Narrowed Tow Bar

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Narrowed Tow Bar

Post by rpm750 on Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:49 am

Ok, at sometime I will like to tow my car rather than drive it. I've towed it in the past. But now I need to narrow my tow bar because I've narrowed the front beam. Has anyone done this? I'm sure its just cut and weld but just like to check.

Also when towing what are some other things to think about? I was wondering about the transaxle. Will it over heat by chance or damage it when going long trips?
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Re: Narrowed Tow Bar

Post by fluxcap on Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:16 am

I've read stories on the Samba about people using towbars for cross-country trips, so as long as the transaxle is in good shape and full of fluid it should be just fine. I've also read that lots of people say not to back up when using a towbar, and if you have to, unhook the car first. Then there are lots of people who come back and say they've backed up dozens of times with no problem. I never have tried backing up with mine, but I'd be a little hesitant to.

As far as narrowing the bar, I don't have any experience with that. Have you already test fitted it? How far of is it from fitting?

How did the drive to work today go? If you're going to be around Newnan this weekend, we should meet up somewhere, I'm dying to see that car!

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Re: Narrowed Tow Bar

Post by bumblebuggy on Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:24 am

Why tow it when you can drive it?

AAA + tool kit = Go anywhere.
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Re: Narrowed Tow Bar

Post by rpm750 on Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:56 am

I'll never back one on a tow bar! I'd drive mine on longer trips if I have other vehicles with me, you see I'll be the guy to put a rod through the block. That s#!t happens to me! Crying or Very sad

I'll be out and about Eric, I'll send you a pm on Friday and we'll hook up. Can't wait to see yours either...... Bug that is! lol! It's a Rag right. Shocked
I'm planning on driving mine to Palmetto for my wife's family feast tomorrow. I think using it as a grocery getter will be good too, you know around town stuff. I'll drive it to work from time to time, got to get that gas tank leak fixed. That gas smell was making me sick, not to mention it was cold as hell. Heat exchangers back on first thing Sat.! I'll be able to open the pop outs going home this afternoon.
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Re: Narrowed Tow Bar

Post by bumblebuggy on Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:22 pm

Just ignore me dude. I'm a die hard driver. I understand the fear that comes along with driving these old cars and I'm just giving people crap for not even trying to roll them. I'll always stop for an air cooled car that's on the side of the road, but I'll roll right past one that's sitting on a trailer.
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Re: Narrowed Tow Bar

Post by rpm750 on Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:16 pm

When I was young, my dad and I were going to a Braves game and the car over heated and that experience has scared me for life. Why I don't know but to this day I have a fear of breaking down. I love drivin my car, it is cool to see everyones reaction to it. You just don't see Beetles anymore and especially ones like ours. Driving these cars are raw and by the seat of the pants. I didn't know how rough our roads were!
I don't think the fuel gauge moved either, well except what was spilt!
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Re: Narrowed Tow Bar

Post by LungTube on Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:32 pm

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Re: Narrowed Tow Bar

Post by bumblebuggy on Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:31 pm

Most people love old VWs. They have an aura of love/karma surrounding them and people come out of the woodwork to help where, if you were driving a Camry, they would normally leave you be.

I broke my clutch cable in the bus sitting at an intersection one time and four people helped me push it into a gas station. Even after thanking them all, one of them still went in the store and bought me a soda afterwards as if to thank me for letting him push my ailing van.

Once, while driving my bug to FL about five years back, I broke my accelerator cable on I-75. I had enough speed to coast 3/4 of the way up an off-ramp. While I sat there rigging up some speaker wire to get me on the road again, no less than three cars stopped to offer some sort of assistance. One hadn't even intended to exit there until they saw me working on my car.

I delivered Pizzas in my bug before I got my current job and did it for over two years. I was the only driver at my store who never called in because my car was in the shop or broken. I can't tell you how many times I got an extra few bucks in a tip because my bug was idling in the customers driveway.

With the proliferation of cell phones, I don't see any reason to fear driving a well tuned VW from here to Seattle. There are always people, shops, and clubs around who are willing to help. Even the two major breakdowns we had on the way to Bug Jam were fixed before the weekend was out with the help of this wonderful community. Hell, many of the people posting here would go out of thier way to answer the distress call of a fellow Vdubber. I'll drive all the way to Newnan to help you out if you really need it. I'll drive out there just to make sure you have some backup to make it to a club meet...Ask Eric (fluxcap). If you call me @ 2:00am with an emergency VW distress call, I'll come to help you if I can. So, fear not. Drive the wheels off of it. You'll get more comfortable as you put more miles and wander further in your car. I say test the limits and see how far you can go. The trip is just so much more fun in an old VW and the stories will eventually outweigh any of the fears you may have. Still a tow bar does come in handy if there is an engine failure and it never hurts to be prepared. Now I always have spare cables in my car but I would never have learned that without my on the road lessons.
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Re: Narrowed Tow Bar

Post by fluxcap on Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:25 pm

bumblebuggy wrote:
I'll drive all the way to Newnan to help you out if you really need it. I'll drive out there just to make sure you have some backup to make it to a club meet...Ask Eric (fluxcap). If you call me @ 2:00am with an emergency VW distress call, I'll come to help you if I can.

Glenn has offered his assistance many times. Luckily I've never had to take him up on it yet! Although, everytime I leave a meet or show, he says "If you have any trouble on the way home, give me a call...........and I'll laugh" Suspect Laughing


That's a good link Neil. Thanks!

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Re: Narrowed Tow Bar

Post by 59suicide on Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:02 pm

I drive my bug everyday to work... well when its running right... i just keep a set of tools with me and some random spare parts like swedges and extra cable just in case a cable snaps I can just do a quick fix and limp Toby home. I have had my wheel fall off a couple times, so now i drive around with a jack torque wrench and extra lugs and I usually check the torque on the wheels every morning, havent had a problem since i used lock-tite though. Just drive it.


lol! like your avitar Neil Twisted Evil
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Re: Narrowed Tow Bar

Post by rpm750 on Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:57 pm

Yeah, My wife and I just got back from Red Robin. We cruised down Bullsboro back home. Hey Eric, Steph (step-daughter) text me about seeing you at Red Robin. That was cool because I was still driving home in the bug.

Thanks bumblebuggy, the next Bug show we'll caravan to it. The Sonic drive will be a good little ride but to me thats local. You're right though I have a POS Intrepid that is in my drive right now and will not run. Will have it towed to repair shop, I don't have the proper test equipment to diagnose the problem.

One other thing I had another fuel sender for the tank, much better now no smells!!!!!
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Re: Narrowed Tow Bar

Post by 71_georgia_beetle on Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:24 pm

When you narrow the tow bar, be mindful of the grease nipples if they were not relocated during the beam narrowing.
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Re: Narrowed Tow Bar

Post by fluxcap on Thu Nov 27, 2008 7:50 am

rpm750 wrote:Yeah, My wife and I just got back from Red Robin. We cruised down Bullsboro back home. Hey Eric, Steph (step-daughter) text me about seeing you at Red Robin. That was cool because I was still driving home in the bug.

Yep, she met us at the door and started talking about bugs, then she mentioned a 60's orange bug her dad had just finished, and I said you must be talking about Bob. Small Town! Me and Kelly love the Red Robin.

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Re: Narrowed Tow Bar

Post by Damn-it Don on Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:01 am

Unscrew the grease nipples before attaching the tow bar. Put them in your pocket.
Don't back up- especially in a lowered car, you'll bend it!
Very Happy Happy Towing
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Re: Narrowed Tow Bar

Post by rpm750 on Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:10 am

I've never had to remove the grease fittings before? They are still in the stock position, well except one it wound up under the steering stop bracket. The tow bar I have fits tight against the shock towers. There is about an inch of clearance to the fittings.
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Re: Narrowed Tow Bar

Post by 71_georgia_beetle on Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:22 am

rpm750 wrote:I've never had to remove the grease fittings before? They are still in the stock position, well except one it wound up under the steering stop bracket. The tow bar I have fits tight against the shock towers. There is about an inch of clearance to the fittings.
I have never removed them either but I have heard of people doing this. On my 71 standard there is about 1/4" to the nipple. I knew of someone that cut down their tow bar right on grease nipples so he had to remove them each time.
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Re: Narrowed Tow Bar

Post by Damn-it Don on Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:51 am

If the tow bar fits snug- your grease fittings are safe, but if it slides from side to side some- consider it.
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Re: Narrowed Tow Bar

Post by rpm750 on Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:31 am

Thanks guys for your replies, all things considered.
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Re: Narrowed Tow Bar

Post by skunk on Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:18 am

ive got a 6in narrowed beam and my towbar fits perfectly
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Re: Narrowed Tow Bar

Post by bumblebuggy on Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:13 am

What's a tow bar? scratch
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Re: Narrowed Tow Bar

Post by Damn-it Don on Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:30 am

It's a...well its kinda like....um.....
a tubular version of a AAA card. And once it's paid for, there are no renewal fees.
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