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Towing capabilities

G'day All

Just wondering what it takes for a 6cyl WB Tonner to tow 3.5t (apart from engine upgrade). Is it chassis strength, towbar rating? Do brakes have anything to do with it?

Any help would be appreciated.

Cheers
Al

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First thing you will need is big balls cause it will be a hairy ride, and not legal, but you can check with the Transport or Aust Standards for that.
The vehicle brakes will have to be in good condition and the trailer will need to have brake away electric brakes on all wheels.
Biggest problem with a 6 cyl will be getting it rolling and once rolling, next problem will be vehicles passing you causing massive air turbulence leading to severe sway.
I towed a 24 ft caravan(max 2t) behind a HZ tonner 6 cylinder without trailer brakes, only once, never again.
Also towed a friends 24 ft caravan with electric brakes behind an AU ute, and again, never again, although the AU was a better option.
You really need a vehicle speced for that towing weight, anything less is outright dangerous.
Depending on exactly what you are towing will depend on the tow bar weighting but the tow bar will need to be able to cope and you cannot buy a tow bar rated for 3.5t for a WB.
Chassis will cope.
A caravan, due to the sheer size, will give you lots of sway unless you set up level ride/weight distribution bars, and even then an old mate with all the towing gear wrote off his car and van by overweighting the rear of the caravan, mind you, he had towed 100000 k's around Aust and never knew he had to reset the trailer electric brake controller each time he hooked up.
These old farts towing caravans scare me.
Flat trailer with car on top is easier but only because you can place the cars weight as required to give you the correct tow ball weight which is important, but still not legal.
I personally would not attempt to use a WB for 3.5t.

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You will most probably find your towbar would be rated no more than 1.5t pulling and a couple of hundred kilo downforce on the towball. A comparison is the new Australian Commodores (not imported sh*t) can only do a maximum of 2100kg if the added strengthening system is installed. A Colorado with the full chassis and Hayman Reece system can do 3.5t with a 500kg downforce on the ball. Maybe a towbar mob would be better to talk to.

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Cheers
Keith

The reason I ask is that I've seen the old race set up photos where a HQ-Z pano hauls a Torana (LC-X) race car and wouldn't mind replicating that, albeit I have a HK Pano on the car trailer.
Sounds like a big ask though.

Hushtech, what do you mean by resetting the electric trailer brake controller? I've got electric brakes on the Patrol but didn't know anything about that?
Again appreciate the input gentleman
Regards
Al

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Good brake controllers mounted under the dash will have a dial or lever under them.
This dial or lever must be reset each time you hook the trailer up because they lose their adjustment through bumping etc.
Adjust is easy, simply dial the dial/lever until the light shows bright, then dial back until the light just starts to pulse.
Do NOT get confused with the lever on the front of the controller facing the driver, this is the hand brake lever usually used in a time of panic to put full power to the trailer brakes.
As already mentioned, panel van and trailer adds up to probably 1600 kg which is the limit for a tonner and tow bar, so this sheds a totally different light on the towing abilities as opposed to your original post of 3.5t.
Hope this helps.

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I did stuff up with the 3.5t
The limit of 1600kg is well and truly reached though, it's closer to 2,200kg. The pano has a 9"diff, 350chev and muncie plus a Jarrah floor in the back, larger diameter steelies etc. The trailer comes in at 750kg
Thanks for the info on resetting the controller every hook-up, bloody good to know
Cheers mate
Al

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Yeah, I don't know what the brake resetting is. I had electric brakes when towing a caravan a few years ago and there was nothing I read or researched that said you must reset the electric brakes. Maybe calibrating? You were suppose to hook up and calibrate by adjusting the slider. This what you mean Hushtech?
That's interesting bigfella about towing the race cars. I never thought about that. Maybe a towbar mob might be your best bet.

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Cheers
Keith

My dad use to tow a 14ft boat and a 18 ft caravan with the HJ prem.(253,auto)
He put Heavy Duty springs in the back with a good sway bar. Ive up graded it since then with Lovers springs lowed 1 1/2 all round, Heavy Duty sway bars front and back lovers, all busses are poly, and the shocks are pedders gas like a scene a track type. and ive installed the elect brake set up, (My Dad did that just before he pass on as he was an elect instrument fitter, for a sugar mill)
I have no problems Towing a 14ft boat and the 8x4 box trailer.
3.5ton mmmm even a "duel" wheeler ute wouldn't pull that i dont think.
Id be looking for a safer option, like a 3.5t Haynes light weight truck or something.
My work ute on the gas pipeline is a 2017 Toyota V8 single cab ute and 3.5t is to much for it I recon

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"just my 2cents worth"

"were going to need a bigger shed"
trippled75@yahoo.com.au
This will take You to" Old Holden sheds"
https://web.archive....

Hey Triple D, my 4.2 Turbo patrol does it no worries (700kg trailer and 1400kg car) but I was just wondering if the tunna, after an upgrade to V8, would do it safely. Sounds like and upgrade to brakes and suspension would be imperative as well, I have a bloody long, twisty and steep hill to go up and down.
Yeah Keijames, I think a call to the tow bar mob might be in order.
Cheers gents
Al
Cheers

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It's good to go , it's how i estimate my loads.
I run a worked 6 with celica 5 speed and 3.55 diff and usually pulls like a train but this new motor hates towing full stop, even empty trailer slows me up .. dependant on your cam i think.

I looked at towing laws a few years ago and it was illegal to tow a kingswood behind my kingswood, law requires i buy a 4x4 or something (ha !)

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"Junk is something you throw out 3 weeks before you need it"

You are correct with towing laws.
But when it comes to "If it fits on the trailer it is ok" I can fit a 6 tonne excavator on a car trailer but would never put it behind a tonner.

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If your 3 1/2 ton trailer is set up properly you should have 350kg on the towball.
I'd be staring to worry about rear wheel bearings as well.
There is no way I would even think about putting 3 1/2 ton behind any six cylinder Holden.
David

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Old is good.

The whole set up wouldn't weigh any more than 2,500kg and judging how the patrol reacts the 202 would [Naughty Pottyword] itself going up the mountain, which is why a V8 conversion would be needed, it's more the rest of the set-up that I was concerned about. I'd probably fry the clutch as well.
Cheers
Al

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I tow anything anywhere and i'll never own a v8 .. six boy through'n through.
With my last motor, if i couldn't gain speed up a hill with a load then i'll bet i can maintain my speed.
I just put in a new hotter motor and went picked a load up .. very unhappy, near goes to sleep on me unless i have the revs up. longest day i've had in ages. (load wasn't even heavy, see pic)
Only time i ever felt worried i've bitten off more than the HX could chew was a load of granite sand after it sat in the rain overnight .. weight guesstimate .. three million tons, give or take a kilo

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"Junk is something you throw out 3 weeks before you need it"

you will be fine with 2100kg...just make sure your cooling system in good order, tyres load rated and good condition and tow bar suitably rated...towing a car on a trailer no problems with a HX 6 cyl...I towed my HZ Statesman about 600km with a HX 202 3 speed manual in 40 degree heat no problems...just be sensible - plenty of room to pull up and keep to 80-90Km/hr tops or what your car trailer combo feels safe and secure at...there is always a risk with towing...3.5T is too much...a good genearl guide is 1.5 x towing vehicle weight and 10% tow ball load...if you tow regularly then an oil cooler, H/D radiator and H/D rear springs are the way to go...trailer must have brakes - electric or hydraulic..Load distribution hitch can help level things out and stabilise as well...

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Andrew

Yeah wouldn't even try without electric brakes on the Tonner.
Apart from the springs, radiator and leccy brakes she's good to go.
Once i sort that out I'll have a burn on the flat roads before tackling the 15% gradient up to home
Cheers man
Al

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looks like you knocked the wall down with some dodgy reversing! :-)

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Andrew

Just an add onto this post.
For those who have never experienced sway when towing, NEVER try to power out of a sway, use the TRAILER BRAKES to pull you straight again.

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The trailor brakes were a life saver
Cheers
Al

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experienced it once when towing my small caravan..(about 1300Kg)...I over took a car and went just a bit too fast...scared the hell out of me...watch you tube and caravan death wobbles if you don't want to sleep at night...I think 90 - 95Km/hr max is sensible sweet spot...gives others an easy over take in 110 zone...also check your trailer/caravan tyres carefully if they are more than 10 years old...any signs of age cracks - best to change them...even if lots of tread...and good to go with light truck tyres esp is single axle as those 2 tyres are taking as much as twice the load when fitted to a car...

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Andrew

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