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Thread: reciver hitch

  1. #1
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    Default reciver hitch

    has any one ever installed a reciver hitch on a 240z? do you have any pictures? or advice on how this could be done?

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    Known Zitus carrier! hls30.com's Avatar
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    Welcome to the club, interesting first question.
    Because of the structure of 240Z, I would hope that you wouldn't be looking at anything more than a bicycle holder, more than 100lbs or so past the hatch(tongue weight, relative to the rear wheels) would not be good for the handling(the front end is light enough at speed) or the suspension of the car. While towing a trailer with little or no tongue weight would be doable, the brakes in a 240Z certianly are not up to towing much of a trailer-before adding contents, so consider brakes on almost any trailer a necessity.
    A hitch would need to be attatched to the bottom of the spare tub, and/or either side of it, and formed to exit under the bumper. A body colored plug would make it less noticeable when not in use. What year is your car?
    I have a '72 on a rotisserie-so taking measurements would be easy.
    Will
    A Z is beautiful from any angle, I just happen to prefer to view from the drivers' seat!

  3. #3
    Supporting Member EScanlon's Avatar
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    I agree and disagree with Will.

    I agree in that I don't know that I would add a trailer hitch or any kind of hitch to the back of the car, not only for the reasons Will cited, but also for the fact that the sheet metal wasn't designed with those stresses in mind. Add to that the car's willingness to lift it's front end at speed (with the OEM valances), it's weight distribution ratio, and you can see why it wasn't commonly done by anyone.

    But I disagree in that a trailer with little or no tongue weight would be okay.

    There are still the acceleration/deceleration and turning stresses to take into consideration. All of those would pull the hitch's mounting points in ways the sheet metal wasn't configured for. Add to that that the metal is 30+ years old and as we know here, it isn't known for it's ability to fight rust, or to fight a sudden impact of any sort, and you're asking a lot. If the car had more substantial metal framework in the rear that could be easily attached to, such as the mounting points for the rear end and the shock absorbers for the rear bumpers, then you might be able to use a Class I hitch.

    But the hitches that I've seen on Z's and pop up once in a while on e-Bay, only bolt to the Spare Tire Pan, to the rear valance AND the bumper...and even then they tend to distort the back of the car.

    Don't forget that tongue weight is only a measure of how much pressure DOWN the trailer is exerting on the hitch, a 5,000 pound trailer properly balanced could exert as little as 100 pounds, but it's the startup and braking that would make that combination deadly. Want to try towing a vehicle TWICE the rated weight of your car....and having to stop it in an emergency? Can you say...SPLAT?

    Top that with most people's tendency to overload and underestimate tongue weights and you have a DOUBLY serious recipe for disaster.

    Just my 2
    E

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    Car Guy
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    When we first bought my 280z, it had a hitch on the back of it. We took that thing off the first day we got it! The car literally went up a few inches as soon as we unbolted that thing!

  5. #5
    Registered User mlc240z's Avatar
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    a hitch on a sports car?

    that's almost blasphemy!!

    agree with Enrique tho, not a good idea,structurally.
    Bart

    5/71 240z, HLS30-31306, mostly stock, ZTherapy SU's, Pertronix, Eibach ProKit, KYB, Poly bushings, 60 amp alternator w/Dave's plug bypass, headlight and parking light harness upgrades.

  6. #6
    Car Guy
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    agree with Enrique tho, not a good idea,structurally.
    __________________
    Yup, and also like I said it adds a lot of weight to the back of it which I would assume would change the handling characteristics of the car, something you wouldn't want changed on a sports car.

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    the car in question is a 71 240z that I have had in my garage for over ten years now. I have been checking different websites over the years and have printed a 2" binder full of projects. such as a V engine and bigger brakes. one of my thoughts was to have the ability to make a trash run to the dump
    thanks.

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    Slacker Cethern's Avatar
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    I have one for my 280 and it bolts to the tow mount and the bumper. I don't think it's all that heavy but then I have not put it on a scale.

    My use for it would be to pull a small trailer to Autocrosses with a set of tires and a few tools. This has been done for years with other Sports Cars.
    John Coffey used one on ROD during his early days. I would post a link but I can not remember if I read that here or Hybridz.

    Cethern
    1973 240Z "Grandpa"
    1975 280Z "Zahara"

  9. #9
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    Well now,

    The P.O. fitted a towbar to my "Precious". Just hitching a trailer to her brought her nose up a little. I did one load to the dump and that was it. the next day I removed the towbar and gave it to a mate for use as scrap. Having a trailer DID have a detrimental effect on the car's handling. I would advise AGAINST fitting a towbar.

    If you don't know anything about "Towball Download", do a google search on the subject. ANYONE who does ANY towing should have a good knowledge of "Towball Download". About the only thing a Zed should tow is a kid's pedal car.

    Rick.
    IF YOU CAN READ THIS, THANK A TEACHER.
    SINCE IT'S IN ENGLISH, THANK A SOLDIER.


  10. #10
    Registered User tanny's Avatar
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    Default Trailer.

    If there is not enough weight on the tongue, you will lose steering control. Really critical to have enough weight on the tongue so that there is never any lift on the rear of the car. My mother rolled a brand new Chrysler Imperial(with myself and a friend as passengers) on an LA freeway because the trailer we were towing had been loaded so that there was almost no weight on the tongue, and she lost all steering control as we headed downhill and started to brake. With the Z being so light weight, it wouldn't take too much to create an unsafe steering problem. That, and the flimsy mounting possibilities wouldn't exactly make me feel very safe towing a trailer. I guess I'm just a bit paranoid after getting upside down on the freeway. Good luck though. Victor.
    73 Z, 06 Honda civic

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    Registered User Bonzi Lon's Avatar
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    This subject brings back a memory. When I bought my car in 1977 it had a trailer hitch instaled. That fall I put what I could in the Z and the rest in my parents 79 Lincoln Town Car trunk and went to a one year school for watchmakers and clockmakers. Upon graduation I had to move myself back so I thought "have hitch will trailer". I went to the local U-Haul dealer and they thought it would work with their smallest enclosed trailer. Just make sure it is loaded so everything is as level as possible and watch the speed and curves. It was about 4 foot square, real small.
    I was able to get everything in and it looked level and I had just gotten a new set of bias ply tires on sale. (see avitar) So off I go. It pulled fine and handled good, but you knew something was back there. Out on the road it was fine up to about 55 then it started to move around so had to back off and took it about 50. Slowest trip this car ever made from school to home.
    The only hard curve on the trip was getting off I-235 and Kellogg in Wichita. This is one tight downhill right-hand 270 degree curve onto the busiest road in town, at evening rush. It was a white knuckle ride all the way down, it was trying to swing the rear out and I was braking hard and trying to keep the nose turning without going too far, then made it just in time for a hard acceleration to merge and avoid another exit lane. Wow, what a ride! I was very releived when that was over, I was shaking for about 5 minutes after. Made it home in fine shape.
    The question is: Will I put it back on after restoration? Prob. It is an oxy-moron option. Will I ever use it for pulling. Not on your life!!!
    Bonzi Lon
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    Registered User Marty Rogan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cethern View Post
    I have one for my 280 and it bolts to the tow mount and the bumper. I don't think it's all that heavy but then I have not put it on a scale.

    My use for it would be to pull a small trailer to Autocrosses with a set of tires and a few tools. This has been done for years with other Sports Cars.
    John Coffey used one on ROD during his early days. I would post a link but I can not remember if I read that here or Hybridz.

    Cethern
    I just bought John's old trailer hitch. He said he used it for years to pull his race tires to Autocrosses. I intend to use it for the same purpose. It will be used to pull a very small, light weight utility trailer.

    One bar is bolted into the body with the bolt from the bumper mounts (early '71). The other bar is shaped to go around the fuel tank and get welded to the crossmember holding on the lower cotrol arms.

    Check out the pictures.

    Marty
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  13. #13
    Slacker Cethern's Avatar
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    Hi Marty
    Yours is different from mine in the area that goes under the fuel tank. I mite want to look at adding something like that.
    1973 240Z "Grandpa"
    1975 280Z "Zahara"

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