W108 Towbar - Looking for one and capacities?

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w108-feeling-great
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W108 Towbar - Looking for one and capacities?

Post by w108-feeling-great » Sun 18 Jun, 2017 8:24 am

Hi, I have a W108 280se 3.5, I also have a 1969 Quest caravan I would like to tow with it. Does anyone know where I can get a towbar from? Cant find much on towing capacity either? Ball weight and towing weight? My caravan is around 1200kg and approx ball weight 115kg. Caravan has brakes, not great brakes but brakes, I assume the w108 can tow this? Thanks in advance!

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Tony From West Oz
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Re: W108 Towbar - Looking for one and capacities?

Post by Tony From West Oz » Sun 18 Jun, 2017 9:43 pm

You could try a tow bar manufacturer (not installer) which has been around as long as your car. They may still have the drawings for the tow bar for your model and may be able to make one up to those specs. They would also be able to supply the specs for tow ball weight and towing weight unbraked and braked.
Current licensing requirements are that any trailer which had >750Kg Aggregate weight must be braked.

I checked the Technical Data for W107, W123 and W126 and they specify 750Kg unbraked and 1500Kg braked. W201 has 575 Kg and 1200Kg respectively.
I would expect that the W108 would be similar to the W126.

Hope this helps.
Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

'83 W123 300D 325000km (Wife's car Josephine - sold).
'84 W123 300D replaced good OM617 912 with OM617 952 and enjoyed having good acceleration for the first time since first driving a 300D in 2002 - became engine and trans donor for 300CD Turbodiesel conversion. Now parted out.
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ibast
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Re: W108 Towbar - Looking for one and capacities?

Post by ibast » Wed 28 Jun, 2017 2:31 pm

OK, you might already know this, but legally towing capacity for unbraked is 750kg and 751-2000kg on single axle braked.

so from a legal point of view, that caravan is fine. The question then would be if the engine and gearbox could handle it.

The engine should be fine, but if you have the early 4 speed with the fluid coupling, I'd be skeptical about towing on that. I think the 3.5 will have an oil cooler anyway, but if it doesn't' look to putting one in.

Where are you located?

I have a tow bar on my car I'm binning. I went to pull it off a few months ago, but I had some rotating bolts (from memory). I was going to come back to it when I started work on the boot.

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Re: W108 Towbar - Looking for one and capacities?

Post by CraigB » Wed 28 Jun, 2017 10:07 pm

That 751 to 2000kg sounds like a general condition for things being towed, but individual car models have their own towing capacity eg. you wouldn't be towing a big van with a little Suzuki. As big and strong the drive train is on say a 560SEL W126, it still only has a 1500kg towing capacity.

Still, the 1200 is probably ok. As a general rule all these cars with independent rear ends are not as good for towing as say a leaf sprung car. The main pulling force from rear wheels through the spring to the rear mount and tow bar connected next to that, there isn't the pressure on the car frame itself. From the diff back it is just sheet metal. I have seen 2 types of towbar on 108, one just connecting in to the rear of the car and another with a bar that goes under the fuel tank and also locating to the subframe in front of the tank. I removed one of these and you could see it had bent the subframe, but who knows what the car had been towing over its life.

I'm not an expert but i don't think the trans would be a problem, i thought they tended to be pretty tough and it is the later W126 that you tend to hear of wear.

So i think you will be right - just make sure your cars frame is nice and solid and get a tow bar with the extra bar going under the tank but i would still be careful just how much you tow and i would try and keep it under that 1500kg. I wouldn't be towing car trailers with my W108 or my 1969 tandem axle 20ft Roadmaster caravan but i think that is a fair bit more porky than yours.
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ibast
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Re: W108 Towbar - Looking for one and capacities?

Post by ibast » Thu 29 Jun, 2017 12:15 pm

you are right Craig. I didn't see it from my quick google yesterday, but I think the next legal limit is the car's weight itself, but I didn't write that becauseI was thinking that whether it's braked or not makes a difference.

Then of course there may be a limit in the car design itself(as you suggest.)

But i'd suggest up to 1600kg with a w108 wouldn't be unreasonable. Unless someone can be sure otherwise.

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Re: W108 Towbar - Looking for one and capacities?

Post by Mercmad » Fri 30 Jun, 2017 11:26 am

If you get one made, get them to mount two bars running back along the chassis rails. Thats the way the factory set up was installed (yes ,there was factory tow kit) . .Lots of aussie made tow bars just had a piece of flat running back under the tank. You can't drop the tank or even check the filters on those and if some clown rear ends you ,there is the risk of the tank getting caught up under the car .... etc.

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Re: W108 Towbar - Looking for one and capacities?

Post by CraigB » Fri 30 Jun, 2017 11:57 am

That makes lots of sense to me. The local job is probably due to having to drop the tank to be able to fit it and they can shortcut that labour by just going under tank. But sticking to the sides of the chassis rail would seem infinitely stronger to me. Like i said, this car i wrecked, that panel to the front of the tank that the local ones bolt too was bent, and i don't see how it would add that much strength anyway. So the whole rear of that car was stretched by that bar.

We seemed to have lost our audience with the original poster not on since 18/6, but if he happens to be in Adelaide, i reckon Allin Towbars on Henley Beach Road would be the sort of place to make up that sort of thing. No doubt other cities have places with engineers that can design and fit stuff. With our work Nissans, the dealers always sent them there rather than fit factory ones and our Pug dealer sent me there too when i needed the wiring done when i swapped towbars from our older car (but new one has a new fandangled electrical system with pulses and stuff..... yes it is giving us trouble!) So a local concern but trusted by dealers with new cars.
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Re: W108 Towbar - Looking for one and capacities?

Post by merc-304 » Fri 30 Jun, 2017 1:26 pm

This -
D 20 / 2 2400 kg may be a part number or link you to some W108 towbar pics.
380 SEC

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Ichigoat
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Re: W108 Towbar - Looking for one and capacities?

Post by Ichigoat » Sat 08 Jul, 2017 1:28 am

Did you find a tow bar?

I just bought a w109 that came with one

w108-feeling-great
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Re: W108 Towbar - Looking for one and capacities?

Post by w108-feeling-great » Sat 08 Jul, 2017 9:28 pm

Hi all, thanks for the info. I will have a think about the best options. The wife is starting to get worried about towing the van with the Merc now so may put it on the back burner until we sort it out. Thanks again and great to get some more info regarding this as it is very hard to find online.

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