Thinking about towing with vintage wagon. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-15-2017, 08:46 PM   #1
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Thinking about towing with vintage wagon.

I've been given a 1954 Ford station wagon and am thinking of using it as a tug for my LiteHouse. I've found a company that will build a hitch for it. I'm worried about the brakes in the wagon. They will be rebuilt before I try to tow but I worry that they won't be powerful enough to handle the added weight of the trailer. Thoughts?


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Old 02-15-2017, 09:14 PM   #2
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A disc brake conversion and dual master cylinder would be a giant step in brake performance. Most old classics only had a single master cylinder and if you broke a brake line you lost brakes (I speak from experience with my 1956 chevy) and it ain't fun using a e-brake to stop. Chuck
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:20 PM   #3
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Can brakes be added to the trailer?
Dave & Paula
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:22 PM   #4
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When I'm towing, I'm looking for safety and comfort and to being relaxed, knowing my vehicle is going to get me there.
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:24 PM   #5
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Yes- My Tacoma is a much better TV. I just like the coolness factor of the old Ford.
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:25 PM   #6
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Can brakes be added to the trailer?

Dave & Paula


It has a dry weight of under 1000 pounds and a torsion axel with 8" tires. I'm not sure but doubt it.
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:39 PM   #7
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Yes- My Tacoma is a much better TV. I just like the coolness factor of the old Ford.
Back the Ford up to the trailer so it looks like it's hitched up, and take a picture. Way cheaper.
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:58 PM   #8
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An guy I know drove from California to the Adirondacks in NY in his 59 Ford wagon pulling a camper, and then back. Chuck has a good idea with the disc brakes and dual master cylinder. A 54 would have all wheel drum brakes with no power assist. At least it has a real frame so building a good hitch would be easy. I once had a 53 Ford wagon, but that was the last year for the flathead V8. Is your 54 a 6 or 8 cyl. With that year car, if it breaks down, it's much easier to fix. Carry a set of points and condenser with you. Another thought, 54 will be a 6 volt system, Ford didn't switch to 12 volt until 56, so that will be an issue with trailer brakes. I would convert the car to 12 volts.
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:01 PM   #9
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Yes. One of my first tasks will be the 12 volt conversion. It's a Y-block V8.


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Old 02-16-2017, 01:15 AM   #10
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Sounds like a cool idea to me.

Maybe check to make sure the Y block is oiling the rockers and change the differential oil.

I really like the idea of disk brakes and dual master cylinder. 12 volt too, with trailer brakes.
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Old 02-16-2017, 04:48 AM   #11
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Thumbs up Vintage Tug

Great idea and should create lots of attention at any campground that you visit.

We own a 1980 model Bigfoot and are currently seeking a tow vehicle of the same vintage.

Cheers!
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:08 AM   #12
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Sounds like a cool idea to me.



Maybe check to make sure the Y block is oiling the rockers and change the differential oil.



I really like the idea of disk brakes and dual master cylinder. 12 volt too, with trailer brakes.

The last engine I worked on was a 1968 VW. I have a lot to learn.


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Old 02-16-2017, 08:19 AM   #13
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Chuck suggestion about the dual mastercylinder and disk brake upgrade is what I would do.

Add power assist. I did that on a Chevy years ago. Start with JCW.com to find the part and if they do not have anything and internet search does not turn something up, check with a local vintage car club.
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Old 02-16-2017, 08:45 AM   #14
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The pic was taken on the beach at the south end of Carsbad Ca, we live in the BC interior. This car is of unibody construction, drum brakes on 4corners, dual master cylinder and the trailer loaded would be closer to 1500 lbs.
We made this trip in 2014.
As stated above, discs and dual master should be high on your list, the drums were put to the test once, did the job but discs would have been better.
Way cooler than my minivan but a little more stressful cause that red thing is my baby that I have been the caretaker of for 43 years and counting.
Fred
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