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Old 02-22-2013, 03:10 PM   #1
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Tow Dolly problem - PT Cruiser

I have a New STEHL Tow Dolly and tow a PT Cruiser behing my Mountain Aire.

Problem is ... it keeps chewing up the tie down straps. Something on the INSIDE of the wheel assembly cause each strap to develop a SLICE after 2 tows.

Stehl has been great, and replaced my straps 2 times, for free, but I still have the problem.

They advised me to keep the top straps positioned just above the rim, which I did, last time, but a small slice was still there afterwards.

Has anyone else experience this rather odd symptom with a PT Cruiser?
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:18 PM   #2
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YIKES!

Are these straps the only thing holding the car on the dolly?

Pics would be most instructive...
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:24 PM   #3
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PT Cruiser

Yes, these are it ! .. I drove from Jax, Florida to Savannah, Ga, and SOMEWHERE along the trip BOTH straps broke and got lost. Car stayed on dolly !

It is too dark behind the wheel to get a good look, or photo.

I suspect it is uniques to PT Cruisers because of the small tires, and front end system... but , not really sure !

Thanks for the response.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:33 PM   #4
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You lead a charmed life!

I'll bet finding those straps gone was a bad moment...is the "slice" always in the same place on the strap?

Sounds like a body part is sawing on them, maybe when going over bumps. Is there any way you could maybe cover the strap with a piece of pipe insulation or something?

I use that a lot on straps that I don't want to rub on things.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:41 PM   #5
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Even a picture of the small slice in the new strap could be a help, and a discription of the area of the slice in relation to placement of the strap on the wheel.
Near the top, possible damage from the strut, forward part of the wheel, possible brake calipar.
Do you have 15" steel wheels or the 16" aluminum ?
Standard size tires or oversize ?
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiDiss View Post
I have a New STEHL Tow Dolly and tow a PT Cruiser behing my Mountain Aire.

Problem is ... it keeps chewing up the tie down straps. Something on the INSIDE of the wheel assembly cause each strap to develop a SLICE after 2 tows.

Stehl has been great, and replaced my straps 2 times, for free, but I still have the problem.

They advised me to keep the top straps positioned just above the rim, which I did, last time, but a small slice was still there afterwards.

Has anyone else experience this rather odd symptom with a PT Cruiser?
We had a similar problem with a Buick LeSabre. After replacing 2 straps I took the front wheels off the car to inspect the area. I found a sheet metal bracket attached to each strut was the problem. Apparently the bracket was used to locate the strut when the front suspension was assembled. They were slightly bent exposing a sharp edge towards the tie down straps. When the suspension would flex the brackets would saw on the straps.

It was easy to find with the wheels off. The edges of the brackets were nice and shinny. A couple taps with a hammer to get them out of the way and the problem was solved. We still have the dolly but the LeSabre is long gone.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hikerdogs View Post
We had a similar problem with a Buick LeSabre. After replacing 2 straps I took the front wheels off the car to inspect the area. I found a sheet metal bracket attached to each strut was the problem. Apparently the bracket was used to locate the strut when the front suspension was assembled. They were slightly bent exposing a sharp edge towards the tie down straps. When the suspension would flex the brackets would saw on the straps.

It was easy to find with the wheels off. The edges of the brackets were nice and shinny. A couple taps with a hammer to get them out of the way and the problem was solved. We still have the dolly but the LeSabre is long gone.
Of course! Great observation...

I wonder if one could initially check that out with an inspection mirror?
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:10 PM   #8
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Strap it on, tow it to the car dealer and let them figure it out.

It is something they may be aware of, call first.

Should be a safety notice made if not already.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:11 PM   #9
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I tried the mirror on the LeSabre but couldn't get in close enough to do any good. Hopefully you'll have a little more room. However it's a lot easier to look straight in towards the strut area than to be upside down turning yourself inside out hoping to be able to find the problem. My days as a contortionist are long behind me.
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:38 AM   #10
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I have dolly towed a pt cruiser and I'm not happy with it. In my case it seems not matter what I did the tires twisted in the straps. Something about the low profile tires and the front end of the vehicle. I had to have $700 of work to the front end in Maine last year. Just took the car in last week. Haven't towed it since and it hasn't been more than 8 'miles to work at it has some front end damage again.

I have to think it was from the tow home.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:54 PM   #11
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My dolly has a right and left side strap. I cut partially through one when I put them on the wrong wheels.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:05 PM   #12
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I had the same trouble with our '05 Ody on a KK-460 dolly. Due to the size of the tires I had ordered larger straps than normal and they were rubbing on the suspension.
Ordered the standard size and have not had a problem for years.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:12 PM   #13
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I towed our PT Cruiser with low profile tires about 1200 miles. I hooked up and unhooked a total of 17 times on that trip. I did note chaffing on the inside of one tire as a result of rubbing on the steering assembly. My solution was to bring it down further on the outside with less of the strap on the inside. After doing this, never had an issue.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:32 PM   #14
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I would recommend a pair of safety chains for $30.00 in case the straps do break again you will have something to keep your car from passing your motorhome on the highway.
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