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Thread: Rear shocks and towing/hauling

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    Senior Member Duke George V's Avatar
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    Question Rear shocks and towing/hauling

    Anyone do any towing or hauling with their van? I'm possibly going to be towing a car a few hundred miles in the next month or so and I was considering replacing the rear shocks with Gabriel Hi Jackers, part number 49370. They're adjustable air shocks that you can pump up or down with a standard air hose, like at a gas station. They claim to be able to add up to 1100 pounds to your towing capacity, which is pretty significant when you consider the GVWR of my van is about 5200 lbs.

    Also, who can I rent a car dolly from that won't bitch about the weight difference? Is U-Haul the only game in town? Last time I talked to them, they wouldn't rent me one because they said my Suburban only weighed 800 pounds more than the Chrysler Fifth Avenue I needed to move, and they require at least a thousand pounds difference between the two vehicles. I even offered to sign a waiver or something, but they refused my business. I could lie and tell them I'll be towing, like, a 1994 Geo Metro or something, but I'd rather not have to.
    Daniel
    Kaiser George IX: 1996 Buick Century Special wagon. 214-SFI. 201k miles. Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down. Transmission time, again. First documented LX9 swap in an A-body! Click here to read my build thread!
    Goldilocks: 1992 Buick Century Special sedan. 204-MFI. 132k miles. Current DD.
    Susana: 1993 Buick Century Custom wagon. 204-MFI. 121k miles. Garage ornament. Waiting for an LR4.



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    Avoid U-haul, those douchebags will just waste your time. Do you know any one that has a dolly you could borrow? Or even know someone who knows someone?

    We used to tow a pop-up camper with the '92 APV, you hardly noticed it was there. Some air shocks should be plenty enough to help out when towing a car, although I would be more worried about the brakes. Would you be towing on level terrain?
    -Andy

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    Senior Member Duke George V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 86euro View Post
    Would you be towing on level terrain?
    I would try to as much as possible, but the car is in Colorado. I would probably take the southern route and avoid I-70 altogether, which goes over the Rockies.
    Daniel
    Kaiser George IX: 1996 Buick Century Special wagon. 214-SFI. 201k miles. Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down. Transmission time, again. First documented LX9 swap in an A-body! Click here to read my build thread!
    Goldilocks: 1992 Buick Century Special sedan. 204-MFI. 132k miles. Current DD.
    Susana: 1993 Buick Century Custom wagon. 204-MFI. 121k miles. Garage ornament. Waiting for an LR4.

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    You would probably be fine, but having a brake controller and a dolly with brakes would be much safer. Unfortunately then you need to buy a controller, wire it up, AND find a dolly with brakes. I don't think many have them.
    -Andy

    '86 Eurosport VR coupe
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    '88 Eurosport VR coupe
    '89 Eurosport wagon

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    I Have Monroe air shocks on the rear of mine... But I do have the Load Level... I will recommend the Monroe Max Air over the gabes all day long...

    I see from your sig pic that you have a 3800 this meas you have 3.06 gears as well... You should be able to tow.. As for stopping... If you tow a car it takes a lot to stop and the Brake system of that van is not meant to deal with that... Now that I have tossed that disclaimer to you...

    I agree with a lot of the above Post..

    The Brake Calipers are Camaro Firebird Calipers, using Bonneville Pads and rotors iirc for the front... The rears are much like the Bonnevilles as well...

    The actually weight of the van is in the 3800 Lb area... If you are towing a 3000 Lb car and the dolly lets say you are now at 7100 Lbs... The Trans in the van is designed for a max of 6000 Lbs... And at that point you would want a Trans Cooler...

    Keep in mind I am in Floraida and on a lot of flat land... I have towed 4500 Lbs a short distance and the Engine and trans didn't seem to notice... The engine has enough torque, but stopping that weight is another issue.. Knew a guy that Towed cars all of the time with a 96 APV with the 3400 V6( all of these had 3.29 gears )... He had one problem with this, Burned up 2 transmissions in 2 years... Other than that he towed with the van a lot...

    I am not so much concerned with what the van can tow as I am what the Brakes can stop..

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    Pontiac6ksteawd's Avatar
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    My Suggestion would be to avoid the tow dolly entirely...

    Since that Chrysler has a frame, you can buy a tow bar, for alot cheaper than you can rent a tow dolly for, and flat tow the chrysler. I think the only catch would be that you have to disconnect the drive shaft at the rear yolk.

    Attach that beast to the frame, hook it up to your 'Burb, and take off. No weight issues on the truck at all that way, just make sure you keep those brakes cool!
    Brian - Carpe Diem

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    Hmmm I missed the Burb...

    Had a Buddy that rented a car hauler from U-haul, to tow behind his Avalanche with a 3700 Lb Bonneville on the car hauler... iirc the truck was in the 5000-6000 Lb area and set up to tow 10,000 Lbs... They rented him the car hauler... Truck at 5000 Lbs at least, Bonneville at 3700 car hauler was over 2000... He towed the car across the state over here to my House.. No problems...

    But it was designed to tow, and also had the Hydraboost brakes..

    I would think you would be able to tow pretty good with the Burb, and I like the idea of the tow bar...

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    Senior Member Duke George V's Avatar
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    The Fifth Avenue thing was about five years ago guys. I don't have the Suburban anymore.

    And it turned out that my tax refund is much smaller than I anticipated, so I won't be going to get the car anyway. Thanks for the advice though.

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    Pontiac6ksteawd's Avatar
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    Why is it showing you posted this just a couple days ago?
    Brian - Carpe Diem

    I dont have to love my president, or any god, to love my country!!
    More people have died in the name of "God" than in all wars combined thruout history
    01 Pontiac Aztek GT AWD 125k - 04 GMC Envoy SLT XUV 192k - 05 Buick Rendezvous CXL Sport Plus 61k

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    Sorry to hear that man... Thats a Bummer..

    If you ever do decide to tow anything with the van... Consider doing this...




    I actually have a larger cooler on there now.. This van came from the factory with 2 Trans cooler in the radiator, I run through both of them and then to the AUX cooler and back to the trans... Its kept the fluid nice and red through the abuse and all of the hauling I have done.. I have a Class 2 hitch... I wanted a class 3( overkill I know ) but they don't make one for it...

    That L27 Tuned Port you have is a strong low end torquer... In 1991 GM rated it at 170 HP and 225 Ft Lbs... In 1993 the engine received newer pistons and better rings( less friction, they were pretty good to begin with, I think they went with a skinner set of rings and got a little closer to the top of the piston )... As well with the newer pistons they upped the compression from 8.5:1 to 9.0 : 1... Then the replaced the Pivots with Roller bearing pivots( a lot less valve train friction )... The numbers were never changed.. My guess is 180 HP and 235-240 Ft Lbs... And 1995 was the freak motor as it used the Series II crank and slightly lighter rods...

    I have gotten way off topic... But your van should be pretty versatile and should do most of the things you want it to... Its the reason i like mine soo much and just can't let it go.. That and it looks like nothing on the road...

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    Even though the plan went kaput, the flat-tow thing is not a good idea. While braking and turning, the vehicle in tow has more of a tendency to push the back end of the tow vehicle sideways.
    -Andy

    '86 Eurosport VR coupe
    '86 Eurosport sedan
    '88 Eurosport VR coupe
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    Senior Member Duke George V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pontiac6ksteawd View Post
    Why is it showing you posted this just a couple days ago?
    I wasn't clear about the time the Suburban/5th Ave thing happened in. Sorry.

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    Senior Member Duke George V's Avatar
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    I'm gonna revive this, since I might be doing some hauling soon. I'm looking at Monroe Sensa-Trac shocks for the rear, part number 58427. They have a 25 lb spring over them, and say they're made for vans that are used to tow or haul. Anyone have any experience with that particular shock?

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    Senior Member SexySilhouette's Avatar
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    If you were to go with air shocks, you could install a factory air compressor to fill them instead of paying a gas station.
    Jay

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    Senior Member Fer1973's Avatar
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    so sorry for you low tax return, what kind of car were you trying to buy? just curious.


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