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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Towing with an MN12

I am seriously considering buying a boat in the near future. Something in the range of 15-20 foot ski boat. I figure my bird, with a 4.6, a j-modded 4R70W, and a 30,000GVWR trans cooler, along with 13" rotors up front and cobra calipers, stopping and going should be no problem. One thing, it is rather hilly around here. The max distance I would be towing anything would be probably 30 or so miles, through twisty turning rolling hills.

What type of trailer hitch receiver would I need? What about the SC rear bumper? It does hang lower than a standard LX bumper, would it be possible to make some sort of spacers to lower the hitch receiver just enough to clear the bottom of the SC bumper? maybe I should direct this part of the question to the folks at SCCoA

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 01:50 PM
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Bring it by, and we can custom make you a strong mount and hitch...make it so you can remove the reciever, and the hitch will be hidden.

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 03:37 PM
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Ok your engine, trans and brakes should handle this, but your suspension wont

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 03:50 PM
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im with road runner on this one, i got kyb shox with eibach 2in drop on my bird and when i have 4 full size adults in it my exhaust tips scrape on everything lol, my rear bumper is maybe 4 inches frm the ground.

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 04:27 PM
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I don't know how I would feel about backing my Bird down a boat launch into a lake or river.
I don't think the water would hurt anything, but I think that you may run into problems trying to pull the boat and trailer back out, more so if the ramp is at all slimy. Especially if you had no trac-lok.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 04:47 PM
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Don't put a tow hitch on that beautiful bird! Pick up a cheap beater ranger or F150 to tow with.

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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 05:45 PM
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I have pulled my 20 ft v8 IO with double axle trailer with my bird. Cooling may be an issue for you, mine got hot (210 coolant, 195 trans) in the 95+ summer days going 10 miles mostly level, I usually run the AC. I have the Cobra radiator and 45K max tru cool cooler. I also have 3.73 track lock gears and subframe connectors. I used a class 2 hitch and no worky with a SC bumper cover.

I have 1" drop springs with air lift bags. The double axle trailer actually helps keep the weight off the hitch. I never had any problem with the tires hitting.

It can be done carefully, don't go fast and leave plenty of room for stopping. Actually going up the very steep ramp was not an issue and it was usually wet. I just was easy on the gas, gave it what it needed to get going and kept the power to it all the way up to the top.

Most everybody else there had pickups or SUVs to pull up their bass boats. I got some looks while I was down there winching the boat up, but some nods when they heard it roar to life and pulled it right up.

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 07:13 PM
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Fail

I'm sorry Earl..But this has FAIL written all over it!

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 08:32 PM
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Any drunk can drive his car down a ramp with a boat attached.

That isn't even much of a boat or a ramp.

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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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OK, 95badbird, if you are serious, I am interested. Rayo, I dig the hell out of that pic, awesome photoshop, looks real

Now, for everybody saying my suspension can't handle it...why not? Keep in mind the car is NOT low anymore, it has stock SC/sport JJJJ springs on it now, it no longer has drag radials, just a set of General Exclaim UHP's all the way around. It does need new shocks at least in the rear, the koni adjustables up front need to be rebuilt, when the car was slammed....well, that just hammered the suspension...

So, Koni adjuistables with stock SC springs all the way around, koni's set to STIFF all the way around, and maybe air lift bags in the rear springs for good measure, at that point my only issue might be cooling? I figure based on what dusty said, having a larger radiator than I currently have, and a larger trans cooler and he still ran hot.

I could get a truck to get the job done if that's what it takes, but it was a thought, and I was curious...feel free to fire away with more opinion and/or fact, I'm learning things
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 10:13 PM
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Well here is a hitch with an sc bumper. Don't know how much more a boat would weigh than a car and this trailer but this seems to be working out.
Pulling it out of the lake is another question.

Hope this helps.


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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Well here is a hitch with an sc bumper. Don't know how much more a boat would weigh than a car and this trailer but this seems to be working out.
Pulling it out of the lake is another question.

Hope this helps.

I remember that pic! That goes back some years! Looks like they have the hitch coming through the opening on the SC bumper, see how it is pushing down on it? that's no good. However, that SC weighs close to 4000 pounds, the trailer is probably right around 1000 ?? Unless whoever owned that setup did not actually tow and it was just a neat photo of the car towing "itself"
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-16-2011, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl
Rayo, I dig the hell out of that pic, awesome photoshop, looks real







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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-16-2011, 06:03 AM
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If you stay within limits of your hitch which for a class 2 is 3500 lbs and use common sense there should not be any problem. You might even be able to fit the receiver though on of the old stype SC bumper covers, I was thinking the 94=95 which has no slot at the bottom.



I tow many times a year with my Tbird. It kills me when people buy an old beater truck, pay insurance, and put a tag on it to haul every now and then. I would not want an old beater truck in my driveway.

I have moved my daughters multiple of times, pulled a 4x8 Uhaul 750 miles moving from Florida to Alabama. Hauled a couple of tons landscaping rocks, fill dirt etc.

These 5x8 open trailers work great, and I don't care when a ton of rock or dirt is dropped from the scoop of a front end loader into it.



I pull a 2000 lb pop-up hundreds of miles at a time with no problems at all.

Pulling the 20 ft 3500 lb boat/motor/trailer is pushing the limits.



As I said before pulling up a steep long ramp has never been a problem. And I am not talking about a little ramp like in the picture above.

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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-16-2011, 06:22 AM
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Are you joking me? Any mn12 suspension cant handle that weight. That is abusing your car. These are cars and can not handle that weight. Can you do it yes should you no. This reminds of the idiots at home depot strapping 15 sheets of drywall to an escort. If you gave 2 $h*ts about your car you wouldnt use it as a truck

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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-16-2011, 07:31 AM
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I don't see how the suspension comes into play. You are not putting it on its back. So you are talking 200 lbs of tounge weight is going to hurt the suspension? My buddy hauled a pallet of sod in his Tundra and it scared him so bad he had the rest delivered, with all the weight on the back it had almost no steering. I have towed a pallet of sod with a 5x8 open and no big deal.

My general rule of thumb is the towed weight should not be more than the vehicle weight. Don't exceed the hitch capacity. I care plenty about my car and I will still have it long after you moved on to something else. I monitor the temps closely and use common sense. I also have all the JL steel pieces on the chassis.

When I see someone with a Ranger towing something big I wonder, but they have a truck.

Braking and cooling is the biggest issue towing extra weight. I have been towing Uhauls, pop-ups, and boats for more than 30 yrs with cars never hurting anything.

Now I am not going to tow a car on a car hauler. Like I said 3500 lbs is pushing it, 2000 lbs is a piece of cake.

We are also talking 3-4 times in a year.

And rest assured, I will not tie 15 sheets of drywall on the roof, but I would tow 15 sheets on a trailer.

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Are you joking me? Any mn12 suspension cant handle that weight. That is abusing your car. These are cars and can not handle that weight. Can you do it yes should you no. This reminds of the idiots at home depot strapping 15 sheets of drywall to an escort. If you gave 2 $h*ts about your car you wouldnt use it as a truck

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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-16-2011, 08:26 AM
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You are abosolutly right. All the car makers are idiots for making TRUCKS that are 1/2, 3/4 and 1ton. How stupid are they for spending all that money on developing tow packages that change the SUSPENSION. Suspension has alot to do with the weight a vehicle is pulling. Not my car, do what you like but your setting yourself up for failure

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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-16-2011, 08:28 AM
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3500 pounds isn't a lot of weight and as Dusty has said, if you keep the tongue weight in mind, you won't be exceeding at least that part of Ford's own towing recommendations.

That said, I don't think I'd do it to my car.

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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-16-2011, 09:25 AM
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I've seen a 2000'ish Buick Century towing a DRW F350 Crew Cab on a tow dolly.... (I kid you not!!!)

He was going up a long hill and there was smoke boiling out from under the car…

As much as I drive I’ve seen some of the scariest tow setups ever!!

So can you tow a 20' boat with your MN12.... yes.

Should you tow a 20' boat with your MN12.... I wouldn't (at least not any distance)

But like Dusty says 2K lbs should be a piece of cake.

Dusty: The suspension comes into play mainly during turning and stopping. Think of how the center of gravity and how inertia comes into play. The rear suspension was never designed to have that much weight shifting left and right. Granted, there may only be 200 lbs of downward force on the tongue, but how much lateral force is on the tongue if the trailer starts to sway? There’s a whole lot more going on with a hitch than just static weights. Inertia can be a biatch.

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post #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-16-2011, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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You guys all made REALLY good points on all sides of this discussion...this was very informative, thinks a bunch. The point of inertia and lateral forces and their effects on the suspension have made me decide to keep the bird, and get a more suitable boat hauling vehicle
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post #21 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 03:12 PM
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LOL this is great. I dont think I would ever tow anything with my bird but its kinda nice to know that I could if I needed too. I wanna see more pictures of Tbirds towing boats and whatnot ha

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post #22 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 03:19 PM
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If I can tow all our worldly possessions in my 1990 3.8 NA from Wisconsin to Tennessee, back to Wisconsin, and back to Tennessee in a 6x12 U-Haul with the u-haul 3500 lbs hitch without a trans cooler or aftermarket radiator, then a bass boat shouldn't be that big of an issue.

I drove in D (*NOT* O/D) and didn't go any faster than 55mph on flat ground and 45 - 50 on the long hills coming through Kentucky and very slowly going over Kings Mountain in Virginia., but it did in fact make it and not blow up the car.

I also used it to move my mother in-law also in a 6x12 (tandem axle) u-haul but probably only 2000 lbs that time, and various other times hauling things -- including my dad's bass boat.

You must respect the setup, drive slowly, and use your head for more than a hat rack but its not that bad guys - really.

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post #23 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 11:29 PM
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You guys all made REALLY good points on all sides of this discussion...this was very informative, thinks a bunch. The point of inertia and lateral forces and their effects on the suspension have made me decide to keep the bird, and get a more suitable boat hauling vehicle
... and nobody in this entire thread mentioned inflatable Airbags for the springs to help support the weight load. You already have the Sport springs with a higher spring rate, and Cobra 13" brakes ..

Suspension wasnt designed to support the weight - and the Uni-body was not designed for a trailer hitch - that will be your biggest obstacle for towing, having an acceptable frame mount.
Aside from those two points, towing a trailer with a Tbird isnt any different than a truck. Dont let fancy words like Inertia and Lateral forces scare you.

Inertia just means that your car needs some pulling power and braking ability to overcome the additional weight of whatever you are towing. The faster you go, the more inertia you create behind you = keep it 55 mph or less.

Lateral forces would be kept to a minimum if the trailer's weight were kept to a minimum and the center of gravity is more or less over the axle.
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post #24 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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... and nobody in this entire thread mentioned inflatable Airbags for the springs to help support the weight load. You already have the Sport springs with a higher spring rate, and Cobra 13" brakes ..

Suspension wasnt designed to support the weight - and the Uni-body was not designed for a trailer hitch - that will be your biggest obstacle for towing, having an acceptable frame mount.
Aside from those two points, towing a trailer with a Tbird isnt any different than a truck. Dont let fancy words like Inertia and Lateral forces scare you.

Inertia just means that your car needs some pulling power and braking ability to overcome the additional weight of whatever you are towing. The faster you go, the more inertia you create behind you = keep it 55 mph or less.

Lateral forces would be kept to a minimum if the trailer's weight were kept to a minimum and the center of gravity is more or less over the axle.
post 7 and post 10 mention air lift bags

So, the problem now would be suitable frame mounts that do not exist on these cars? How where the hitches in the photos posted above mounted?
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post #25 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 11:40 PM
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The boxed steel sections that run underneath the trunk of the car. There are already holes in the trunk with grommets (at least on my 90) that cover these holes and the bolts drop in from the top and then through the boxed steel.

No frame mounts = BS so long as you're getting a reputable class II hitch.

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post #26 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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The boxed steel sections that run underneath the trunk of the car. There are already holes in the trunk with grommets (at least on my 90) that cover these holes and the bolts drop in from the top and then through the boxed steel.

No frame mounts = BS so long as you're getting a reputable class II hitch.
What are those boxed steel sections there for? Are they there for mounting a hitch? Are they strong enough to handle the stress put on them by the weight of the hitch itself plus whatever load it would be pulling?
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post #27 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2011, 12:19 AM
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This would be where the U-Haul hitch bolted up, and it was rated for 3500 lbs / 200 lbs tongue weight.

It worked just fine over the course of several hundred miles pulling twice the weight of any boat you'd be getting.

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post #28 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2011, 07:13 AM
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Yep, that is the place - mounted to the rear subframe.

Glad someone read the Air Lift bags. I had sport springs at first and now the Vogtland 1" drop with the bags. Almost no sag with either in the rear at all with the boat attached.

Also mentioned in my previous posts is the JL bracing



In addition I have the front and rear STBs.

I have been towing my boat for 7 yrs with the Tbird, nothing over 55 mph with OD off as mentioned above which is important. No winding roads and mostly flat, dry roads.
The 2000 lb pop-up is barely noticeable on the car. I have towed that hundreds of miles at highway speeds.

Earl - bottom line, it is your car do what you want. A 17-18 ft outboard is much lighter than my boat. If you can afford a boat and a truck to pull it, go for it and have fun on the water.

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post #29 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2011, 07:48 AM
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No way I would tow anything of size with a tbird. even if you got a hitch and the supension worked out, you'll never get it to stop. you may struggle with high centering the hitch on transitions too.

On a topic like this, when it doubt, don't.

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post #30 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2011, 11:55 PM
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I am a professional truck driver. I tow everything from tractor trailers to trucks with trailers. I have also been an avid boater for many years with many different size and style of boats. I also have towed many different types of trailers with many different vehicles for my recreational purposes. I would NEVER tow with my cougar. Brakes aren't big enough. suspension can't handle it (even with air bags giving me a false sense of security), and wanting to pull a boat out of the water is just asking for a car in the drink. I have seen many cars enter the water because the owner thought the car or too small of a truck could handle it. Even heard the excuse "I have been doing this for years".

Dusty, tandem axles aren't to reduce tongue weight, they are so you can carry more weight on the trailer. As in if you need a tandem trailer your car probably shouldn't be towing it, because what ever is on the trailer is probably too heavy for a car to tow.

Earl, if you want to tow a boat, buy a proper towing vehicle. Use a truck. A beater truck sitting in front of your house looks much better than your car sitting in a ditch or in the lake.

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