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Towing with front wheel drive vehicle

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  • Towing with front wheel drive vehicle

    My tires spin and can hardly pull boat out of water. Don't want to trade for 4WD truck, but may consider getting a front wheel drive car to use. With engine weight on front wheels would I get the necessary traction? Of course the weight on the hitch will tend to lift the front wheels and possibly lower traction, so may not be an improvement. Any comments on this?


  • #2
    Re: Towing with front wheel drive vehicle

    HEY G175 If you have 4x4 what good is fwd maybe a bigger 4x4 truck or a smaller boat

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    • #3
      Re: Towing with front wheel drive vehicle

      no front drive won't be an improvement...... try moving your axle back for more tongue weight..... if your rear tires are old you can try newer better tires..... also try keeping your tires out of the water....... last, a couple big coolers full of water in the rear of your (truck?) or some fat friends can help substantially.

      scott......... read it again LOL
      Kevin

      But, where are the reevets?
      1981 Wellcraft V-20 CC Fisherman (FREE BOAT)
      1989 Wellcraft Monte Carlo 28(Build thread here)
      1992 Hotsports Jet'n'Cat Yam 701 WR3 drivetrain "SS George Washington"
      90's Yamaha WRIII and a pair of 95 Kawasaki ZXI-900's
      Fresh clean cheap oil is better then old dirty expensive oil any day
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Re: Towing with front wheel drive vehicle

        It is actually a Gran Marquis, rear wheel drive. I usually have to stand on the trailer tongue and let my wife ease it out. The rear wheels are usually on wet part of ramp and spin easily. With front wheel drive they would usually be on dry concrete, but not always. Engine weight could help with traction it seems.

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        • #5
          Re: Towing with front wheel drive vehicle

          I agree with Smokeonthewater. Try a different tread on the tires. Some work quite a bit better than others. And be real light footed when pulling out. But with some ramps I slip with my 4X4 it really depends on the ramp and how slick the concrete is. But weight in the trunk or more tong weight will improve your chances.
          sigpic "Spend a little money, save a lot of time"

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          • #6
            Re: Towing with front wheel drive vehicle

            front wheel drive would not help. its all about weight transfer. you already have a heavy trailer on the back, then the physics of what happens when you hit the gas would cause the front end to be even lighter. your not going to find a front wd car that will handle the trailer better then what you have now.

            saw a guy saturday with a small CC boat behind a fwd ford tarus or something. he was having to push the car to get it up the ramp with an empty trailer. I didnt see him when he loaded to go home.
            2005 Chaparral 220 SSI
            http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...851fba82be.jpg

            1999 Sea Ray 180 (SOLD!)
            http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...505_160633.jpg
            1991 Sea Ray 170LT (SOLD!)
            http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...27145726-2.jpg

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            • #7
              Re: Towing with front wheel drive vehicle

              You can probably have a limited slip/positrak rear end put into that for not a lot of $$$. As well as better tires.

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              • #8
                Re: Towing with front wheel drive vehicle

                HEY,SORRY MIS READ THE TREAD,Maybe some sand bags in the back of auto will help
                Last edited by 62 ROYAL SCOTT; September 15th, 2011, 06:49 PM. Reason: correct spelling i do that alot

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                • #9
                  Re: Towing with front wheel drive vehicle

                  I saw someone that had actually put a hitch the FRONT of the car! Hey,it worked and evidently he didn't mind the aesthetics or the looks he got!!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Towing with front wheel drive vehicle

                    I drive a Crown Vic (Same car as the Grand Marquis) every day for work. For some reason Ford in their wisdom didn't think that those cars with all their V8 Power and RWD prowess didn't need traction and stability control. Every time it rains out here, we seem to have a handfull of guys spin out and nail a guard rail or concrete divider or what not. The problem is the car itself my friend. They just can't hook up the power in the wet. You might need to have a limited slip rear end installed to evenly distribute the power between the rear wheels. Or might just want to pick up a cheap little Jeep Cherokee or pickup of some sort for towing duties.
                    "Audentes Fortuna Juvat" - "Fortune Favors the Bold"

                    97 Baja Islander 180. Merc 5.7 and Alpha 1! "Tahoe Dreamin'"

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                    • #11
                      Re: Towing with front wheel drive vehicle

                      I beg to differ!

                      For years I launched with a FWD Grand Caravan with no problems pulling out an 18 foot fiberglass Renken.

                      Also, out of desperation once I used my Chevy Cavalier with the 2.2 four cylinder. This was on a mud coated concrete ramp and it marched the boat right out. I fully expected to get stuck and had no problems--go figure.

                      Based on my experience I would say that front drive might be better for you.

                      So now you have heard both sides--you decide.

                      BTW: Now I use a 2 wheel drive S10 with no positraction. Only one wheel spins and when it does, I GENTLY ride the emergency brake to even out traction while applying power gradually. I can count on one hand the number of times I needed people in the bed.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Towing with front wheel drive vehicle

                        Originally posted by Frank Acampora View Post
                        I beg to differ!

                        For years I launched with a FWD Grand Caravan with no problems pulling out an 18 foot fiberglass Renken.

                        Also, out of desperation once I used my Chevy Cavalier with the 2.2 four cylinder. This was on a mud coated concrete ramp and it marched the boat right out. I fully expected to get stuck and had no problems--go figure.

                        Based on my experience I would say that front drive might be better for you.

                        So now you have heard both sides--you decide.

                        BTW: Now I use a 2 wheel drive S10 with no positraction. Only one wheel spins and when it does, I GENTLY ride the emergency brake to even out traction while applying power gradually. I can count on one hand the number of times I needed people in the bed.
                        I used a Grand Voyager for years. Best launching vehicle I ever had. Lift the tailgate et voila, perfect view of the boat & ramp. Retrieved boats as big as 19' with that rig.

                        Now pull a 15' Baja behind a Ranger 4cyl 5spd. 'Downsizing' don't ya know. Never have a problem.

                        Hey I was wondering do Ford auto trannys not have the lock into 2nd gear option anymore? 'Member that?
                        1981 Baja 15SS_1983 Johnson 140_62.9 mph
                        1981 Glastron/Carlson C500 metric series_Modified 1978 Evinrude 140_Project
                        1971 Glastron V153_1986 Evinrude 90_54.8 mph_Rebuilt then unceremoniously wrecked
                        Walk Tall And Carry A Big Bilge Pump

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                        • #13
                          Re: Towing with front wheel drive vehicle

                          I had a Lincoln Town Car that I towed my boats with. Fairly similar to the Merc you are using. Put in a limited slip rear differential, and problem solved. The best LSD is an all gear unit made by Eaton called Truetrac (sometimes called a Detroit Truetrac). They are silent, smooth, no chatter or grabby stuff. And no clutches to ever wear out. Have one in my Firebird, and its the best street LSD I have ever owned.

                          I now have about 45,000 miles on my Eaton Truetrac in the Firebird. Running 3.73 gears, it gets a good amount of torque fed into it. Nonetheless, it performs BETTER today than it did when brand new. At about $400 from Summit Racing, (install at your own cost) it makes the tail wagging firebird behave much better, especially in rain, snow, and even WOT on dry surfaces. When the unit locks (and it will lock up after a certain amount of torque is fed into it) its just as fun as the classic Detroit Locker.

                          Now, the Town Car did not have the Eaton Truetrac, it got the standard Ford factory clutch posi, and after about 60K it was time for new clutches. But for pulling a boat up a wet slippery ramp, the Town Car (which has the same engine, trans and rear axle as your Merc) never spun a tire once a LSD was installed.

                          So if you are going to put in a LSD, go with the Eaton Truetrac. And only use pure synthetic gear lube. (its a small price, less than $20 to drain and fill the differential on your own).

                          Here is a cool video that shows the inner workings of the differential.

                          sigpic 1985 Bayliner 1600 Capri Cuddy, 1965 MFG Niagara Custom. >> MFG Video<<. >> MFG Project<< >>Bayliner Hard Top Project<< >>Bayliner Repower Project<<

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                          • #14
                            Re: Towing with front wheel drive vehicle

                            i use a 2003 chevy venture van FWD to pull my 18" starcraft and it pulls out just fine and the weight on the back makes the front raise causing less traction but i never spin at all and pull out just fine.
                            1974 StarCraft Capri Tri-Hull

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                            • #15
                              Re: Towing with front wheel drive vehicle

                              tires can be HUGE..... Until recently I had a set of (dammit I cant remember the brand) tires on my dually and they pulled my 28'er out without a slip in all sorts of weather up to the point that one rear had worn to the point of blowing out (sometimes that happens fast with a dually).... I still launched the boat a couple times with 3 badly worn tires and a blowout on the rear...... Never a slip in 2wd........ Recently I put on a set of NEW geotrac (chinese junk) tires on the dually and now I absolutely can't pull the boat out without using 4x4.... And this is a 10k lb truck that made it halfway up the ramp and just spinning 4 tires on the back in 2wd on BONE DRY concrete....... I actually thought my transmission had burned up on me till I put it in park and took my foot off the brake.... It actually started sliding down the ramp backwards...... popped her in 4x4 and drove right out.... UGH!
                              Kevin

                              But, where are the reevets?
                              1981 Wellcraft V-20 CC Fisherman (FREE BOAT)
                              1989 Wellcraft Monte Carlo 28(Build thread here)
                              1992 Hotsports Jet'n'Cat Yam 701 WR3 drivetrain "SS George Washington"
                              90's Yamaha WRIII and a pair of 95 Kawasaki ZXI-900's
                              Fresh clean cheap oil is better then old dirty expensive oil any day
                              sigpic

                              Comment

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