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Most ridiculous thing you'll see all day. Sunbeam towing Avanti.

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  • #31
    As kid of about 13 my dad worked on friends cars on the side .If he needed to pull one home he had a 2" pipe about 6'or7' long he would chain car to car with chain through the pipe and away we would go him pulling and me bringing up the rear. The longest trip was about 6o miles from Mobile Al. to Pensacola FL. most were short trips. there was always a lot of{ #$%^%$ } along the way. No studes ! Doug

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    • #32
      Originally posted by kurtruk View Post
      Let's see...most big rigs I see the tractor is a very short wheelbase (relatively) and the loaded trailers greatly outweigh the tractor. Sometimes there's even two trailers being towed! Was a time when some states allowed three trailers. Some countries still do.
      I saw three trailers in tow in Indiana a few years back.
      Chip
      '63 Cruiser
      '57 Packard wagon
      '61 Lark Regal 4 dr wagon
      '50 Commander 4 dr sedan

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      • #33
        When Chrysler bought Rootes the did away with the tigers they made a fastback and a 4 dr sedan for I believe two years 69 and 70

        Comment


        • #34
          Wow, some interesting comments. Heard them before. Maybe not with all the ferocity of some here. But that's OK. I love the Studebaker spirit. So why do I do it. Because paradigms keep people in a box. Is it dangerous. Sure. So is drag racing, driving to the store, an F150 hauling a big travel trailer, flying helicopters, etc. Would I recommend anybody else do this? Heck no, not without proper training. Is it legal? Don't know. I've checked PA state laws and police and no one has found a law to prohibit. They can always trump some charge if they want. I've been stopped for speeding and the towing issue was not addressed.


          I like the mindset of WWW. Makes sense to the basic instincts. No question bigger is better as implied in survival. It's an American mantra. Like everyone else, I want to be in the bigger vehicle like a MB, big Jag or Volvo. Not a PU truck. If I want to AVOID an accident, the last thing I want to be in is a Tractor Trailer PU truck or some big WWW. Funny thing, I've been doing this for 39 years with this car. Mountains of WVA, Colorado, Montana to name a few. It presently has 230K+ miles. Had the left rear wheel completely ripped off the Tiger from a chunk of iron debris dropped from a truck crossing the Missouri river to Kansas City, KS while towing. Never had a trailer blow out but had a flats and tires ripped off rim and many a drops off shoulder events. So how in the heck did we get this far? I must admit that I survived the initial stages through misunderstood dynamics. Being the Test Engineer type I wanted to get to the root cause of handling and accident avoidance.

          From a handling point of view, a tractor trailer is a rather stable vehicle because as noted it has a 5th wheel over the axle. So the Tow Tiger and custom built trailer were modified to replicate similar characteristics with the help of equalizer bars, heavy duty suspension and drive train.(same as a PU truck) Coincidentally, the weight balance ratio of a tractor trailer and Tow Tiger with the Avanti are similar 2 to 1. 3k lb VS 5K trailer, with this tow package having a slight weight balance advantage.

          The real secret is accident avoidance. We Americans are terrible at driving proactively. We text, phone, lay back in cruise, drive in the left lane, let the automatic braking take care of our braking needs, use WWW as a safety net, etc. While WWW is an aid to accident avoidance it is not the savior and is only a small contributor to avoidance. But wait, let's go back to that automatic braking device. AHHH. we have the root cause, but no one wants to admit it. First, let's admit that the trailer wants to wag the Tigers tail (had to get that pun in) just like a PU truck or any tow vehicle. It occurs whenever there is no tension between the tow vehicle and trailer. It's gonna happen. A WWW approach is a lazy way to handle routine wig wag. But you know what. We have all traveled a lot and seen many a travel trailer or vehicle flipped, jackknifed, down a ravine, etc. In every case I can remember it was a WWW setup like a SUV, PU truck etc. I've seen most in down hill turns, slight interstate downgrades, Intersections, etc. SO why. Well here's the dirty little secret. The brake controller and set up. Be it a electric controller or hydraulic surge brakes. With the electric controller. We are instructed to "balance the braking" with the controller for straight line braking. But it's only balanced going straight. Making turns or when wagging additional trailer braking is required. When needed (they never say when) the operator is to reach down and push or squeeze a lever or something. OH COME ON. Give me a break. In a moment of "need", that "microsecond" OK, a fraction of a second, the average driver couldn't even find that lever let alone reach it without moving in the seat. Then the driver needs to apply the appropriate amount of brake. SURE!!! Meanwhile the vehicle is totally out of control because now the instinctive approach is to apply more tow vehicle brakes. At this point the controller or surge brakes don't feel a need to apply the trailer brakes cause there is reduced longitude load, exacerbating the oscillation. All this happens in a couple seconds. WRECK. Once I discovered this national disaster swept under the carpet I immediately set out to rectify this safety glitch that no one wants to admit. They should recall all brake controllers in my opinion. My solution is a simple one. Remember KISS.

          First I took control of the brake controller. It doesn't do a thing automatically. I merely use the electronics to power the brakes. The secret is a articulated brake pedal, hinged at the top. I push on the brake pedal to apply tow vehicle brakes and at the same time I can roll my foot to proportion the amount of trailer brake I need. Result, "total control" NO KILLER delays. Now imagine me reaching down and grabbing that little lever while my wheel was getting ripped off while going into Kansas City while my car is launched about a foot up in the air. I wouldn't be here today if I had that same controller everyone uses.

          FYI. The trailer is custom built and outfitted with brakes that will lock up the trailer wheels with a car of the Avanti's weight. It stops almost as quick with a load as the Tiger by itself. So much for that big WWW advantage. I have a photo of the brake pedal but I am to dumb to put it on the forum. The Tiger has a FI 302 345HP engine 4spd auto and manual AODE trans, dana 44 rear.

          Remember, sportscars came into this country because they out preformed American iron. It's still the case in this application.

          My punch line here is that I hope I've been able to convince some you are not really safe til you get that brake controller to do what YOU want to do when you want to do it. The secret is that first millisecond and a "Sterile Cockpit".


          The destination is halve the fun, the journey is the other half. Drove the Avanti about 6k miles last year. Towing it is about twice the fun. I refuse to grow up. Thanks Matthew for photo of Avanti pushing the Tiger.

          TT

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          • #35
            Interesting comments , I saw your "rig" in Lancaster a couple years back at the International meet ......best keep it south of the border though ....our MTO would have you off the road in a heartbeat and it would be very expensive .( tough to argue with those guys )
            Still and nice pic .
            sigpic

            Home of the Fried Green Tomato

            "IF YOU WANT THE SMILES YOU NEED TO DO THE MILES "

            1960 Champ , 1966 Daytona , 1965 Daytona Wagonaire

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            • #36
              Tom, glad to see you posting. Quite the initiation rites we have here, lol. Took me 'til just this second to realize WWW means wit, weight and wheelbase. Guess I only have 2 of the 3. There is a sticky at the top of the forum posts on how to attach pics. Hang in there.
              Jim
              Often in error, never in doubt
              http://rabidsnailracing.blogspot.com/

              ____1966 Avanti II RQA 0088_______________1963 Avanti R2 63R3152____________http://rabidsnailracing.blogspot.com/

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Tiger Tom View Post
                From a handling point of view, a tractor trailer is a rather stable vehicle because as noted it has a 5th wheel over the axle. So the Tow Tiger and custom built trailer were modified to replicate similar characteristics with the help of equalizer bars, heavy duty suspension and drive train.(same as a PU truck) Coincidentally, the weight balance ratio of a tractor trailer and Tow Tiger with the Avanti are similar 2 to 1. 3k lb VS 5K trailer, with this tow package having a slight weight balance advantage.
                What is your tongue weight? Are you using an equalizer hitch?

                Craig

                Comment


                • #38
                  I just realized--that is one of the few times a black Avanti would actually be a more or less comfortable temperature inside when scooting along a sunny highway at 50 mph or over

                  Its an exception that can still prove a rule. I have towed 4 Studebakers on a dolly with my Jeep Wagoneer, but never faster than about 70 kph/45 mph or so. Even that is a lot more nerve wracking than towing a single axle house or utility trailer, just the worry-wart in me imagining what could possibly go wrong (You-tube etc is not always your friend) I don't like trailers of any sort to tell the truth, in spite of having three. I've never had a problem yet (knocks on head as the closest wood available), but then again I'm not as technically savvy or experienced as Tiger Tom is.
                  Last edited by Jim B PEI; 07-25-2011, 05:34 AM.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Tiger Tom View Post
                    Wow, some interesting comments. Heard them before. Maybe not with all the ferocity of some here. But that's OK. I love the Studebaker spirit. So why do I do it. Because paradigms keep people in a box. Is it dangerous. Sure. So is drag racing, driving to the store, an F150 hauling a big travel trailer, flying helicopters, etc. Would I recommend anybody else do this? Heck no, not without proper training. Is it legal? Don't know. I've checked PA state laws and police and no one has found a law to prohibit. They can always trump some charge if they want. I've been stopped for speeding and the towing issue was not addressed.


                    I like the mindset of WWW. Makes sense to the basic instincts. No question bigger is better as implied in survival. It's an American mantra. Like everyone else, I want to be in the bigger vehicle like a MB, big Jag or Volvo. Not a PU truck. If I want to AVOID an accident, the last thing I want to be in is a Tractor Trailer PU truck or some big WWW. Funny thing, I've been doing this for 39 years with this car. Mountains of WVA, Colorado, Montana to name a few. It presently has 230K+ miles. Had the left rear wheel completely ripped off the Tiger from a chunk of iron debris dropped from a truck crossing the Missouri river to Kansas City, KS while towing. Never had a trailer blow out but had a flats and tires ripped off rim and many a drops off shoulder events. So how in the heck did we get this far? I must admit that I survived the initial stages through misunderstood dynamics. Being the Test Engineer type I wanted to get to the root cause of handling and accident avoidance.

                    From a handling point of view, a tractor trailer is a rather stable vehicle because as noted it has a 5th wheel over the axle. So the Tow Tiger and custom built trailer were modified to replicate similar characteristics with the help of equalizer bars, heavy duty suspension and drive train.(same as a PU truck) Coincidentally, the weight balance ratio of a tractor trailer and Tow Tiger with the Avanti are similar 2 to 1. 3k lb VS 5K trailer, with this tow package having a slight weight balance advantage.

                    The real secret is accident avoidance. We Americans are terrible at driving proactively. We text, phone, lay back in cruise, drive in the left lane, let the automatic braking take care of our braking needs, use WWW as a safety net, etc. While WWW is an aid to accident avoidance it is not the savior and is only a small contributor to avoidance. But wait, let's go back to that automatic braking device. AHHH. we have the root cause, but no one wants to admit it. First, let's admit that the trailer wants to wag the Tigers tail (had to get that pun in) just like a PU truck or any tow vehicle. It occurs whenever there is no tension between the tow vehicle and trailer. It's gonna happen. A WWW approach is a lazy way to handle routine wig wag. But you know what. We have all traveled a lot and seen many a travel trailer or vehicle flipped, jackknifed, down a ravine, etc. In every case I can remember it was a WWW setup like a SUV, PU truck etc. I've seen most in down hill turns, slight interstate downgrades, Intersections, etc. SO why. Well here's the dirty little secret. The brake controller and set up. Be it a electric controller or hydraulic surge brakes. With the electric controller. We are instructed to "balance the braking" with the controller for straight line braking. But it's only balanced going straight. Making turns or when wagging additional trailer braking is required. When needed (they never say when) the operator is to reach down and push or squeeze a lever or something. OH COME ON. Give me a break. In a moment of "need", that "microsecond" OK, a fraction of a second, the average driver couldn't even find that lever let alone reach it without moving in the seat. Then the driver needs to apply the appropriate amount of brake. SURE!!! Meanwhile the vehicle is totally out of control because now the instinctive approach is to apply more tow vehicle brakes. At this point the controller or surge brakes don't feel a need to apply the trailer brakes cause there is reduced longitude load, exacerbating the oscillation. All this happens in a couple seconds. WRECK. Once I discovered this national disaster swept under the carpet I immediately set out to rectify this safety glitch that no one wants to admit. They should recall all brake controllers in my opinion. My solution is a simple one. Remember KISS.

                    First I took control of the brake controller. It doesn't do a thing automatically. I merely use the electronics to power the brakes. The secret is a articulated brake pedal, hinged at the top. I push on the brake pedal to apply tow vehicle brakes and at the same time I can roll my foot to proportion the amount of trailer brake I need. Result, "total control" NO KILLER delays. Now imagine me reaching down and grabbing that little lever while my wheel was getting ripped off while going into Kansas City while my car is launched about a foot up in the air. I wouldn't be here today if I had that same controller everyone uses.

                    FYI. The trailer is custom built and outfitted with brakes that will lock up the trailer wheels with a car of the Avanti's weight. It stops almost as quick with a load as the Tiger by itself. So much for that big WWW advantage. I have a photo of the brake pedal but I am to dumb to put it on the forum. The Tiger has a FI 302 345HP engine 4spd auto and manual AODE trans, dana 44 rear.

                    Remember, sportscars came into this country because they out preformed American iron. It's still the case in this application.

                    My punch line here is that I hope I've been able to convince some you are not really safe until you get that brake controller to do what YOU want to do when you want to do it. The secret is that first millisecond and a "Sterile Cockpit".

                    The destination is half the fun, the journey is the other half. Drove the Avanti about 6k miles last year. Towing it is about twice the fun. I refuse to grow up. Thanks Matthew for photo of Avanti pushing the Tiger.

                    TT
                    Well, Tom, I hope you can figure out how to post that photo, because the arrangement sounds interesting and I, for one, would like to see it. Perhaps it could be adapted to my 130.5" wheelbase truck and I would feel even safer yet! <GGG>

                    If it is a digital photo, open up a Photobucket account (it's easy) and post it to your Photobucket account. Then copy it (IMG) from Photobucket and patch that link to your post in the forum. (Honest, I'm about as much of a computer dummy as anyone. If I can do it with a caveman mentality, anyone can.)

                    'Looking forward to seeing it, hopefully.

                    BTW, we agree entirely on distractions...even driving without a trailer in tow requires more attention than most people assign to the task....and speed. You didn't mention speed, but part of the reason I think I've avoided accidents is by not traveling over 60 mph, and usually 55-58, while towing. I see guys blasting along at 75 mph with a car trailer waving along and cringe when they say, "It pulls so easily, I don't even know it's back there."

                    Well, they don't normally know it's back there...until a deer jumps out 300' in front of them. BP
                    Last edited by BobPalma; 07-25-2011, 08:12 AM.
                    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                    Ayn Rand:
                    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Tom, thanks for posting, and doing so with such class and explanation. I knew you were a cool guy that has already gotten a lot of flack for your rig, and you know how to handle yourself, or else I wouldn't have posted the picture and video. Gotta have thick skin around here sometimes.

                      If you want any photos posted, feel free to email them to me.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        I thought I'd research what is generally available for brake controllers these days before responding. The 18th century Snake Oil salesman is still alive. I could not find one controller that provided the ability for independent foot (brake) pedal control. Not ONE. Every controller essentially requires either manual or automatic balancing of vehicle in a straight line for setting up. There is no provision for preventing wagging or jack knifing other than reaching for something in a moment of need or panic. I find this appalling in this day and age of Ralph Nader safety freaks. Anyway, I became aware of the ergonomic need for total brake control in the 70's and found the "Warner Automatic Electric Brake" controller. http://www.warnernet.com/pdf/819-0129_P-1386.pdf It was the resistor type. No electronics then. It mounts to your existing brake pedal. Hinge at the top allows your foot to push spring loaded pedal on bottom apply trailer brakes while pushing on top to apply the car/truck brake. I eventually bought a standard (as in cheap) electronic controller. Then ripped out the potentiometer controlled by that lever you squeeze or push in a panic and reinstalled in the pedal. I did the same thing for the one ton PU I use for towing too. BTW, A pickup is one of the more dangerous vehicles to tow with since it has a minimum of inherent weight on the rear. It is especially so on wet roads. The foot controlled brake controller is a real savior here, especially in sharp turns and intersections.

                        I wish there was an easy way to purchase this arrangement today. I could not find one Warner or equivalent unit on the Internet. I'm sure it would be a hit once the towing market realized the value. So we're left to our own devises. If anyone wants to make a foot controller, I'll be glad to help with the details. We also have a great designer in our midst. A photo of my controller should appear here thanks to Matthew since I am still too dumb to do it.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Tiger Tom View Post
                          BTW, A pickup is one of the more dangerous vehicles to tow with since it has a minimum of inherent weight on the rear. It is especially so on wet roads.
                          Now you know why I'm questioning your tongue weight on that trailer. One would want it to be enough to maintain traction and keep the rear of that Sunbeam on the ground no matter how the trailer & load are reacting to the uneveness of the road, but not to overload and kill the suspension and/or lose control of your steering.

                          Craig

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                          • #43

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                            • #44
                              Tom: Do I understand, then, that this controller is no longer available:

                              http://www.warnernet.com/pdf/819-0129_P-1386.pdf

                              The instruction sheet has a "date" of 6/05 on it. Does that mean it was available as late as June 2005...or May 1996? "Modern" electronic controllers are older than that, so I'm trying to figure out when this was last available.

                              ????

                              It does seem like a great idea. BP
                              We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                              Ayn Rand:
                              "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                              G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                I agree that the electric brake controllers don't have an ideal hand control for independently applying the trailer brakes as they are very tiny and must be slid sideways for actuation. This differs from large air-brake straight trucks used for pulling air-brake tag trailers as they are available with a hand lever just below the steering wheel, configured like a turn-signal lever but to the right-side of the steering column. For a few years I drove my dad's 1982 L-9000 Ford tandem axle gravel truck with this independent air-brake controller for the trailer brakes and it would have been very easy to apply had an emergency ever arisen. Something similar could be done for electric brakes if a manufacturer chose to do so. A hand lever mechanism that would fasten/clamp to the right-side of the steering column. Hmmm, maybe I need to see a patent attorney about this.....
                                sigpic
                                In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

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