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Old 01-24-2012, 01:09 AM   #1
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Default New owner wants to modify for towing

Hello everyone, I am about to purchase a 1998 park ave ultra. All stock with 118k. Lots of records and a very clean car.

I am getting rid of my old pickup but want to have something available for light towing duty. I only drive around 4k miles a year and spend most of my time commuting by motorcycle. Inevitably I will need to tow one of my old bikes when it breaks down or simply be forced to move them when my lease ends. Other than that it will be used for moving furniture or yard waste, but nothing greater than the stated limit should be necessary. That being said the 1000 lbs limit seems pretty wimpy for a car this powerful.

I have just begun pricing out the necessary parts at etrailer.com and would like to know if anyone has recommendations for the necessary parts or alternate suppliers. The Hidden Hitch class 2 set (#90022) looks complete, except for ball hitch and wiring harness.

Trans coolers are fairly cheap and sound like good peace of mind whether or not I'm towing. I've had the transmission in my past two truck go out with no abuse on my part and I dread paying for another transmission rebuild. Is it ever harmful to install a trans cooler? Does anyone have personal experience with a particular model or advice for installation? I have never installed anything of the sort but am handy enough with a wrench that a tow bar and trans cooler shouldn't pose any problems if they are mostly plug and play.

I am hoping to find a used utility trailer locally that is better than the Harbor Freight models within my budget. Whatever I find will be modified with wheel chocks for motorcycle. Something larger than 4x6 would be nice but I don't want the weight of the trailer killing my capacity. My funds will be tapped so I would like to get something affordable, but putting my bikes over chinese rubber and wheel bearings is a very scary thought.
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:35 AM   #2
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On another forum I'm on, someone tows their motorcycle with a Grand Am with no troubles. They have a trailer that'* designed solely for a motorcycle, so the weight is as minimal as possible. I don't see towing a small open trailer causing much trouble for a stock setup with just a class II hitch, causing any problems.
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:13 AM   #3
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My 93 z71 has a B&M trans cooler and fenderwell mount filter.Therefore it has the stock trans cooler in radiator and filter in pan as well as the aftermarkets and i have a trans temp guage and it sticks about 150-160 ish and after 40k miles my fluid is clean and so is my pan.And i dont do much towing with him these days and its no harm the cooler the trans the better. but i dont see it as being to strenuous to need one..My 94 bonne had a factory hitch on it.As long as your not trying to haul another car you will be ok.
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:34 AM   #4
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i had the bigger 4X8 12in wheel harbor freight trailer for a while, it wasnt that bad for what it was. i was hauling my utility quad with the neon i had. the nice thing about the trailer was it was light enough not to ruin the cars capacity. i put a tool box on it so i could leave the straps in it the hitch was a little shakey so for 30 at tractor suppply i put a good one on.

the thing with homemade and used trailers is there generally too heavy for what you need or to light and will end up bent up or broke.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:57 AM   #5
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Trans cooler is the best thing you can do for trailering. It is never harmful to install one.
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:57 AM   #6
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I often pull my 1700lb caravan (trailerhome?) with my '87 Olds Delta 88, I installed a trans cooler otherwise it is unmodified.

I've found it to be a great hauler, enough grunt to keep up with traffic and gas mileage isn't hurt too much.

Put a trans cooler on and happy towing!.

Roger.
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Old 01-25-2012, 01:37 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice guys. I will definitely install a trans cooler asap. I was worried that installing one may prevent the fluid from reaching an optimal operating temperature.

The harbor freight trailers are in my budget but it would take some modifications to satisfy me. The urge to replace everything with quality wheel bearings and tires is strong, but for all I know they could have come out of the same factory as the ones being used on trailers costing twice as much.

I'm picking up my park ave on Friday and should have it on the road soon after. Once the weather warms up a bit I'll get to the wrenching.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:27 AM   #8
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i would guess all the affordable trailers use the same axle and wheel parts, like i said i didnt have any issues except the hitch, i had it for a while and then i got a pickup and didnt need it.
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