flat tow

General Chat with an emphasis on BMC Minis & Other iconic cars of the 1960's. Includes information on MK1 Action days.
Post Reply
twc641
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2022 3:13 pm
Location: New Jersey USA

flat tow

Post by twc641 »

I would like to flat tow my MK1
Mounting it while keeping the bumper on the car
Has anyone accomplished this?
1071 S
Posts: 856
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:44 am
Location: Southern Tablelands (Oz)

Re: flat tow

Post by 1071 S »

Isn't really an issue. A mate and I flat towed his S thousands of miles across the US. Didn't seem to have caused any problems over the years.

The tow bar bolted onto the front subframe mounts and didn't interfere with the bumper.

I don't remember ever wondering if it was home made (not by us) or a commercially available item. It was quite well made but simple enough to be something a competent home welder could put together.

Just don't back up :o

Cheers, Ian
User avatar
iain1967s
Posts: 1787
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:46 am
Location: Cambridge, MA, USA

Re: flat tow

Post by iain1967s »

If you have an A+ series generation of gearbox with the larger mainshaft nose bearing it’s not really an issue. For the older gearboxes the nose is much smaller and takes a beating as it’s spinning a 3k rpm in cold oil during flat tow.

Having said that, I’ve flat towed over 500 miles without any issue.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
twc641
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2022 3:13 pm
Location: New Jersey USA

Re: flat tow

Post by twc641 »

Thank you Iain and Ian
Iain ,is it possible to see a picture of how you secured the tow bar to the frame?!


Ian ,was your mates car with a Magic Wand gearbox (just basing it on Iain's comment)

Cheers John
User avatar
iain1967s
Posts: 1787
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:46 am
Location: Cambridge, MA, USA

Re: flat tow

Post by iain1967s »

I drilled out the two front panel to subframe bolts so I could use a higher grade, much thicker bolts, with large washers behind the subframe to spread the load better.

Then I ran a piece of thick angle iron between those two bolts, and drilled a second set of holes inboard on the angle iron to fix on the A-frame quick release couplings.

I put tubular spacers on the bolts to stand both end bolts out enough to clear the front valence curve, so the angle-iron can run from side to side behind the number plate brackets.

High grade 10.9 bolts all round, and double nuts with lock washers for the longer subframe bolts.

I also made some chain loops to go from the tow bar hoops on each side of the a-frame, to the tie-rods where the front hubs meet the subframe, with carabiner style screw clamps so they are removable. Just in case something were to break...
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
1071 S
Posts: 856
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:44 am
Location: Southern Tablelands (Oz)

Re: flat tow

Post by 1071 S »

I do have a few pics of the complete rig... but maybe not closeups of the A frame to car interface. I'll check.

The towee was a mid 60s S - sorry forget exact year.

We took it to MMEs in Chicargo and Canada (from DC)

As I remember it, there was a bar bolted to the car using the front subframe bolts. This was then attached to the A frame using pins retained with Clips...

You could drive around with the front bar in place. Looked much like Iain's photos in general although I think there was another cross car stiffening beam across the base of the A frame. Iain's setup looks a bit more "professional" than what we had.

Cheers, Ian

PS having issues with finding photos ...sorry
twc641
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2022 3:13 pm
Location: New Jersey USA

Re: flat tow

Post by twc641 »

Thank you both again.......
Iain, I will be getting this sorted out come spring and will send you pictures as well
Ian, would still like to see your pictures as well if you locate them!!!!
Cheers
John
twc641
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2022 3:13 pm
Location: New Jersey USA

Re: flat tow

Post by twc641 »

Thank you both again.......
Iain, I will be getting this sorted out come spring and will send you pictures as well
Ian, would still like to see your pictures as well if you locate them!!!!
Cheers
John
Post Reply