Hello! Log in or Register   |  Help  |  Donate  |  Buy Shirts  See all banner ads | Advertise on TheSamba.com  
TheSamba.com
 
Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)?
Forum Index -> Thing/Type 181 Share: Facebook Twitter
Reply to topic
Print View
Quick sort: Show newest posts on top | Show oldest posts on top View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
vwwestyman Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: April 24, 2004
Posts: 2833
Location: Manhattan, Kansas, USA
vwwestyman is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:51 pm    Post subject: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

Last year I towed my Thing up to Bustoberfest with my TDI Bus. It was great having the Thing as a runabout while we camped. Last year, I used my tow dolly to tow the Thing.

However, I think it would actually tow a little nicer if it was flat-towed. If nothing else, I'd say that I'd save at least two or three hundred pounds not towing the dolly with the Thing. Also, I think it would be slightly less bad aerodynamically.

So I thought about just buying a tow bar. And that is certainly a possiblity.

However, it occurred to me that I already have a tow bar that was built for my '73 Bus.

The Bus was a "Toad" behind the PO's RV. They had a tow bar made up that attached to brackets that were welded to the body just below the bumper. It simply bolts to those brackets.

So I was thinking maybe if I could build something that utilized the same bolts as the front bumper brackets, I could attach this tow bar to that.

Is that a possibility?
_________________
Dave Cook

Stuartzickefoose wrote:
I'm gonna punch vwwestyman then shake his hand when I meet him.

notchboy wrote:
Ill just punch you in the face. Wink


1978 Champagne Edition Westy, repowered to '97 Jetta TDI
1973 Wild Westerner
My Thing
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
GI Joe
Samba Member


Joined: April 28, 2005
Posts: 1999
Location: Athens, TN
GI Joe is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

My Dad had tow bar attachment points added to the front bumper, and towed it a few times like that.
I have since removed all that rigging, as i don't agree that's it's safe. I had some major damage happen to a '56 Chevy truck, when my uncle decided to just bolt a tow bar to the front frame. Let's just say it was an ugly sight when I arrived to pick up my truck, and took a good welder to fix it.

I would recommend using a tow bar attached to the beam, instead of the body. Those front bumper brackets are just bolted into sheetmetal(which is usually a little corroded and weak anyway).

Just my $.02.
Good luck!
_________________
'74 Thing, "Our Thing"....Blue 181
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4...p;start=60
'71 Beetle RPU
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8080337#8080337
www.NLEOMF.com
Respect, Honor, Remember
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Captain Spalding
Samba Member


Joined: February 19, 2005
Posts: 2389
Location: . . . in denial.
Captain Spalding is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:00 am    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

GI Joe wrote:
I would recommend using a tow bar attached to the beam, instead of the body. Those front bumper brackets are just bolted into sheetmetal(which is usually a little corroded and weak anyway).

This is what I've always heard. Only use a proper towbar that attaches to the beam. Here is a pretty good thread on the subject.

JBugs has the appropriate tow bar for $110.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
vwwestyman Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: April 24, 2004
Posts: 2833
Location: Manhattan, Kansas, USA
vwwestyman is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:47 am    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

Shoot. That is more or less what I was thinking.

I'd rather not spend the money and have an extra thing laying around the garage for something I'll use once or twice a year.

Perhaps I can build something that will allow me to attach what I've got to the beam instead. It'll just take a little more work to put together.
_________________
Dave Cook

Stuartzickefoose wrote:
I'm gonna punch vwwestyman then shake his hand when I meet him.

notchboy wrote:
Ill just punch you in the face. Wink


1978 Champagne Edition Westy, repowered to '97 Jetta TDI
1973 Wild Westerner
My Thing
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
kubelmann
Samba Member


Joined: April 13, 2003
Posts: 3235

kubelmann is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:36 am    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

VW tow bars are a standard itme that have gone unchanged for many decades,,, Thye can be found used for $40 all the time new for $70. I prefer a trailer as I have lost more than one VW using the "proven" tow bar. I hate towing,,,,prefer trailering. Enclosed trailering is awesome. One friend drives his car up top on the trialer asn has a small aprtment belwo, Now that is towing in style.,,
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
vwwestyman Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: April 24, 2004
Posts: 2833
Location: Manhattan, Kansas, USA
vwwestyman is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

Hmm, where are you shopping? The new ones I'm finding online are about $115-120. I did find one on CL for $75 but it's at least 2 hours away.

I'll keep those in mind, though as I said if I can not have two very similar items to store, that would be preferable.

I don't think my Bus, even with the TDI, would be able to pull a trailer with a Thing on top of it. Even if it could, I don't think that would be safe for any distance.

And, how did you lose two different VWs with tow bars?? Shocked
_________________
Dave Cook

Stuartzickefoose wrote:
I'm gonna punch vwwestyman then shake his hand when I meet him.

notchboy wrote:
Ill just punch you in the face. Wink


1978 Champagne Edition Westy, repowered to '97 Jetta TDI
1973 Wild Westerner
My Thing
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
kubelmann
Samba Member


Joined: April 13, 2003
Posts: 3235

kubelmann is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

Here is one in Taos, NM for $25 plus shipping (or road trip to fun filled Taos)
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=2089325
And another in LA for $45

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=1937687

Towing VW behind big truck. VW jumped into 2nd gear. This turned motor at highway speed and did lots of damage;

While towing a VW. I was parked and someone else, backed up the tow vehicle not knowing that backing up a VW tow bar can be very BAD...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
vwwestyman Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: April 24, 2004
Posts: 2833
Location: Manhattan, Kansas, USA
vwwestyman is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

Here's a couple pics of what I'm working with.

First the brackets that are welded to the Bus. They are essentially beefy angle iron that is attached to the inner bumper part of the Bus' body. They are welded at the back, and I felt up in there and the front does curl up some amount, though I"m not sure how far up in there.

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


Here's the tow bar sitting in front of the Thing. It is very beefy for sure.

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


I'm kind of thinking of some kind of attachment to the torsion bars that is similar to the widely-available tow bars. Then it'll come up to the underside of the bumper where those three holes are.

From there I can recreate the attachment brackets like are on the Bus.

OR perhaps I can utilize the 4 frame bolts like the Thing Shop skid plate does and just always leave it on there. Seems like that way the bumper would be tied into the fame more, and therefore strong.

I'm going to have to go back out and just lay there looking at stuff for a while.
_________________
Dave Cook

Stuartzickefoose wrote:
I'm gonna punch vwwestyman then shake his hand when I meet him.

notchboy wrote:
Ill just punch you in the face. Wink


1978 Champagne Edition Westy, repowered to '97 Jetta TDI
1973 Wild Westerner
My Thing
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
kubelmann
Samba Member


Joined: April 13, 2003
Posts: 3235

kubelmann is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

You could put the standard front torsion beam mount on the end of the tow bar you have...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
vwwestyman Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: April 24, 2004
Posts: 2833
Location: Manhattan, Kansas, USA
vwwestyman is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

kubelmann wrote:
Here is one in Taos, NM for $25 plus shipping (or road trip to fun filled Taos)
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=2089325
And another in LA for $45

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=1937687

Towing VW behind big truck. VW jumped into 2nd gear. This turned motor at highway speed and did lots of damage;

While towing a VW. I was parked and someone else, backed up the tow vehicle not knowing that backing up a VW tow bar can be very BAD...


Yikes! Yes, I've read that. I think my bar is beefy enough that it wouldn't bend if pushed backwards like I've read about. But I don't think I'd still try it. As long as the Thing runs, it would be so easy to unhitch and fold the bar up (like when the "toad" is being driven) that I'd just do that. I do like that it can be left attached to the vehicle and folded up.

Hopefully if the Thing popped into gear, I'd feel the drag on the Bus and stop to check on things. I do have that risk with the dolly I used last year but so far have been lucky.
_________________
Dave Cook

Stuartzickefoose wrote:
I'm gonna punch vwwestyman then shake his hand when I meet him.

notchboy wrote:
Ill just punch you in the face. Wink


1978 Champagne Edition Westy, repowered to '97 Jetta TDI
1973 Wild Westerner
My Thing
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
vwwestyman Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: April 24, 2004
Posts: 2833
Location: Manhattan, Kansas, USA
vwwestyman is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

kubelmann wrote:
You could put the standard front torsion beam mount on the end of the tow bar you have...


I certainly did think about it, but I'm not sure if the width is quite right to fit on the frame easily. I'll have to take another closer look at that. Could possibly be the simplest solution. Though I do like the idea of being able to fold it up for driving rather than have to take it off. So that is why I was thinking of a secondary attachment to the bumper, and then attaching this tow bar to that.
_________________
Dave Cook

Stuartzickefoose wrote:
I'm gonna punch vwwestyman then shake his hand when I meet him.

notchboy wrote:
Ill just punch you in the face. Wink


1978 Champagne Edition Westy, repowered to '97 Jetta TDI
1973 Wild Westerner
My Thing
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
kubelmann
Samba Member


Joined: April 13, 2003
Posts: 3235

kubelmann is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

Bear in mind, the bumper mounts are part of the body not the frame. And these attach points are into sheet metal not frame steel. You must tow from the frame not the body metal.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
kubelmann
Samba Member


Joined: April 13, 2003
Posts: 3235

kubelmann is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

I just had a new thought. We got slightly longer frame bolts for our Meyers in Mexico; This gave enough space to add ears on frame head bolts. We use these to rope tow or get towed in our out of sand or an arroyo or whereever we get stuck... BtW You have to try very hard to get our Meyers stuck...But when it gets stuckkk oh my.. You could use these same "ears' to attch your tow bar. But the difference of the old school torsion mount is that it has free space to move around slightly unlike a fixed postion tow bar.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
vwwestyman Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: April 24, 2004
Posts: 2833
Location: Manhattan, Kansas, USA
vwwestyman is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

Thanks for the thoughts, Kubelmann.

I spent some time this evening under the front of the car looking at things.

In my scrap metal junk pile from other projects I have a big sheet of 3/16" plate that I figure I could use to emulate the Thing Shop skid plate.

In this thread: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=627050
Germanbilly says he felt that it added enough strength to the front bumper that he was very comfortable towing with his tow bar attached to the bumper.

So my thought was if I made a skid plate like the Thing Shop plate, I could weld two tabs to that to bolt my tow bar to. It would then be pulling from a triangulation from the 4 frame bolts, with the bumper acting more like a stabilizer.

It is hard to say for sure, but I do not think that the Thing Shop plate is anywhere near 3/16" thick, so if I did that, mine would end up way beefier.

But all that said...

Can you (or anyone) tell me the length of those Beetle tow bars from the middle of yolk that attaches to the torsion bar, to the middle of the ball mount?

As I was crawling around, I started thinking maybe I could just build a couple yolks that I could bolt to my bar and attach the bar to the torsion bars after all.

The current bar is approximately 3 feet from the middle of between the bolt holes to the middle of the ball mount. If I lay the bar under the car, the ball mount center is approximately 2 feet in front of the bumper. Is that too close? I do have a ball mount that is a few inches longer than typical, so that could push the car back a bit more.

Here is how much it would sit out in front of the car. Jackson was outside "helping" me.

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


This is what the section that would have bolted to the Bus frame looks like.

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

_________________
Dave Cook

Stuartzickefoose wrote:
I'm gonna punch vwwestyman then shake his hand when I meet him.

notchboy wrote:
Ill just punch you in the face. Wink


1978 Champagne Edition Westy, repowered to '97 Jetta TDI
1973 Wild Westerner
My Thing
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
kubelmann
Samba Member


Joined: April 13, 2003
Posts: 3235

kubelmann is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing your living design... WAYYYYYYY better than buying your way out of a situation.. Design what you have working as you want it to perform. Fabrication is cool. WAYYYYY better than shopping by kilometers..
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
vwwestyman Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: April 24, 2004
Posts: 2833
Location: Manhattan, Kansas, USA
vwwestyman is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

kubelmann wrote:
Thanks for sharing your living design... WAYYYYYYY better than buying your way out of a situation.. Design what you have working as you want it to perform. Fabrication is cool. WAYYYYY better than shopping by kilometers..


And you were telling me to go buy a tow bar! Smile

In looking around, it looks like the VW tow bars are just a shade under 4 feet from yolk to ball.

I suppose if I make yolks and bolt them to this tow bar, instead of just making a simple U shape, I could extend the bottom out a bit and make it more like a sideways F.

Maybe I'll still make the beefy skid plate at some point., since I have the metal sitting around.
_________________
Dave Cook

Stuartzickefoose wrote:
I'm gonna punch vwwestyman then shake his hand when I meet him.

notchboy wrote:
Ill just punch you in the face. Wink


1978 Champagne Edition Westy, repowered to '97 Jetta TDI
1973 Wild Westerner
My Thing
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
kubelmann
Samba Member


Joined: April 13, 2003
Posts: 3235

kubelmann is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I tow my Thing with the Front Bumper (Brackets)? Reply with quote

I was building a house for a guy here in Colorado many years ago. He ran out of money and ended up payning me off in part with a powder blue 71 bug with sunroof.. The reason for the story. Thsi bug hasd been purchased by the guy from the VW dealer in Manhattan Kansas. Small World. ha.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Thing/Type 181 All times are Mountain Standard Time/Pacific Daylight Savings Time
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

About | Help! | Advertise | Donate | Premium Membership | Privacy/Terms of Use | Contact Us | Site Map
Copyright © 1996-2016, Everett Barnes. All Rights Reserved.
Not affiliated with or sponsored by Volkswagen of America | Forum powered by phpBB