Improving departure angle

Chris

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One of the challenges with the 90 series is that it doesn't have a particularly good departure angle and you can get seriously hung up when you start to drag the back end. Sometimes this can happen when crossing a hazard of some sort and the tow bar tuns into a plough and leaves you high and dry. It really doesn't take much to counter any forward grip that you might have had.

First thing is to junk the tow bar if you don't need it and get some decent recovery hooks on there. But if like most you need the dreaded thing, you can go for a rear receiver instead. Not only does this eliminate the problem, but it opens up a whole world of possibilities in terms of attachments like rear winches, bike carriers, different height tow balls, shackles etc. Maybe even a BBQ. Top Gear of course famously had a toilet seat called a Bumper Dumper! Nice. ARB actually make one and if you are lucky you could get hold of one. It looks like this
IMGP3059.jpg

OR, if you are handy, you can slice and dice your old bar and make one yerself. OK you can get into all the 'ooh is that legal?' stuff, but prior to 98 it's not a problem.
Mine was a completely standard plough - sorry bar and I turned it into this
IMGP3667.jpg

You can stick one of these in
IMGP3539.jpg

or one of these!
Image028.jpg

So that you can do this -
Image032.jpg

And of course for towing, you just stick one of these in there
IMGP3060.jpg

OK second issue is the fuel tank guard. For a really easy mod (Ahh, only if you fit a body lift cos it's fastened to the chassis not the body) you can chop the straps and simply overlap them by the amount that you lifted it and weld it back together like this

IMGP3665.jpg


See, it's all good stuff.

Chris
 

DaveWall

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Very nice - have you stuck a reciver on the front for the winch, or two winches (lucky git)

Regards,

Dave
 

TonyP

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hi Chris

Thinking about getting a 2" receiver for my vehicle.... or possibly getting one made up. Do you have any dimensions for the receiver? Also where did you get yours from?

Cheers
Tony
 

Crispin

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TonyP said:
hi Chris

Thinking about getting a 2" receiver for my vehicle.... or possibly getting one made up. Do you have any dimensions for the receiver? Also where did you get yours from?

Cheers
Tony
After seeing under the bumper on the 120 when you fitted your normal towbar, I would have thought it was easy to fit one. I would like one too please :cool:
 
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Chris

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Yes, I did put a receiver on the front to run a second winch. Well I like to be prepared. Not much you couldn't get out of with 19000lbs.

Tony, yes I made the receiver up myself, that was the point made in the post really. You can buy an ARB one or make one. Dimensions - 50mm actually. When I did it I just though hey, 50mm receiver. Then I found that most of the commercial stuff is 2" so nothing would fit inside it. Since then, I have measured some fittings and they are a pretty loose fit in 2". Anyway in the end I got some 50mm box so that I could make whatever I liked. I just used plate around some 50mm box wrapped with thin card to give a tolerance on the centre. It's really not a complicated thing to do. There wasn't a pattern to work to, it was just what looked right. Part of it depends on what sized box your tow bar is made from. If it's 50mm then you have one of the dimensions to start you off.

Chris
 

Chris

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Well I did look at doing one for a 120 for someone who asked and then seemed to be not interested any more despite going to some trouble to look at it for them. It depends on what sort of 120 bar you have. Some are a clamshell design around the rear cross member and some are a more traditional sort of rail to rail bar. Either way, it's possible. Next time you're passing guys drop in and I'll knock you one up whilst you drink my tea!! As long as you declare it's for off road use only.

Chris
 

TonyP

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Damm, I know I should have taken some pics of the fitting. Basically it's the clamshell design and I then have two plates which have a receiver of some kind bolted to it. Basically the tow ball is on a goose neck kind of fitment, so what I am hoping to be able to do is replace the round receiver with a 2" x 2" square one similar to yours. I am sure I could get some local gues to make one for me as longe as I get the dimensions from somewhere..
 

Chris

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Tony, like I said, there aren't really any dimensions to get. It's all a custom job. Decide whether you want 2" attachments or 50mm attachments. The rest is designed on the vehicle. If you only want a tow ball that comes off to leave better clearance then you can make up at 53.235986mm or 2 " and17/35ths. It doesn't matter. If you want commercial shackles and cycle carriers or whatever, then it's like making the choice over VHS or Betamax. As I make all my own stuff, it doesn't matter. I can get 50mm box more easily than 2" so that's what I went for. What you need to do first is decide on the HOW. You need to determine how to have a ball when you want it, but get rid of the plough bit when you don't. I have a spare 120 clamshell bar in my garage but some pics of yours would be helpful to work out how to chop and change. Anyone got any 120 pics? I think that it will involve a drop plate and ball so that the main receiver is up and out of the way

Chris
 

Jon Wildsmith

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I know Chris already knows this from an old thread elsewhere but for the others, just be aware that vehicles registered after some time in 98 (March?) you can only tow with equipment that has type approval so it'll be ok for off road use but if e.g. your caravan falls off it you'll probably have no insurance :cry:
 

Chris

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Quite right, I mention it here in this thread

Quote "OR, if you are handy, you can slice and dice your old bar and make one yerself. OK you can get into all the 'ooh is that legal?' stuff, but prior to 98 it's not a problem"

Now, I did ask my MOT man and he was utterly disinterested. Not part of the MOT in his view. But of course it's not only the MOT man who can look at your vehicle. Now I do believe in staying up with the law which is why I pay insurance tax etc and keep it legal. But I doubt in reality that you'd ever be tasked over this. But in case you do think about making one up to tow with, please DO make sure you get a grown up to help you with the welding. Pigeon doo doo will just not be good enough. Mine had had a good testing in anger and passed. But it would be embarrassing to see your trailer getting smaller and smaller in your mirror as you drive along.

Chris
 

Crispin

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Battered and Blue said:
But it would be embarrassing to see your trailer getting smaller and smaller in your mirror as you drive along.
hijack
I saw that happen on the hiway in South Africa. The woman(!) driver panicked and slammed on anchors. The trailer got bigger and bigger and bi.....
/hijack

I do like li'lle Blue - looks like a toy truck :D
 

TonyP

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Battered and Blue said:
Tony, like I said, there aren't really any dimensions to get. It's all a custom job. Decide whether you want 2" attachments or 50mm attachments. The rest is designed on the vehicle. If you only want a tow ball that comes off to leave better clearance then you can make up at 53.235986mm or 2 " and17/35ths. It doesn't matter. If you want commercial shackles and cycle carriers or whatever, then it's like making the choice over VHS or Betamax. As I make all my own stuff, it doesn't matter. I can get 50mm box more easily than 2" so that's what I went for. What you need to do first is decide on the HOW. You need to determine how to have a ball when you want it, but get rid of the plough bit when you don't. I have a spare 120 clamshell bar in my garage but some pics of yours would be helpful to work out how to chop and change. Anyone got any 120 pics? I think that it will involve a drop plate and ball so that the main receiver is up and out of the way

Chris
Thanks Chri, I do understand what you are saying. So I guess really the size accessories which are more commercially available will be the deciding factor... I can't weld to save my life, nor do I have any kit, so this would need to be made up for me, which again I don't mind paying for, so long as I get it right. From a legal perspective, are you saying that if you modify a towbar in anyway, it would then invalidate it? Not that I am going to tow anything heavy, but would be good to know.

I will try and take some pictures over the weekend and I will post these up for you to see what I mean.
 

Chris

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Well, there is something called type approval and if you modify it, it's no longer 'approved'. Now who goes around checking these things is a mystery to me. But there is an exemption from 'home-made' stuff prior to 98. So technically you are not supposed to do this. In my view it is completely safe if you have someone who can weld properly. But safe and legal are different things. As long as you say(if asked) that it is for off road use or a bike carrier etc then it's OK. Who will challenge you? No idea. Wil they ever notice? I doubt it. Am I encouraging you to break the law, of course not. But if I had a newer vehicle I would make one for it. But then I don't tow a caravan anyway.

Chris
 
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