towing with my 61? - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-03-2009, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 39
towing with my 61?

I really want to make my 61 4 door a tow vehicle for my dads 55 belair.

Everyone says it can't do it.

I figure a mild v8 bags and big brakes and it should be fine.

People used to tow with these things all the time back in the day.

What do you guys think?
Jeremy Blaze is offline  
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-03-2009, 12:52 PM
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They not only towed with them they usually had an 18 inch square chunk of white oak in an angle iron frame mounted to the front bumper in front of the radiator to push start the digger or gasser they were towing. Go for it!

Big Dave
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-03-2009, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thats what I like to here!

Now the question,

Do I find a W motor, or use the 427 big block I have?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-03-2009, 03:41 PM
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Finding a 'W' motor isn't as hard as finding a good one (truck block that isn't i a thousand pieces) that you can afford. I can not remember where I read it, but someone is planning on recasting a new high silicon content four bolt main blocks for the 409. Edelbrock already has new aluminum heads and intakes for the motor and Comp Cams even added a bunch of grinds to their catalog for the W motors. Tin might be a problem (valve covers and timing chain), but not the oil pan, and there are oil pumps and pistons available. Use a BBC rod and crankshaft turned down to the 409 journals and you have a brand new 409 (or considerably bigger) that is stronger by far than the original.

Big Dave
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-05-2009, 11:25 PM
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Location: Marana, AZ
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I towed a 66 GTO to the track with my 62 Impala, 327, 4 speed and drum brakes. The photo was taken in the summer of 70 heading out to Beeline Dragway in Scottsdale. There were no issues in the years I towed with the 62. If you plan to use a trailer with brakes and have a good brake controller in the 61 and have upgraded to front disc brakes it will be safer than the flat towing I did. I would also suggest using a receiver type hitch with a load distributing set up.

72 Concours Wagon L29 454, 4L80E, 12 bolt posi 3.31, LS 4 wheel disc brakes
63 Nova wagon
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 02:30 PM
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You could probably do it but I wouldn't. Unless you plan on short towing on back roads. Once you get on the highway at speeds you better have a tow vehicle with superb load handling capacity and lots of tire contact. It's the panic stops that cause all kinds of stability problems at speed. -And you will have panic stops. I hauled my show car all over the Midwest with a Z71 pick up and nice trailer and I can remember many highway situations where the truck barely handled the load in a panic situation and I had electric brakes to boot. Also consider the affects of blowing a trailer tire on the highway. If the trailer gets out of shape on a crowned road it will push a smaller tow vehicle wherever it wants to go since you don't have enough tire contact patch on the road. At that point air bags and good brakes do not matter. After all the towing experiences I've had I would never tow a trailered vehicle without at least a dually axle vehicle. Just my 2¢...
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 06:19 PM
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If your planing to run a automatic, use the best cooler you can find. The life of the trans depends on it being cool.  69
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-17-2009, 07:00 PM
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i would also consider new axles, i went with moser
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 10:25 AM
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My 61 came with a pretty cheesy bumper type hitch, it was bolted to the bumper under the lisence plate if I remember right and bolted to the rear crossmember at the rear of the frame. Don't think I would have trusted it to tow more than a Harbor Freight flatbed trailer. I would like to have a hidden receiver hitch so if I needed to tow something I could. I thought about this last summer when I was towing my Sunliner to Hot August Nights and my truck blew a head gasket. I could have taken the Sunliner off the trailer if the truck had completely quit but I hated the thought of leaving the trailer behind, heck with the truck.

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