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Old 09-07-2013, 04:02 PM   #1
Nerk
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Track car towing vehicle options

Hi guys,

In the process of building an E30 track car, not planning on putting it on the road at all...

I'm also not going to do this competitively, so the sky is the limit on mods and weight for me...

Anyhow, I came across a truck for sale, a '98 dodge dakota for 650$ AS IS. The seller claims it has no working AC and needs a serpentine belt/pulley... I figured those are easy enough fix and a cheap enough price..

I've researched it, and looks like the V6 model has a towing capacity of 4900lbs, do you think that's enough to pull around a gutted E30 on an open trailer?

I don't have a trailer yet, but I'm estimating the weight to be 1800lbs, and the car which is also not done yet to be in the 2500lbs range... Just wondering if I'm too close for comfort as far as the towing capacity for this truck goes...

any advice?

what do other E30 track car owners have their car weighed at? am I close with a 2500lbs estimate? (with full cage)

Thanks,
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:54 PM   #2
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No.

You're way over payload rating, which is more important than tow rating.
Your car weight estimate is in the ball park.
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:31 PM   #3
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damn, not what I wanted to hear,...

my next, also more expensive, option I had in mind would be to get a 2007-2008 grand cherokee with the CRD mercedes diesel engine... its rated for 7400lbs towing... But I'd use that as a daily driver since it can still get ~10L/100km...

Someone at work offered me a deal on his...

I drive ~80km's on a daily basis for work... So I'm on the fence on either changing my daily driver for the most fuel efficient towing vehicle I can find vs buying a cheap beat up farm truck and using it half a dozen times a year...
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:10 PM   #4
Gleb
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Your E30 with a trailer will be about 4500 lbs, that's a tongue weight of 665 lbs.
Add fuel, spares, cooler and some basic tools, and you're over your payload on pretty much any SUV. I have a V8 4Runner that is rated to tow 7500 lbs, but payload rating is crap... like any SUV. Even the frame based SUVs like mine are only good for about 800 lbs of payload at best.
You also have to think about transmissions on SUVs, they are not really designed for towing and require additional cooling. Although some do come with factory tranny coolers like my 4Runner... It's still a crappy tow vehicle. Shitty payload and short wheel base.
Check out RV.net for all things related to towing and tow vehicles.

Buy a cheap, fuel efficient DD and rent a truck and trailer from U-Haul, for a few times a year that you need it, it'll be way cheaper and safer.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:06 PM   #5
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I have never seen this before but why don't people use caa to tow track cars?

for $170 you get 6 tows with a year. its cheaper than buying a truck and paying for insurance and gas.
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:26 PM   #6
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I have an aluminum open trailer and 2300lb E30 and tow it VERY easily with my V8 Grand Cherokee. Fuel economy is crap but you hardly notice it's there. I figure:
Trailer - <1000lbs
Car - 2300lbs

I keep the car fairly far back on the trailer so the tongue weight isn't that high. I read that with a tandem axle you want about 10-15% on the tongue so in my case that is 350 - 450 pounds. That doesn't even throw off the trucks ride height that much.
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:57 PM   #7
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I have been towing for about 10 years now, and this is what I have to say;
Almost anything can tow! (If its legal, that is another thing!)
My first tow vehicle was an 85 325e. Had a custom made hitch and towed my other E30 with a dolly (not full trailer). NO issues at all. After that I used a 90HP Subaru Loyale 4x4. No problem doing 130km/h on the highway. Even towing E28's! After that I got a Legacy Outback with 14 foot all steel trailer. No issues other than doing headgaskets a few times. lol
After that I got a Grand Cherokee V8, the only thing I couldn't tow has a 2.5 Ton Expedition on a 20 foot steel trailer! After that I stepped up to the Expedition 4.6 V8, tows ANYTHING...including 8000 lbs forklift.
Right now I use a full aluminum 18' trailer with a newer Expedition and its up to any job.

So in conclusion, I suggest using a dolly instead of full trailer, will save a LOT of weight, and storage space! Also a BIG full size SUV is better than pickups, FULL frame is a must IMO (didn't feel right in the Cherokee, altho it had plenty of power).
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Old 09-08-2013, 01:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZiMMie View Post
I have never seen this before but why don't people use caa to tow track cars?

for $170 you get 6 tows with a year. its cheaper than buying a truck and paying for insurance and gas.
Lots of reasons. First off it's against CAA's policy. They technically aren't allowed to tow a race or track car.

Second, after the 6 tows, what are you going to do? It'll cost a fortune to pay for a tow.

Then you're still stuck with having to drive a large vehicle/trailer to the track yourself with all your equipment, spare wheels, tools etc. Hoping the car still makes it there without issues.

Would be a pretty massive headache unfortunately.
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:13 AM   #9
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To further on what Doogee said, they generally won't tow unplated or uninsured vehicles either. They need to cover their asses in case of an accident too.
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:23 AM   #10
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It'll work just fine. You may want to find something bigger though just for comfort but it'll work. People here are nuts with towing. Last time I was at the Nurburgring, I was with a group mainly composed of Britons, and on the way back I was on the highway with all of them towing their cars back. They were all towing with diesel sedans, even enclosed trailers.

I have a V8 4Runner and I tow a 2700lb enclosed trailer. The only issue is the stock springs on SUVs are super soft. I added air bag helpers and now it's perfect. You will also want a trailer with electric brakes and a brake controller. I just came back from a trip to Watkins Glen, it did great!

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Old 09-08-2013, 12:05 PM   #11
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why not get an early 2000's e350?

you can usually find one for 3-4k, they tow 10000lbs and have tons of room on the inside for stuff/sleeping in.


CAA policies dont really matter, its up to the tow truck driver that shows up. in my experience if there's any plate on the vehicle they wont bug you.
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:48 AM   #12
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Anything can tow, but its what it can stop that's important

My daily and tow vehicle is a 2011 ram crew cab 1500

Rated at 10800lbs I, never worried about my 1600lb flat bed, my stripped out e30, or the other stuff I bring to the track. Fully loaded I'm just over half of what I can tow so I'm not straining the drivetrain or brakes.

I looked at aluminum trailers but they were twice the price to save a couple hundred pounds, and not worth it.

Defiantly buy a trailer if you have space for it, it will be cheaper in the long run, and so convenient not having to book pick up drop off the rentals.

I don't know if you plan on long trips to tracks, but do not buy a junker tow vehicle, you need reliable and safe in a tow vehicle
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:50 AM   #13
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It'll work just fine. You may want to find something bigger though just for comfort but it'll work. People here are nuts with towing. Last time I was at the Nurburgring, I was with a group mainly composed of Britons, and on the way back I was on the highway with all of them towing their cars back. They were all towing with diesel sedans, even enclosed trailers.

I have a V8 4Runner and I tow a 2700lb enclosed trailer. The only issue is the stock springs on SUVs are super soft. I added air bag helpers and now it's perfect. You will also want a trailer with electric brakes and a brake controller. I just came back from a trip to Watkins Glen, it did great!


Did u you go do the bmw club school at the glen?
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:57 AM   #14
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Did u you go do the bmw club school at the glen?
Yup, with GVC
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:19 PM   #15
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Anything can tow, but its what it can stop that's important

I looked at aluminum trailers but they were twice the price to save a couple hundred pounds, and not worth it.
I put some thought into this before I bought mine and while I paid a lot more for my used aluminum trailer than a steel one, I think it was a decent call. The way I see it, the aluminum one is holding it's value and will not turn in to a rusted pile of junk over the years. When I am finished with mine, it will sell for near what I paid. If I only lose 1k on it then I think the benefits outweigh the investment. It is definitely more money up front though.
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