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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know there was some interest in this in a post a few months ago, so I thought I would share with you guys my success with towing a class I trailer with my R32. Since a hitch is not made for our cars, I had to custom build one from various available stock pieces. I use this hitch/trailer mainly to pull my kart, and the gross weight of the whole thing is probaly around 400lbs. with about a 40 lb. tongue weight. The R handles it no problem. I'll post a few pics below, and be happy to explain to you the install/fabrication process if there is any interest. Not a big job, but does require the cutting of the bumper cover (but only behind the license plate). Take a look below and tell me what you think!

Shot with Canon PowerShot S45 at 2005-07-04

Shot with Canon PowerShot S45 at 2005-07-04

Shot with Canon PowerShot S45 at 2005-07-04

Shot with Canon PowerShot S45 at 2005-07-04

Shot at 2005-07-04


Shot at 2005-07-04

Shot at 2005-07-04

Modified by kboe at 7:04 AM 11-6-2006


Modified by kboe at 2:37 PM 1-5-2008
 

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Re: I love being on the track, now I love going to the track!! (kboe)

So, when you're not towing that thing, you can just mount the plates back on as if nothing's there? If so, that's a brilliant job! http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: I love being on the track, now I love going to the track!! (Mammy)

yes, exactly. The end of the receiver hitch is just proud of flush with the bumper cover. I just pull the ball holder out and screw the plate back in and you would never be able to tell the hitch was there. slick and stealth.
 

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Re: I love being on the track, now I love going to the track!! (kboe)

That's one of the cheekiest, cleverest thing I've seen in terms of R modding.
Well done!
 

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Re: I love being on the track, now I love going to the track!! (kboe)

http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Re: I love being on the track, now I love going to the track!! (Monteballz)

Really nice setup!
Tell us about the cart.
 

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Re: I love being on the track, now I love going to the track!! (kboe)

Quote, originally posted by kboe »
yes, exactly. The end of the receiver hitch is just proud of flush with the bumper cover. I just pull the ball holder out and screw the plate back in and you would never be able to tell the hitch was there. slick and stealth.

WOW, very nice job! http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
If you don't mind sharing some more details can you please expand on what kind of customization/fabrication you had to do and what parts you needed.
Also do you think our cars would be able to tow a trailer with a motorcycle (R1 roughly 400 pounds) on it without causing stress or damage to the car?
Thanks.
-Thai
 

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Re: I love being on the track, now I love going to the track!! (kboe)

That's pretty slick! http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
You should put some type of machine screw inserts into the bumper cover so that the license plate screw holes don't get wornout.
Anyway - great job!
 

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Very cool. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
So basically you welded a receiver to the existing bumper support?
Did you have to cut a square hole in the support for the receiver?
What is the function of that curly round bar welded to the top?
 

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Re: (ValveFloat)

Quote, originally posted by ValveFloat »
What is the function of that curly round bar welded to the top?

Tow (safety) chains.
 

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Re: I love being on the track, now I love going to the track!! (kboe)

Good job well done http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif stealthy and functional the way it should be. Would you be interested in doing a DIY write-up for some of us who would like to possibly try this ourselves? Again great job
 

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Re: I love being on the track, now I love going to the track!! (kboe)

Very nice indeed! Good job. One question though: how much weight can the bumper support hold? It's not a big deal with hauling your cart around, but others should be careful when towing larger items. Very nice job on the install though! http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Re: I love being on the track, now I love going to the track!! (gixxer_kidd)

I thought some of you might be interested. I'll start with the trailer.
I got it Harbor Freight ($219.00). It is rated to be able to handle about 1400lbs. (class I), although I would never try to put that much weight on it with the R pulling it. It takes a 1-7/8 ball, as most class I trailers do. The cool thing about the trailer is that it folds in half like a ping-pong table and has casters mounted on it so you can fold it upright and flat and push it up against your wall. Folded, it takes up a space about 6 feet tall by 4 feet wide by 3 feet thick. Very convenient.
The receiver hitch is also a stock piece that you can get off the internet at any one of those "trailer hitch" websites. The one I used was a 6 inch long, straight, 1-1/4 x 1-1/4 class I receiver tube and I purchased the safety chain loop separately but from the same site. The ball holder was bought at a local auto supply store specifically for the size receiver (1-1/4 square), but also with a specific "drop" so that the trailer tongue wound remain as close to level as possible when connected. Any good trailer website would be able to explain the math on how to figure that out. Level is critical as it helps reduce tongue weight, and that is important to keep the stress down on the bumper and the trailer will tow better.
The fab/installation of the hitch was a little more complicated, but really not bad for an experienced welder/metal masher. First off, you need to remove the bumper cover. To do that you must remove the taillight assemblies to get to the torx screws underneath them. There are also torx screws in the wheel wells and two under the cover by the muffler. After that comes off, you'll see the impact foam. Pull that off and you will expose the bumper itself. Pull the metal bumper off (4 bolts) and then you can use the receiver tube as a guide to cut a hole in the metal bumper so that the tube can be inserted and welded in. I also welded a 1x1 square tube on the back side of the bumper underneath and to the receiver tube to give it more support in shear/flex (I forgot to photograph that part, sorry). Try to get the tube in as far as possible, but not hitting the unibody, but also in deep enough so that it will not sit proud of the re-installed bumper cover. The welded on safety chain loop also helps support the tube in shear/flex. You will also need to cut the impact foam from around the hitch (obviously). Trace an area on the bumper cover that is just smaller then your license plate so that when you aren't using the hitch, the plate will cover up the hole that you cut in your cover. One word of note: when you reinstall your metal bumper, be sure to properly torque the 4 bolts, and I even went so far as to loc-tite them because if those 4 bolts were to fail/come loose, the whole assembly would be fubar (along with your car and maybe your trailer). Safety wire might not even be a bad idea.
Reinstall everything else, and you should be good to go. You will also need to get a wiring harness for the trailer lights that you can also pick up at a local auto supply store. Very easy to install, with supplied instructions.
Now, I am not an engineer, but a reasonable mechanic/fabricator. As long as you don't try to pull something heavier then you would normally have in the car, you should be fine. We have plenty of brakes on our cars, and the car pulled away from standing starts virtually as normal (no need to slip the clutch or anything). Once you're moving, there is very little stress/drag due to inertia. I view it as no more stress than driving around with two of your 200lb. friends in your car. Weight is weight, but the more evenly you can spread it out, the better. I wouldn't think a 400 lb. motorcycle would be too bad, but keep in mind the weight of the trailer, also, and any of your gear that you would have in your trunk. It all ads up (including yourself).
I'll respond later about my kart. I need to get back to work. Sorry about the large photos, but I think they give a good detailed view.
hope this helps, feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.
Peace,
-ky
 

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Re: I love being on the track, now I love going to the track!! (kboe)

Very cool. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif I'm going to be doing something similar to my other car (to carry track tires); definiately cool to see it done on a car not designed for it.
 
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