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Ford Cortina 1973


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#1 Bob Riebe

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 18:09

Looking at this at Herr Magoo's site, make me wonder why Ford quit the Cortina in to the U.S.  back when the Govt. sticking it nose where it did not belong and fuel panic hit rather than the Pinto or the gawdawful Pintostang..

I would love to have  Mk. III station wagon.

 

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#2 Bloggsworth

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 19:23

I had a bright yellow Mk111 estate for a couple of years, it was completely without charm, but had no vices and never broke down. I used to park it up against the railings in St Paul's churchyard in Covent Garden where it was subject to vicious assaults by the drivers of cars reversing out of parking spaces nose against the church wall - I counted 32 dents in the left hand panels after about 6 months!



#3 404KF2

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 20:21

1974 was the year that the big bumpers became necessary (August 1974 production on) so I presume the structural changes needed would have been much more expensive than the low volume could justify.



#4 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 22:13

You might especially like an Australian version, Bob...

 

They came with Falcon sixes as well as the Pinto engine, right up to a 4V-headed 250 and had the Borg Warner single-rail 4-speed as an option.



#5 Myhinpaa

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 23:47

Regarding new US regulations for 1974 onward, just see what they had to do to the MGB, Volvo 140/160 series and many others to pass.

 

Here's a photo from Chris Sclater's book of a 1972 MY Cortina Estate, Clarke & Simpson's service barge for the '74 Firestone Rally in Bilbao.

Chief mechanic/driver is Bob Marris who was accompanied by Graham Rood. They had done the Tap Rally with Chris just before in C&S Escort CS192

 

The heavily laden Cortina was only driven like this the short trip down to the docks for the ferry back to Portsmouth 

 

1974-Firestone-Rally.png


Edited by Myhinpaa, 24 February 2021 - 01:00.


#6 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 04:51

You might especially like an Australian version, Bob...

 

They came with Falcon sixes as well as the Pinto engine, right up to a 4V-headed 250 and had the Borg Warner single-rail 4-speed as an option.

2V headed 250ci.

The TE Mk4 had 4.1 cross flow as well and a few end of model TFs had alloy head cross flow.

All of the 6s had the single rail 4 speed as an option. Or BW 35 auto or 3 on the floor.

I drove a sleeper TD recently with a 351 Cleveland in it. Looked like Grandpas TD Ghia!  Though he is a grandpa!!

Yes I have owned quite a few  of them with near all engine combos. No 1.6s though. Nobody ever wanted them



#7 BRG

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 12:41

As I recall, the Mk3 wasn't very well received in the UK.  It was seen as a bit too American in styling and too bulky. The front subframe was also a bit soggy and the handling wasn't as good as the earlier marks.  The Mk4 and 5 were a return to form although the line had run out of steam, hence the jellymould Sierra!  



#8 jcbc3

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 13:03

This guy has some pleasingly short but still informative youtube videos on individual cars from our youth.

 



#9 DaveSmith

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 13:37

I had a mark 4 and 5. Nothing fancy, but solid, reliable, easy to service (or not bother :rotfl:). Just what was needed to tow the F750 cars. With the trailer properly set up it would cruise all day happily at 70 mph fully laden. 



#10 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 21:29

I had a mark 4 and 5. Nothing fancy, but solid, reliable, easy to service (or not bother :rotfl:). Just what was needed to tow the F750 cars. With the trailer properly set up it would cruise all day happily at 70 mph fully laden. 

Oh the English,,,towing any form of trailer with one of those cars is not on. With a real 500 kilo max tow limit. And even then they stretch. And that is our much improved Aussie version.

When in England in 17 I saw Ford Focus towing caravans, something again that is dangerous.

While the original Pommy shell TCs were nothing great all that followed were on the same basic car, suspension, floor etc. A bit improved but nothing spectacular. The Australian modified cars with the firewall recess for the 6 were a lot better than the English car. 

In recent times there has been people importing 2 door bodies cut from the A pillars back and then grafting on Aussie front sheet metal. Easy job but again the English bodies are not near as good.

I believe Australian cars have ended up in the UK as well. I actually saw a few Aussie cars in the UK. Falcons that were never sold there and the Vauxhall version of the Monaro. A 6 litre Monaro was the ideal car for Guernsey roads,,, with a 35mph speed limit! Though quite a few 'Supercars' there as well. 



#11 Dipster

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 21:38

Oh the English,,,towing any form of trailer with one of those cars is not on. With a real 500 kilo max tow limit. And even then they stretch. And that is our much improved Aussie version.

When in England in 17 I saw Ford Focus towing caravans, something again that is dangerous.

While the original Pommy shell TCs were nothing great all that followed were on the same basic car, suspension, floor etc. A bit improved but nothing spectacular. The Australian modified cars with the firewall recess for the 6 were a lot better than the English car. 

In recent times there has been people importing 2 door bodies cut from the A pillars back and then grafting on Aussie front sheet metal. Easy job but again the English bodies are not near as good.

I believe Australian cars have ended up in the UK as well. I actually saw a few Aussie cars in the UK. Falcons that were never sold there and the Vauxhall version of the Monaro. A 6 litre Monaro was the ideal car for Guernsey roads,,, with a 35mph speed limit! Though quite a few 'Supercars' there as well. 

 

 

I am not sure whether you meant particular models of Falcons that were not sold in the UK or that Oz Fords were not sold there at all. If the latter case this is incorrect. I saw Oz Fords in Ford showrooms in the late 60´s. But I don't think they sold too well as the fuel bills large motors would have cost a fortune in the UK!



#12 malomay

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 22:01

2V headed 250ci.

The TE Mk4 had 4.1 cross flow as well and a few end of model TFs had alloy head cross flow.

All of the 6s had the single rail 4 speed as an option. Or BW 35 auto or 3 on the floor.

I drove a sleeper TD recently with a 351 Cleveland in it. Looked like Grandpas TD Ghia!  Though he is a grandpa!!

Yes I have owned quite a few  of them with near all engine combos. No 1.6s though. Nobody ever wanted them

 

I had a TD with the 4.1.  Was a wagon...only a T-Bar auto, though it still went like the clappers in a straight line....not so much round corners, but it was a great engine for long distance cruising.



#13 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 22:15

I used one for a trip to Melbourne, I think it was a 200ci in a TD...

 

At the end of a long straight I braked hard for a corner, the valve gear was clattering for some time after that. But they did go well.

 

Biggest problem, at least here, was the conglomeration of bits which made up the front suspension, it becamemarginal with the six over top of it, though I'm sure it was among the upgrades given the car by Ford Australia.



#14 Catalina Park

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 03:56

Just to translate English to Australian for those playing at home...

Mk3  = TC/TD.
Mk4 = TE.
Mk5 = TF.



#15 Glengavel

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 09:31

Oh the English,,,towing any form of trailer with one of those cars is not on.

 

You may have a point.

 

XKdpHAif.jpg?0225



#16 BRG

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 12:09

Oh the English,,,towing any form of trailer with one of those cars is not on. 

 

You may have a point.

 

No, he doesn't have a point.  One example of any idiot overloading the car is just proof that there are idiots who overload cars.  Towing trailers or caravans is perfectly safe as long as you know what you are doing and load the vehicle and tow-vehicle correctly.  The Lee Nicolle mantra of 'Everything is crap unless it is Australian, and especially if it is from the UK' should not be taken seriously.  We used to call it the Colonial Cringe.


Edited by BRG, 25 February 2021 - 12:10.


#17 RCH

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 12:47

My uncle had one of the very first Mk. 3's; he hated it! Everything that could go wrong went wrong.

 

I had 2 Mk. 4's and a Mk 5 as company cars. Not the most exciting cars in the world but they did everything asked of them and were boringly reliable. I think my girlfriend's RWD Vauxhall Cavalier Mk 1 (Ascona B?) was probably better dynamically but the Cortina was a nicer place to rack up all those boring miles. 

 

Perfectly adequate towcars as well despite what our Aussie friends may think. As for Australian Fords on sale in the UK. We had more than enough home grown Fords to choose from, why import others? 



#18 Glengavel

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 13:12

No, he doesn't have a point.  One example of any idiot overloading the car is just proof that there are idiots who overload cars.  Towing trailers or caravans is perfectly safe as long as you know what you are doing and load the vehicle and tow-vehicle correctly.  The Lee Nicolle mantra of 'Everything is crap unless it is Australian, and especially if it is from the UK' should not be taken seriously.  We used to call it the Colonial Cringe.

 

I wasn't aware UK-Australian relations, as with Mk3 Cortina suspension, had sunk to such a low level. And I haven't lost a caravan yet.



#19 Charlieman

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 13:18

An uncle towed a caravan in the 1960s using an Austin Westminster, quite an upmarket setup for the time, but functionally inferior to a 21st century Ford Focus.

 

Dad owned a Mk 3 Cortina. Wings and sills dissolved in the rain (primrose yellow and some other body colours provided better protection or disguised the problem). The black vinyl seats were bum burners for four months of the year. The 1.6 litre engine defined tappet rattle -- some engines OK, others awful.

 

Australian Fords were unusual in the UK. The Z cars, Consuls and Granadas were a good fit for buyers. Seriously rich people bought them.



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#20 DaveSmith

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 14:47

Oh the English,,,towing any form of trailer with one of those cars is not on. With a real 500 kilo max tow limit. And even then they stretch. And that is our much improved Aussie version.

When in England in 17 I saw Ford Focus towing caravans, something again that is dangerobeen speeding

I resent being accused of towing unsafely. All my towing with trailers and caravans over 40 years has been with product that fully complied with UK law and were within the allowable tow limits of the car, OK I might have been speeding! Lee obviously has no idea about the towing regulations in the UK. Cars have a homologated max tow limit, all tow hitch's and mountings are homologated. It is perfectly legal and safe to tow a caravan  or a trailer with a Focus provided you stick to the rules and as BRG says know what you are doing.



#21 Zoe

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 14:58

My dad owned two Ford Taunus (the German sister of the Cortina if I recall it correctly), which were quite nice cars for their time, especially in their GXL and Ghia guises with the "big" engine.

 

When I stayed in Kent as a kid, the family father was working as a taxi driver, running his own car as a cab, which was a brown Cortina with black seats. I remember it as being a bit shoddy and the dampers must have reached their end-of-life, as you could feel every pothole in the street! He eventually switched over to a yellow Lancia (don't know which model), i which we went to Cornwall for a summer holiday once. This was a much nicer ride than in the Cortina!



#22 Dipster

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 17:40

My dad owned two Ford Taunus (the German sister of the Cortina if I recall it correctly), which were quite nice cars for their time, especially in their GXL and Ghia guises with the "big" engine.

 

When I stayed in Kent as a kid, the family father was working as a taxi driver, running his own car as a cab, which was a brown Cortina with black seats. I remember it as being a bit shoddy and the dampers must have reached their end-of-life, as you could feel every pothole in the street! He eventually switched over to a yellow Lancia (don't know which model), i which we went to Cornwall for a summer holiday once. This was a much nicer ride than in the Cortina!

As I recall the Cortina and Taurus were certainly related mechanically (apart from a V6 option on some Taurus models, 2.3 litres I think it was) but the sheet metal was different. The bonnets were a different style and the stylish bits on the side of the car-the different indentations, if you can visualise what I mean!-were also different. I preferred the look of the Taunus. I had a late model 2 litre Cortina Ghia. One of the last. A nice car.    



#23 Bob Riebe

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 18:38

As I recall the Cortina and Taurus were certainly related mechanically (apart from a V6 option on some Taurus models, 2.3 litres I think it was) but the sheet metal was different. The bonnets were a different style and the stylish bits on the side of the car-the different indentations, if you can visualise what I mean!-were also different. I preferred the look of the Taunus. I had a late model 2 litre Cortina Ghia. One of the last. A nice car.    

Ford-Taurus-1973-3.jpeg

 

Ford-Taurus-1973-5.jpg

 

Nice looking little cars, put a Weslake V-6 or small block Ford in there , pocket rocket.

 

d696db871713c4caf0a42703935cd58a.jpg


Edited by Bob Riebe, 25 February 2021 - 19:25.


#24 Tim Murray

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 18:45

Indeed:

67-ED5-E64-B6-A9-41-BA-83-A1-6-D6-B9-D00

Cortina Savage

#25 Odseybod

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 18:45

An ad agency colleague was issued with a Mk V Cortina with the 2.3 V6 (I think he may have upset someone i/c company cars). Generally reckoned to be no faster than the 2 litre 4-pot version, a bit thirstier but sounded nicer. Still with only a 4-speed box, of course, and no overdrive.



#26 Dipster

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 19:31

Ford-Taurus-1973-3.jpeg

 

Ford-Taurus-1973-5.jpg

 

Nice looking little cars, put a Weslake V-6 or small block Ford in there , pocket rocket.

 

d696db871713c4caf0a42703935cd58a.jpg

I had forgotten the coupe!



#27 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 01:30

I resent being accused of towing unsafely. All my towing with trailers and caravans over 40 years has been with product that fully complied with UK law and were within the allowable tow limits of the car, OK I might have been speeding! Lee obviously has no idea about the towing regulations in the UK. Cars have a homologated max tow limit, all tow hitch's and mountings are homologated. It is perfectly legal and safe to tow a caravan or a trailer with a Focus provided you stick to the rules and as BRG says know what you are doing.

The engineering of a Focus here has around 750 kilo tow limit. That is world wide. And towing with a front driver is plain dangerous whatever the 'alleged' capacity
'A Cortina were worse and they stretched!
As for that pic of the grossly overloaded Cortina wagon,, even only driving a few km that plain dangerous. And you could well be booked for several offences even 30 years ago
The proliferation of SUVs and true 4 wds these days is causing the same problems. Many have very little tow capacity,, and to me a few are supposedly 3.5 tonne and I would be very wary of towing 2 tonne

#28 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 01:33

I had forgotten the coupe!

The Black NZ TC XLE has some mods. 5 stud wheels for a start.

I just had a set of those wheels leave here in the last hour. 14x7 Aunger Hustlers.

As for those coupes?  They do nothing for me. The sedans though were very attractive cars.

They did those in Sth Africa as 'bakkies' [utes to us]and had a road race class for them! 

I know some were converted to 302W wether official or unofficially. Basil Green of Pirhana fame I believe


Edited by Lee Nicolle, 26 February 2021 - 01:37.


#29 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 02:12

No, he doesn't have a point.  One example of any idiot overloading the car is just proof that there are idiots who overload cars.  Towing trailers or caravans is perfectly safe as long as you know what you are doing and load the vehicle and tow-vehicle correctly.  The Lee Nicolle mantra of 'Everything is crap unless it is Australian, and especially if it is from the UK' should not be taken seriously.  We used to call it the Colonial Cringe.

End of story, Euro, English and many US cars are inferior to the Aussie versions.  They had to be or they fell apart! And now our local industry has gone so we are being inflicted all the Euro and Asian junk. Some is ok ofcourse but a lot is not. 

But you do NOT tow car trailers or caravans with any Cortina, they stretch!   A Focus very similar. A  trailer sailor, the 6x4 to the dump with garden rubbish is about their limit. 

As a car dealer for  over 40 years, and as someone who has towed extensively I know what I am talking about. And has pushed the boundaries even then. Bum down nose up does not help anything for stability.

Here in Oz these days most are realising this and doing extensive questioning of load limits of the vehicle plus towing and total gross limits. And many cars are surprising short of all of them.

Tyres are the start of the equasion. A medium car tyre simply does not have the load rating. They all use tyres with 85-88 load number which is insufficient for the drawbar weight. 88 is 560 kilo  a corner on a one tonne car leaves little extra for load rating. More so with the passengers etc before you even start.  Some of these cars are overloaded tyre wise with 5 full size adults which can be getting near half a tonne. And this is cars world wide. 

And modern low profile tyres are bloody terrible. Point of fact, I travelled a 120k to a swap meet, came back with probably 3/4 of a ton of goods. With factory standard for the vehicle 99 load 245x45x17  tyres I went to drive off and it seemed the rims were nearly in the ground.  With 30lb in them. Very carefully to the nearby petrol out let.  After bumping them up to max pressure of 45 lb they looked ok. But upon arrival they were quite hot. So they were replaced with 104 load  16" light truck tyres and now a load is no issue. And yes they also are a factory size for this Ford traytop. 

Then brakes,,, sufficient for the car but not extra loads. 

SO please leave this alone and go THINK!

Just because your grandpa towed a caravan with an  Austin in the 50s does not make anything right. 

We are supposed to be smarter now,, though I often wonder. eg 20" wheels with no sidewall. Totally dumb, yet most manufacturers do such on their hero models. The tyres may even have a suitable load number but the rims and suspension really do not.  Though towing capacity is severely limited or non existent. I see hexagonal and sometimes cracked rims regularly.



#30 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 02:22

I used one for a trip to Melbourne, I think it was a 200ci in a TD...

 

At the end of a long straight I braked hard for a corner, the valve gear was clattering for some time after that. But they did go well.

 

Biggest problem, at least here, was the conglomeration of bits which made up the front suspension, it becamemarginal with the six over top of it, though I'm sure it was among the upgrades given the car by Ford Australia.

Suspension was improved in the sixes,, not great but improved.  The iron head crossflow was very heavy. Late TD and beyond.

TC were truly weird, rear shocks from Ford had a left and right shock!! Aftermarket though were one shock fits all.

Front suspension had UNC whitworth!! and metric bolts. You had a lot of tools out to do a simple suspension bush job.

Later ones were a mixture of UNF and Metric. With the same rear shocks.



#31 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 03:05

Originally posted by Charlieman
An uncle towed a caravan in the 1960s using an Austin Westminster, quite an upmarket setup for the time, but functionally inferior to a 21st century Ford Focus.....


I did a lot of towing with an A99 Westminster... well, actually, a series of them... which I had in the seventies.

The 3-speed with overdrive was a tremendous vehicle for towing, very stable and plenty of torque, but front end life was abysmal.

As for small cars towing caravans, Gordon Mitchell towed a caravan with a 105E Anglia in WA before he went racing. Today you rarely see a caravan behind anything other than a big 4WD ute or a 4WD something, which isn't necessary.

#32 john aston

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 07:42

I have always thought that the Mk 3 was a rather louche looking thing , very much reflecting the mid Seventies zeitgeist  . The fact that poptastic Radio 1 DJ Noel Edmonds raced a Mk 3 does nothing to dispel that image - I can almost smell the Rothmans King Size and Brut 33 ...

 

The Mark 2 however ,was a fine looking thing , especially in 1600E form (wood dash, lots of instruments, a racy steering wheel  and fat Rostyle wheels ). If it had had a Lancia or Alfa badge I am sure it would be more lauded , and while the Kent Crossflow was blue collar compared to those fancy bialbero Italian jobs , it has powered several thousand FF1600s, sundry Sevens and much else besides. 

 

The Mk2 to have was the rare Savage, with a growly Essex V6 - I enjoyed being ferried up and down  Harewood hillclimb as a young marshal in one of those . 



#33 Glengavel

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 07:52

And towing with a front driver is plain dangerous whatever the 'alleged' capacity

 

My dad caravanned for many a year with Austin Maxis, a Princess 1800 and a variety of Montegos, and never a mishap. I've got four years under my belt with a VW Passat and an Audi A4 and I don't feel in any danger.



#34 Zoe

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 09:02

Front suspension had UNC whitworth!! and metric bolts. You had a lot of tools out to do a simple suspension bush job.

 

My very first car was a MkII Escort (I wanted a very nice looking Fiat Argenta but my dad, as a Ford Taunus owner, told my that Fiats are rubbish and he more or less instructed me to buy this old Escort. But I disgress, close parenthesis).

 

Due to its nature we had to work a lot on that car and quickly found that it used a merry mix of metric and non-metric bolts, nuts and screws.



#35 Odseybod

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 09:27


The Mk2 to have was the rare Savage, with a growly Essex V6 - I enjoyed being ferried up and down  Harewood hillclimb as a young marshal in one of those . 

The Savage was wonderful - a perfectly normal-looking Mk 2 if you ignored the discreet V6 badges on the rear wings and (I think) twin tail pipes.

 

My Dad brought home Motor's road test car (not sure, may even have been Jeff Uren's personal transport) and we used it to take Granny home. After a little while, she became rather quiet, which was unusual ....



#36 RCH

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 11:04

The engineering of a Focus here has around 750 kilo tow limit. That is world wide. And towing with a front driver is plain dangerous whatever the 'alleged' capacity
'A Cortina were worse and they stretched!
As for that pic of the grossly overloaded Cortina wagon,, even only driving a few km that plain dangerous. And you could well be booked for several offences even 30 years ago
The proliferation of SUVs and true 4 wds these days is causing the same problems. Many have very little tow capacity,, and to me a few are supposedly 3.5 tonne and I would be very wary of towing 2 tonne

I just wonder what you Aussies are doing with your cars?
And towing with a front driver is plain dangerous whatever the 'alleged' capacity.
Oh come on, where on earth does that come from? Best car I've ever towed with? Citroen BX. BXGTI quite happily handled Chevette and Astra rally cars on twin axle trailers. Cortinas stretched? What on earth does that mean? The Cortina Estate in the photo was a joke, it must have been way, way overloaded. I've towed a Lada rally car with a Cortina with quite a lot of spares on board and everything remained perfectly level.

#37 DogEarred

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 11:54

I actually skipped the Mk.3 Estate, having first , a Mk.2 Estate & then a Mk.4 Estate.

 

The Mk.2 was ok but as it got older & the suspension softer, fully loaded & with a trailer & FF in tow, I used to frighten passengers, on roundabouts, in wet weather, by see-sawing the steering wheel while the car would more or less stay on its own trajectory. Very amusing...

 

The Mk.4 served me well. First thing I did with it was to act as the wedding car for my best mate. Him being an Aussie, was well pleased, believing it to be height of luxury.  :rotfl:

 

But for 3 years or so, it served as the tow car (with trailer) for races in Europe, regularly travelling to tracks in Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Austria & France as well as serving for general touristing.

I also slept in the back & it became known as the 'Hotel Cortina' by many people in the paddock.

 

After a while, it developed a habit of not starting in cold weather.  After gradually going through the obvious checks to carbs, timing, electrics etc. I could not find the problem. I lived in Brussels on a road on a hill, so I took to parking near the top overnight. So in the mornings, I could push the car downhill then deftly jump in and bump start the thing. Having UK plates, it stood out a bit & provided a bit of entertainment for the neighbours.

If it happened not to start, I would leave it at the bottom, take the spark plugs out, take them to my apartment, pop them in the oven to heat up, then take them back to the car in oven gloves & fit them again. Worked every time!!!

 

It had been using a bit of oil for some time but Its final trip was an epic. I needed to take the FF engine to the UK for a rebuild. I set out from Brussels with the engine in the back. The car soon started blowing out white oil smoke & I quickly realized that I had over filled it with oil. Needing to get to the ferry at Zeebrugge, I hoped for the best and pressed on. The smoke got worse & worse, then a mechanical noise started also. I decided that I was at the point of no return for the ferry & pressed on in an ever thickening oily white cloud of smoke, enjoying the attention of truck drivers & alarmed car drivers on the motorway. The crew of the ferry were less than impressed though, having to work in the below deck in a fog of foul smelling smoke.

 

I got the engine to Ipswich then set off for west London, my destination. The smoke & mechanical noises getting increasingly worse, it JUST made it & I straight away drove it to have a recon. engine fitted.

 

Do you think I did the right thing in missing out the Mk.3?,,,



#38 BRG

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 18:47

End of story, Euro, English and many US cars are inferior to the Aussie versions.

 

QED      :rolleyes:



#39 Doug Nye

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 20:01

 My big brother and I used to tow quite heavy boats - cabin cruisers and a (short) canal narrow boat - behind a Mark II Standard Vanguard, on which I learned to drive (kind of).  

 

There was no need to wait until the boats were launched to feel seasick.    :well:

 

DCN



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#40 Librules

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 20:40

Please don't lump all us Aussies in with Lee. He is entitled to his views but they are just that... his. 🙃

#41 Bob Riebe

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 22:46

On this side of the pond when some one put a trailer hitch on a rwd car, they usually put on minimum  heavy duty shocks , coil overs on shocks, heavy duty leaf or coil springs etc, etc. depending on how heavy an trailer they would tow.(Those who knew they would be towing heavy often, beefed up the vehicle frame.)

 

Didn't you guy have such things over there?

 

Front wheel drive vehicles towing more than they should, many are not supposed to tow period, will stretch among other ills.

If it is a person's car and he intends to drive it into the ground, no problem, if he sells it, good fortune to the new owner, though seeing a trailer hitch on a car not rated for towing should raise a red flag.


Edited by Bob Riebe, 26 February 2021 - 22:47.


#42 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 22:57

Unless, of course, the towbar has been fitted for protection...

 

I kid you not. Many people get towbars fitted, and you can't fit them without having them wired, and they do it to new cars where the dealer charges a premium for it all, in the belief that it helps protect them if someone rear-ends them.

 

There are a good many cars around with towbars which have never seen a trailer.



#43 D-Type

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 23:06

Could somebody who understands towing please explain towbar weight and its significance.  I've seen the term but not understood it.



#44 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 00:50

I came from the days before rules, so I don't really know...

 

'Ball weight' is, I think, the maximum weight of the trailer that should be put on the ball when static. This is a matter of trailer (or caravan) balance.

 

Obviously, if there's too much weight there it will tend to reduce front wheel traction, it will certainly put the front tyres into a compromised position and braking potential will be seriously reduced.



#45 Dipster

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 08:45

I think Ray has it there.

 

Vehicle designers calculate the weight that the vehicle can safely support on the hitch. More than that and there is risk unbalancing the suspension and of structural damage. I remember some years ago when I was in Oz an owner of some brand new Merc 4x4 had damaged the chassis whilst towing. It seems his previous 4x4 vehicle (I forget what that was) had a much higher hitch weight than his new pride and joy. Resulting in a catastrophe for him as Merc simply pointed to the vehicle spec and said "you exceeded the limit. Tough."  As I recall the limit was something quite low for what was a 4x4-75 kilos I think it was, but that might not be accurate.

 

The other important piece of info is what the manufacturer tells you your vehicle can pull safely. Exceeding this is stupid as things like brakes can only cope with so much obviously....   



#46 Odseybod

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 10:15

Duncan, I think it all boils down to how much weight you can hang on the rear of a car without upsetting its balance (tail wagging dog scenario), removing its ability to climb a reasonable hill, and come down the other side without eating into the reserves of its transmission, braking and suspension systems. No douubt there are clever formulae that also take into account whether it's FWD,RWD or 4WD and relate it to maximum payload.

 

I expect Mr Nicolle - apparently our resident towing expert - will be along shortly with the definitive answer.


Edited by Odseybod, 27 February 2021 - 10:16.


#47 Charlieman

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 11:04

Tony beat me to a response. I'd also suggest that a trailer or caravan changes all of the normal assumptions made about car dynamics. Even if the vehicle is less heavily loaded than the Cortina shown above (presumably a joke rather than a serious towing exercise), the suspension is operating in a different and narrower range. It's easy to imagine how UV joints in a drive train might be moved through five or ten extra degrees.

 

Does anyone remember those displays of helper springs and dampers, available to order, in car accessory shops? Note also light commercial vehicles based on FWD family hatchbacks or saloons where the independent rear suspension (eg trailing arms) is substituted for a beam variant.

 

Plus there's consideration of warranty and testing. Manufacturers of a high volume 4x4 (eg Range Rover) will have done the maths and real world testing. It is unreasonable to expect the same thing for a small volume model -- so towing limits will be lower on a precautionary basis. And some "sporting" 4x4s may just be unsuitable as tow vehicles.

 

Do/can unitary body cars stretch along their length? It is unlikely to occur owing to normal plastic deformation (ie massive overloading). For creep to happen at human survivable temperatures, the tow vehicle would have to cover a lot of miles. Here in the UK and Europe, FWD vans are commonly used as tow vehicles, so I'm a sceptic about stretching.



#48 RCH

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 11:19

Many, many years ago my father replaced his SV Hillman Minx with a Mk. 1 Ford Zephyr Zodiac because the Minx was lacking in power to tow happily. He then discovered that at that time Fords's comment was "We do not recommend any of our vehicles for towing". He then found that he needed "spring assisters", after these were fitted it towed perfectly well. I don't recall its replacement, a Standard Ensign, needed such assistance, but then Vanguards/Ensigns were noted as good towing cars at the time.

 

In my own experience the only towing car I had which needed such help was perhaps somewhat oddly a Volvo 740 Estate. 

 

Edited to note that I've just remembered that the Ensign's replacement a Mk 3 Zephyr also need spring assisters. Perhaps leaf sprung Ford rear ends are not that clever towing wise?


Edited by RCH, 27 February 2021 - 11:23.


#49 DaveSmith

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 08:15

I found this picture (sorry for the quality) of my very dangerous  :clap: 1.6 GL Mk VI with the F750 car on its trailer. The car is fully loaded with the exception of its passengers and looks pretty well set up. Note that it did have uprated rear springs for towing. The date is June 1986, the race car is brand new and I built it in 8 months from putting pencil to drawing board (I have never got anywhere near it since but there were mitigating circumstances). The car 99% finished had been shaken down for 20 minutes at Goodwood the day before to make sure nothing fell off it. It was finished the day of the photo. The following day it made its debut at Lydden Hill breaking in half, 3rd in qualifying, 6th in the race, brand new tyres were masking new car handling problems which in the end took me the rest of the season to sort out.

 

IMG-2664.jpg



#50 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 00:00

On this side of the pond when some one put a trailer hitch on a rwd car, they usually put on minimum  heavy duty shocks , coil overs on shocks, heavy duty leaf or coil springs etc, etc. depending on how heavy an trailer they would tow.(Those who knew they would be towing heavy often, beefed up the vehicle frame.)

 

Didn't you guy have such things over there?

 

Front wheel drive vehicles towing more than they should, many are not supposed to tow period, will stretch among other ills.

If it is a person's car and he intends to drive it into the ground, no problem, if he sells it, good fortune to the new owner, though seeing a trailer hitch on a car not rated for towing should raise a red flag.

We removed a few towbars on Front drive used cars.  And cars such as Cortinas as well. A turn off to many and we did NOT need the warranty claims either. Things like Mitsi Magnas had trans failures trying to tow.

I towed my empty car trailer about a mile with a first gen Magna. [It had rego and a towbar] That was enough. Though I feel they were maybe max 750kilo load rated and my trailer  alone weighed around that.

As for all these stories of towing with small and med size front drivers. Legally even then overloaded for the chassis as well as tyres.

Even base model Commodores and Falcons here were pretty marginal. And reading the owners manual should have A. A towbar rated to the weights. B factory towkits included transcoolers, heavier rear springs in some models and a bigger output alternator. Plus ofcourse premium tyres and sometimes rims for load and speed. eh,, a base Ford or Commodore had 185x75x14 89 load tyres. Niether rated for more than a small trailer. In reality 5 adults exceed those limits.  Premium size tyres were 215x65x14 with 95 load tyres. Which was part of the  HD towkits equasion. 

These days even low profile tyres with a decent load rating are not good at all. More so on Commercials.

Commodore utes with 20" wheels have a 300 kilo capacity. And the rims are usually hexagonal!