What is this for on a towbar?

12
Posted 28th Jun 2020
Currently building a towbar frame to mount a towbar to the car and bought a random towbar cheaply for the hitch ball and electric socket, this part was on it but I have no idea what its for, is it some kind of mounting system for a bike rack possibly?

Im almost tempted to put a jockey wheel in it so I can lift the rear of the car and swivel it sideways for tight parallel parking spaces. Or mount a extending flagpole in it so I can find the car easier in large carparks.
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Might be part of a stabiliser for towing a caravan
Part of a bike rack.
richp28/06/2020 19:32

Part of a bike rack.



Thats the only thing I could think of, cant really see any use for it so off to my scrap pile it is. save some weight as its quite heavy being 10mm plate. I'll be blown if im paying about £400 for the proper frame when its basically square tube and u bolts and I have a pile of square tube that someone had put out for scrap on our street and a mig welder at hand. Total cost will be about £20 with paint The frame doesn't even include the ball or electrics either. mind you it fixes partly to the rear bumper and I havent got one fitted (I do have spare bumpers on hand front and rear) as the rear wings have been customised with holes closed and frenched lights. So its cost me £70 for a set of NOS wings (been stored since 80's and metal is thicker than todays re-pops) Gives me a spare pair of front wings too and current ones wanted fixing as mounting holes are rusting away. Trailer is mostly going to be for motorbikes so its not a heavy one.


Whilst I'm at it I may as well refit a front bumper too going to shave it down so its not as bulky height wise.

How come a simple job always seems to get bigger?

Ive still got at least another week of furlough to get it done in,
harlzter28/06/2020 20:01

Thats the only thing I could think of, cant really see any use for it so …Thats the only thing I could think of, cant really see any use for it so off to my scrap pile it is. save some weight as its quite heavy being 10mm plate. I'll be blown if im paying about £400 for the proper frame when its basically square tube and u bolts and I have a pile of square tube that someone had put out for scrap on our street and a mig welder at hand. Total cost will be about £20 with paint The frame doesn't even include the ball or electrics either. mind you it fixes partly to the rear bumper and I havent got one fitted (I do have spare bumpers on hand front and rear) as the rear wings have been customised with holes closed and frenched lights. So its cost me £70 for a set of NOS wings (been stored since 80's and metal is thicker than todays re-pops) Gives me a spare pair of front wings too and current ones wanted fixing as mounting holes are rusting away. Trailer is mostly going to be for motorbikes so its not a heavy one. Whilst I'm at it I may as well refit a front bumper too going to shave it down so its not as bulky height wise.How come a simple job always seems to get bigger?Ive still got at least another week of furlough to get it done in,


It's a mount for a vertical bike carrier. Clean it up and FB Market place it

I love DIY and hate to point this out but I suspect that should you have any sort of an accident in which the towbar and it's body linkage plays a part, I strongly suspect an insurer will wash their hands of the matter.

Kits needn't cost the list price of £400. I buy heavily discounted online (usually from PF Jones in Manchester) and find a local fitter at around £100.
ccnp28/06/2020 21:07

It's a mount for a vertical bike carrier. Clean it up and FB Market place …It's a mount for a vertical bike carrier. Clean it up and FB Market place it I love DIY and hate to point this out but I suspect that should you have any sort of an accident in which the towbar and it's body linkage plays a part, I strongly suspect an insurer will wash their hands of the matter.Kits needn't cost the list price of £400. I buy heavily discounted online (usually from PF Jones in Manchester) and find a local fitter at around £100.



Its an older car (46 years old) and very few places do the kits and of those that do they are special order items, the welding work will be solid enough as I have got my son who's a welding apprentice (but out of the qualified welders who have been doing it years he is the one the boss picks for the more complex welds as he reckons he does it better) to do the welding (there are only two structural welds on the frame), the bolts and fixings will be grade 8.8 or better.(my son gets them at cost from work and they are used on equipment that handles tens of tons) and the tube used is actually thicker and sturdier than the one in the kit. The fixing method to the car will be exactly the same, the only shortcut is on the price. I understand your concern as some people cut corners in the wrong places, I'm not the type, if I'm doing something I do it right especially where safety is concerned, its based on plans that are tried and tested by other owners of the car type. I've put the research in so I can be sure its done correctly.
harlzter28/06/2020 21:56

Its an older car (46 years old) and very few places do the kits and of …Its an older car (46 years old) and very few places do the kits and of those that do they are special order items, the welding work will be solid enough as I have got my son who's a welding apprentice (but out of the qualified welders who have been doing it years he is the one the boss picks for the more complex welds as he reckons he does it better) to do the welding (there are only two structural welds on the frame), the bolts and fixings will be grade 8.8 or better.(my son gets them at cost from work and they are used on equipment that handles tens of tons) and the tube used is actually thicker and sturdier than the one in the kit. The fixing method to the car will be exactly the same, the only shortcut is on the price. I understand your concern as some people cut corners in the wrong places, I'm not the type, if I'm doing something I do it right especially where safety is concerned, its based on plans that are tried and tested by other owners of the car type. I've put the research in so I can be sure its done correctly.



All of which is irrelevant if the item has not been certified for use on a motor vehicle. You son could be champion welder extraordinaire, but have an accident and the item found to be self made without a sign off then your insurance company will walk away.
ArcadeAssassin28/06/2020 22:30

All of which is irrelevant if the item has not been certified for use on a …All of which is irrelevant if the item has not been certified for use on a motor vehicle. You son could be champion welder extraordinaire, but have an accident and the item found to be self made without a sign off then your insurance company will walk away.



Its a chance I will take. How many home built trailers do you see? loads and I'm pretty sure they haven't been certified either.

Legally standing I am fine too "If your car was first used before 1 August 1998, your tow bar doesn’t need to be type-approved."
Edited by: "harlzter" 29th Jun
harlzter28/06/2020 20:01

Thats the only thing I could think of, cant really see any use for it so …Thats the only thing I could think of, cant really see any use for it so off to my scrap pile it is. save some weight as its quite heavy being 10mm plate. I'll be blown if im paying about £400 for the proper frame when its basically square tube and u bolts and I have a pile of square tube that someone had put out for scrap on our street and a mig welder at hand. Total cost will be about £20 with paint The frame doesn't even include the ball or electrics either. mind you it fixes partly to the rear bumper and I havent got one fitted (I do have spare bumpers on hand front and rear) as the rear wings have been customised with holes closed and frenched lights. So its cost me £70 for a set of NOS wings (been stored since 80's and metal is thicker than todays re-pops) Gives me a spare pair of front wings too and current ones wanted fixing as mounting holes are rusting away. Trailer is mostly going to be for motorbikes so its not a heavy one. Whilst I'm at it I may as well refit a front bumper too going to shave it down so its not as bulky height wise.How come a simple job always seems to get bigger?Ive still got at least another week of furlough to get it done in,


Yeah why pay to have one professionally fitted when you can diy it.

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On a side note, not everyone is allowed to tow, have you checked you're licence?
Also, check you're still covered by your insurance, this work falls under the bit about "Has your vehicle been modified in any way?". If you don't inform your insurance company then it doesn't matter how good a job you do, your insurance could be invalidated.
esar29/06/2020 07:22

On a side note, not everyone is allowed to tow, have you checked you're …On a side note, not everyone is allowed to tow, have you checked you're licence?



Licences issued from 1 January 1997 If you passed your car driving test on or after 1 January 1997 you can:

  • drive a car or van up to 3,500kg maximum authorised mass (MAM) towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM
  • tow a trailer over 750kg MAM as long as the combined MAM of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg

Its only going to be mainly for motorcycles so not that heavy, I can tip it on its side for storage even with my glass back.
cis_groupie29/06/2020 09:47

Also, check you're still covered by your insurance, this work falls under …Also, check you're still covered by your insurance, this work falls under the bit about "Has your vehicle been modified in any way?". If you don't inform your insurance company then it doesn't matter how good a job you do, your insurance could be invalidated.



Good point about insurance but they have everything else down as modified, ie engine, wheels, bodywork, dash, seats, tinted windows in the rear and have been fine.
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