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Seeking TowBar: Interesting protectors added to brackets
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bobbyblack Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:03 pm    Post subject: Seeking TowBar: Interesting protectors added to brackets Reply with quote

I hope to get some insight into the PO's setup. I have one photo somewhere showing that there was a tow bar attached to the front of my Flossie, held straight up somehow.

The bar did not come with the van, and the daughter of the deceased PO has not found it. I hope to get some help in finding out what I can do to locate a replacement tow bar.

The black rubber disks that are attached to the U brackets are only protectors of sorts. They are pretty clever "bumpers" added by what I have come to believe was a very ingenious PO. The Obit his daughter sent along has some good words telling how much fun he and his wife had adventuring in their van.

So, anyone have an idea what kind of bar I am looking for?

-bobbyblack

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Seeking TowBar: Interesting protectors added to brackets Reply with quote

I would have to check when I get home later today, but I think the basic adjustable tow bar I got from Harbor Freight would bolt up. I'll let you know.

Hans
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Seeking TowBar: Interesting protectors added to brackets Reply with quote

Looks like to me that the bumper pads unbolt and are removable ?
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Seeking TowBar: Interesting protectors added to brackets Reply with quote

I like the tow bars that unbolt in halves. I keep it in the bottom of my closet Wink

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:07 am    Post subject: Re: Seeking TowBar: Interesting protectors added to brackets Reply with quote

Tristar Eric wrote:
Looks like to me that the bumper pads unbolt and are removable ?


Yes, indeed. Those are just screwed to another U shaped piece of steel and bolted on the tow bar stubs. To keep from ripping off a knee cap, I think. Wish I could ask the PO so many questions, but he passed last year.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:15 am    Post subject: Re: Seeking TowBar: Interesting protectors added to brackets Reply with quote

danfromsyr wrote:
I like the tow bars that unbolt in halves. I keep it in the bottom of my closet Wink


I like that idea. The one you show has vertical pins that go with the attachments to the brackets. I would have to make some mods on my bumper to do that part. Was hoping to find one just like that with a horizontal boltup, that would make life SO easy. With the vertical one, I see the advantage, as the legs can sweep in/out and still mate. The horizontal nature of mine will require a pretty exact match.

Thanks for the pointer tho.

-bobbyblack
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:12 am    Post subject: Re: Seeking TowBar: Interesting protectors added to brackets Reply with quote

the one shown is horizontal PINS and vertical BOLTS. there's a double joint there at the end so they can be mounted in varied widths.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Seeking TowBar: Interesting protectors added to brackets Reply with quote

danfromsyr wrote:
the one shown is horizontal PINS and vertical BOLTS. there's a double joint there at the end so they can be mounted in varied widths.


Oh, Hey, so I see that now!!!! Cool. I think my width between posts is 1", can you measure your gap? And if it's 1", what part number or model is your towbar? I think I will get that one, as the stowing thing makes it a super good deal all around.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Seeking TowBar: Interesting protectors added to brackets Reply with quote

So, I just now went out back to measure the mounting brackets on my Harbor Freight tow bar like the one pictured above. The space between the posts needs to be 1.5" for the bar to slip between and the pin (or bolt, in your case) to be passed through them. So, either the PO used a different brand than the one I have or made his own. My vote is he made his own judging by his home made bracket and rubber bumpstops. Look around at HF or your local FLAPS, maybe there is a tow bar with skinnier mounting brackets that will work.

Hans
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Seeking TowBar: Interesting protectors added to brackets Reply with quote

hdenter wrote:
mounting brackets on my Harbor Freight tow bar like the one pictured above. The space between the posts needs to be 1.5"
Hans


What kind of construction are the bits that are at the end on those? Like solid metal, or a box construction? Maybe I could grind it down, or just reconstruct the ends to match my receivers. Thoughts?

I really like the bar you show, and how you stow it. Mod'ing the ends might be treat. OR Disaster.. I guess.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 7:30 am    Post subject: Re: Seeking TowBar: Interesting protectors added to brackets Reply with quote

Here are a couple of pix detailing the mentioned POs 'ears' and the new receivers that came with my new bar. Seems like I will have some hard decisions to make.
Notice that the length of the bar the ears are welded on has been welded to the bumper. Wonder at opinions from TheSamba's here.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:13 am    Post subject: Re: Seeking TowBar: Interesting protectors added to brackets Reply with quote

my answer is NO,NOPE,NOTTA CHANCE

I don't like the 2 separate welded ears/tabs. to easy for one welded tab to crack/fail then cascade to the other.

if you notice that the tow bar mount is made from a U shaped piece that is welded to a flat backer

my suggestion is to get familiar with a 4.5in angle grinder and thin metal cutting blade. score that welded on plate along the weld and separate with a hammer & chisel.

the Skil angle gridners are 'decent' a step up from the harbor freight ones.
but I prefer yellow dewalt ones for a decent price and good function.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:25 am    Post subject: Re: Seeking TowBar: Interesting protectors added to brackets Reply with quote

danfromsyr wrote:
my suggestion is to get familiar with a 4.5in angle grinder and thin metal cutting blade. score that welded on plate along the weld and separate with a hammer & chisel.


Just to clarify: DO you mean that I should cut away the entire length of the bar stock that was laid up against the VW bumper mount. Its like 3 1/2 feet long? Or do you mean for me to cut the ears off the front of the plate?

If you mean I cut the entire thing off, then what next? the new receiver needs to attach somehow to the original bumper mount. I would doubt that there are bolt holes anywhere close to the ones pre-stamped in the kit's bracket.

How about if I cut the ears off the present bar stock, and weld on the new ones to that bar? I couldn't see a way to get in behind the stock bumper mount to get the provided bolts put through if I drilled through the stock.

Further suggestions, or insight?

Thanks!
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Seeking TowBar: Interesting protectors added to brackets Reply with quote

go and read the towbar thread,
there is a hole (singular) in the OEM support that allows use of the new brackets (after you drill a single center hole).
I'm on the run else I'd SEARCH the link for you. but it's out there.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Seeking TowBar: Interesting protectors added to brackets Reply with quote

Dan, found this, looks like what you are talking about. One bolt each side, added backing plate inside bumper mount.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5...ht=tow+bar

Thanks for input
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Seeking TowBar: Interesting protectors added to brackets Reply with quote

ok home now,
yepper that's the thread and my (as others) preffered method.
the key is a good big thick well fitting backing plate on te backside.. as this is what you are PULLING against.. braking is the front face.
but it all needs to be stout for that emergency evasive maneuver w/o losing the control of the tow'd vehicle.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:04 am    Post subject: Re: Seeking TowBar: Interesting protectors added to brackets Reply with quote

Danfromsyr,

I am thinking of chopping off the ears, and somehow locating the holes in the bumper mounting sub-frame from behind, or from measurements and drilling the welded on bar stock plate in that location. Then getting the bolt and plate run through from the back side and through the new hole in the new mount receiver. Still the same basic approach as the thread you mentioned, but not sawing and chiseling off the plate. What would your opinion be on that? If that is good enough, I think I will start trying to figure out how to locate where to drill the flat bar stock that was welded on the front of the bumper sub-frame.

I've also been thinking of safety chains. Is there another location to put a safety loop than the ones mentioned under the bumper? Yet another hole in the chrome bumper is not going to bother me at all, if I could do something similar with yet another bolt-from-behind loop to hang the chains.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:56 am    Post subject: Re: Seeking TowBar: Interesting protectors added to brackets Reply with quote

if you can locate the hole that passes thru then sure, no need to remove that whole plate.

I usually just hook the safety chains to the front tow loop on the pass side.. the chains are to assure the vehicle stays attached to the tow vehicle if the hitch/bar couplings fail. but it's certainly NOT going to be fun in any way if you need to use them.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Seeking TowBar: Interesting protectors added to brackets Reply with quote

On each side, one leg of the PO's tow hitch was in front of the bolt through location pointed out by Dan from Syr. Decided it would be about the same work to take off the POs welded on version, in favor of the new hitch. I used one grinder wheel up, and I guess it took 90 minutes, but I am at least somewhat pleased at this point.

Here is the result! Ready for bolts, now I got to find those!!!!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:45 am    Post subject: Re: Seeking TowBar: Interesting protectors added to brackets Reply with quote

I got my bolts from Fastenal, 1/2" diameter, high quality hardened steel.

You do NOT want just any dime store bolt in this application, if it breaks you will be in for an exciting ride!

Dave
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