towing heavy vehicles

  • balinwire
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13 Sep 2004 23:39 #2204 by balinwire
balinwire created the topic: towing heavy vehicles
I finally got a trailer to tow the Cord. It is 18'long by 7' wide with two 3500 axles and 15 in. wheels. It came with two 4 ft. angle steel ramps. It has no sides to interfere with door opening.

This trailer has a flat wood deck. I noticed there are many auto transporters with slanted tails. This would make clearance much better. I am sure I will have problems with clearance on the flat bed, as the pipes and the battery box are eight inches from the ground. The Cord fenders are eleven inches or less from the ground.

It also has electric brakes that I will have to setup a controller in the cab of the tow vehicle. New 5 ply tires and wheels. I would have liked an 8000 lb. or more capacity trailer but the cost of steel has gone up 20% recently and they are proud of these baby?s.

I think I can get the Cord 812 Westchester safely moved but I would like suggestions on how I can get it up on the deck without bottoming out. Do I block the ramps or tilt the deck at an angle? ACDers have been moving these cars for years and there must be a lot of tricks getting the autos loaded on trailers.

My car is not running now so I have not been able to test it going up the ramps. I also need some ideas on tying it down. I was going to use some heavy chain at the rear axle and two pieces of chain at the front with some chain tighteners. Maybe another piece of chain for safety also.

Please share hints you may have from previous trailering experience, as I do not want this thing falling off the trailer, balin? <!-- s:?: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_question.gif" alt=":?:" title="Question" /><!-- s:?: -->

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15 Sep 2004 01:20 #2219 by
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A couple of things I've learned to watch out:
1. For the rear axle I wrap around the spring in front of the axle and have both straps come under the rear axle. You have to watch the brake line on the rear axle if you wrap a chain or strap around the axle.

2. Watch out for the weight distribution on your trailer. The Cord is front heavy. The center of gravity front to rear on a Westchester is at the door post in front of the front door.

3. Be careful you are going to have a lot of weight behind you.

Jim

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  • Bill Hummel
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15 Sep 2004 14:21 #2223 by Bill Hummel
Bill Hummel replied the topic: Trailers
I am no expert since I have only towed my Cord once, but I do learn fast. The following is based upon my experience going to the Texas ACD meet last year. I rented a similar sized trailer, but mine did have an angled back to make loading easier. (I was missing my top and I didn't want to drive 600 miles with the top down.)

Always use a trailer with electric brakes and a tow vehicle with an Electric Brake Controller. You will have to adjust the controller whenever you load the Cord. Do this within the first few blocks of towing the trailer. You don't want to feel as though you are being "pushed" by the trailer as you try to slow down. If the brake controller is properly set, you won't know the trailer is behind you. With an empty trailer, you will have to adjust your controller again. The trailer will start hopping as the brakes grab with no weight.

When you load your Cord, tie it down with a pair of 10,000 pound nylon straps. They have heavy hooks which fasten to the trailer bed. These are relatively inexpensive and are available at Home Depot. Do not use 2,000 or 5,000 pound straps. Insist upon 10,000 pound straps. Something about inertia ...

Make sure your weight is properly balanced! It's better to have the weight toward the front of the trailer, never drive with negative tongue weight! Don't get too front heavy however or your trailer will bounce as you drive. I think a max of 500 pounds tongue weight is recommended.

Check your tires! Every time!

If your trailer is properly balanced and your Cord is properly tied down, then you should have no problems. You won't even know it is behind you. Drive a little slower than normal. You do have to allow for longer stopping distances, even with the electric brakes. I guess that is called common sense! <!-- s:idea: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_idea.gif" alt=":idea:" title="Idea" /><!-- s:idea: -->

Cabriolet and Phaeton owners: I think you would feel more comfortable towing the vehicle with the convertible top down, weather permitting. The few times I have driven my Cabriolet with my top up, one or more of the front latches will occasionally release. I don't know if my Top Irons at the time were not fitted properly, or if this is normal for a 70-year old Cord. I should think it would be very bad for the top to come loose while you are towing it at 65 mph. I should think Nylon Zip ties would be good insurance to hold the latches in place if the top has to be up.

A closed trailer would be much preferred if you can afford one.

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  • Auburn/Cord Parts
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15 Sep 2004 14:56 #2225 by Auburn/Cord Parts
Auburn/Cord Parts replied the topic: Hauling a Cord
Balin-

I had a friend with a trailer much like yours. When loading and the battery box got close, he had 2 tapered 2X8's that he laid on the ramp and when the rear wheels went over those it raised the Cord enough to miss the battery box. He would crank the front up some too. If your tow vehicle has anti-lock brakes, be sure your trailer controller is compatible with them.

I made a slight beavertail cut to the last 3 feet of my trailer and it really fixed the problem. After 24 years of scraping that is. We chain the rear by going over the springs just in front of the rear axle. This misses all of the brake tubing. We also "X" the rear chains. In front, we wrap the chain over the front spring just inboard of the support rods. I've towed over 300,000 miles without a problem. Use good tires, good lights, and keep on moving.

Stan

Auburn/Cord Parts, Inc. P.O. Box 547 1400 N. "A" St. Wellington, KS 67152 (620) 326-7751 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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16 Sep 2004 00:39 #2226 by balinwire
balinwire replied the topic: hauling precious metals
Boy, that information was a lot of help, thanks everyone, I did not even consider the brake line safety but I was going to ask where the best connection point was on the car. From the feedback it seems to be the front spring. I guess the bumper is out of question.

I would like to have got an enclosed trailer but I would rather use the resources for the car at this point. I may be able to enclose this trailer frame at a later date. It has four-inch wide side angle channel. It is quite strong enough to hold the Cord.

The rear of the deck is app. 15 to 18 in off the ground. I will have to tighten the front support bolts to get the 12? measurement of the front bumper bolt. If the front is a little higher I may get a little more lift. I have since seen 6 foot long ramps also.

I should have paid a more attention to the guys loading their cars at the events. I like the idea of the nylon straps wrapped around the spring. When I had it towed they chained it to the stabilizer bar and bent it.

I was wondering how it would work to put an electric winch to the front and pull it up the ramps onto the trailer, thanks again, balin?

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24 Sep 2004 14:15 #2270 by Ric Simpson
Ric Simpson replied the topic: Cord top latches while trailering
Hi! In 1953? I visited the factory at Auburn. I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Butler. I ordered from him a top for a phaeton in anticipation for the day that I would own one. I knew that since he made the original tops he would know about all the little features that a local top shop would not. It was expensive! I paid $19.95 at the time. In 1968 when I had it installed, I was pleased with all the unusual features. It wasn't until a year or so later I figured out the 3" tab near the outer top hardware. It is for keeping the latch from popping open after you have closed the latch. You have a glove snap on the end so you can hold the lever tight after closing the latch. Of course in my car the latches never release anyway, until you start the car and drive it! It is always fun wondering which latch is going to pop open first! Someday I'm going to finish the top installation and put the glove snaps where they belong. Ric.

Ric Simpson,
2001 Niagara Parkway,
Fort Erie, Ontario,
Canada. L2A 5M4

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