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  #21  
Old 02-09-2024, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Stuart View Post
Also, your being in Iowa is to your benefit - it's (generally) a lot flatter there than if you lived in Colorado, for instance. I agree that taking care of the transmission and brakes will be the biggest things. Back in the day people pulled big trailers around with passenger cars all the time, so it can be done.



Yep.
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  #22  
Old 02-09-2024, 10:43 PM
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Just because you can……doesn’t mean you should.

The proper solution: Procure a nice 1964 GMC or Chevy 3/4 ton truck and install a Pontiac 455 and TH400.

Do a front disc brake conversion and you’ll be set, nostalgia and solid old Pontiac V8 torque and reliability.

Primitive and a little uncomfortable but you’ll be looking oool doing your thang man.

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  #23  
Old 02-10-2024, 02:57 AM
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Originally Posted by b-man View Post
Just because you can……doesn’t mean you should.

The proper solution: Procure a nice 1964 GMC or Chevy 3/4 ton truck and install a Pontiac 455 and TH400.

Do a front disc brake conversion and you’ll be set, nostalgia and solid old Pontiac V8 torque and reliability.

Primitive and a little uncomfortable but you’ll be looking oool doing your thang man.
Personally, I don't care for that body style truck at all, but I get your point.
There are really only 1 or 2 trucks that I would ever want to spend very much money on, but they aren't exactly ideal for trailers as they would both be lifted 4x4 with big tires(Fall Guy replica or a more driveable version of the late '70s Bigfoot). Otherwise, it's just doing the most I can with the least $.

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  #24  
Old 02-10-2024, 12:33 PM
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In 1969 on our way to Detroit Dragway. '65 Catalina with a 4 speed conversion towing a '57 New Yorker. We were just kids.

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Old 02-11-2024, 04:25 PM
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I am old enough to have driven most of these cars when they were new. I knew NOBODY back then that towed with a truck. Trucks were uncomfortable, didn't handle worth sh-- and contrary to what you may think had LESS power that most mid sized cars. Most people that I knew that had pickup trucks had either a 6 cylinder or a small V8. They were all used for work. If you went on vacation you towed your camper or boat (even large ones) with the family sedan or station wagon. If you use common sense you will have no trouble.

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Old 02-11-2024, 06:09 PM
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I have no proof, but I think my 63 Bonne wagon was ordered w/a 4-speed for use as a tow vehicle.

James Q

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  #27  
Old 02-11-2024, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Goatracer1 View Post
I am old enough to have driven most of these cars when they were new. I knew NOBODY back then that towed with a truck. Trucks were uncomfortable, didn't handle worth sh-- and contrary to what you may think had LESS power that most mid sized cars. Most people that I knew that had pickup trucks had either a 6 cylinder or a small V8. They were all used for work. If you went on vacation you towed your camper or boat (even large ones) with the family sedan or station wagon. If you use common sense you will have no trouble.
This^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I towed my stock cars more times with one of my cars than a truck. I had a friend that used his truck to flat tow my stock car, 1968 GMC 1/2 ton, with a 3 on the tree, and a 250 cubic inch sraight 6. I used to ride in the car while we were towing, so I could do some of the braking with the race car brakes. I also would start the race car up when we came to a hill to push his truck. It was pitifully underpowered. He might make it in second gear on a big hill if I didn't start the race car up and push him. That 400 Pontiac would get you up the hill in a hurry............

Nights when we got rained out, it was a miserable ride back to town with no windows, except the windshield. You were soaked to the skin by the time we unhooked the car. We thought it was fun at the time.......LOL..

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  #28  
Old 02-11-2024, 09:37 PM
JJDeville JJDeville is offline
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A lot of excellent points have been covered. My big thing is yes you can pull it, but can you stop it? Those old drum brakes were adequate before we got used to 4 wheel disc brakes. You have to know what’s coming and be braking early. No panic stops! Also those old transmissions are just that, old! Unless you have a Turbo 400 installed , I wouldn’t tow. I can remember in the 70s when it was a big thing to tow big airstream trailers with big GM cars. Most were ordered with towing packages with optimal rear end ratios, heavy duty cooling systems, heavy duty springs and shocks, and 455 V8s with Turbo 400 transmissions. Also 10 ply tires are needed. You might be OK if you are just going across town,but not long distances. JMHO.

  #29  
Old 02-12-2024, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b-man View Post
Just because you can……doesn’t mean you should.
Me, young n dumb in 1978, at Lake Greenwood, SC, my '68 Firebird conv 350-2bbl, ST300, 2.78, 4 wheel std drums The hitch was a loop type that bolted to the bumper and had a bar that went forward of the trunk floor. I did only pull it from the lake house to the ramp a few miles away though.

I was smart enough to pay the tractor service there to launch the boat though

These days I use a 1994 Buick Roadmaster wagon or 2013 Silverado, both with receiver hitches, weight distribution system, and brake controllers! Oh and GM's 5k rating on the wagon and 7k on truck.
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  #30  
Old 02-12-2024, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by JJDeville View Post
... but can you stop it? Those old drum brakes were adequate before we got used to 4 wheel disc brakes. You have to know what’s coming and be braking early. No panic stops!
Drums are perfectly fine for panic stops. Where
discs start to shine is *consecutive* stops, brake
fade is not fun. But you can cook modern brakes
too. Knowing the limits (regardless of which style
is used) is kinda important.

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  #31  
Old 02-12-2024, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by 242177P View Post
Drums are perfectly fine for panic stops. Where
discs start to shine is *consecutive* stops, brake
fade is not fun. But you can cook modern brakes
too. Knowing the limits (regardless of which style
is used) is kinda important.

FWIW, 99% of the trailers with brakes, are drum brakes, so trailer manufacturers are comfortable with them. Until recently almost every tractor trailer on the road, also had drum brakes. Yes they're older technology, but they do the job as intended.

Dragging a loaded trailer at highway speeds without brakes, more than 1500# isn't safe anyway, no matter whether it's being pulled by a car, or a truck. Having disc/drum, or 4 wheel disc brakes on the vehicle towing it still isn't going to stop it any quicker/safer. The key is having either a surge system on the trailer, or electric brakes with a decent controller. The whole rig needs brakes on the axles so it stays in line when you have to stop abruptly. Trouble starts when the tow vehicle is doing the stopping, being pushed by the trailer, a jack knife is a good bet in that situation, been there, done that.

Just for the record, I've done some of the dumb stuff early on that I'm recommending not to do. Bad experinces led to recommending others not follow my blunders. I was lucky that I got away with some of the riskier things I've done without consequences.

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  #32  
Old 02-12-2024, 08:52 PM
Goatracer1 Goatracer1 is offline
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You people keep bashing Drum brakes but I wiped out the disc brakes on my Caprice wagon coming down Mt Washington because it had no engine braking. I had previously driven the Mountain with my 1966 Tempest and my 1965 GTO with no problem slowing down. Both had the tiny stock drums. Engine braking! Also people keep forgetting the TRAILER brakes. I see NO problem with braking while pulling your trailer.

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  #33  
Old 02-13-2024, 01:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanC View Post
my '68 Firebird conv

Looks like it only wants to go around in circles.
You should really get that checked out. Didn't
much care for fake wire wheels before, a nice
set of 15s might make me reach for my wallet
today. Weird.

  #34  
Old 02-13-2024, 08:49 AM
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We got our first truck in 1969.

K

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  #35  
Old 02-13-2024, 10:36 AM
'ol Pinion head 'ol Pinion head is offline
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Growing up, Dad special ordered our family's first unofFicial tow vehicle, that was early in the Fall of '68. Midnight green with a limelight green top '69 Executive Safari wagon. 428 T400, AC, HDC, 3.23's. Dad had one of his Pontiac rep contacts @ zone 20 drive it til near 3000 miles so he could get the best GM employee deal.

The Spring of '69, Dad then equipped the Safari with a trans cooler & very HD Equalizer hitch. Very similar hitch to todays Class 5 hitch, no breakaway box. Not every Summer, but at least every other one, our family was fortunate to head out on a 3 or 4 week vacation. Once at our destination, the trailer was parked in a good campground spot & Dad served his 2 weeks summer duty at a nearby AFB. Early July of '69, Colorado Springs area, '71 was near Maumstrom AFB in Montana. Last one long trip was in western WI, not sure on the base.

As far as the Pontiac Safari wagon went, Mom drove it as the family driver til Oct of '75. Dad had a company car till the Fall of '77. The turbo 400 in the Safari never had to be rebuilt, the 428's timing chain was changed early on. Through the late 80's up through today, hitting many massive boneyards through extensive travel, have ran across less than a dozen '69 Executive & Bonneville Safari wagons. Have a better chance seeing one at POCI Nats, many higher C/R wagons simply were gone by the 90's.

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