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Tow Bar Recommendation

Discussion in 'Early CJ5 and CJ6 Tech' started by Burndoubt, May 14, 2017.

  1. May 14, 2017
    Burndoubt

    Burndoubt Member

    Vermont
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2017
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    51
    looking to add a tow bar to my 58 CJ5. Can anyone recommend a quality brand? Not planning on towing much other than getting it home should I break down.
     
  2. May 14, 2017
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member 2020 Sponsor

    Denver, CO
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    Jul 18, 2013
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    I am using the HF version: 5000 lb. Capacity Adjustable Tow Bar

    For $60 after a 20% discount its hard to beat. Towed my broken down junk (er... jeep) home a couple times as well as towed it out to Moab a few times from Denver. Has worked flawlessly using my Tacoma. My only complaint is the tow brackets that you mount on the front bumper use a a slightly odd size diameter hole/pin that is too small to fit a shackle for a tow point when wheeling. Plus, if I ever lost/broke one of the connector pins - might not be a trivial replacement.

    Highly recommend. Here is a pic:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. May 14, 2017
    mike starck

    mike starck Member 2019 Sponsor

    salem,oregon
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    Jun 22, 2006
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    I have been using the same towbar for some time now. No problem,they work great and can't beat the price. Only thing is there not as pretty as a custom fabricated one. I have built several in the past but got lazy and bought a H/F few years ago. No regrets. mike
     
  4. May 14, 2017
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor

    Florida Keys
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    Jan 23, 2014
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    2,357
    I still use my 55+ year old "On The Pilot" tow bar my dad bought to tow the Tux back in the day. Its the same one U-Haul rented for decades, so I know it is over-built.
    -Donny
     
    Scott G. likes this.
  5. May 15, 2017
    Chris Insull

    Chris Insull All roads lead me back to the beach... 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Misawa, Japan...
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    I've been using a 5K lb Reese collapsible unit for over 20 years with no issues... Back when I bought it, Reese was manufacturing in the USA, so quality hardware and heavy duty construction was the norm. Can't say for sure now...
     
  6. May 15, 2017
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Back in the day, I owned a Smittybilt tow bar that worked well. However, it was a rigid design made from round tube that is different from today's Smittybilt branded product. I recall there is a tow bar that U-Haul sells that seems fine - Adjustable Tow Bar Looks remarkably like the DrawTite bar that Reese sells. Tow Bar - Adjustable
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
  7. May 15, 2017
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor

    Florida Keys
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    My ancient tow bar has little in common with the modern U-Haul version, except for the "A" shape. Mine has forgings at both the ball end and the clamp ends, with heavy wall tubing in between. I'm sure the new ones will work fine though!
    -Donny
     
  8. May 15, 2017
    jpflat2a

    jpflat2a what's that noise?

    Riverside CA
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    Jul 30, 2003
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    7,885
    Old school Smittybilt tow bar used here.
     
  9. May 15, 2017
    Burndoubt

    Burndoubt Member

    Vermont
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    Thanks guys! I was actually just looking at this one and wondering if it was worth the money. Too bad I didnt think about it when I was there Saturday! I'll have to get one on my next trip. BTW, what did you use to mount your high lift, that looks great!
     
  10. May 15, 2017
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member 2020 Sponsor

    Denver, CO
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    Jul 18, 2013
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    Highlift mount was cheap 'custom' fab - basically drill two holes in the top surface of the bumper and some washers and nuts. I used two 1/2" bolts (with 3/4 hex head) that were 3" in length (later I swapped one for 3.5" long so I could drill a hole though the thread and put a small pad-lock on it). I put the bolts up through the top surface and used two nuts on each one (I added a washer between the fender and nut but not necessary). The first nut was tightened to hold the bolt in place - the second nut was just as a spacer, so you could use any kind of sleeve or spacer to create the necessary clearance between the bumper and the jack (the jack end needs over an inch of clearance above the bumper). Would look something like this:

    [​IMG]

    On top of the second nut/spacer I put a super thick washer that the jack sits on (bolts go through the main jack shaft holes). 1 3/8" outer diameter fits well against the jack shaft. Used a second identical washer and wing nut on top of the main jack shaft to tighten it down. At some point, replaced the washers immediately under the jack with a piece of steel channel that I cut down to act as a 'cradle'. You can see it wrapping up around the side of the jack shaft in the original picture in post 2 - but its not really necessary - the thick washers are fine.

    Obviously, you will want to carefully measure the spacing between the holes on the jack shaft to determine where you drill the bumper and mount the the bolts - there is no adjustment so it needs to be done with basic measuring tape precision. For less than $5 of hardware its very functional. My only dislike was the jack really blocks the tow hooks mounted on the front frame horns right behind the front bumper - A couple times I had to remove the jack to get a tow rope hook properly.

    I have since mounted a winch on the front - so working on a new jack mount to be determined.
     
    Burndoubt likes this.
  11. May 15, 2017
    Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Senior member

    Mtn. Home, Idaho
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    Sep 27, 2002
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    I have used the Harbor Freight version to pull a couple of Jeeps, my Samurai, and my Tracker over the last few years. No regrets. One mod I like to do is to weld some "o" pieces of tube to the bottom of the bars and run the safety chain through them-keeps them from dragging and getting in the way. Also gives me something to zip tie the wiring through. Another mod I like to use; I weld a chain link to the bumper, attach a screw on chain link coupler to it and the chain. On the tow vehicle I use another screw on connector link. This way I don't lose a chain by the hook slipping off. This also gives me the ability to use the chain by itself to lock something up, or to use around an axle for towing point, etc. The other side of having a removable chain is that no one could use it to tow the vehicle away with.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
  12. May 15, 2017
    John Schiefer

    John Schiefer Fltfndr

    Clive, IA
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    Dec 24, 2010
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    I placed my D Ring brackets so as to line up with the tow bar just inside them. Added a bushing to the brackets that fit the bolts to my tow bar and lo and behold a single attachment point for both recovery and towing.

    Fltfndr
     
  13. May 16, 2017
    Rick Whitson

    Rick Whitson Detroit Area 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    I live South of...
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    Does Flat Towing hurt your Ross steering? I have a tow bar from the PO, but have never put it on my Jeep. I have used a tow dolly before, I took the rear drive shaft lose and ratchet strapped it above the frame rails, it worked fine for the 500 mile trip. I was going to buy his tow dolly, but he changed his mind and does not want to sell it now.
     
  14. May 16, 2017
    Burndoubt

    Burndoubt Member

    Vermont
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    I don't know. I'm new to old Jeeps and flat towing. I'm sure someone here can answer but I'm under the assumption it will be ok for at least short distances. I'm replacing the bell crank this week if the weather holds.
     
  15. May 16, 2017
    mike starck

    mike starck Member 2019 Sponsor

    salem,oregon
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    Jun 22, 2006
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    I can't imagine what possible harm towing would have on the Ross steering.Never had a problem and these old jeeps have been flat towed for decades.
    As far as the discussion about flat towing and driveshaft removal I will just say there are many different opinions on this subject. Opinions are not science.
    Unless your a politician. mike
     
  16. May 16, 2017
    CJ Joe

    CJ Joe Truckhaven Tough!

    Pinon Hills, CA
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2002
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    344
    Made my own. It's long and tows like a dream.

    [​IMG]
     
    Hellion, Arlen, ojgrsoi and 2 others like this.
  17. May 16, 2017
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs 2019 Sponsor

    At the foot of...
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    ^in my experience, a longer tow bar works better.
     
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  18. May 18, 2017
    Rick Whitson

    Rick Whitson Detroit Area 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    I live South of...
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    Thanks, guys, I am going to rework the PO's tow bar, I think I will make it longer like yours. Thanks again for the info.
     

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