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How do you strap your Fiero to a trailer? by CowsPatoot
Started on: 09-26-2013 02:36 PM
Replies: 18 (612 views)
Last post by: Bloozberry on 09-29-2013 07:39 AM
CowsPatoot
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Report this Post09-26-2013 02:36 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CowsPatootClick Here to visit CowsPatoot's HomePageSend a Private Message to CowsPatootEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
First off...I tow almost exclusively 84-87 Fieros....88s have different tie down points, and are much more obvious IMHO.

I have been towing Fieros for 20 years now...but in the last 5 years or so I have been doing quite a bit of it with the same trailer (finally got my own trailer). I have towed at least a half dozen different Fieros on this trailer, and have probably totaled about 25k miles doing it. I have done it enough times that I know exactly where to position the car on the trailer for the perfect balance...and my straps are usually already set to the correct length since the last car I towed was probably a Fiero as well. I have strapped every one of them down the same way, and have never had a hint of an issue.....until last night.

I am concerned about the back....not the front. This is how I have always tied them down:


Last night, we loaded whiteandnerdy27's car in Dahlonega, GA (he broke it at Run For The Hills). I strapped it down as usual. He double-checked it. We drove about 2 miles. We both confirmed the straps. We jumped on the expressway and head home. At the first gas stop, we find this:


I checked it out, and I couldn't see how it could have happened. The strap did not loosen...I had to extend it to put it back on. I dismissed it as the strangest thing I have seen in a while, and re-strapped it. Whiteandnerdy27 verified it again. We took off...and 20 miles down the road decided to stop and check it out. We found the exact same thing (photo was actually the second time...we didn't think to take a photo the first time).

Note that these are new straps. After the second time, I swapped that corner with one of my old straps. We had no further issues on the trip.

So I get home and start investigating. This is how I arrived home:


This is the passenger side hook (new strap):


Driver side (old strap):


Driver side (new strap):


Old hook vs new hook:


So....turns out that hole in the subframe is higher on the driver side, causing the hook to sit at an angle rather than straight. The point between the bottom corner of the frame and the hook becomes a fulcrum, and the tighter you make the strap, the more force you have pulling the hook OUT of the hole. The slight difference in angle of the hooks has allowed my old straps to hold, while the new straps fail.

Obviously...I have been flirting with disaster for quite some time, and I must re-evaluate how I am strapping down my Fieros.
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amflyer
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Report this Post09-26-2013 04:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for amflyerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I always use t hooks that go into the factory frame holes. They are located front and back of the car on the frame. I then use straps from Summit racing that have locking hooks on each end. This ensures the strap stays where you put it. T-hooks can be purchased thru Amazon.com to me there is no other way to haul a Fiero to me!

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onesexyfiero
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Report this Post09-26-2013 05:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for onesexyfieroClick Here to Email onesexyfieroSend a Private Message to onesexyfieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Put it in gear, set the parking brake and go easy.

Okay, kidding, but yeah, 88's are pretty obvious.
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rogergarrison
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Report this Post09-26-2013 06:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rogergarrisonClick Here to Email rogergarrisonSend a Private Message to rogergarrisonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I use a dolly. It has straps that go over the tires. The can can move up and down on its suspension without loosening them.
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fierofool
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Report this Post09-26-2013 08:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofoolClick Here to visit fierofool's HomePageClick Here to Email fierofoolSend a Private Message to fierofoolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I've not hauled a Fiero on a trailer, but other vehicles I've hauled, I always latched down on the unsprung suspension parts. With straps or chains attached to the chassis, the car can bounce up and down, possibly losing tension in the chains or straps. I've even used combinations of chains around or through suspension parts and then hook my strap to the chain.
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CowsPatoot
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Report this Post09-26-2013 10:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CowsPatootClick Here to visit CowsPatoot's HomePageSend a Private Message to CowsPatootEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by amflyer:

I always use t hooks that go into the factory frame holes. They are located front and back of the car on the frame. I then use straps from Summit racing that have locking hooks on each end. This ensures the strap stays where you put it. T-hooks can be purchased thru Amazon.com to me there is no other way to haul a Fiero to me!



Sounds like a good plan....but what "factory fame holes" are you referring to? Can you show me a pic?
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MulletproofMonk
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Report this Post09-26-2013 10:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MulletproofMonkClick Here to visit MulletproofMonk's HomePageSend a Private Message to MulletproofMonkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Those straps are an issue. It isn't about the 50 times it works, it's about the 1 time the car comes off the trailer and the worst case scenario happens..
Ditch those straps and get these: http://www.amazon.com/Axle-...ef=pd_sim_sbs_auto_4
On the rear you throw two short straps over the cradle and then hook a ratchet strap to each one.

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CowsPatoot
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Report this Post09-27-2013 01:46 AM Click Here to See the Profile for CowsPatootClick Here to visit CowsPatoot's HomePageSend a Private Message to CowsPatootEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by MulletproofMonk:

It isn't about the 50 times it works, it's about the 1 time the car comes off the trailer and the worst case scenario happens..


I agree completely...which is why I am thankful that this issue ended up as minor as it did...and why I am rethinking the whole thing. I have also seen people use only one strap front and back...but I wouldn't consider doing it without some kind of redundancy.

Thanks for the link. So do you put those short straps around the rear crossmember on the cradle? I have always thought that was a weak point of the cradle. I use axle straps in the front (I have always referred to them as axle straps regardless of what they actually go around, but think I will be replacing the front ratchet straps with that style of hooks as well.
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tesmith66
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Report this Post09-27-2013 08:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for tesmith66Send a Private Message to tesmith66Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That type of hook will lever out in certain situations. Have had them pop off in a few situations while ratcheting them down. They are also too fat to get into a lot of places.
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olejoedad
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Report this Post09-27-2013 08:23 AM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The straps must go around the suspension arms.
Never, never, never strap the car around the cradle or front crossmember. The suspension bounce will loosen the straps.
Always strap around the suspension arms, through the wheels or get the webbing that goes over the wheels.
You have been VERY lucky.....
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ohioindy
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Report this Post09-27-2013 03:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ohioindyClick Here to visit ohioindy's HomePageClick Here to Email ohioindySend a Private Message to ohioindyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
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Report this Post09-27-2013 11:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I too prefer to use axle straps to the un-sprung parts of the car and let the car bounce. I also like to use snap hooks so there is less likelihood that they will come off.

http://www.northerntool.com..._200448639_200448639
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Lilchief
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Report this Post09-27-2013 11:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for LilchiefSend a Private Message to LilchiefEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I use one strap for the front and one for the back. Using the suspension part to go over. All hooks are taped ,unless they're spring loaded type, so they can't come unhooked. Either chain hook to chain, chain binder handle to self, strap hook to trailer connecting point. Haven't lost one yet. Since the trailer is a duel axle (tandem?) I have the rear of the door in the middle of the 2 wheels. At this position the tongue drops 1 inch on a 3/4 T PU w/HD springs. Just wondering where everyone else positions theirs ?
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CowsPatoot
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Report this Post09-28-2013 02:52 AM Click Here to See the Profile for CowsPatootClick Here to visit CowsPatoot's HomePageSend a Private Message to CowsPatootEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Lilchief:
Since the trailer is a duel axle (tandem?) I have the rear of the door in the middle of the 2 wheels. At this position the tongue drops 1 inch on a 3/4 T PU w/HD springs. Just wondering where everyone else positions theirs ?


Mine is a tandem also. I have always lined up the center of the rear wheel with the rear of the trailer fenders. Just flipped the porch light on and looked (still haven't unloaded it), and the rear of my door is pretty close to the center of the wheels. I run a half ton Z71, and this seems to be the best position for ride and handling. I run a lot of mountain roads and curves with it.

I appreciate everyone's thoughts on this. I will definitely be getting another set of axle straps for the back, and definitely replacing my straps with snap hooks. I see the error of my ways and it will NOT happen again.
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CowsPatoot
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Report this Post09-28-2013 03:01 AM Click Here to See the Profile for CowsPatootClick Here to visit CowsPatoot's HomePageSend a Private Message to CowsPatootEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Darn that back button....the Double Post Demon strikes again.

[This message has been edited by CowsPatoot (edited 09-28-2013).]

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Bloozberry
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Report this Post09-28-2013 08:01 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
FWIW, here are a couple of my observations:

- I think the problem you had with the newer strap was that the length of the hook from the base of the eye (where the strap pulls), to the crest of the hook is a lot shorter than on your old straps. That changed the angle of the hook when installed;

- You didn't mention what the tensile strength of your straps is, but say for example they're rated at 1750 lbs each (typical), two rear straps aren't going to hold the car on the trailer in a head on collision at 2G or more. You should really invest (a small investment) in a chain and chain tensioner for the added security. Use the straps (fore and aft) to steady the car on the unsprung parts, and the chain at the back end to keep it from coming forward off the trailer in the worst case scenario. You may need a new anchor point in the center of the rear end of your trailer to do this, but on mine, I simply catch the hook on the underside of the trailer's rear cross member.
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fieroguru
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Report this Post09-28-2013 09:54 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Also, running the straps at that sharp of an angle greatly increased the lateral holding, but at a significant loss of front/rear holding capacity where you need it more (like during emergency braking).

The 84-87 rear a-arms have a large opening in the center of them, so get the short straps to go over the a-arm and connect the ratchet straps to them. With your trailer you would still have some lateral holding capability (the straps would still be at a slight angle), but the front/rear holding would be much, much higher, even with the same strap rating.
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Report this Post09-28-2013 11:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Bloozberry:


- You didn't mention what the tensile strength of your straps is, but say for example they're rated at 1750 lbs each (typical), .


Way too low. Conventional wisdom with straps is that you want at least a factor of safety of three. I use 10,000 pound straps in each corner.

Looks like here I had one set of straps with snap hooks and one without.



Edge of the door in the center of the tandem wheels is about where a Fiero should be



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Bloozberry
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Report this Post09-29-2013 07:39 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jscott1:
Way too low. Conventional wisdom with straps is that you want at least a factor of safety of three.


That's the reason I brought it up.

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