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RE: [T3] T3 tow bars?

TOASTEDT3@aol.com wrote:

>we've been looking for a tow bar to be able to tow out T3's very short 
>distances and have only come across T1 and T2 tow bars.

****Beware...a little long*****

When we bought the '70 Squareback, it needed an engine rebuild. It drove
but was very weak! Just enough to make the 3-5 miles from the PO place to
my house. Since the car was for my father, he needed to get it to his
house, which was 20-25 miles away. A little too far to risk not making it.
So we devised a setup for towing the Square using a Beetle tow bar. Here
is what we did and it worked quite well:

First, we removed the front bumper with its mounts from the body. We
then removed the inner (U shaped) support and the mounts from the bumper.
Then we made two pieces out of 1/4" steel that would be attached to the
mounts with two bolts w/locknuts.  These pieces would hang down about 5-6"
from the bumper mounts. The steel plates each had a 1 1/2-2" dia hole
where a solid steel pipe would go in. This steel pipe had on each end a
hole drilled to insert a cotter pin or small dia bolt/locking nut combo.

In order for the tow bar to fit "well" we slipped a larger diameter pipe
over the solid pipe. Then we cut two pieces of PVC pipe to act as stops on
either end and attached tow bar. 

For more details please read on.

After removing the bumper mounts, we drilled them and the steel plates
together, while being held by a vise. After drilling one side, we took our
time and measured that the other side be drilled in the same location and
manner to assure that they were proportional. We decided to mount the
plates on the inside of the mount. You have to either work on the inner or
outer side of the bumper mount. If you decide on inner, you must remove
the horn mounting tab on the drivers side. If working on outer, simply
keep in mind the horn tab when drilling the mount for nut/bolt placement.

Once the mounts and steel plates were drilled, we bolted them together.

Next we reassembled the bumper (mounts/plates and U shaped support) and
reinstalled on the car.

The next task at hand was how do we get the tow bar to fit "well" on this
steel bar without having to make a larger diameter hole (and thus decrease
strength) of the steel plates. The answer was slipping on a larger
diameter pipe (slightly less than the tow bar can accommodate) over the
solid pipe, cut slightly less than the distance between the steel plates.

The next dilemna was how do we keep the tow bar from "dancing" from side
to side on the outer pipe? We took two pieces of PVC pipe (sorry can't
remember diameter), cut ~4-6" in length and slipped them over the outer
pipe. This acted as a stop so that the tow bar does not slide from side to
side and to remain in the center, with "some" play. Similar to each end of
the front beam on a T1.

To complete assembly, first we inserted the small dia. pipe on one end,
inserted the cotter pin, then inserted the larger dia. pipe (which acts as
a sleeve), then both pieces of PVC pipe. Now we had to slip the inner pipe
outward and into its steel plate and insert the remaining cooter pin.

After this is all mounted, just move the PVC pipes to each end and attach
the tow bar!! Your set to go!!!
A couple of things to keep in mind when fabricating the steel plates. The
plates must hang down far enough for the pipe and tow bar to clear the
U shaped support. They must also be made with a slight forward angle, kind
of like a forward facing paren ")", this way it will clear the lower belly
of the spare tire well.

We were amazed as to how well the Square towed!! You almost forgot it was
back there, considering they weigh about 2400lbs!!

BTW, don't forget to put the car in neutral and turn key to first position
to prevent the wheel from locking!!!!

If anyone is interested in making something similar, I can take some exact
measurements of the pieces we used as well as some pictures.

Thanks for listening and good luck towing!!

Alex Magro
'70 Fastback AT/FI
'70 Square AT/FI
'92 Jetta EcoDiesel

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