.. getting a little nervous on the potential van i'm about to acquire with a tare weight of 640kg, ball weight of 100kg?? my tow bar has been rated to 1000kg.. it's original bar that bolts on to the side frame with bumper bolts plus 2 more in rear of boot.. got a new tongue made up and final overall assessment with sub frame attachment was 1000kg max.. so my query is, to all the old holden owners what ATM are you lugging around? how have they handled towing, any stress points of concern? had a quick look through the search, the Holdens i found were a little warmer than mine.. i'm running a 138 stock grey, compression is even but maybe down a little at 130?.. drums all round with booster on it's way.. i guess the other valid point here is was planning to tow daily on road trip, nullarbor dreaming .. as opposed to drive and park up for days at time.. your thoughts, experience will be appreciated.. .. they're tough though ain't they.. ;D
The heaviest thing that I've had behind my FJ with stock 138 that was reportedly rebuilt some 20-30 years back with a nice rattly gudgeon pin is our clubs BBQ trailer, not sure of the weight but will see what I can find next week, this trailer is your basic 6x4 with a braked axle two lids four burner BBQ two gas bottles and a load of other bits and pieces all hanging on an original towbar bolted to the bumper irons and two bolts through the floor like yours and it towed fine, only towed it for a few miles but wouldn't worry if I had to go further, I also run a booster the only thing it didn't like was trying to take off in a hurry when trying to turn through traffic but then I'm still on the clutch plate I put in 20 years back so I'll let her off on that ;D as for my engine! it is in bad need of a rebuild but she is still running so as they say "if it ain't broke don't fix it"
P.S It's not the Ute you see it was my Sedan that I used as the Ute is??? well lets not go there hey.
Last Edit: Mar 14, 2012 21:45:50 GMT 10 by humpyboy
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Hi Leinamoon I tow my 10' (700kg) van with my FX & EJ, both 138's, with the EJ being sludgematic. Providing you don't want to break any speed records, they handle it fine. However, I do know they run hotter with the load on behind, not that I have proper temp gauges, they just smell warmer. Whenever I stop for fuel, I always stop long enough to be able to check the water in the radiator. Our SA VV gathering in Feb at Tanunda had the potential to be hot, so I fitted a radiator thermo fan to each car, to help when going slow. Haven't tried it with the EJ yet, but used it in FX.
hey thanks guys .. it's the ball weight that's got me! 100kg!!.. van was empty on weigh, no gas bottle.. where's it's coming from? hmmm.. guess only solution is to get out there and weigh with my own car.. still.. 740kg without gas, belongings isn't leaving me with much room.. factoring in insurance, safety etc… aww humpy.. what happened to the ute? ;D Steve, that 10ftr of yours is perfect
Post by webrake4bricabrac on Mar 15, 2012 13:10:08 GMT 10
I wonder how they came up with the 1000kg load rating?
Assuming a reasonable safety margin was included, you should be OK provided you don't exceed that limit. Referring to your most recent post, you do not need to add the ball weight (100kg) to the tare weight (640kg). Therefore, your available capacity to stay within the load rating is currently 360kg.
Obviously, you can reduce the ball weight by carefully distributing some of the load toward the rear of the van. I have heard the rule of thumb is to aim for 10% ball weight (i.e. 60-70kg in your case).
As far as road handling goes, you will just have to try it out for your unique combination of car and van.
Once you find a setup that works, you can load the van in the same manner every trip, without having to re-weigh it each time.
I also have a "stock" EK, but initially plan to use a modern towcar (with modern brakes), since my van (unloaded) is close to 1000kg.
For my future reference, where did you have your towbar fitted?
Called the owner of van to clarify how ball weight was obtained.. jockey wheel only on bridge.. in the confusion misheard tare.. is 740kg.. bugger the confusion, so went out to see guy who certifies all this for vic rds and just go by his instructions.. looked over my EK's rear end and rated the bar at 1000kg, ball weight of 100kg.. it's a professional estimate WB4BB, erring on side of caution to protect EK, so yeah a little to play with i guess.. he made up the tongue for me last year.. same as you, said ball weight isn't part of tare.. this van i'm looking at has no brakes, he'll be doing the overhaul.. the tow bar, just got my mechanic to do.. (if it's any consolation humpyboy, i lost my old EK sedan in a head on collision last year, crushed)
Last Edit: May 30, 2012 10:04:16 GMT 10 by leinamoon
G'day I tow a van that has a tare of about 750kg and have an all up of about 950-1000kg with an EK wagon stock 138 with drum brakes running on LPG and do it fairly comfortable. Yes the car is a bit slow on hills but in early days that is all we had nothing has changed that way. The rule of thumb is to have about 10% of the van weight on the tow ball this gives me about 100kg but that can vary a bit up or down. The old tow bars had no rating so it is advisable to be sensible about what weight you put in the van and to try to keep everything level. I have fitted a 3 core radiator and a big thermo fan and all works well with the heat. Tow speed on the flat is about 90KPH.
g,day , i tow a vintage van of around 750kg tare with an ek that has original towbar on it , just replaced the fitting bolts with high tensile ones as well as tonque bolts, tows fine... fit a thermo fan on the cars radiator as i did and it will run cooler....,
.. seems the average tare is around the 700kg, loaded up around the 1000kg.. which is on par with what was reccomended to me.. this old girl will be doing all the hard yakka booster definitely, running temp i'll wait and see how she travels, could get the radiator recored.. .. went out to check this van again, tare and ball weight wasn't adding up.. she's a beauty, but another trip out to weigh bridge revealed a tare of 900kg and yes ball weight of 100.. no good, leaves me with very little room to add neccessities let alone personal stuff.. disappointed.. will keep looking
Last Edit: May 30, 2012 10:04:52 GMT 10 by leinamoon
Remember that the figures you are talking about are all estimated as in the early days no such thing as tow ball weight was talked about. As long as you are sensible about the weight things should be ok. All modern towing equipment has to be rated as most modern cars are built to a standard and will bend or stretch if to much weight is put on them. XD falcons for example used to stretch the rear door opening. See how you go as I tow a van of 750kg plus load with a stock ek wagon and have no worries.
Post by starstruck on Jul 26, 2012 20:23:37 GMT 10
If its not too late, I just towed a van back to WA from Sydney with an FC sedan : ;D . It had the same towbar set up as yours. Van weighed maybe a tad lighter, but not by much. Didn't even know it was there. Long trip though at 80kph
.. great to hear StarStruck . geez it's been a while.. i finally found myself a great little van, it's a 12 footer, rough tare of 700kg.. EK travelled well back to my cousins shed 300km away but did notice the 'extra' work the grey was putting out, sat on about 80ks.. temp was fine the whole way, drum brakes weren't an issue at all (no booster) feeling fairly confident EK will make the trip (this one is relatively new, previous had 186 and disc.. i'm noticing the difference!!).. the nullarbor west coast adventure is still a dream at present.. van needs a little work done to it and want to set up solar for the trip.. anyone done this? offer advice? work space is an issue for me at the moment though too, once i can find that then the fun begins.. Cheeers
Post by starstruck on Jul 27, 2012 12:51:38 GMT 10
I'll be fitting a heater and electric wipers If ever I do it again (the purists wont like It). Nature through everything It had at me. 50k of thunder storm, 700k of fog and 3600k of roos. Still getting over It (cough cough). Drove near on non stop due to work commitments (3 days and 6 hours including sleep stops). It wasn't a holiday unfortunately, but better times to come ;D Colin
Your towbar set up on the old Holden will be fine. 100kg towball weight sound excessive. Does the van have a front kitchen??.. or is the van axle set a long way back??
Just plonk the van on the towball and have a look how level the van is sitting . If the car is down in the rear dont get drawn into fitting load levellers . They transfer the load of the van through those small bolts that hold your towbar on. Do not use high tensile bolts to bolt the towbar on. High tensile steel is more brittle and likely to snap than a standard bolt. rather find a bent bolt in a towbar mount than a snapped one.
Just my opinion on that set up. I am sure there are equally as many theorys in favour of them. After all there is a million vans being towed out there with load levellers on .
If the car sits low in the rear a better solution is to fit commercial springs from a Pvan or ute.. they have seven leaves in the spring stack instead of the standard 5 on a sedan or wagon. Other alternative is fit a "Keeper"spring either side under the main leaf spring. These are available at most auto spares shops.
My stock FJ ute tows the 11ft Bondwood happily at 80/90KPH all day..... back to second at 35 MPH on big hills... and just let the old 138 do its thing. It has a pair of air shocks which i inflate to around 70psi when towing. ( helps the springs hold the bum of the car up a bit ).I have fitted thick mounting plates at the shocks top mounting points to prevent any metal fatigue in that area.
Leave plenty of distance between you and the car in front so the old drum brakes can pull you up in time.... especially if your van isnt fitted with brakes. A booster works great on drum brakes. If you dont like the look of a booster under the bonnet ya can always mount one under the gaurd or under the floor somewhere.
Now stop panicking and get out there and enjoy the hobby. Gotta love the old F and E series Holdens Reddo
Hey Reddo thanks for the above! makes sense what you say.. level riders transferring weight to the tow bar attachments as opposed to adjusting the leafs which i assume would transfer the weight more evenly, across the whole rear end..? The Keeper spring you mention, is this the same as 'over riders' ? attached to both ends of the spring.. from my understanding also help to lift up a little.. My EK does sag some, more pronounced when van attached, though remains smooth over the bumps (with or without load).. steering was never an issue. Just checked the leafs, got 4.. checked the shop manual it states 4 for sedan, 6 for wagon and commercial.. I guess each leaf is weighted differently also between the two.. no chance of sliding two in from my old sedan..? I'm thinking ill have more luck finding these 'keeper springs' you mention than 6 leaf set up.. haven't had the shocks looked at yet either. So guessing the added stiffness won't affect the integrity of other components in the rear end..? The 100 kg ball weight was from one of the earlier vans i had looked at. Van i ended up with is about 700 kg, haven't sussed the ball weight on it yet. Cheers, Leina
Leina, I see that you are in Melb (somewhere) might sound a bit cheeky but I have a mate in the business (springs) he is in Thomastown 94664193, his name is Ray give him a call and tell him your plans and I am sure he will look after you, tell him Derk sent you ;D
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