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Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)?
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ALANSD
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:54 am    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

this is the set up i used to tow my thing home when purchased, about 30 miles, very smooth.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:44 am    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

kubelmann wrote:
You could make a set of 90 degree brackets with a mounting hole for your tow bar. The brakcets would bolt to the right and left side pairs of frame head bolts just like we attach the front push bar on dune buggies.


Yeah, that is kind of what I'm thinking. I'll weld up some captive nuts for the tow bar to bolt to, and also some other captive nuts for a bash plate to bolt to.

I'm thinking this frame will be constructed out of 3/16 angle iron, so it should be pretty beefy.

Is there anything else holding the front beam on besides those 4 bolts? Aren't there a couple bolts at the top that could hold it up for a short time while I bolt up the angle iron frame?
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:06 am    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

If you would like some exact dimensions on the "Beetle" tow bar as connected to a thing, I can go out with a tape measure - as it's still hooked up.[img]
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[/img]


This was on it's ride home from Ventura to Quartzsite. Didn't know it was back there. (Would have if the loose axle nut had come off.)
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:10 am    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

Yeah, if you don't mind, I would like to know how far in front of the bumper it extends.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:11 am    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

vwwestyman wrote:
Yeah, if you don't mind, I would like to know how far in front of the bumper it extends.


And, if you don't mind, I'd like to see a pic of it attached to the beam, please.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

Shocked OK but you owe me big time Wink Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

Thanks!

That last pic, is from the bumper to the ball?

Looks that way, but don't want to assume.

Also, I had forgotten about the extra supports for the Thing suspension. So those supports and the two upper body bolts should hold the front beam in place if I were to temporarily remove the four bolts between the torsion tubes, right? Just want to make sure it's not going to drop on the ground.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

vwwestyman wrote:
Thanks!

That last pic, is from the bumper to the ball?

if I were to temporarily remove the four bolts between the torsion tubes, right? Just want to make sure it's not going to drop on the ground.


Good thing you ask- as that pic didn't show the starting point- which was the front body panel that is 29" from the front of the ball hitch. then from ther to the back of the tow bar is 18" for total of 47" give or take for the total length of the tow bar.

believe the 4 bolts hold the front beam to the frame head- maybe some one has a parts break down??
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

williamM wrote:
vwwestyman wrote:
Thanks!

That last pic, is from the bumper to the ball?

if I were to temporarily remove the four bolts between the torsion tubes, right? Just want to make sure it's not going to drop on the ground.


Good thing you ask- as that pic didn't show the starting point- which was the front body panel that is 29" from the front of the ball hitch. then from ther to the back of the tow bar is 18" for total of 47" give or take for the total length of the tow bar.

believe the 4 bolts hold the front beam to the frame head- maybe some one has a parts break down??


Thanks for confirming the measurements.

Yes, the 4 bolts hold it to the frame head, just wondering if the others (the supports on either side of the beam, and two body bolts up top) will keep it in place for a short time without those 4 if necessary.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:53 am    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

vwwestyman wrote:
williamM wrote:
vwwestyman wrote:
Thanks!

That last pic, is from the bumper to the ball?

if I were to temporarily remove the four bolts between the torsion tubes, right? Just want to make sure it's not going to drop on the ground.


Good thing you ask- as that pic didn't show the starting point- which was the front body panel that is 29" from the front of the ball hitch. then from ther to the back of the tow bar is 18" for total of 47" give or take for the total length of the tow bar.

believe the 4 bolts hold the front beam to the frame head- maybe some one has a parts break down??




Yes, the 4 bolts hold it to the frame head, just wondering if the others (the supports on either side of the beam, and two body bolts up top) will keep it in place for a short time without those 4 if necessary.




let me go look- sorry for the delay- wifi was down again-- If that happens here, I'm FORCED to go and order pizza and beer while I use the internet at "Silly Als" pizza.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

[img]
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Well- with out crawling under there- this brace looks like it will support the beam when the 4 bolts are removed?? let me know what happens Shocked Shocked [/img]
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 1:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

Thanks for the pics. I'm working on this project right now. When I was curious about the 4 bolts, I was thinking of building a trangular piece that would bolt up to all 4 at once, but I don't think this is actually possible with the sway bar in place.

So I guess that isn't an issue after all. Whew!

I'm thinking when it is all done, it'll incorporate a skid plate, front hitch (because why not? ha ha) and mounts for my tow bar.

It just occurred to me that I could use the tow bar mounts for a front push bar setup when it is off if I want!
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

Alrighty, here is what I came up with. My objectives were to be able to use the tow bar I already have, to not have to spend money on a second tow bar, and to beef up the front, have the ability to attach a tow hitch to the front, and have the ability to have a skid plate.

As I said, I think if I want to build some kind of push bar type attachment, I'd easily be able to bolt it in place of the tow bar mounts.

The angle iron used is 3/16" thick, and 1 1/4" by 1 1/4". The flat stock is 1/4 thick and 1 1/2" wide.

As you can see, I utilized the 4 front suspension bolts, and the three holes in the bumper.

The bumper skin is sandwiched between the flat plate and the angle iron to tie it all together.

I haven't painted it yet; I think I"ll let it surface rust, then use acid to create a primer and paint over the winter.

After I took the pics of the bottom half, I welded up some captive nuts so I won't have to get the welder out again. Eventually, I'll cut a plate that will bolt up there for the skid plate.

Here is the bottom half, as mounted to the bumper.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Bottom half, flipped upside down.

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Top half.

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Bolted up to the car.

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With the tow bar attached.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

Dangit! I just realized I forgot to weld the safety chains to the tow bar I bought today! Now I have to get the welder out again.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:08 am    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

Most states require the chains to be hooked to the 2 cars and not the tow bar. This is so if the bar comes off you are still hooked. Had a ball come off but the chains held the trailer behind me.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:26 am    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

Ok, good to know. I figured to the tow bar would be the best bet, as it seems that would be the part that would be most likely to fail--i.e. the tow bar popping off the ball.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

Well I need to make a modification or two.

The hitch part torques downward too easily. So I'm thinking an additional cross piece between the two arms of the top half above the back of the hitch receiver attachment.

Then, I'll have a piece welded to the hitch receiver as well, and will bolt those two together, with a spacer to account for the thickness of the bumper.

That should take care of that.

Also, for some reason the sway bar contacts the passenger side bottom "L". Don't know why that is for sure, I'm confident they were the same length (but will double check). I also do not think that the bar is bent or anything like that. Any ideas?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:01 am    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

Very Happy sure looks strong enough- The braces for the front shock towers also appear on a spare fron Bus beam I just bought- so they must have had some flexing to take care of.--
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

I wasn't happy with the stoutness of the tow hitch portion. I had a rack on it and had someone stand on it, and it bent down.

So I supported the back portion of the hitch, and am sure it is much more stout.

There is a chunk of angle iron welded to the top half, and to the hitch. And when it is put together, they are bolted together.

As viewed from below if mounted on the Thing:

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And viewed from above:

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

Well, the towing setup worked like a champion!

And having the Thing at Bustoberfest was a hit! I had to give multiple rides to my kids, as well as others who were there.

Sorry I didn't think to get a better pic of the Bus towing the Thing, but here it is:

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And here is another reason I needed to tow the Thing:

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That's beer! I worked at the local brewery a few years ago, and they still send some of the short fills (like happens when they first start canning the beer) to give to all the hippies!
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