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Thread: tow bar

Forum to discuss Austin Healey Sports Cars

  1. #1
    Yoda tahoe healey's Avatar
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    tow bar

    Any recommendations for tow bars and how best to attach them to a BJ8? With the fires in CA I would like to be able to remove the Healey to safety. We are currently not in jeopardy but we do live in the Tahoe forest and escaped the fire 12 years ago with a friend moving the Healey.

  2. #2
    Yoda Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Re: tow bar

    I have one and will try to post a pic tomorrow. it is a standard folding bar the ends of which I had modified by having short lengths of round bar welded on which slip into tow eyes that bolt up to the frame left and right. It takes about 5 minutes to deploy and the car tows wonderfully.
    Last edited by Michael Oritt; 10-28-2019 at 06:43 AM.

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    Yoda Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Re: tow bar

    TH--

    I hope these four photos are large enough for you to see how I attach the tow bar to my car.

    I bought the tow eyes from DW but there are probably other suppliers whose eyes are the same or similar. I cannot remember where I bought the tow bar but you will find a similar one at Harbor Freight. I modified it by having solid steel bar stock of appropriate diameter to fit the eyes welded onto the ends of the tow bar, with holes drilled in the ends to receive the spring-loaded linch pins. Once the bars are in the tow eyes I set up the light cross bar and rig the safety chain around the anti-roll bar, then hook up to the tow hitch.

    I do not tie down the Healey's steering wheel but rather let the car follow along and it tracks perfectly with the front wheels moving to left/right on turns on their own. I DO NOT GO INTO REVERSE!!!

    Some time back we had a good--if perhaps inconclusive--discussion about flat-towing our cars at:

    https://www.britishcarforum.com/bcf/...owing-a-Healey

    Perhaps your post will cause us to revisit the matter, and in any case I hope this helps and that you do not have to make an emergency evacuation .
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Le Mans
    1959 Elva MK IV Sports Racer
    1961 Ginetta G4

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    Obi Wan RAC68's Avatar
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    Re: tow bar

    Hi Michael,

    Really creative idea. I have nothing to pull my Healey with but I think your bar seems so good that I am thinking of building one so I will be ready when I buy an SUV with a towing setup.

    Ray(64BJ8P1)
    Last edited by RAC68; 10-29-2019 at 03:35 AM.

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    Yoda Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Re: tow bar

    Ray--

    You wouldn't need an SUV and could certainly pull the Healey with your family car--maybe even a Moped assuming you found a way to mount a tow ball.

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Le Mans
    1959 Elva MK IV Sports Racer
    1961 Ginetta G4

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    Yoda steveg's Avatar
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    Re: tow bar

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Oritt View Post
    Ray--

    You wouldn't need an SUV and could certainly pull the Healey with your family car--maybe even a Moped assuming you found a way to mount a tow ball.
    Might take a little more for the 10,000 ft passes in Colorado.
    Steve Gerow
    Altadena, CA, USA
    Maker of most complete Big Healey rear disc kit
    Check out my galleries:
    http://www.pbase.com/stevegerow


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    Yoda tahoe healey's Avatar
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    Re: tow bar

    Very confusing info on not disconnecting the drive shaft. As I probably will not be doing 100 miles I'm thinking to leave the shaft connected. Thanks for all the replays.

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    Jedi Knight TimK's Avatar
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    Re: tow bar

    Having flat towed an MGB thousands of miles to races, you need to have a substantially bigger tow vehicle to avoid the towed vehicle overwhelming the tow vehicle if you need to make evasive maneuvers or go around a corner too fast. I learned the hard way. You have to remove the tow bar if you need to back up — not possible while flat towing. I did have a reverse threaded hub nut come loose and almost lost a wheel and axle. Not sure if Healey’s have the left wheel reverse threaded. Reverse threading works when the wheel is under power, but when towed it can unscrew itself.
    Tim K.
    1960 3000 BN7 (owned since 1981)
    1973 Yamaha TX500 (Owned since new -- 11,000 lifetime miles)
    Former LBC’s: 1961 TR3, 1966 MGB (SCCA race car)
    First car: Volvo 122S

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    Yoda Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Re: tow bar

    ok maybe not a Moped.

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    Jedi Knight TimK's Avatar
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    Re: tow bar

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Oritt View Post
    ok maybe not a Moped.
    LOL
    Tim K.
    1960 3000 BN7 (owned since 1981)
    1973 Yamaha TX500 (Owned since new -- 11,000 lifetime miles)
    Former LBC’s: 1961 TR3, 1966 MGB (SCCA race car)
    First car: Volvo 122S

  11. #11
    Yoda John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: tow bar

    Quote Originally Posted by TimK View Post
    .... I did have a reverse threaded hub nut come loose and almost lost a wheel and axle. Not sure if Healey’s have the left wheel reverse threaded. Reverse threading works when the wheel is under power, but when towed it can unscrew itself.
    Healeys do have handed knock offs.
    John, BN4

  12. #12
    Yoda Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Re: tow bar

    Tim--

    You said: "Reverse threading works when the wheel is under power, but when towed it can unscrew itself."

    If this is the case why wouldn't front wheels "unscrew themselves" when a car is driven as they are never under power?

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Le Mans
    1959 Elva MK IV Sports Racer
    1961 Ginetta G4

  13. #13
    Yoda
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  14. #14
    Yoda Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Re: tow bar

    Bob--

    I understand the concept and was simply inquiring of Tim why he felt that the knockoff's might loosen when a car was being towed.

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Le Mans
    1959 Elva MK IV Sports Racer
    1961 Ginetta G4

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    Yoda tahoe healey's Avatar
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    Re: tow bar

    In inspection of the tow bars available, I am having trouble visualizing how they attach to the frame using the existing threaded mounting welded nuts. Moss sells the attachments that fit the frame but the commercial tow bars have a different configuration.

  16. #16
    Yoda Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Re: tow bar

    TH--

    If you view the pics in post #3 you'll see that I cut off the ends of the collapsible tow bar and had solid bar stock--probably about 1" diameter--welded to the ends of each leg. The bars slip into the tow eyes from the outside and are secured with lynch pins. I'm not sure how to describe this more clearly but if you like give me a call at 305-793-9467 and I will walk through it with you.
    Last edited by Michael Oritt; 10-31-2019 at 11:06 PM.

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Le Mans
    1959 Elva MK IV Sports Racer
    1961 Ginetta G4

  17. #17
    Yoda tahoe healey's Avatar
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    Re: tow bar

    I saw your design. Very nice. But I was looking for something "out of the box".

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