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Thread: Just suppose you have to tow your Marlin on a trailer...

  1. #1 Just suppose you have to tow your Marlin on a trailer... 
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    As perhaps many of us have found, my Cabrio has languished unused (if not unloved) for most of the last year. I'm at the beginning of a re-wiring which has grown from an indicator failure into a real elephant because I looked for trouble and found it. Just now, the steering wheel is off, the dash is hanging by the proverbial thread, and even if I could get the engine started the MOT expired in November. I'm facing a decision..either to strip it down further and do the whole of the re-wire myself or employ a professional to do it for me. Either way, the car will have to be trailered from home, either to my to my lock up, where I have power, light and space to do the job myself, or to my Auto electrician's workshop....where he has. SO I need to get the car onto a trailer (borrowed from a neighbour). I have a winch...well two actually...both of which have been used in a similar way in the past. BUT where on a Cabrio would one attach the tow rope? I rather think the front bumper would pull off (isn't it designed to absorb impact of up to 5mph by way of concentric tubes that are a sliding fit snagged by pinch bolts?
    The best idea I've had so far is to wrap a suitable rope round the back of the engine block with the ends coming forwards under the engine mountings, to pass underneath a length of fence post braced across the car under the bumper mounting tubes so the tow rope doesn't snag on anything or rub up against the underside of the nose cone. Does that sound sensible? Of course, I face a similar problem when getting it off the trailer as well....but I plan to use gravity to roll the car backwards off the trailer straight into the lock up, as I haven't yet installed a suitable anchorage inside the garage to attach the winch to. Advice please.
    Bill
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  2. #2 Re: Just suppose you have to tow your Marlin on a trailer... 
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    I would attach the winch to the track control arm, between the chassis mount and the anti roll bar mount. The TCA is designed to take large forces during cornering and brakeing so that would be my choice.
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  3. #3 Re: Just suppose you have to tow your Marlin on a trailer... 
    frequent forum contributor Club Member greyV8pete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott h View Post
    I would attach the winch to the track control arm, between the chassis mount and the anti roll bar mount. The TCA is designed to take large forces during cornering and brakeing so that would be my choice.
    I towed mine once about a mile by attaching like this to the track control arm and it’s strong enough and the load is taken to two places on the chassis. The main issue as Bill suggests is avoiding snagging the tow rope on bodywork things like the number plate! On the subject of towing any distance first check if your gearbox has an internal oil pump! If it has then towing without the engine running will wreck the bearings. So either disconnect the propshaft at the diff or, if having a suspended tow then lock the steering straight ahead and do a rear suspended tow.
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  4. #4 Re: Just suppose you have to tow your Marlin on a trailer... 
    club member Club Member stevejgreen's Avatar
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    Not directly referencing the question, but my favourite trailers for build quality come from https://www.phoenixtrailer.co.uk/
    MOC member since 05/97
    1984 Marlin Roadster SWB.
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    Three core radiator, Renault Clio vented front discs.
    The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

    Loads of Marlin Reference can be found documents here or there.
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  5. #5 Re: Just suppose you have to tow your Marlin on a trailer... 
    club member Club Member chris_cussen's Avatar
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    If the tow is just to get it onto a trailer then you are not going to put any significant pull or jerks on the tow rope, so I would put it around the steering rack near one of the brackets.
    I used to tow my Cabrio backwards out of the garage because the drive slopes and found that putting the rope around a rear bumper was OK. My rear bumpers are held in place with 1X 6mm bolt through the tube.
    Cabrio, Omex 2.0l 170bhp Zetec blacktop, Omex ECU and wiring loom.
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  6. #6 Re: Just suppose you have to tow your Marlin on a trailer... 
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    I agree with Scott. My car has been hauled onto a couple of trailers using the track control arm without a problem. The TCA is strong enough to withstand the mass of a donor vehicle hitting a bump at significant speed. If it fails with a light car at no speed then there’s something very wrong with it.
    Paul
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  7. #7 Re: Just suppose you have to tow your Marlin on a trailer... 
    club member Club Member jon_cox's Avatar
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    If this is to get onto a trailer only, then how about towing on backwards and attaching the winch rope/wire onto something substantial at the rear of the car.
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  8. #8 Re: Just suppose you have to tow your Marlin on a trailer... 
    club member Club Member philmcgrath's Avatar
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    Putting a front engined car backwards on a trailer will upset the trailer balance. Instead of positive downwards force on the tow ball it will try to lift the rear of the towing car and the trailer can snake dangerously at 50mph plus, potentially causing it to jackknife. I speak from experience 40 years ago! The nose weight should be c. 7% of the laden weight of the trailer and car aboard it combined. A cabrio is around 1000kg, plus 450kg for a 4-wheel trailer. Therefore nose weight should be 100kg.
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  9. #9 Re: Just suppose you have to tow your Marlin on a trailer... 
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    You could use the starter motor with the car in gear, spark to the plugs isolated, and take the car on in short bursts. I use a hand held trigger assembly connected to starter and battery.
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  10. #10 Re: Just suppose you have to tow your Marlin on a trailer... 
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    Hi Bill,
    Just a word of Caution. DO NOT tow your car by the steering rack, it's just not strong enough and it could move the rack forward in the bracket and your tracking would change dramatically. I have used an A frame to tow various vehicles over the years and they always attach to the lower track control arm near the body of the car. Its very strong and more than capable of taking the pull onto a trailer. Hope this helps. Regards Mike.
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