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Tow Bar for Vitesse


Paul H
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Hi just bought a second hand tow bar for my Vitesse mk2 . I placed the Wanted ad with TSSC , very useful for sourcing .

my research suggests there are 2 types , 1 where the tow bracket is bolted through the rear valance and 1 where the bracket  comes under the rear valance. Mine is the former I believe . There are no instructions , any tips about fitting appreciated . My pic shows how I think it should go with the top bracket bolted to the diff , the short cross piece fitting through the boot floor . The other longer section bolted to underside of the rear hangers . Finally the tow bracket bolted through the rear valance and the 2 sections bolted together 

I was surprised as to the weight and specification of the 2 sections as each section weighed 6kgs plus 

Any fitting advice welcomed 

07B43D37-F78E-4E7B-BFF1-18252648423C.thumb.jpeg.b5342004e7ed6620b1f7e29d20fe4a20.jpeg

Paul

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Hi Paul. That is made by Watling and is the best one, as far as I know. They still make them for Vit/Herald and for lots of other cars, and supply spare parts.

They emailed me the parts list and fitting instructions for me (I can forward the email to you if you want) or contact they yourself.

When I bought mine secondhand, it was complete except for the 2 crush tubes that fit inside the ends of each boot outrigger. You have to drill the holes for this.

Watling supplied me with 2, though they are simple to make if you have a suitable bit of steel tubing.

I found I wasn't using mine and took it off, as I thought, even though it would protect the car in a slow bump, a heavier rear end crunch may bend the chassis?.

Also they are quite a bit of extra weight if it's not been used.

Dave   

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2 hours ago, daverclasper said:

Hi Paul. That is made by Watling and is the best one, as far as I know. They still make them for Vit/Herald and for lots of other cars, and supply spare parts.

They emailed me the parts list and fitting instructions for me (I can forward the email to you if you want) or contact they yourself.

When I bought mine secondhand, it was complete except for the 2 crush tubes that fit inside the ends of each boot outrigger. You have to drill the holes for this.

Watling supplied me with 2, though they are simple to make if you have a suitable bit of steel tubing.

I found I wasn't using mine and took it off, as I thought, even though it would protect the car in a slow bump, a heavier rear end crunch may bend the chassis?.

Also they are quite a bit of extra weight if it's not been used.

Dave   

Hi Dave  many thanks for info and confirming it’s a Watling tow bar. I’ll make contact with Watlings and ask for a parts list and instructions . I didn’t realise the riggers needs a tube insert though it makes sense as the tow bar is tubed as well 

Paul 

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Hi Paul,

If yours is the Watling type, and it certainly would appear to be from your photo, it will fit under the rear valance not through it. 

The Witter type is completely different (it is horseshoe shaped when assembled) and it does involve cutting the rear valence. 

I have a Watling one on my car (see photo) and I agree with Dave that it is a better design than the Witter.  I in fact used to have a Witter one on the car but replaced it with the Watling one due to the better design and the fact that you have to cut the valance and you consequently need to cut the aluminium bumper trim (tho I never actually cut mine).

For the connection to the boot supports, there are a couple of brackets which seem to be missing from yours.

The central most fitting goes through the spare wheel well. ( You will need to place something between the bolts and you spare wheel to prevent chafing of the tyre.)

Let us know how you get on.

Tom

IMG_4092.JPG

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3 minutes ago, TomL said:

Hi Paul,

If yours is the Watling type, and it certainly would appear to be from your photo, it will fit under the rear valance not through it. 

The Witter type is completely different (it is horseshoe shaped when assembled) and it does involve cutting the rear valence. 

I have a Watling one on my car (see photo) and I agree with Dave that it is a better design than the Witter.  I in fact used to have a Witter one on the car but replaced it with the Watling one due to the better design and the fact that you have to cut the valance and you consequently need to cut the aluminium bumper trim (tho I never actually cut mine).

For the connection to the boot supports, there are a couple of brackets which seem to be missing from yours.

The central most fitting goes through the spare wheel well. ( You will need to place something between the bolts and you spare wheel to prevent chafing of the tyre.)

Let us know how you get on.

Tom

IMG_4092.JPG

Thanks Tom for the info , I’ve made contact with Watling and they offer the bolts though the price of £30 ish seems a little high plus there was no offer of a fitting guide. I’ve asked Dave for a copy of his instructions. Which part of the diff does the main bar fit to ?

Paul 

 

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It looks like Mark has beaten me too it but I have just dug out some very faded, old (typed) Watling instructions.  It runs to eight pages, if you're interested.  It starts with "Remove boot contents & sore wheel", which seems like good advice...  And, I was correct in my recollection that you have to drill the chassis to achieve the fixing near the diff.  I would be happy to scan and send you the instructions if that helps.

Tom

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11 hours ago, TomL said:

It looks like Mark has beaten me too it but I have just dug out some very faded, old (typed) Watling instructions.  It runs to eight pages, if you're interested.  It starts with "Remove boot contents & sore wheel", which seems like good advice...  And, I was correct in my recollection that you have to drill the chassis to achieve the fixing near the diff.  I would be happy to scan and send you the instructions if that helps.

Tom

Hi Tom , thanks for the offer though pretty sure the pdf from Mark should be enough. The bolt details are what I was looking for and the dimensions of the crush tubes and the chassis brackets were a bonus .

Paul 

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Hi Paul. The fixing that is drilled near the diff, I decided I would drill 2 drain holes (a couple of months later) at the lowest point at each end of that chassis section in case a bit of water had now got in via the fixing.  A fair bit of water drained out. Maybe worth doing while your under there with your drill.

Dave

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13 hours ago, TomL said:

And, I was correct in my recollection that you have to drill the chassis to achieve the fixing near the diff.

I wonder if there is anyway that an adjustable bracket could be used in that area, so as to avoid drilling through the chassis? Just some kind of clamp that adjusts by screw-tightening against the forward face of the chassis crossmember, so as to use the strength of the chassis when towing, but avoids having to actually cut it? 

It's just the bodger in me thinking out loud, and as Dave says holes there might not be a bad idea, given the amount of water he found... 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
9 hours ago, TomL said:

Hi Paul,

How is your tow bar project coming along?  

Btw, what are you planning to tow with your Vitesse?

Tom

Hi Tom , brackets made up though not collected yet. Next job is to finish the pit www.mech-mate.co.uk I’m putting in and the tow bar will be the first job using the pit. Will be looking for a small trailer 

Paul 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi

This is the Bracket I fabricated for the 13/60, as you can see it doubled up as part of the "rotator" whilst I Cleaned up the chassis!. When complete it will have a removable Tow ball and will not be visible unless in use.

Tubes cut to support the Bolts are standard Practice, to stop them crushing the Extensions. And are supplied with all the reputable Tow brackets I have ever fitted to cars and 4x4`s where the fastenings are through chassis sections

IMG_5625.JPG

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