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Hi folks, new member starting the search for a usable, four seater convertible (13/60 Herald or Vitesse).

Need to fill two objectives, a new weekend/fun car (just sold my SLK 350) but also to tow behind our vintage motorhome that we had rebuilt by Airstream in the US and then imported.

Hope to connect to others locally (we are in East Kent)as part of the info gathering before we take the plunge!

- Martin and Denise

 

 

2016-09-25 12.11.07_small.jpg

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welcome and hope you find a car to suit the fun.

one word of warning towing cars  ,  short runs are fine but long duration runs starve the gearbox mainshaft as there is only the shaft rotating inside stationary gear sets , there is no splash lubrication taking place when towing, and its well above the oil level,   its quite easy to seize the  mainshaft to the gears ....just a thought ,  

you could leave it idling in neutral , or add  dummy driver to drop the clutch and engage a gear every now and then

anything to get some splash 

 I like the motor home

Pete

 

 

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well yes , not the easiest thing to do,  as its get out and get under, at the diff end. needs the car raised a bit and you have to turn the prop to reach all 4 bolts ...

its why most quick recoveries are front wheel drives  up on a spectacle lift ,  

how about lift the rear on a towing ambulance and tie the steering down tow it backwards .... getting silly now  

hold clutch down and engage 4th ????

com on chaps where 's the ideas , who's done the towing, with or without a problem ???

Pete

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On 4/28/2018 at 2:46 PM, Pete Lewis said:

well yes , not the easiest thing to do,  as its get out and get under, at the diff end. needs the car raised a bit and you have to turn the prop to reach all 4 bolts ...

its why most quick recoveries are front wheel drives  up on a spectacle lift ,  

how about lift the rear on a towing ambulance and tie the steering down tow it backwards .... getting silly now  

hold clutch down and engage 4th ????

com on chaps where 's the ideas , who's done the towing, with or without a problem ???

Pete

I was think more along the lines of a cable actuated drive shaft disconnect like the Remco (https://www.remcodsc.com/coupling/). That unit is oversized and designed to fit American trucks, but the must be a smaller version made.

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Worth checking the rules re A frames carefully. All the brakes on the towed vehicle need to operate (exception being emergency recovery) so not as easy as many would have you believe. 

And yes, I know of a couple of people who have been prosecuted (kitcar chaps). Ignorance  of the rules is widespread, but not a protection! A trailer is the simple solution, with some well designed and small ones available.

Yes, like the motorhome, not seen one before...

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Need to check the rules, but if using an A frame, the car becomes a trailer, and under 750KG it may be OK? But no idea on a smartcars weight, especially once you include the A frame. 

I think a lot of people are choosing to ignore the rules, but there are also plenty of companies specialising in making compliant bits of kit...

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I was certainly planning on going the braked route and have a quote from a specialist to have a braked A-frame fitted. They attach a sub-frame to the front chassis and then have a quick mounted A-frame that attaches to the sub-frame.

As pointed out over 750Kg the car becomes classed as a trailer and all wheels have to brake (this doesn't apply to recovery towing, but does complicate using even a braked dolly as one set of the cars wheels are on the ground), but under 750kg (and it appears the 1200 convertible was 725kg), shouldn't!

Maybe I have to change what I am looking for?

 

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  • 2 months later...

Well it took a few months but we finally found a MkII Vitesse with overdrive.

The A-frame is in hand but now I am looking at a way to re-circulate the gearbox oil when it is being towed. In the US you can get an electric oiler, but has anyone heard of anything similar to fit a Vitesse overdrive gearbox?

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If its a front suspended tow I would disconect the prop from the diff 

There is no easy way to keep it oiled when towing would need clutch holding down and leave in top gear  ,  not for long tows 

If the engine runs leave it idleing   in neutral

 Ot the best idea but gets you somewhere without wrecking the box.

Pete

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We will be towing with all wheels on the ground Pete and using an inertia device to depress the cars own brakes, much likes the brakes found on a caravan.

Rather than risking the gearbox going dry, we will be adding an electric oil pump to pick up from the gearbox drain and return to the fill rust to stop the bearings running dry. In the US there is a kit to do this from Remco, but I am wondering if anyone has built something similar from parts available over here? 

 

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re gearbox oiler, the vitesse boxes don't have an oil pump in them, but rely on oilspash for lubrication. The overdrive does have a pump, cam driven so should work under towing?

A simple setup may be possible, maybe replace the drain plug with a banjo bolt, up to a pump and then a spray bar(bit of pipe with some holes in it!) under the gearbox top cover, dribbling oil over the internals? Stress levels on the gears will be low, so it won't need a huge pump. 

Downside is that using the drain plug  as pickup point means loss of the magnet which collects the swarf (normal, and very useful) is lost, plus it will be close to the exhaust and that may cause issues with pipework etc. So thinking out loud, maybe just use a pipe vertically down into the box from the top over, giving a pickup near the bottom of the box. A gauze filter to stop any swarf entering the electric pump/#. Just ideas....

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I wonder how well the oil will penetrate to the bits that matter, though. In normal use, the gears are all spinning and drawing oil into the innards. When towing, it's only the output shaft that spins - the oil could easily run off the outside of the gears and not really get to where it needs to be. Would need some careful design of the spray bar.

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If I need to go the route to disconnect the prop shaft there is a nice quick disconnect sold by Superior Driveline, that uses a cable operated disconnect. (There is a video here if you want to watch, 

 At the pull of a lever the tail section is disconnected from the front.

I am trying to avoid this as they are engineered for large pick-ups and simply much larger than needed for the Vitesse.

 

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This conversation may be misguided, as the concern for towing is when the front of the car is elevated by the front wheels being on a dolly.   This tips the gear box oil away from the front cogs so that the usual splash lubrication fails.    All the small cars I've see towed behind motor homes are level,  on all their four wheels, so tjhis concern may not apply.

There are specialist systems that allow the towed car to be easily clipped to an A-frame, and connected to the towing vehilce's electrics, so that its own brake and rear lights can function in concert.  EG: http://www.armitagetrailers.com/Aframes.htm?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIh7jU2POl3AIV55XtCh0M3goiEAAYASAAEgK74PD_BwE  (MANY others are available!)   

OR, a small trailer for the towed car.  I use a Brian James Minno-Sport, 2-axle trailer for my Vitesse.    No longer made, and so compact that the VItesse overhangs the rear, but it does very well.    The Tyre rack is an extra option!

John

SofS on trailer, Prescott 2008.jpg

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27 minutes ago, JohnD said:

This conversation may be misguided, as the concern for towing is when the front of the car is elevated by the front wheels being on a dolly.   This tips the gear box oil away from the front cogs so that the usual splash lubrication fails.

Most unusually for you, John, I think you're way off mark here. The splash lubrication of the Triumph box is all down to the gears (particularly the layshaft) rotating. When in neutral with the engine stopped, none of the gears rotate, just the output shaft, as I said above. It's nothing to do with tipping the gearbox and everything to do with the bits that sit in the oil not moving.

Note that this is not the case with many modern (FWD) cars, where at least some of the gears will rotate when being towed. But then using a dolly with a FWD car removes the issue altogether.

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5 hours ago, JohnD said:

This conversation may be misguided, as the concern for towing is when the front of the car is elevated by the front wheels being on a dolly.   This tips the gear box oil away from the front cogs so that the usual splash lubrication fails.    All the small cars I've see towed behind motor homes are level,  on all their four wheels, so tjhis concern may not apply.

There are specialist systems that allow the towed car to be easily clipped to an A-frame, and connected to the towing vehilce's electrics, so that its own brake and rear lights can function in concert.  EG: http://www.armitagetrailers.com/Aframes.htm?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIh7jU2POl3AIV55XtCh0M3goiEAAYASAAEgK74PD_BwE  (MANY others are available!)   

OR, a small trailer for the towed car.  I use a Brian James Minno-Sport, 2-axle trailer for my Vitesse.    No longer made, and so compact that the VItesse overhangs the rear, but it does very well.    The Tyre rack is an extra option!

John

SofS on trailer, Prescott 2008.jpg

The Armiittage A-frame works on exactly the same basis as the Car-A-Tow that I am getting. A sub-frame gets bolted to the chassis which terminates either in a bar, or in the case of the one I am looking at in two eye-bolts, which attach to the A-frame using a hitch pin. The A-frame includes a surge brake, ie a section that gets depressed as the car starts to over run the tow vehicle, as the surge brake engages it pulls a cable that is attached to the brake pedal, depressing it.As the tow vehicle pulls away the surge brake expands releasing the brake pedal.

 

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