peep when you get home safely... I think they secretly wish I'd wrecked it just so they could cheer, "Toldyaso!"

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Get an entire high mileage (100k miles) doner vehicle that was rear ended and the sheet metal is ugly... Getting an entire ride means you have all of the engine management pieces. Wiring, sensors, vacuum lines and related parts....
I've heard this advice more than once now, and I'm inclined to think it's pretty smart. It's just a matter of picking the right donor - I don't know where to begin.

Quote:
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...if it were me, I would stick with the six and find a hefty stick shift to tow an under 20' Airstream...

And know there is a market for anything and everything you take off no matter what the condition.
Thanks for all the great tips, Action! We already have the '54 Safari... so I think a V8 is simply going to play better when we head into the mountains. That said, this little straight 6 will be fun to take to Friday night cruise-ins for the next couple months, anyhow. And maybe it can help fund the project since it's running perfectly.

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Originally Posted by Globie64 View Post
Mopars rock! The old hemi will be harder to source parts for- I have a 68 with a 318...

...That said your T and C is amazing, and will make a super tow vehicle!
Thanks Globie - you make good points, and I think I'll probably stay away from a period Hemi when a new crate one would be better in several ways (IMHO).

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Here's a Viper in a '48 Chrysler Town & Country. Chassis is from Art Carr. Used my T&C to haul a 1942 Chris-Craft.
Holy moly, Dennis. That T&C / Chris-Craft combo is just stunning.

As for the Viper V-10, I've gotta think there are more MPG's in something a bit less, um, serpentine? Would be a blast coming out of stoplights, though.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:14 PM   #514
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Thanks for the advice guys, it seems there is certainly hope for us getting the perfect tower. One more novice question:
How do I calculate the towing capacity of vintage cars/pickups? Is there a calculation? It just doesn't seem to be listed under the specs of many older cars.

Thanks,
Simon
Towing specs as we know today did not exist prior to the 80's. In the late 70's the CAFE standards were enacted so the job of weight movement slowly began shifting from passenger cars to something else. (Trucks, vans and SUVs)

Speaking from Ford Motor Company products, towing specs were mostly listed in the owner's manuals for models in the 60's and 70's. (I don't have much experience with previous years) I have the factory towing specs for all FLM products in 1966 and the required equipment. Most of the equipment could be added to a vehicle so not equipped. Other manufacturers not so sure.

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Old 05-02-2012, 02:21 PM   #515
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Not exactly vintage but Car and Driver tested the big diesel pickups, using the new SAE towing guidelines. It's really interesting, they did all the normal performace tests, acceleration, braking, etc. Then repeated the tests while pulling a 12,000 lb loaded trailer.

2012 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 LTZ 4WD Crew Cab vs. 2012 Ford F-250 Super Duty King Ranch 4x4 Crew Cab, 2012 Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn 4x4 Mega Cab - Comparison Tests - Car and Driver
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:13 PM   #516
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I see no problem...

I got a car that outweighs the Flying Cloud...by a lot. An aluminum radiator with dual electric fans; rebuilt the transmission; transmission cooler; air shocks and dual disc power brakes; rebuilt the motor just in case; special designed hitch with all new brake wiring system; etc. etc. We call that overkill.

I seem to remember a trip across the USA in a new 54 Buick Roadmaster towing a trailer....it had a bolt on the bumper hitch....thats it. Oh...and a canvas water bag hanging off the front of the hood/bumper. Never had a problem.
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:46 AM   #517
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What are your thoughts on this beauty: 1953 Ford Mainline Utility
It's got an L-head 239-cid V8 with a compression ratio of 7.2:1 and developed 110 horsepower at 3500 rpm, a three-speed manual transmission standard, with synchro on second and third.
Do you think that engine is big enough to tow out 2.5 ton (5000pound) Airstream?

Thanks,
Simon
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:54 AM   #518
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My New TV 83 Suburban

I found it on Craigslist. It has a 454 crate motor with 54K miles on it.
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