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Old 10-13-2019, 07:37 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfryman View Post
Which ZF manual? You know there are multiple ZF transmissions including automatic transmissions which by the 1999 BWM 5281 Owners Manual can be towed:



No mention of towing a manual transmission.
This was for 99 Z3 5 speed manual. I'm assuming, but could be wrong that it's the same as yours. It doesn't matter, check with the transmission manufacture because there many manual transmissions that can't be towed. Unless the transmission can be towed the base plate doesn't matter. This isn't rocket science. A safe baseplate isn't all that hard, but making it look good and functional and safe at the same time takes some planning and engineering. Unfortunately you can't re-engineer the transmission and you may be okay but then again...
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Old 10-13-2019, 07:44 PM   #72
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Bmw toad

I remember now , you’re the one who wanted to tow a BMW and despite all the comments you you went and did it. I mean, what could go wrong,,,you clearly have no idea how a tow system works and now you're gonna take it back to the welding shop. From the start, it was a bad idea and I’m sure you’re going to make it work. My only caution to you is have a good safety chain system attached to something other than the tow base plate that you ”macgivered”, and tell us where you are going so we can go the other way. Good luck.
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Old 10-13-2019, 08:09 PM   #73
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Sounds to me that you don't know what you are doing. Spend some $ and do it properly. What you are doing is very dangerous for you and others!
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Old 10-13-2019, 08:19 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by JpalmerCass View Post
I've come across the term "jury rigged" in books about sailing ships that were written well before WW II. The term is evidently a nautical one from the days of sail and refers to a temporary and expedient fix of damaged rigging; usually damage from storms, also damage from battle.
And you would be correct!
Google it!
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Old 10-13-2019, 08:26 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by carlgorski View Post
just by a baseplate
"buy" and nobody makes one.
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Old 10-13-2019, 08:40 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
Thanks to all those that posted your comments, education, warnings and suggestions on this thread.

Going from whether to lock or unlock a steering wheel all the way through to installing braking and break-away systems has been a great education, and one that we'll take pleasure in testing within a few weeks when we make our next trip.

As it happens, I'm a jerk that doesn't like being pushed around because I respond in kind, [mod edit]

Thanks all, and wish we could have shared our commentary about the trip and how the set-up went. Better yet, wish that photos could have told the story, either good or bad.

Happy winter season. I very much appreciate what you did for Sandy and me.
Wonder why none of the base plate manufacturers build a base plate for your vehicle.
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Old 10-13-2019, 09:08 PM   #77
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Hope I never have to ask a question about how to fabricate a base plate. Some of you guys are brutal.
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Old 10-13-2019, 09:43 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
Are you saying to weld a link to the head of the bolt? Seems to me that tearing a welded link off the head would take less force than ripping a link apart that is around a Grade bolt. Did I read the statement correctly?

And, no, there isn't a way to attach chain or cable to the frame unless we weld two lengths of chain to the cross bar and dangle them through the bumper. That would look goofy driving down the street when it wasn't being towed, wouldn't it?



no, i mean buy a bolt with the link head already designed into it. not weld a link to the bolt head.
i have a bolt for tying down aircraft that is rated at 10k in tension and 20k in shear and has a clevis link as part of the head. So i know they are out there.
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Old 10-14-2019, 05:23 AM   #79
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Well there you go, the really good welders, boilermakers and pipefitters who weld to ASME high pressure codes, don't say TIG, they say heli-arc. ;-)
They say tig as well.

I'm a retired boilermaker and pipefitter and certified welder in both trades.

Thank you.
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Old 10-14-2019, 07:28 AM   #80
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Big mistake not going with an OEM baseplate matched to the tow bar.

A local welding shop does not possess the engineering know how to design for all potential stress factors or what type of steel best handles that stress.
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Old 10-14-2019, 08:12 AM   #81
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I just spilled my beer! Did you just compare yourself and this project to the Wright brothers, the invention of flight and building a race car?

Nobody makes base plates for BMWs because BMWs are not to be towed 4 down. If BMW says their vehicles can be towed 4 down, you would see them being towed and every manufacturer of tow products would be building base plates for the application.
Actually, there are base plates made for some 3 series BMW for some years but not all, I was curious and I found a Blue Ox for a 2003 BMW which also works on a mini-Cooper.
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:40 AM   #82
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Please tell us where you are traveling so we can stay away from that area! When it comes apart, I hope it goes in a ditch and doesn't kill someone. Good luck.
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:08 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
I inherited a Blue Ox tow bar when I bought the coach, and have recently completed fabricating a base plate, and installing an Invisibrake system, so ready for the road test! hmmm, not good.

The right base plate tab bent down about 60 degrees. I straightened it out and tried it again, but the tab bent with the car being towed out of the driveway (right hand turn). Here is what I noticed:

The arms on the tow bar lock in the extended position and stay that way. Is this the way they're supposed to be?

The hitch height is 16" and the tow eyes are 11" high. I thought I read that a 6" difference was acceptable, but is this correct?

Any other causes of high stress while turning?
Have you considered calling Blue Ox and asking for suggestions on the engineering aspects of your base plate? They may even have something already fabricated with ears properly attached that could be made to work with your vehicle. Maybe call and ask for their technical support department. Just a thought to help you get more info for your fabricator. Good luck.
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Old 10-14-2019, 11:09 AM   #84
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1999 528 5-speed manual.

Tranny in Neutral, and key in ignition to allow steering wheel movement.
Blue Ox website does not show a baseplate for BMW's. Remco indicates that BMW's of your vintage, regardless of transmission type, are to be towed via a trailer. Just because it has a manual transmission doesn't mean it can be towed four down without damaging the transmission. The lack of an available Baseplate should be a clue to this.

I learned this the hard way towing a 1967 Ford F250 with a manual transmission. It lasted about two hundred miles before the transmission grenaded. Turns out that the input shaft drives the gears that provide lubrication to the rest of the transmission. By placing the vehicle in neutral, it disengage the gears that provided the lubrication. Expensive lesson.
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