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Heliraf



Posts : 8
Join date : 2014-07-14
Location : Long Beach, CA

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PostSubject: Two champions – Rabalc and Roadmaster   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeWed Nov 05, 2014 3:02 am

Two champions - Rabalc and Roadmaster

I’m one of the forum posters who purchased a tow hitch fabricated by Rabalc, in fact I think I might even have got the very first one.  My tow hitch experience has been a bit of an adventure for me, so I thought I’d put it into words and post it on the forum, mainly to say thanks to Rabalc, to show him how he helped me out, and also to share my towing experience with fellow Rabalc hitch purchasers and Roadmaster tow-ers.

It all started a few months ago.  I was in Alaska where I was working at the time, I had some free time, so I started doing a very dangerous thing - surfing the internet! I happen to like boats and I was just glancing at some small pocket trawlers for sale.  Then suddenly this boat jumped out at me, all by itself, honestly, crying “buy me!”  One thing led to another, and before I knew it I decided I just had to have this boat.  By the next day I had already spoken to the broker and soon after, a deposit was heading his way.  I had just bought a boat, sight unseen over the internet.  What’s more, the boat was in Vancouver Island, Canada, and I live in Long Beach California.

Well, I wasn’t born yesterday, so I knew there would be some challenges involved in getting it down from an island off Canada to southern California, but I decided I could handle them, whatever they would be, so I went for it.  My plan was to change my flight home, stop off in Seattle on the way, rent a car, drive to Anacortes, catch a ferry to Vancouver Island, see what I had purchased, finalize the payment, do the ferry and road trip back to Seattle in reverse, and continue home by air again, in one day.  Then later on sometime, buy a tow-hitch for my Roadmaster, which by luck happened to have a tow-package, drive the 1300 miles or so to Anacortes via a scenic route, get the ferry again, hook up the boat, and do the trip back home, this time on the freeway.  What could possibly go wrong?

The first part of the trip went fairly well, sort of.  I had it all planned out, but due to the airline schedule and ferry schedule, I knew It would all be pretty tight, but if the plane landed on time, I thought it was do-able.  As it happened, the plane landed a little early, and I was getting this good feeling as I looked at my watch every so often, the feeling you get when a plan is working out and you’re even ahead of schedule.  There wasn’t even a line at the rental car place, awesome!  Then the lady behind the counter says, “I’m very sorry sir, we don’t have any cars”.  WTF!!!  How could this be, I booked and paid for it two weeks ago!  Well, she managed to arrange for me to get a car from another company, but of course this all took a long time, and then that good feeling I was talking about, went to this new feeling, the one you get when you have to drive for almost two hours to catch a ferry and you are way behind schedule….  I could feel my hair getting greyer by the minute as I was speeding down the freeway, one eye on the clock, the other eye looking around for Mr. Policeman who I’m sure would be delighted to give Speedy Gonzales here a ticket.

Anyway, made it, boat was better than expected, made it back home, I’m a happy camper, and now it’s time to prepare for my towing trip.  Did some research and came across many terms that were new to me, like Class 2, 3 and 4 towing hitch.  Anyway, sounds easy enough, just get on the internet and buy a class 3 towing hitch for a 1994 Buick Roadmaster Wagon from one of the many places selling these things, what could be difficult about that?

Well, of course, I soon found out that finding a class 3 or 4 tow hitch for that car was harder than finding someone giving away free diamonds.  No luck on the internet shops, or Ebay, or Craigslist, or scrapyards.  I posted something on the Buick Forum and kept an eye on it every day to see if anyone would respond.  Suddenly one day - bingo!  One really decent chap not only replied that he had one, but that I could have it for just the cost of shipping.  Wow, what a guy, and how my luck has changed, incredible!  Well, my happiness was short lived, turns out I screwed up and forgot to mention in my post that I had a wagon, and his hitch was from a sedan, and wouldn’t fit.  Bummer!  Back to square one.  

I came to the conclusion that I just ain’t gonna find myself this elusive hitch, especially after reading other peoples’ hitch stories on the forum.  So I start looking into one way rental cars, which turns out to be a non-starter, since although you can rent large SUVs with tow hitches, it specifies in your contract that you aren’t allowed to tow anything, and basically you’re in very deep s**t if you do it and something bad happens.  So then I’m in the middle of educating myself about good towing vehicles and looking around for one to buy, when I see this post on the Buick Forum about a guy on another forum, the GMLongroof.4umer, which I never knew about, who might be fabricating them and is asking if anyone wants one.  So I go there, and the guy making the hitches is Rabalc.

Just at that very same time, a buddy of mine who lives in Oregon calls me and tells me he is offering to tow the boat down for me.  He has a Dodge Ram diesel truck with all the bells and whistles, basically the ultimate tow vehicle, and he’s very keen to do the towing trip with me and have a road trip adventure, and all will be great and so forth.  This is a fantastic option for me!  But when I present it to my wife, who was looking forward to our towing road trip too, it was like telling a kid we’re not going to Disneyland after promising for a month.  So, back to plan A….

I ordered the hitch from Rabalc without the powder coating to speed things up, with the idea of getting it powder coated locally later on.  It arrived without any wrapping, just the shipping label stuck on it.  I was surprised to see this, but it turned out to be a good idea.  After all, what’s there to be damaged or scratched up?  From what I see on the forum, Rabalc is going to do them all this way if he makes more, as it saves a lot of time and work.  My towing trip was coming up fast, so immediately after receiving it, I got to work on fitting it.  

In my mind, I was making plans on what I would need to do and what tools or equipment I would need to bash it into shape here and there to get a good fit, after all, there’s no way that someone could fabricate a hitch like that that would fit well, is there?  Boy, did I get a nice surprise!  It fit perfectly, and all the time that I was under the car fitting it, I kept thinking “how the hell did he get all those angles and curves so perfect?”  Good job Mr. Rabalc, I’m really impressed!

So now, I’ll write about the fitting, which might be of interest to others who have yet to fit theirs, although it’s taken me so long to get down to writing this that most have probably already fitted theirs.  As I’m writing this, I’m away from home at another work location, so this is all from memory and I don’t have the Roadmaster and hitch right there to remind me of everything.  The first thing I remember is it coming in contact with the right exhaust pipe, just like some forum posters have mentioned it would.  However, it wasn’t a big problem, and all I had to do was move the exhaust a little to the side; the movement was absorbed by the exhaust hangar.  To get the exhaust out of the way while fitting the hitch, I put a ratcheting strap around the exhaust and around the rear roof bar and tightened it, being careful the tensioned strap didn’t bend and break the window it was in running over.  After fitting, I released the strap, the exhaust came to rest in contact with the hitch, and I ran an experiment to see if the hitch would get hot.  If it did, I was going to put some exhaust wrapping fabric between the exhaust and the hitch, but as it turned out, the hitch didn’t get hot at all, so it’s just there, touching the hitch and it doesn’t bother me at all.

When I first started to fit the hitch, I had the car up on ramps, and I had a bunch of wooden blocks positioned so that I could lift the hitch up into position, push the blocks in place together with some spacers on top, and the hitch would stay there close to the frame.  Then I had this idea which really saved me a lot of hassle, since you put up and take down the hitch many times during the fitting process, and dealing with all these blocks is a pain in the butt.  What I did is I removed two bolts from the car frame, the bolts for which the hitch has access holes drilled out for.  I then bought the same bolts, but slightly longer, and also washers which were larger than the access holes for these bolts in the hitch.  Next time I put the hitch up, I just screwed in these new bolts with the new large washers in place, and this held up the hitch nicely.  At the end of the project I removed the new bolts and washers and installed the original ones.

I also noticed that the hitch was coming into contact with the sheet metal right at the end of the car under the bumper.  It was difficult to judge how much it was pressing on this sheet metal, so I shaved off about 1/8” of the sheet metal.  As it turned out, it looks like the hitch wasn’t really pressing on it; it was just an exact fit.

I don’t have any experience in fitting hitches, so I was really surprised that this new hitch was secured by just four bolts.  The main ones are of course the two closest to the back of the wagon, one on each side.  Anyhow, I considered adding at least one more on each side, but after quite a bit of pondering I decided there’s not really a whole lot of room there to add any more bolts.

Like Rabalc informed us, we need to drill two holes into the frame for his hitch, one on each side.  This was a lot easier than I thought it would be.  The hitch was held up in position nicely as described above, so I marked the spot with a metal punch, and then used a hole-saw, purchased at Lowes or Home Depot.  Can’t remember the size, but it was the same as the diameter of the hole in the hitch.

Regarding the holes in the frame for the “main” bolts, the ones closest to the back of the wagon, I seem to remember that they were considerably larger than the holes in the hitch.  So what I ended up doing was buying some thick fender washers, with the inside hole the same diameter as the hole in the hitch, and an external diameter that was sufficiently larger than the diameter of the hole in the frame.  I used a number of these fender washers under the bolt head to make sure they didn’t bend in as I tightened the bolts.

In order to get the bolts down through the frame and into the holes towards the front of the wagon, I cut up a wire hangar and made a short loop on one end of a straight piece, like a mini sized shepherds crook.  Getting the bolt down the frame and into the hole was easier than I thought it would be, and when the bolt dropped into place, I just had to give the wire a push and the loop slipped off the bolt.

In order to tighten the bolts, before I installed them, I used a die-grinder with a cut-off wheel to cut out a slot for a slotted screwdriver, just like one other poster mentioned he did with his angle grinder.  This held the bolt in place while I tightened the nut.  However, if I was doing it all again, I would probably buy longer bolts, so that I would have room on the bolt to put on the washers, and a spring washer, and nut needed to secure the hitch, and also two other temporary nuts tightened against each other so I could hold the bolt in place with a large wrench which would give me good leverage while tightening the main nut, rather than trying to hold the bolt in place with a screwdriver, or a breaker bar with a slotted screwdriver bit.  I did manage to get the bolts quite tight, but I was never fully satisfied with the torque and kept checking them throughout my towing trip.

Anyhow, I try to keep my Roadmaster in fairly good shape, but a lot of outstanding things that needed to be done had bunched up, so I thought I’d better get my butt into gear and do them before a serious towing trip like this.  My rattling brake pads got sorted out with help from one of the forums.  I also got great information from this forum on how to flush a transmission and change the filter, so I did that.  Engine oil and filter got changed of course.  I flushed the brake lines in hope that it might improve the braking performance, but it didn’t, although it felt good to give the car most probably its first brake fluid flush since 1994.  The radiator had recently started leaking a little, so I thought it would be prudent to change it.  This was a much easier job than expected and went very quickly, and again, I got good information from this forum, in particular about the importance of using flange wrenches.  But there was a hiccup which put me well behind schedule.  I was just putting the new radiator in on a Saturday afternoon, and noticed it didn’t have an outlet for the tube to the overflow tank.  Of course the place I bought it from had just closed on Saturday afternoon, so got there on Monday but of course they didn’t have the right one, and it took me a couple more days to find one.

As we know, when it rains it pours.  I’d been having a problem in that my turn signal cancellation stopped working on the left turn, and some funny things were happening in that area, but it was manageable.  And now, just before my trip, it all went even worse and I just had to do something about it.  A blessing in disguise was that when I was walking the scrap yards looking for a hitch, I managed to find complete electric internal parts of the steering wheel and turn signal area.  Boy, was that a job and a half to take all that stuff apart and put it back together.  Literally took me a day, sitting at the wheel fiddling with it all.  All those wires and connections that have to be pulled up and down through the steering column and all those spring loaded parts that drop to the floor when you take the covers off!  A horrible job!

Anyway, luckily not all that long ago I had re-packed the front wheel bearings and changed the rear diff fluid, so didn’t need to do those jobs, and after about a week of laying under the car, it was finally ready for the trip, Alleluia!  My wife and I packed a cooler full of food and drink and off we went, starting off at midnight, after finishing the Roadmster jobs earlier that day.  We were now way behind schedule, as I had to be back by a certain day to go to work, so we had to drive the 1300 miles to Anacortes non-stop on the freeway, one driving while the other slept, stopping only for gas.  So much for taking the leisurely scenic route up!

We made it for the ferry crossing from Anacortes, and it was quite ironical that while the ferry was winding its way through the very scenic San Juan Islands and most of the passengers were admiring the scenery, there was my wife and I zonked out on the ferry bench seats catching up on some much needed sleep.

Got to the boat late afternoon, and for the next five or six hours we were stowing stuff, fixing the trailer lights, greasing trailer bearings, and fitting a device which I’d never heard of prior to starting out on this towing adventure – a load leveling hitch.  I researched the subject of load leveling hitches prior to the trip, considered a few different ones, and was happy with the quality of a Harbor Freight model, so I went for it.  I got a bit stressed out, because it became obvious when I started to fit it, that they are made for a trailer with a different design of front section, but with some common sense and some application of basic mechanics, I figured things out and all seemed to work OK.

The area where I picked the boat up from was called Maple Bay, close to Duncan, in Vancouver Island.  One hell of a beautiful area!  Wish we could have stayed there a bit longer.  Anyhow, night fell, the whole area got really really dark, and I mean pitch black, and we still had tools and stuff strewn all around the car and boat.  Well, it’s just amazing how quickly you can bundle everything into the back of a wagon when you feel one, then two, then three, really big and heavy blobs of rain, and when you know that if you’re not inside the car in the next minute you’re gonna get very wet!

So, my wife and I are sitting in the Roadmaster, in pitch black Maple Bay, rain pouring, and up above us I think the Gods are making plans on how they can make things unpleasant for us, and they did a pretty good job of that!  I waited for the rain to subside for the most part, but there comes a time when you have to get going.  The boat felt very heavy, not surprisingly since it’s a heavily laid up 23’ boat on a two axle steel trailer.  I didn’t know exactly how much it weighed, but I did manage to get a reading for the tongue weight, using a technique I found on the internet, using a bathroom scale and wooden beam.  Going on the assumption that the tongue weight was 10-15% of the total weight as it should be, I estimated the rig to be around the 6000 lbs mark.  The journey to the ferry terminal was not fun.  The route was hilly and full of turns and bends, and thick fog had set in.  Visibility got down to next-to-nothing in some places, and here I am, towing a boat that I’ve never towed before, close to the max towing capacity of the wagon, on an unfamiliar route in terrible conditions.  The only consolation was that it was pretty much the middle of the night by now, so I could take things very slowly indeed, and didn’t have to worry about angry drivers behind me wanting to get by, I had the road completely to myself.  Wow, what a journey it was that night, still gives me that shivers, I’ll never forget it…..

Well, my forum post is getting way too long, so I’ll try to summarize the journey back.  The Roadmaster turned out to be a real champion, didn’t have any problems at all.  We got quite a few comments of surprise, that the wagon was towing a big boat like that.  On the way, I kept in mind all the things I had learned on this forum about towing.  I kept it out of overdrive for the most part, except when I was going down a mild slope and the tranny wasn’t working hard.  I made use of the electronic HVAC module, can’t remember the correct name for it right now, and often set it up to display coolant temperature, which didn’t get too high at all, can’t remember the figures right now, I think I have them written down somewhere at home.  Fuel economy was quite satisfactory I thought.  On the way up we were driving fast, 70 to 80 mph, and we got around 20-21 mpg.  On the way down towing the boat, driving much slower of course, we got around 10.  Since I know people that have SUVs like a Lincoln Navigator that get 10 mpg on a daily basis, I thought getting 10 towing this big boat was pretty good.  Going up steep hills we used the crawler lane with the big trucks, but usually overtook them, from what I remember we managed about 30 even on the steep hills.  The only small problem we had was close to the end of the journey, when I checked the bolts securing the hitch, I could feel one or two of them not quite as tight as they were.  I tried to torque them, but in the end I wrapped some safety wire below the nut to stop it undoing more and coming off, and we completed the journey like that.

So that’s my towing story with two champions.  The first champion, Rabalc, made it possible, and then the other champion, Roadmaster, carried it out, and both champions did a super job!

I’ll try to insert some snaps.

Heliraf


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buickwagon

buickwagon

Posts : 954
Join date : 2011-06-10
Location : Muskoka, Ontario

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeWed Nov 05, 2014 7:42 am

Great story! Kind of a bonus LROTM tale.
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steel-and-fire



Posts : 237
Join date : 2013-07-08
Age : 31
Location : Staten Island, NY

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeWed Nov 05, 2014 1:57 pm

That was such a great story.
Now I really want to get a tow hitch.
(runs underneath boxy with measuring tape)

In all seriousness, I might make a cardboard mock-up of the plans to see how different it is for the boxy wagons. Off the top of my head I know the gas-tank is a little bigger and the hook on the license plate might be problematic. Those are guesses so don't take them too seriously, but will be examining under Firefly over the weekend.
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phantom 309

phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeWed Nov 05, 2014 2:31 pm

Nice story,.. great use of a wagon,..

i went to school in lake cowichan, just inland a bit from duncan, and have friends on the island(s)

It'll be my settling place if the lottery numbers ever come up.
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autoarcheologist

autoarcheologist

Posts : 295
Join date : 2014-08-22
Location : Portland, OR

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeWed Nov 05, 2014 2:55 pm

Great story! Reminds me of picking up our 26' Streamline Trailer and dragging it home. It also go late, we ran out of light and it started pouring. And we had our girls with us.

So we found a hotel and made it home the next day. But I feel your pain, nothing like towing 6000 lbs with a new setup to give you a few pucker moments!

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bamalongroof

bamalongroof

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeWed Nov 05, 2014 7:41 pm

Glad you had a safe tow and a great story. Jeff
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redcaddy

redcaddy

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Age : 67
Location : Venice Floriduh

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeMon Nov 10, 2014 8:18 pm

Well, I finally got a chance to walk and gawk under my '89 Boxie. While I was there, I started to measure for a trailer hitch. Rablac's drawing shows the frame width as 38 3/8ths inches.

My Boxie measures nearly 48 inches, outside to outside of the frame rails. I also couldn't find any holes in the frame, big enough, to slide in a 3/4 inch nut. (the bumper struts block access from the big hole at the back end of the frame)

Would somebody with a Boxie take some measurements? (I thought I had a firm grip on reality, or not)

Thanks
Paul
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buickwagon

buickwagon

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeMon Nov 10, 2014 9:16 pm

The drawing was mine, so don't blame Rablac. By all reports he did an excellent job and faithfully reproduced the angles and bolt-hole locations, but if a dimension is wrong, the fault is mine.

The 38-3/8" is the inside-to-inside dimension of the hitch itself. As you can see from this photo of my original test-fit on my 1995 RMW, the hitch does not extend to the outside of the frame:

class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 02_clearances

I bought and installed an Algonquin Hidden Hitch on my 1983 Electra Estate Wagon in 1985. I transferred the same hitch to my 1992 Roadmaster Estate Wagon in 1993. The bolt-holes and frames were identical.  I stress that I did this PERSONALLY, this is not some internet rumour.

Earlier in this thread j2rossit tells us that he tried the hitch on both his 96 and his 92. He indicated that, except for an interference problem with the exhaust pipe on the 92, the hitch would fit perfectly on the frame. MalibuSS indicated that the mounting arm on the right hand side needs to be shifted inboard and the mounting plate extended outboard about 1" to keep the bolt holes at the same distance in order to clear the exhaust on his TBI wagon. I did not realize the tailpipe was slightly inboard on the 91-93 compared to the 95 - 96.

So, an 83, 92, 95 and 96 all have the same frame width at that point. A bigger concern is probably the location of the boxie tailpipe. If it is the same as the 92, then it will interfere with mounting this hitch.

Only one of the 3/4" holes on each side align with an existing frame hole. The design does call for the installer to drill one additional 3/4" hole on each side. At the time I designed this, I did not expect someone to make them for others -- I only thought that some individuals might make their own, and if one can make a hitch, one can easily drill a hole in the frame! The new hole location was necessary to simplify the fabrication of the hitch, permitting the use of readily available stock rather than custom stamped sections.

So again, I stress that deficiencies of the design are my fault. Please don't blame Rablac, who did a real nice thing for the community.
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Guest
Guest



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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeMon Nov 10, 2014 11:12 pm

Wow,what a story and now I want a BIG boat and a bigger trailer hitch.Did I mention that I dont even like the water and hate fish?
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GSBULLDOG

GSBULLDOG

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeTue Nov 11, 2014 1:52 pm

Flasheroo wrote:
Wow,what a story and now I want a BIG boat and a bigger trailer hitch.Did I mention that I dont even like the water and hate fish?
Lol
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beertestr



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Join date : 2014-11-18

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeTue Nov 18, 2014 3:34 pm

I could give making these a shot. Rabalc, drop me a PM if you want to discuss, I have the welding equipment to handle 1/4" plate no problem and access to somebody that can cut/bend the pieces. I already sell motor mount brackets for LS swaps, I think these can be managed as well.
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autoarcheologist

autoarcheologist

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeTue Nov 18, 2014 5:09 pm

Get an accurate tally of how many people want them. I found one so I'm out of the market for the moment, but there seems to be a steady stream of people willing to pay $200 for a good hitch.
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beertestr



Posts : 95
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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeWed Nov 19, 2014 11:42 am

autoarcheologist wrote:
Get an accurate tally of how many people want them.  I found one so I'm out of the market for the moment, but there seems to be a steady stream of people willing to pay $200 for a good hitch.

Let's get a tally of people interested. I would consider running a batch of 10 (and I'll bank a few extra) to get things started, but let me confirm what my cutter/bender will charge for the pieces.

I have been reading the thread a lot, and it sounds like the current design is making a lot of people happy, but there are a few tweaks noted.

1) Sounds like the right side bracket would benefit from having the vertical face a little further inboard to accommodate 91-93 and likely 77-90 single rear exhausts to fit better.

2) The 2" Receiver could stand to be about 3/8" lower to accommodate variation and clearance to the bumper cover?

3) I'll put this in, the DrawTite Class III/IV hitch I had on my 94 Wagon, as well as the Sedan version I had on my 95 SS used 2 of the bumper shock bolts per side instead of drilling 2 additional holes on the frame. Worked fine for me. Any body have issues with modifying the design for that and making it truly bolt on?


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beertestr



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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeWed Nov 19, 2014 12:02 pm

Oh, and since I'm new on this forum, here's a link to my side business, KDS Performance. I'm a registered LLC in the state of MI.

kds-performance.com
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Guest
Guest



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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeWed Nov 19, 2014 12:05 pm

Welcome.

I'm possibly considering a set of your LS mounts. haha.

I recognized your name instantly, lol.


My hitch I had on my '92 before I lowered it was easy. It was a Reese hitch, and yes, it used the lower two bolts from the bumper support and bolted right on. Did it in my driveway with hand tools in about 30 minutes.
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autoarcheologist

autoarcheologist

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeWed Nov 19, 2014 2:48 pm

I'm trying to recreate a plate to get my Hidden Hitch mounted, so anything you can do to make it bolt in would be much appreciated I think.

And thanks for stepping up to build some! I don't understand why Cequent (who now owns all the hitches it seems) deemed the Sedan worthy but not the wagon. Argh.
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StriperSS



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Join date : 2014-09-23
Location : Victoria, BC

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeWed Nov 19, 2014 6:21 pm

I'm interested. Bolt on is good!
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phantom 309

phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeWed Nov 19, 2014 6:27 pm

i have this big draw tite just sitting on the dodge flat deck,.
It was going to cost a small fortune to ship it to the west coast?
If somebody closer wants it?

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rabalc

rabalc

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeWed Nov 19, 2014 6:36 pm

phantom 309 wrote:
i have this big draw tite just sitting on the dodge flat deck,.
It was going to cost a small fortune to ship it to the west coast?
If somebody closer wants it?


Nick, is it a bolt together one, mabey I would take it and reverse engineer it so it will fit all wagons
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rabalc

rabalc

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeWed Nov 19, 2014 6:43 pm

beertestr wrote:
I could give making these a shot. Rabalc, drop me a PM if you want to discuss, I have the welding equipment to handle 1/4" plate no problem and  access to somebody that can cut/bend the pieces. I already sell motor mount brackets for LS swaps, I think these can be managed as well.

Beertestr, You are more than welcome to give it a shot, I was not doing them for business or to make money on them, just trying to help a few people out. I have finally slowed down at work and was going to run some more soon, but if you would like to do them you sure can. Im not sure if you use the bumper shock bolts for mounts it would be a class 3/4 hitch though

Rich
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phantom 309

phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeWed Nov 19, 2014 8:20 pm

rabalc wrote:
phantom 309 wrote:
i have this big draw tite just sitting on the dodge flat deck,.
It was going to cost a small fortune to ship it to the west coast?
If somebody closer wants it?


Nick, is it a bolt together one, mabey I would take it and reverse engineer it so it will fit all wagons

yes its a class 4 drawtite like mike said,. two big bolts on frame,. 4 bolts onto the lower bumper shock plates,.

not cheap to ship, weighs a bloody ton,.
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beertestr



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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeThu Nov 20, 2014 8:54 am

phantom 309 wrote:
i have this big draw tite just sitting on the dodge flat deck,.
It was going to cost a small fortune to ship it to the west coast?
If somebody closer wants it?


Where are you at these days?

I might be interested.
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steel-and-fire



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Location : Staten Island, NY

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeThu Nov 20, 2014 12:00 pm

While it'll take some time to get prices numbers and any redesigns, I'll be interested in a hitch. Kicking myself for not jumping on the first batch.
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https://www.youtube.com/weltallid123
beertestr



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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeThu Nov 20, 2014 1:41 pm

One of the guys in my club has a Sedan one. IIRC, they are basically they same except the rails are wider. I might pick it up and mod from there. We'll see.
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Guest
Guest



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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeThu Nov 20, 2014 2:25 pm

Sean Usoff has a sedan hitch that he modified to fit his wagon. It's nicer because it tucks up under the bumper better. I wish the real wagon hitch was like that.
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phantom 309

phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeThu Nov 20, 2014 7:17 pm

beertestr wrote:
phantom 309 wrote:
i have this big draw tite just sitting on the dodge flat deck,.
It was going to cost a small fortune to ship it to the west coast?
If somebody closer wants it?


Where are you at these days?

I might be interested.

Across the bridge,..grand valley ontario,.
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beertestr



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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeFri Nov 21, 2014 9:49 am

Stingroo wrote:
Sean Usoff has a sedan hitch that he modified to fit his wagon. It's nicer because it tucks up under the bumper better. I wish the real wagon hitch was like that.

Anybody have a picture?

EDIT:

Nevermind, found it!!  Just had to reread the thread a bit..    

Seems that if I built the hitch similar to the Sedan design, there is no plate hanging below the frame until you get behind the exhaust. I'm getting a sedan hitch on Tuesday, we'll see where we go from there.

EDIT #2.. wait, I found pics of the exhaust pipe issue. ..
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beertestr



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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeSat Nov 29, 2014 6:51 pm

Wagon is purchased, need to build a hitch...
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turborat

turborat

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Location : North Georgia

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeTue Dec 02, 2014 2:16 pm

Hi all,

My first post here.  Been wanting another LT1 wagon ever since I let my '94 Caprice go many years ago.  I picked up a clean '96 Buick with factory tow package to haul my race car and am stuck dead in my racks due to lack of hitch source.  I missed the first run of hitches done by rabalc.  I definitely would like to be included in a next run.  

I too was considering the sedan version and trying to modify it for the wagon.  Today I downloaded the Cequent Performance Products catalog to get other ideas (they own all of the hitch sources now).  On page A-6 Ultra Frame offers a center section in two widths.  Either 44" or 62".  As I recall the width on wagon frames is 49"?  A Google search has part # 41991 best price at $104 plus shipping.  

Would it make sense to build the custom end plates for these center sections?  End user could have them welded on or bolted on like other multi-fit models. Now I don't have the fabrication equipment, so I ask those that do to give their thought.  

Sorry, New member so I can't post links right now.

Thanks....Paul

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buickwagon

buickwagon

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeTue Dec 02, 2014 2:46 pm

turborat wrote:
Sorry, New member so I can't post links right now.

Link: This cattalog?
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FarmingEngineer



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Location : Flint, MI

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeWed Dec 03, 2014 10:04 am

If anyone is entertaining another run of the buickwagon design receivers, I'm interested. I'm near Flint, so shipping may not be necessary if you decide to produce them beertestr. I may even throw some homebrew in the deal... Rabalc, if you make another run, I may be able to cut down delivery cost, by having it delivered to my friend in Marquette that I see regularly.

Edit: Scratch that Rabalc, the shipping savings, according to UPS is only $6... Anyway, I'd be willing to spend 200-250 to get something that is designed at least for the capabilities for my 96 RMW that I can easily install.

For everybody trying to figure out how to fish the bolt in through the frame, what I'll be using came with a bolt on kit for a front end receiver for my 06 silverado. It is a thin wire with a coil at one end that you screw the bolt into. Works like an electrical fishing wire; pull the wire through first, and it pulls the bolt into place. If the bolt is long enough, you can use a lock washer of some sort (I believe my hidden-hitch kit for the pickup came with star washers), and torquing the bolt down shouldn't be so problematic.

I would really love to use the RMW for our camping trips in lieu of my pickup, as the wagon is a whole lot more comfortable for the wife and kids.
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phantom 309

phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeWed Dec 03, 2014 11:04 pm

drive over to canada,. the class 4 drawtite is sitting on my old dodge's flatdeck,.
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FarmingEngineer



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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeThu Dec 04, 2014 6:37 am

phantom 309 wrote:
drive over to canada,. the class 4 drawtite is sitting on my old dodge's flatdeck,.

I work with a guy that lives in Windsor, but he goes to Toronto fairly regularly. I'll see if he'd be willing to play delivery boy.

When you say it weighs a bloody ton, do you mean in the 60-80lb range? I'd hate to throw more than that on the back of the wagon all the time.
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phantom 309

phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeThu Dec 04, 2014 6:10 pm

i haven't weighed it exactly,. but yes its 50lbs anyway,.

there's a picture of the sticker in this thread i think?
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FarmingEngineer



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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeFri Dec 05, 2014 9:44 am

I didn't realize Grand Valley was so far outside of Toronto. My coworker goes to East York, but wasn't willing to drive so far out of the way. I looked into shipping (assuming you'd be willing), and the cost to ship to York, vs my house in MI was $63CAD to $65USD. I would therefore just rather eliminate the coworker delivery service if you'd be willing to ship.

I work about 15 minuted from beertestr, so I'd be willing to lend the hitch to him for examination for future builds. Did you mention if this should work on the '96? I'd PM instead of using up thread space for this, but cannot yet (not enough posts). Also wondering what you are asking for the hitch.
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rabalc

rabalc

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeMon Dec 08, 2014 9:19 pm

Ok, my latest idea is as follows, every one that is interested in a hitch contact me, pitch in a few bucks to buy and ship the one Nick has to me, if it is still available, I will copy it so we know it fits the other wagons as well...Just a thought...I have about 10 people waiting for a hitch, not sure if they are all lt1 or not and would like to make sure they will fit all before I commit to doing more. As far as the boxies go I have no way of testing fit as I don't know anyone around me that has one
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FarmingEngineer



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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeTue Dec 09, 2014 5:49 am

I'd definitely be willing to. If you split that between 10 people, it should be about $8 each, as the estimated shipping with UPS was just over $80. That may change if he takes it to UPS and it weighs more that the 50# guestimate. Still, I don't think it would be more than $10 each.
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redcaddy

redcaddy

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeWed Dec 10, 2014 3:08 pm

OK, Silly question time.
I've re read the threads, I'm still confused, are the dimensions and bolt holes on the boxie hitch, and the whale hitch the same? (there are apparently several styles of hitch mounts, but some hole locations must be the same)

It seems to me that the major problems are with exhaust pipe/tail pipe clearance, not the mounting points, is this correct?
(several members have reported one hitch fitting both frames)

Is the design that uses the bumper shock bolts for the rear mounting point, the one that will be copied? (will it work on both boxie's and whales?

Is there any thing I can do, from the deep south, to speed this project along? (Yep, you're right, I need one for my boxie)

Thanks, Paul
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buickwagon

buickwagon

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeWed Dec 10, 2014 9:22 pm

To the best of my knowledge and belief: yes and yes. Bolt holes and frame widths are the same. Exhaust pipe is in a slightly different location on the LT1 cars.
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NO RTR 7

NO RTR 7

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeWed Dec 31, 2014 10:18 pm

Posting here just to try and keep up on things.... I missed rabalc's first batch of hitches but I really need a good hitch for my wagon. I am getting close to building my own but since I don't really tow much in winter I can hold off on that for a while.
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Guest
Guest



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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeSat May 23, 2015 9:26 am

I've been keeping an eye on this thread for a while and haven't seen any posts in several months. I went to make myself an account so I could post here and realized I had already made one at some point in the past. Does anyone have any new information regarding these hitches? Thanks, and thanks especially to everyone working so hard to make these hitches a reality.
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beertestr



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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeSat May 23, 2015 9:57 am

JefroBoDeen wrote:
I've been keeping an eye on this thread for a while and haven't seen any posts in several months.  I went to make myself an account so I could post here and realized I had already made one at some point in the past.  Does anyone have any new information regarding these hitches?  Thanks, and thanks especially to everyone working so hard to make these hitches a reality.

http://gmlongroof.4umer.com/t11104p120-kds-class-iii-iv-hitch
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redcaddy

redcaddy

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeThu Oct 15, 2015 7:03 pm

Just this week I got my hitch kit back from the powder coater. I used the kit to fab a one of a kind hidden hitch, complete with flop down license plate.

I still can't figure out how to upload pictures here, I have a bunch, if somebody will take an old fart to school.
Thanks, Paul
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silverfox103
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silverfox103

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeThu Oct 15, 2015 7:36 pm

redcaddy wrote:

I still can't figure out how to upload pictures here, I have a bunch, if somebody will take an old fart to school.
Thanks, Paul

Old fart, this may help you:

http://gmlongroof.4umer.com/t55-read-this-first-how-to-post-pics-now-with-pics

Tom
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redcaddy

redcaddy

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeThu Oct 15, 2015 8:17 pm

Tom,
Thanks for the link to the tutorial.

I fully understand the no direct upload thing. Server space and bandwidth equal MONEY. Many of the technical boards I frequent have been around long enough to insist on direct upload. (some restrict the uploads to paid members, which I usually am)

Many off site hosts/users will move or erase pictures from time to time, leading to the dreaded black X in a box where the pic should be. Most technical threads are useless without the pictures.

This is especially annoying when re reading old posts or archived "how I did it" posts.

Again, thanks for the lesson,

Paul
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beertestr



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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeThu Oct 15, 2015 8:22 pm

redcaddy wrote:
Tom,
Thanks for the link to the tutorial.

I fully understand the no direct upload thing. Server space and bandwidth equal MONEY. Many of the technical boards I frequent have been around long enough to insist on direct upload. (some restrict the uploads to paid members, which I usually am)

Many off site hosts/users will move or erase pictures from time to time, leading to the dreaded black X in a box where the pic should be. Most technical threads are useless without the pictures.

This is especially annoying when re reading old posts or archived "how I did it" posts.

Again, thanks for the lesson,

Paul

Paul, you can email pics to michael@kds-performance.com and I'll host/post them.
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beertestr



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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeSun Oct 25, 2015 1:12 pm

Here are some pics of what Red Caddy did with the KDS DIT Hitch for an under-plate receiver setup.
Looks like a decent setup, but I would strongly recommend some reinforcement of the chain plate. Nice work Sir!

class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 DSC02511_zpsbondedgs

class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 640_1_zpsovg2zicm

class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Hidden%20hitch%202%204_zpsjsiy6tx8

class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Hidden%20hitch%202%202_zpslhrdkwns
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udownwitk

udownwitk

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeMon Jan 11, 2016 2:46 pm

still making these?
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Isurf

Isurf

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PostSubject: Re: class 3/4 hitch   class 3/4 hitch - Page 4 Icon_minitimeSun Feb 24, 2019 3:49 pm

are any of these still available ?
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