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Realistically speaking...


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19 replies to this topic

#1 lostinthe202

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 07:41 AM

... What could one tow with an EA81?

I was browsing through pics someplace or another and saw a brat with a tow hitch on it. From my understanding the brats never had an engine that was any bigger than mine (ea81 hatch) so it got me to thinkin'...

I'm going to be moving across the country soon and while I'm not taking all the much stuff, only what will fit in my car, I do have one rather large item that I don't want to part with but I haven't figured out how to get across without taking it apart... again..., a 1974 cb550 motorcycle.

I work in a machine shop and have access to plenty of steel so I thought of building a trailer, I just had may doubts as to whether my car could tow it. I plan on putting on hydraulic breaks so stopping won't be an issue, but I have my doubts as to whether the Roo could haul the weight.

Figure it to be about 2000 - 2500lbs total weight which includes, the car's contents, the bike and the trailer which with it's contents might be about 1500.

Does the motor have enough power? If so, can the drive train take it?, If so what about suggestions for beefing up the rear suspension?

as always, thanks!!

#2 Bucky92

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 07:44 AM

We towed an 82 GLF coupe...with an 84 EA81 4WD wagon...on a tow dolly...did fine ..alittle slow on the hills and stopping was tricky..Th Subaru motors may not have alot of HP but they do have torque...and that is what gives you the ability to tow...

#3 lostinthe202

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 07:50 AM

Opps! My bad I should have done a search first, I got ahead of myself...

http://www.ultimates...ighlight=towing

#4 Quidam

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 07:53 AM

I would not do this and if you do, the brakes on a trailer might save your rump roast at some point. Let me know your route plans so I can avoid the area. :)

Rent a box truck, load all your stuff inside. Just a suggestion.

Doug

#5 lostinthe202

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 07:58 AM

I would not do this and if you do, the brakes on a trailer might save your rump roast at some point. Let me know your route plans so I can avoid the area. :)

Rent a box truck, load all your stuff inside. Just a suggestion.

Doug



....uh yeah... I just finished reading the post I linked to above. At least until it devolved...

I think I'll be making other plans....

#6 Milemaker13

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 08:13 AM

Hey lost-
You will have no problem towing your bike. Keep your trailer as light as possible (some folks use so much steel its crazy). Ever seen the 4' x 4' trailer Menards sells? The little red ones? Think along those lines. The car will be fine, just keep in mind you will be slow to start and stop. I towed my boat all over, launched it, everything. As far as towing anything else, I've never had a problem. I towed a broken down cherokee home @25mph! Do you have any real towing experiance? Hopefully Gloyale will chime in- He just moved back to Oragon from Wisconsin towing a trailer FULL of crap. He is the one to talk to about it. How are you doing your hitch? That would be the "weak link" if not done right. There are lots of suggestions floating around here.

#7 Stevethefolkie

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 08:36 AM

Not sure of the legality of it - but you could build a fixture to hold the front wheel of the MC to the rear bumper, remove the chain and just use the back wheel (of the bike) as a dolly. Tap into the MC's brake and turnsignals to be extra safe. A CB550 isn't that heavy - it's not like you're planning to haul a gold wing - I'd THINK that this setup would have the least parasitic (wheel and wind) drag -

#8 lostinthe202

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 08:38 AM

Hey lost-
You will have no problem towing your bike. Keep your trailer as light as possible (some folks use so much steel its crazy). Ever seen the 4' x 4' trailer Menards sells? The little red ones? Think along those lines. The car will be fine, just keep in mind you will be slow to start and stop. I towed my boat all over, launched it, everything. As far as towing anything else, I've never had a problem. I towed a broken down cherokee home @25mph! Do you have any real towing experiance? Hopefully Gloyale will chime in- He just moved back to Oragon from Wisconsin towing a trailer FULL of crap. He is the one to talk to about it. How are you doing your hitch? That would be the "weak link" if not done right. There are lots of suggestions floating around here.



Yeah, I saw Gloyale's response in that towing post link above, looks like he did fine. Most of my towing experience is of the, "rental truck with a car on a flatbed" kind. I've been across the country 9 times in the last 3 years and 4 of those with trailers. This of course does not make me an expert by any means, but I am familiar with how they like to ride both forwards and backwards. But I know that the rental truck/trailer cross country combination usually runs 3 grand after hotels/food/gas so I'm interested in alternatives. I suppose I could stop moving around, but what fun would that be:-p

I suppose this is a bit of the "could I" vs. "should I". No I people shouldn't weld while standing water, yes I see it all the time in steel mills. Yes I should wear my seatbelt even if I'm just driving down the street a bit (actually I wear mine religiously), no I don't always do it. As many people pointed out in the above thread, it's not that it can't be done, it's that the unforeseen is that much harder to deal with. But, and I'll probably get a sound thrashing from the professionals here, there is a big difference between the load I'm talking about and what they deal with daily.

I dunno...

#9 lostinthe202

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 08:40 AM

Not sure of the legality of it - but you could build a fixture to hold the front wheel of the MC to the rear bumper, remove the chain and just use the back wheel (of the bike) as a dolly. Tap into the MC's brake and turnsignals to be extra safe. A CB550 isn't that heavy - it's not like you're planning to haul a gold wing - I'd THINK that this setup would have the least parasitic (wheel and wind) drag -



Hmm.... hadn't thought of that. I know I could fabricate something that would keep it stable, but convincing the highway patrol may be a different story;)

#10 Frank B

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 09:51 AM

Not sure of the legality of it - but you could build a fixture to hold the front wheel of the MC to the rear bumper, remove the chain and just use the back wheel (of the bike) as a dolly. Tap into the MC's brake and turnsignals to be extra safe. A CB550 isn't that heavy - it's not like you're planning to haul a gold wing - I'd THINK that this setup would have the least parasitic (wheel and wind) drag -


A product exists on the market just for that.
http://www.motorcycl...cycle_caddy.htm
But your still putting stress, or wear on the rear suspension, tire and bearings. Not very derirable when your dealing with a classic bike.

Take one of these,
http://www.northernt..._6970_7262_7262
extend it enough for the bike to fit, bolt on one of these,
http://www.northernt...22871_200322871
And your good. Oh, and always bring a spare tire and wheel.

#11 Milemaker13

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 09:58 AM

Actually I have seen this front wheel set up before. It was made by a real company to slide in a 2' reciever... I have had the same "gotta get the car and bike somewhere" blues.. I took a plane back for the bike:) Look online for some pics of it to get an idea. You would'nt even know its back there. Honestly dude, you'd never even know the bike was back there on a small trailer like we talked about. Just drive like an old man, keep a few more feet between. Borrow a trailer and try it out if possible. You will see its not a problem. You're not towing much weight. Make the trailer deck (of that 4'x4' trailer) so it cover part of the toung so its long enuff for your bike. Just make sure of how you strap it up, not leaning on the kick stand! Straight up, w/ 4 RATCHET straps. 4 corners at angles so it is rock solid. You should be able to shake the heck out of the bike and it should stay ridgid on the trailer. Try to make a front wheel mount up there to keep 'er straight. Wish I had pic of my bikes on trailers to show ya better. Last thing we want is your bike passing you in a curve on the highway!

#12 lostinthe202

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 10:04 AM

A product exists on the market just for that.
http://www.motorcycl...cycle_caddy.htm
But your still putting stress, or wear on the rear suspension, tire and bearings. Not very derirable when your dealing with a classic bike.

Take one of these,
http://www.northernt..._6970_7262_7262
extend it enough for the bike to fit, bolt on one of these,
http://www.northernt...22871_200322871
And your good. Oh, and always bring a spare tire and wheel.


Actually I have seen this front wheel set up before. It was made by a real company to slide in a 2' reciever... I have had the same "gotta get the car and bike somewhere" blues.. I took a plane back for the bike:) Look online for some pics of it to get an idea. You would'nt even know its back there. Honestly dude, you'd never even know the bike was back there on a small trailer like we talked about. Just drive like an old man, keep a few more feet between. Borrow a trailer and try it out if possible. You will see its not a problem. You're not towing much weight. Make the trailer deck (of that 4'x4' trailer) so it cover part of the toung so its long enuff for your bike. Just make sure of how you strap it up, not leaning on the kick stand! Straight up, w/ 4 RATCHET straps. 4 corners at angles so it is rock solid. You should be able to shake the heck out of the bike and it should stay ridgid on the trailer. Try to make a front wheel mount up there to keep 'er straight. Wish I had pic of my bikes on trailers to show ya better. Last thing we want is your bike passing you in a curve on the highway!





Holy crap that's a cheap trailer. The Chinese must be trailer haulin' fools!

$179.00 is almost cheap enough for me to abandon my trailer making plans, I could just modify this one. It probably won't last very long, but I only need 3000 miles out if it!

#13 MilesFox

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 01:37 PM

for that price you could rent a 4x8u-haul, the low profile one. it will be just fine. lots easier to tow than whole cars, like i have done with subarus

#14 Gloyale

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 06:24 PM

On my last trip from Wisconsin to Oregon I had my 4x6.5 foot trailer with the following in it:

1 engine hoist

1 engine stand

5 jackstands

2 ea82 engines

1 EA82 2wd turbo trans

6 ea82 axles

1 rear diff.

2 ea82 drive shafts

4 wagon wheels with tires

ea82 turbo crossmember

2 ea82t crossover pipes

3 full ea82t harnesses

assorted, starters, turbos, alternators, a couple intakes, 4 gl-10 door cards and armrests




Now, my tow car for that trip was Full Time AWD and Turbo, so I had disc brakes, and rear drive axles engaged.

But I've done the trip across country with an old carbed GL in 2wd with the same trailer, and was just fine. Not as heavy of a load though, maybe 2/3rd as much.

Drive careful, make sure you've got a good solid hitch with safety chains, lights, and good tires on the trailer. You'll be fine. Go slow down the passes, and give others lots of "buffer zone" around you. This was my direct experience.

#15 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 06:44 PM

Im not going to get into this argument again. So i'll just advise you of the safer alternative.

Rent a u-haul with a car trailer. Tow the Subaru on the trailer with it full of stuff. Get a u-haul big enough to put the bike in.

It might also come out to be alittle cheaper in the long run. If you spent all the time and money to build a trailer, when would you use it again? You plan on moving or hauling a bunch of stuff? If so, maybe a EA81 hatch isnt the car for you.

-Brian

#16 lostinthe202

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 08:07 AM

Im not going to get into this argument again. So i'll just advise you of the safer alternative.

Rent a u-haul with a car trailer. Tow the Subaru on the trailer with it full of stuff. Get a u-haul big enough to put the bike in.

It might also come out to be alittle cheaper in the long run. If you spent all the time and money to build a trailer, when would you use it again? You plan on moving or hauling a bunch of stuff? If so, maybe a EA81 hatch isnt the car for you.

-Brian




Sorry Brian, I posted before I searched.... Bad Lost, Bad!

I didn't intend to rehash the arguement :)

That being said, I already have the steel and axle for a trailer so money wise, not much spent there. Time is another matter, but I have never been able to sit still, ( my sister called me the twitcher growing up:-p ) so I don't care about that part.

As for whether the hatch is the right car for me, well perhaps it isn't. But then no vehicle is... except perhaps a pickup that is capable of hauling 20 ft. sticks of tubing, full sheets of drywall and plywood, but is still able to fit into city parking spots without circling for three hours looking for one long enough and gets 30 miles to the gallon;)

Not trying to be a smart**s or anything just pointing out the age old dilemma that afflicts so many of us poor working stiffs.

I will almost def. go the rental truck route. I've seen my share of nasty highway action flipped tractor trailers and all. Half the equation is how safe and competent you are, but the other half is how safe and competent everyone else is and until they start administering IQ exams at the DMV, the other half is not to be taken lightly.

Really I think this post was some sort of passive-aggressive digital outburst at having to scrape together another 3k because I just can't seem to sit still!

#17 LPGsuperchargedBrumby

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 10:19 AM

i used to tow my jetski everywhere with my Brumby and never had a problem.... apart from almost dieing of terminal bordom while crawling up any long steep hill that i encountered :lol:

#18 Gloyale

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 12:34 PM

I will almost def. go the rental truck route. I've seen my share of nasty


I pulled a trailer for all my soob stuff.

But to move the whole Family, we BOUGHT a truck.

It's ugly, 86 GMC 14foot box truck, 6.2 diesel, and lots of rust. Got it for $650, put $150 into battery and a brake caliper and pads. It was way cheaper in the long run, and now we till own the truck. Which is good cause we stayed with family for a month first, then had to move again once we got a place. The truck was like rolling storage.

We spent way less than a uhaul would have cost, and got to load and travel at our lesiure. Plus I could still sell it and get some money back.

#19 Frank B

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 09:35 AM

you could always rent a box truck big enough to put the car inside of. It's done everyday. Just make sure you strap it down very well. The truck WILL handle the weight.
I used to work at a manufacturing plant in town here, and the headquarters is in Iowa. So when ever some big-shot transfered they would put all there stuff in a trailer and ship it to the plant. I can't remember how many times I would be halfway through unloading a tralier when I would fid a car!

#20 Ross

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 06:28 PM

The bike will be fine, the only thing you should be worried about at all is braking, but that shouldn't be too much of an issue with a light load like that. I regularly tow with my ea81t wagon, with trailer weights of up to 2000kg (obviously only short around town trips with trailers that heavy though....). Very hard on your clutch and rear shocks, and good trailer brakes (electronic ones, NOT overrun!) are a must, as is properly setting up tongue load.

As for long open road trips, I'd be reluctant to tow more than 700kg or so...




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