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Sunday 21 September 2014

Under Towbar Slider

Having a towbar can be an issue when used for competitive off-road events or pay and play days. The metalwork significantly reduces the departure angle and digs in to the ground. In the worst cases it stops you moving.

I have selected a towbar that has the minimum height and no unnecessary overhang but it still has the potential to act like a drag anchor.

To reduce this effect I came up with the idea of fitting under body protection under the towbar to also act as a smooth surface to drag along the ground rather than the towbar digging in.

The design is simple and based on the typical steering guards.  A big thick bit of alloy plate mounted on a steel frame.

I used a bit of stainless steel angle drilled to fit the tow ball mounting holes and two more bits to fit where the towbar side brackets fit on to the chassis. I added some extra holes in those as additional rescue tow points.

I hit a snag with the construction in that my own tools were not capable of making any holes, let alone large holes, in 6mm stainless steel!  Oops!

Luckily our Farrier is also a blacksmith and had a workshop full of tools capable of doing the job. Thanks to Dean the bits were made in no time at all.  He also had a giant guillotine to cut the 6mm alloy to shape.  I drilled the alloy and fitted the bits together on the car.

The alloy is fixed to the steel using stainless steel M8 round head bolts at the chassis end and counter sunk head bolts at the tow ball end to minimise the collection of mud.

The initial fitting was a bit rushed as we were going off-road that day and I finished drilling the vent holes another day.

I can see how effective the plate has been by the scratch marks, bend and burrs on the plate.

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