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Don't know what it is about the caster on these old cars but the front wheels don't follow on a tow bar. Turn the tow vehicle left, the toed vehicles wheels turn right. They even turn when going straight with the tow vehicle. Cost me $99 for the tow bar, total failure.

 

Oh well, back to trailering it to car shows, which means using something other than my minivan with NO tow package or weight distributing hitch.

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Morgan,

     Have you verified that the front end is aligned correctly?  I thought your car went thru a ditch.  I spent a lot of time chasing a bent steering arm.  There was a redesign in 1925/26 of the steering arm style shown on the left.  It doesn't look bent but it is.  The simpler yet stronger design has the green tape on it.   I could have had the arm straightened, but Kevin Roner had an undamaged one that fixed me right up.  Do you have the alignment specs from the shop manual.

also, I don't see any tow chains.  Never tow without them.     

I don't understand why you would tow the old girl anyway.  35-40 mph is the maximum speed for these cars when they drive so towing should be less.   I would have it on a trailer.  If you are only out $100 now, I would consider yourself ahead.  

Hugh

 

92449672_IMG_7742HughLeft-KevinRight.thumb.JPG.0d69cf94be144d8c3d82f9dc18ee57be.JPG

Edited by Hubert_25-25 (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, Hubert_25-25 said:

 I don't see any tow chains.  

 

I don't understand why you would tow the old girl anyway.  

 

 

 

It has chains, not in the pic.

 

Because it's cheaper than buying a truck. Minivans aren't up to the task, it can tow a small boat or my 10 foot lawnmower trailer, but car carriers are too much for it safely. Buying a tow vehicle is not in the budget. My truck that I use for plowing is 25 years old and too rusty for the road, frame is shot (Ford). My car carrier trailer is 18 feet and great, that's not the problem. I can probably rent a truck to pull it, for 1 or 2 shows I want to go to.

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5 hours ago, Larry Schramm said:

Tow bars are a bad idea IMO.

 

They are great for towing modern cars with lots of caster, 8 or 10 degrees, cars with power steering. Not sure if these old Buicks have much caster at all. I actually don't see any here, if it's there, it's not more than 1 degree or 2.

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3 hours ago, Morgan Wright said:

 

They are great for towing modern cars with lots of caster, 8 or 10 degrees, cars with power steering. Not sure if these old Buicks have much caster at all. I actually don't see any here, if it's there, it's not more than 1 degree or 2.

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Maybe, but where do you hook them up?  The only place is to make brackets to attach to the body below the plastic facia.  Still not a good  idea because of the angles involved.  Gave mine away years ago and only use a trailer.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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When I bought my '18 Buick, it would wander all over the place going down the road.

I found that my parts car had wedges between the axle and springs for caster. I installed those in my car and there was a world of difference. It tracks beautifully. I checked the toe in too, but I dont remember what it is.

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Morgan, 

    On my 1925 Buick Standard,

The toe in is 5/16" at the middle front of the tire less than at the rear of the tire.

The Camber is 3/4 to 1" greater distance at the bottom of each tire than the top.  (The top of the tires are noticably canted outward.)

The Caster is set using a beveled shim.  It says the king pin top must slant back 1 or 2 degrees.  They show a shim that is 4 3/4" x 2".  It is 1/8" thick on one end and 1/16" thick on the other end.  It fits between the bottom of the spring and the top of the I beam.  The thick part of the shim is on the rear side of the I beam.      Hugh 

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15 hours ago, Morgan Wright said:

Don't know what it is about the caster on these old cars but the front wheels don't follow on a tow bar. Turn the tow vehicle left, the toed vehicles wheels turn right. They even turn when going straight with the tow vehicle. Cost me $99 for the tow bar, total failure.

 

Oh well, back to trailering it to car shows, which means using something other than my minivan with NO tow package or weight distributing hitch.

DSCN2740.JPG

DSCN2741.JPG

 

I'm not sure the point of this.  If the show distance is too far to drive the Buick, why pull it to essentially put the same mileage on the car anyway? 

 

If the car reliability or just the distance is the factor, a trailer seems like the only option.  

 

I can't afford a new truck either and dont have a trailer, so I go to local shows. 

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5 hours ago, 27donb said:

 

I'm not sure the point of this.  If the show distance is too far to drive the Buick, why pull it to essentially put the same mileage on the car anyway? 

 

If the car reliability or just the distance is the factor, a trailer seems like the only option.  

 

I can't afford a new truck either and dont have a trailer, so I go to local shows. 

 

As I said, my minivan isn't meant to tow such a heavy trailer, and the truck is too rusted out (Ford).

 

As for driving the car, I don't live near roads where this car can be safely driven. Either the speed limit is 55, which means everybody including tractor trailers go 75, or there are too many long, steep hills everywhere. These cars were meant to be driven on dirt roads behind horses.

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1 hour ago, Morgan Wright said:

 

As I said, my minivan isn't meant to tow such a heavy trailer, and the truck is too rusted out (Ford).

 

As for driving the car, I don't live near roads where this car can be safely driven. Either the speed limit is 55, which means everybody including tractor trailers go 75, or there are too many long, steep hills everywhere. These cars were meant to be driven on dirt roads behind horses.

 

I get it, your location prohibits driving the car due to higher speed limits and distance away. 

 

That being the case, towing it with a tow bar at those speeds or distances doesn't seem wise either, even if you can get her to track straight behind the van. 

 

Just my opinion! 

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Morgan,

Check your local Craig's list, or news paper for a "TOW DOLLY".

Don't need a license plate and the don't hardly weigh any thing, so there is hardly no tongue load on your van.

You could probably make one from an old Ford front axle.

 

Mike in Colorado

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I have not tried flat towing a teens car, but I have flat towed a Model A.  and newer cars.   Many cars will just slide on gravel and not steer to follow the tow car.  Try it on asphalt like in a parking lot and see it that helps.   Don't tow the car at any speed faster than you can drive the car!!  Also, just because you can tow the Buick with your van, don't expect to be able to STOP it with the van. The Buick is heavier than you think going downhill to a stop light.

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The trailer has surge brakes on one axle so there is no controller, but they probably won't go with the weight distributing hitch, which puts me back at square 1. Maybe I can rig electric brakes on the other axle! LOL

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Hey Morgan,

 

If you are only going to shows close by, maybe you can get someone with a flat rollback truck to take it for you and bring it back. Couple shows a year would be cheaper than a trailer and new vehicle to pull it.

 

I bought a used trailer on Craigs list for $1400, put 400 worth of new tires and brake parts and it worked great to Florida and back.

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I agree the front axle is reversed.  This would be terrible for caster.

 

After you fix that or at least have an alignment shop confirm it, why not a tow dolly?

 

I have a tow dolly and a pair of spare rear hubs with the axle shafts removed.  I put the Buick on the dolly, pull the hub and shaft assemblies, swap in just the spare hubs and away I go free wheeling in the rear.  45 MPH but with cruise and a/c for the Wife and pups and with a lighter duty tow vehicle.  And a way to get the Buick home should it have an issue.

 

Did this for years for the same reasons as you and also not having space for storing a trailer.

 

Recently purchased a 2500 GMC Suburban with a 454.  Now in the market for an enclosed trailer since I have retired.  

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3 hours ago, Brian_Heil said:

Recently purchased a 2500 GMC Suburban with a 454.  Now in the market for an enclosed trailer since I have retired. 

Brian,

     Glad you now have a tow rig.  You can find good deals on new car trailers in Georgia, but eBay or Craigslist are also a good options.

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18 hours ago, Brian_Heil said:

I agree the front axle is reversed.  This would be terrible for caster.

 

After you fix that or at least have an alignment shop confirm it, why not a tow dolly?

 

I have a tow dolly and a pair of spare rear hubs

 

I'm using my car hauler trailer, getting new electric brakes in the mail soon, today I removed the hydraulic brakes and brake lines that go with the surge brake system, and removed the surge hitch and waiting in the mail for a new hitch without the surge. My trailer wheels have the brake flanges with the 4 bolt holes in a square pattern, so it will fit 10 inch brakes (the 12 inch brakes would have 5 bolt holes). It looks like it will be really easy to mount electric brakes on the 4 hole flanges, and they are cheap, so I'm doing all 4 wheels. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtzPmNNM34M

 

As for the axle, yeah it's reversed. I compared it to the parts car axle, the serial number stamp is supposed to be on the right side, mine is on the left. But I don't think it matters, I measured them the best I could to see if they are symmetrical, using every way I could think of, and it appears the fork of the axle is straight, which means it has no caster, and the axle is symmetrical. I think it was installed backwards at the factory, all the mud and horse poop is equal on all parts which shows it was never worked on, or if it was, it was driven many miles the way it is. Zero caster means I should get those wedges that Hugh and Don talked about.

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An alignment shop measurement will tell you where your caster is and, if you need to revise it, what you need.  It may be as simple as flipping the axle which when installing wedges you are almost there any way. 

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