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Old 09-16-2006, 03:39 PM   #1
4 Rivet Member
1986 32' Excella
vledder , drenthe
Join Date: Sep 2003
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vintage TV upgrades

I used my 1957 Imperial to tow the 27 ft overlander, TV did this without to many problems.
Now with the newer 32 ft I might need some TV upgrades.
This is what I have in mind or what is already done.

1 get all around diskbrakes ( front is ready and working with 4 piston calipers and 32 mm porsche rotors )

2 Rebuild the engine to gain some HP ( am building a supercharged 392 hemi now )
Will be liqued propane injected and will give around 750 HP @ 15 psi boost
Liqued propane becouse that's cheap here and will alow me about the same dynamic compresion as alcohol.

3 change to a 4L80E transmision with full manual shift ( have the adaptorplate in the shop now )

4 improve engine , oil and transmision cooling ( have ordered the parts)

5 chance the complete steering setup with jaguar XJ6 steering box ( have one and is the exact lenght that I need only need two other ball joint's)

6 chance rear suspension to a 4 link with airride ( don't know if this is the right way but the leaf springs are no good anymore )

7 Get a rear axle with better ratio for towing and limited slip dif ( but don't want to lose topspeed so will need a GV then to mutch $$$$$ )

8 Have 255/75/15 tires now chance to 19 inch rims with lower tires must do so becouse I can't find 255/74/15 tires with the right speed rating ( will increase handling but can't find the rims I like have the outlawII now and like the looks )

The imperial is a real heavy car @ about 6000 lbs so not mutch less that a 3/4 ton I gues.
Its build on a verry big chassis so that's no problem.
Only problem that I can see is the large distance between the rear wheels and the hitch , can't do anything about that,
When towing I drive decent with a max of about 65 mph there is a 50 mph speedlimit here when towing , with 15 miles over the speed limit the fines are not to bad.

Are there other things that I might have forgot to improve the TV.

The Netherlands
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Old 09-16-2006, 06:49 PM   #2
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1993 21' Sovereign
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Remco, I don't think I would go with air ride, if you lose an airbag you are stuck until it is fixed. If you crack a leaf in a spring, you will probably be able to complete your trip in that conditon.
About the overhang, I seem to remember a trailer hitch that pivots somewhere under the back of the car, forward of the bumper, that would help reduce the overhang problem.
Torque, not horsepower, is what tows our trailers, so you may want less horsepower, and more torque. A 750 horsepower car may go fast, but if it doesn't have enough torque to pull the trailer it will do you no good. Do you know how much torque the 392 will produce?
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Old 09-17-2006, 06:42 AM   #3
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If you're doing a four link, consider using coil springs with AirLift bags inside the coils. Probably cheaper than an air bag system and allows for changing the suspension settings for a better ride with or without the trailer. A stock 392 Hemi has more than enough torque!
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Old 09-17-2006, 07:43 AM   #4
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1986 32' Excella
vledder , drenthe
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some time ago I did read something about a hitch setup with a pivit point
under the car.
Did some google about it but cant find the info anymore.
The torque will be enough I have a cam that will give me good torque and a low rpm range ( 1500 - 5500 ) with a 6250 rpm redline
Airbags in coil's might be a good idea. will think this over.
I had a slightly modyfied 392 in the car first but had a lot of traction problems, so with the new engine I realy need to do something about that.
That's why I would prefer the 4 link .

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Old 09-17-2006, 09:50 PM   #5
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2003 22' International CCD
Whittier , California
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Sounds like you are having a great time updating/upgrading the TV. With all your experience in towing on your favorite roads, you'll work out any issues in increased vehicle dynamics control required with the larger, heavier trailer. Keep us posted on how the new combination actually works for you.
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Old 10-01-2006, 01:54 PM   #6
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1970 27' Overlander
Colo Spgs , Colorado
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The drive-shaft of your Imperial is a two piece one. That is why you have the stablialation links on both sides of the axle to keep it from "walking".

If you feel the springs are getting weak and are not up to par, just contact or the like and get a new set that just bolt on.

The 413 was after the 392 and has more raw torque. And the 440 will bolt into same 413 space and has a torque that is even more. They made a HP center dump exhaust manifold that appears as this: . This is a bolt on unit that an school sudent can do for extrat credits.

For decades MoPar used the 3:23 ratio as their towing ratio. When the 8 3/4 axle was no longer used they went to 3:21 to one with the newer units in the cars.

Rodger & Gabby
Colo Spgs
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Old 10-01-2006, 02:51 PM   #7
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1963 24' Tradewind
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I'd love to see your beast! I'm sure cooling might be a problem with the supercharger on. What type of radiator are you going to use?
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Old 10-01-2006, 03:23 PM   #8
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1986 32' Excella
vledder , drenthe
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Fluidyne 37'' 21'' 4.5'' with 2 16'' electr fans
large oil and trans cooler with 15'' fans
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Old 10-01-2006, 04:10 PM   #9
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Pull-rite hitch

The pivoting hitch other posters are talking about is probably the pull-rite. Check out They make a different models to fit under most large GM/Ford/Dodge trucks as well as Suburbans. Not sure if one of these would work under your vintage TV, but worth talking to these folks about.

I had one on a 90s Suburban and towed a 25 footer for many years without any problems.

- Mike
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Old 10-01-2006, 04:28 PM   #10
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1986 32' Excella
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pullrite is what I was looking for.

But I just bought a 1983 F350 dubbelcab longbed .
maby I use that for towing and use the imperial for going fast.
When using the imp for towing also I must make compromise.
When i don't tow with it anymore I can go a bit more extreem.
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Old 10-01-2006, 09:29 PM   #11
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Tow Vehicle or Hot Rod?

Hi, sounds more like you're building a hot rod instead of a tow vehicle. Be carefull you might just yank the frame right out from under your trailer.

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