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Old 11-25-2002, 01:03 PM   #1
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tow hitch height using a 1960s car

Is there a list for the recommended tow hitch height,

Old station wagons / big sedans sit pretty low in the back normally compared to Pick Up trucks

I would rather use an old Station wagon to pull one to local car club shows,
but it looks hard to get the height correct

Again thanks for the info
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Old 11-25-2002, 01:23 PM   #2
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Tow hitch height using a 1960s car

The hitch height is the same regardless of tow vehicle. It really isn't any different equipping a car to tow than a pickup so far as hitch height is concerned. The difference lies in the direction of the drop/raise adjustment bar. My '75 Cadillac has to have a bar that raises the hitch height about 5" to 5.5" above the receiver, and my Suburban needs one with nearly a 12" drop. The same is/was true with my '65 Dodge Coronet 500 tow vehicle - - it required a 4.5" riser to get the hitch at the correct level for the Nomad that it towed - - I keep contemplating trying it with the Minuet that I purchased in August. These bars are still readily available through Reese hitch dealers.

The biggest problem with a vintage tow vehicle is finding a shop that will weld up a proper receiver hitch. It took a bit of searching to find one willing to fabricate a hitch for my '75 Cadillac. The welder who finally consented to perform the work did a flawless job, and the receiver looks like it has always been there.

Kevin
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Old 11-25-2002, 01:28 PM   #3
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I understand that, but in the 1960s this type reciever did not exsist, what did they use then
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Old 11-25-2002, 01:59 PM   #4
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What type of reciever are you refering to? The 2"? I remember my father putting those on his '64 Plymouth SW and '68 Chrysler SW and he had one on his 58-59 Olds. Oscar
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Old 11-25-2002, 03:43 PM   #5
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Tow hitch height using a 1960s car

RE: 2" Receiver Type Hitches

I will have to check my files, but I am virtually certain that my '64 Overlander came with Reese receiver style hitch literature that was dated either 1957 or 1959. The literature shows both the familiar frame mounted style as well as a bolt on model that attached to the car's axle housing. I believe that it was likely 1957 as that was the year of the Airstream that my trailer's previous owners traded-in when they purchased the Overlander in 1964. I don't know precisely when the 2" receiver style hitches were introduced, but my guess would be sometime in the early to mid 1950s.

Kevin
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Old 11-26-2002, 06:17 AM   #6
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as well as a bolt on model that attached to the car's axle housing.

Can you imagine the load on the shackles and u bolts? I wonder how many dowels sheared and axles shifted because of this set up.

John
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Old 11-26-2002, 07:50 AM   #7
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Tow hitch height using a 1960s car

RE: Axle mounted hitches:

Among the minimal trailer towing information in the owner's manual for my '65 Dodge Coronet 500 was the advisory that utilization of an axle mounted hitch would void all vehicle warrantys. I know that one of the new car dealers in my hometown had a number of problems with a customer's car who utilized one of the axle mounted hitches - - bent housings, worn gears, and strange carrier bearing problems.

Kevin
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Old 11-26-2002, 09:07 AM   #8
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In the 60's Reese had reciever platforms for some larger cars and pick up trucks, and they also had a kit you could buy and take to a welding shop or trailer dealer that had several different brackets and tubes which were welded togeather and welded onto the car. I had this type set up on my 67 Rambler Rebel wagon, my 69 AMC Ambassador wagon and even my 72 and 74 GMC full size Vans. My first factory installed hitch reciever was on a 82 AMC Eagle wagon.

In the 60's the hitch head was also welded and not a bolt together. Each time I changed vehicles or trailers we had to replace or grind out old welds and reset hitch hight. My first bolt together unit was purchased in 82.

Jim
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Old 11-26-2002, 09:24 AM   #9
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My dad had weld on Reese reciever type units on both their '67 Pontiac Catalina (with bias ply tires ?!) and '72 Suburban that they used to pull their 7000#+ '68 Holiday.
NOTE: I just purchased a new Draw-Tite hitch set-up a week ago, the dealer told me that Reese and Draw-Titie were one in the same now, moving operations to one plant in Indiana (which I believe because the Draw-Tite plant is 3 miles from my house and it's for sale). Also told me that you could the Draw-Tite bars on Reese dual-cam set-ups.
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Old 11-26-2002, 01:41 PM   #10
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Tow hitch height using a 1960s car

Greetings Jason!

I can verify that the Draw-Tite spring bars will work with the Reese Dual Cam setup as I used my old Draw-Tite bars with the Overlander for the first two years. During my second year of ownership, I was having my hitch safety-inspected by a Reese representative at one of the Rallys that I was attending - - discovered that the spring bars were only rated for 500 pound hitch weight which was less than the hitch weight of my trailer empty - - upgraded to Reese 750 pound bars at that time.

Reese must still be making the weld-up kits for the receiver, as I just had one installed on my '75 Cadillac less than 3 months ago. Finding a welder who is willing to consider such a job is one of the greatest problems. I also have a weld-up kit Reese hitch on my '65 Dodge Coronet 500 that I used to tow an 18 foot 3,000 pound Nomad - - it was installed in the late 1970s.

Kevin
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Old 11-27-2002, 12:33 PM   #11
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2 inch receivers

Hello Folks;
My dad started an RV dealership in 1958 and had a 2 inch receiver and "Equalizer" brand torsion bar hitch installed at that time. I can recall that from his research he had always told his customers to stay away from axle mount hitches.

He always towed with the family sedan and traded vehicles at about 80,000 miles. It is interesting to know that none of his vehicles ever had a mechanical breakdown due to engine or transmission failures. He did prefere his 1964 Dodge 440 with a 313 ci engine.
Here is a list of the vehicle that he towed with.

1958 Ford Fairlane ( 6 cyl manual trans.)
1961 Ford Galaxie ( small 8 cyl. auto trans )
1964 Dodge 440 ( 313 ci auto trans )
1966 Chrysler Windsor (383ci auto trans)
1969 Chrysler Newport (383ci auto trans)
1972 Ford LTD (352ci auto trans)

Many of you may recall how popular the Chrysler products were because of the stable front suspensions that used torsion bars instead of coil springs. Back in the early 60's Richard Petty also praised the torsion bars on his Chrysler based Stock Cars.
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Old 11-27-2002, 01:14 PM   #12
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Wayne,
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Old 11-27-2002, 01:18 PM   #13
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Again, Wayne,

What engine do they use in the Canadian Nissan Quest which lets you pull the size of Airstream you have?? I pull a 22' Minuet with a Powerstroke diesel and I feel it is just about adequate.
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Old 11-27-2002, 02:41 PM   #14
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3.0 V6

Hi Chas
The 1993 Quest has a 3.0 litre V6 engine similar to the Nissan Pathfinder SUV engine. It has a factory trailer package that gives it a huge 4 core rad and high performance suspension. Factory rated for 3500lbs. Going to 60 series Michelin X1 tires also gives us an advantage with the final drive ratio. We are very satisfied with the trailer in tow. It has 200,000 miles on it and I would like to replace it with a newer Quest but unfortunately the newer ones that I have test driven do not have such high performance components and are in fact not acceptable for our needs. They don't build them like they used to!

Chas... I am sure you appreciate your high torgue engine on the big hills.

cheers
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