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Towing with Fiero by grkboy707
Started on: 01-27-2015 10:37 AM
Replies: 33 (1546 views)
Last post by: Egor on 03-12-2015 08:27 PM
grkboy707
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Report this Post01-27-2015 10:37 AM Click Here to See the Profile for grkboy707Click Here to Email grkboy707Send a Private Message to grkboy707Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I know I've seen trailer hitches on Fiero's before, but I cant find anything about what people are towing! I want to put a hitch on to tow cars in emergency/ short distance situations. I just want to know if this is feasible. This is not like a "nice weeked, lets hitch up the boat and go to Ocean City" sort of thing. My "daily driver" weighs less than 3000lbs wet, and I may look into flipping cars soon, so a tow car is a must. Any idea on towing capacity?
Thanks,
Greg
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LostNotForgotton
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Report this Post01-27-2015 10:59 AM Click Here to See the Profile for LostNotForgottonClick Here to visit LostNotForgotton's HomePageClick Here to Email LostNotForgottonSend a Private Message to LostNotForgottonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have a hitch on my Fiero. I also made an install video if you want to check out what it takes to install. I use my hitch for a bike rack for mountain biking. The hitch is rated at 2,000lbs towing capacity and a stock Fiero can tow about 1,000lbs.

------------------
87 Fiero GT 3.4 Pushrod with 7730 ECM and DIS
88 MERA #8313
85 Fiero SE with 3.1 pushrod
86 Fiero SE 2.8 stock

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Report this Post01-27-2015 11:18 AM 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
Your pretty much limited to towing a tiny 2 wheel utility trailer in most cases. Ive seen people tow more, like a small car, but wouldnt recommend it myself. With a Fiero, I wouldnt even tow a motorcycle like a Harley....but a dirt bike or several bicycles would be fine. You prob can get away with one of the tiny lightweight aero weekend campers with a V6 car.

From what I found when I had mine, it has a 100 pnd tongue limit and 1000 pnd tow capacity and equalizer bars are recommended even for that. Most even small cars are 3-4 times that.

[This message has been edited by rogergarrison (edited 01-27-2015).]

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Report this Post01-27-2015 11:22 AM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Fiero and most cars only safely tow small things because Many car's brakes can't stop extra mass, etc.

Fiero Owners Manual...
 
quote
The maximum loaded trailer weight you can pull with your car is 450 kilograms (1000 pounds).
The maximum static tongue weight should not exceed 45 kilograms (100 pounds).
That is Total weight... The trailer + whatever on the trailer must be below 1000lb.

Example:
Cheapest trailer frame at harborfreight.com is 130lb.
is why called "870 lb. Capacity Utility Trailer" because Maximum GVR is 1000 lb. Trailer weight + load = GVR
Add just a deck 20-30lb more so means have less capacity then the page says.

Tongue weight affects car handing etc. Like you stuffed the trunk and now rear end is low.

------------------
Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.
(Jurassic Park)


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[This message has been edited by theogre (edited 01-27-2015).]

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Report this Post01-27-2015 11:35 AM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Towing capacity is very low. People use hitches on Fieros for bike racks and very small trailers to tow additional necessities for shows that are a long distance trip and such. They're all Class 1 I think. I don't think I'd try to tow a car with it.
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Report this Post01-27-2015 11:52 AM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Even bigger vehicles have max GVR 1000 for trailers w/o trailer brakes.
Just read SUV/truck owners books.

Example:
http://www.kia.ca/content/o...Owners_Manual_EN.pdf
Page 5-33 2.7L engine...
GVR 1000lb w/o brakes, 2000lb w/ brakes.
Tongue Weight is 200lb max
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Report this Post01-27-2015 12:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have a stroker v8, with upgraded brakes and it can pull very well. However, the subframe is not made to keep up with it.

I bolted on a hitch behind my license plate welded on heavy steel plate. It attaches with 2- 5/16" bolts top and 2 bottom on the sub bumper.

I would tow 1,000 lbs but no more. I use a class I hitch so as not to get tempted.

Hope this helps.

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Report this Post01-27-2015 12:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Arns85GT:
I have a stroker v8, with upgraded brakes and it can pull very well. However, the subframe is not made to keep up with it.


It's not just power that's a problem with the Fiero. The frame itself would be fine even. The two big problems after the power issue, are the suspension and wheelbase. The Fiero doesn't have the right suspension for towing larger things, nor the wheelbase.

Even a 2000 S-10 with 2.2L only has a max trailer weight of 2000 lbs. But with the 4.3L Vortec, can go up to 6400 lbs trailer weight, depending on transmission and 2WD vs 4WD.

If you really want to be able to tow cars yourself, and want to do it on the cheap, I would look at finding an older C-10/k1500/Silverado, or a 4.3L S-10 at least.
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Report this Post01-27-2015 02:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dobey:

It's not just power that's a problem with the Fiero. The frame itself would be fine even. The two big problems after the power issue, are the suspension and wheelbase.


Tow capacity is barely mechanically related at all. Since there is no industry standard for determining tow ratings, tow ratings in the US are mostly a byproduct of liability risk aversion and not any sort of mechanical limitation. A good example would be a 2007 Saturn Astra, which is rated for 1388lbs. A 2007 Opel Astra - same car on another continent - is rated for 3,086lbs. We drive faster and worse in the US and manufacturers know this, so they put super-safe tow capacity ratings on cars to make up for it. The short wheelbase and floppy factory suspension on Fiero probably results in questionable load handling so GM put a very low tow rating on it so dumb US drivers wouldn't hurt themselves. The Fiero is probably capable of towing at least a couple thousand pounds. I *suspect* the tow rating discrepancy on the S10 is designed to railroad people into buying the more expensive V6, but may have more to do with transmission limitations. Not sure.

You won't see this in the US:



WE CAN'T HANDLE IT!

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Report this Post01-27-2015 03:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by thesameguy:


Tow capacity is barely mechanically related at all. Since there is no industry standard for determining tow ratings, tow ratings in the US are mostly a byproduct of liability risk aversion and not any sort of mechanical limitation. A good example would be a 2007 Saturn Astra, which is rated for 1388lbs. A 2007 Opel Astra - same car on another continent - is rated for 3,086lbs. We drive faster and worse in the US and manufacturers know this, so they put super-safe tow capacity ratings on cars to make up for it. The short wheelbase and floppy factory suspension on Fiero probably results in questionable load handling so GM put a very low tow rating on it so dumb US drivers wouldn't hurt themselves. The Fiero is probably capable of towing at least a couple thousand pounds. I *suspect* the tow rating discrepancy on the S10 is designed to railroad people into buying the more expensive V6, but may have more to do with transmission limitations. Not sure.

You won't see this in the US:


You will see that in the US because people are stupid and will do it anyway. We don't drive any faster than in other countries, though the regulations in some other countries (like Germany) are much better and more strictly enforced.

If you've ever driven a 2.2L S-10 you'd understand the rating discrepancy. That thing can barely pull itself.
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Report this Post01-27-2015 04:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for KentsOkayClick Here to Email KentsOkaySend a Private Message to KentsOkayEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So, yes I can trailer some camping equipment?

Where are you guys getting the hitch kits?
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Report this Post01-27-2015 05:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by KentsOkay:

So, yes I can trailer some camping equipment?

Where are you guys getting the hitch kits?


http://www.fierostore.com/P.../Detail.aspx?s=98777
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Report this Post01-27-2015 05:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for KentsOkayClick Here to Email KentsOkaySend a Private Message to KentsOkayEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dobey:


http://www.fierostore.com/P.../Detail.aspx?s=98777


Niiiiice
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Report this Post01-27-2015 08:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Getting X lb in towing on level ground is easy.
Trying to control and stopping that are another story.

Fiero was made to be a cheap commuter car and brakes are design to meet that use. (Let's ignore Fiero brakes have trouble stopping for even small maintenance problems.) Vehicle brakes are design to stop a car to meet FMVSS w/ loads listed on body sticker or Owner's manual plus a bit more for normal use.

Car w/ 1000lb trailer is allot harder to stop then just a car loaded to max spec. If you think OE brakes are slow to stop now, adding 1000lb more is far worse.

Load Info is on Fiero driver's door (87 notch):

87 Fiero OM, page 5-15, states:
 
quote
This vehicle capacity weight is the combined weight of the occupants, and all cargo including luggage compartment load. This weight would also include luggage rack load, trailer tongue load, and all non-factory installed options. The vehicle capacity weight tells you the design limits of the car, not just of the tires.
Tire Placard load is 401lb = 2 Adults ("Standard Adult" Crash Dummies at the time is ~150lb each) and ~100lb Cargo. Exact load can vary by options in/on the car.

84-87 Solid rotors and many pad compounds will fade fast trying to race or tow But even the best brakes can have fade problems doing the same. 88 Vented rotors are better but they can fade when racing or towing.
Towing weight affect the weight shifting on the tow vehicle. Trailer's Curb Weight tries to move forward when you stop.
Both are part of why Kia example above have w/ and w/o trailer brakes. Properly setup Trailer brakes makes a huge difference.

Tongue weigh matters to car's handling.
Many times 100 lb at the hitch is not same as 100lb in the trunk because leverage. 1 or 2 feet difference can change leverage enough and that can affect car's handling.
Hitch load make the car rear heavy but the leverage can make the front light enough to cause major under steer.

Edit to add...
"Standard Adult" is based on average most people at the time... NHTSA and others are thinking to move up that average because so many are obese and making crash dummies heavier too.
Current Hybrid III Crash Dummies are 172lb male, 108lb female, average for both 140lb. (source male female )

[This message has been edited by theogre (edited 01-27-2015).]

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Report this Post01-28-2015 11:20 AM 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
FAAs latests regulations on passenger weight is now 200 pnds for adult male, 179 pnds for female in summer clothes. See chart in link, page 15.

http://www.faa.gov/document...rcular/AC120-27E.pdf

[This message has been edited by rogergarrison (edited 01-28-2015).]

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Report this Post01-28-2015 11:51 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I used to tow with this car. It had a 1594cc 4 banger (carb'd two barrel and high flow exhaust) with a Mulholland kit on the suspension. I had a 4X8 trailer with a Rambler Ambassador axle.

I picked up a full load of soil with the trailer and car. The car pulled the trailer ok with its meager 115 hp. However, the brakes were a whole other story.

They just didn't exist. I had to gear down to slow down and it was a bear.



My point is that a stock Fiero just isn't up to towing much. I've got upgraded brakes and that helps a whole lot, with the S10 booster.

But, even with that, I don't pull anything heavy.
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Report this Post01-28-2015 12:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MadMarkClick Here to Email MadMarkSend a Private Message to MadMarkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by KentsOkay:

So, yes I can trailer some camping equipment?

Where are you guys getting the hitch kits?


I built my own trailer hitch. I have drawings that I can send you in JPEG format so you can either cut them out yourself or you can have a shop cut them out with a waterjet or a plasma torch. I had mine cut out with a waterjet. It makes a very fine cut that you can work with well. To install the trailer hitch I made you will use two bolt holes that are currently in the Fiero frame and you need to also drill in two more holes.

I did this and bolted the two outer pieces in place and put in the cross bar and tacked it. Then I pulled this down and welded the cross bar in solidly. Then I measured and installed the hitch receiver to it. On mine I used a two inch receiver so that I would have more options.

I use my hitch for a basket that I modified so I can carry my luggage. I could also it to pull a small trailer. But, I wouldn't use it to haul a large or heavy trailer.

If you want the drawings just PM me and I will send them to you electronically.
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Report this Post01-28-2015 02:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for drattsClick Here to Email drattsSend a Private Message to drattsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
When I sold my 88 T-top Gt it still had my after market hitch on it. They must still be available. It was a pretty easy install. All I ever pulled was a 14 foot aluminum boat on a light weight trailer and I had no problems. Fiero Factory used to tow Fieros with his Fiero but ended up using a van for his towing.
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Report this Post01-29-2015 01:27 AM Click Here to See the Profile for KentsOkayClick Here to Email KentsOkaySend a Private Message to KentsOkayEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by MadMark:


I built my own trailer hitch. I have drawings that I can send you in JPEG format so you can either cut them out yourself or you can have a shop cut them out with a waterjet or a plasma torch. I had mine cut out with a waterjet. It makes a very fine cut that you can work with well. To install the trailer hitch I made you will use two bolt holes that are currently in the Fiero frame and you need to also drill in two more holes.

I did this and bolted the two outer pieces in place and put in the cross bar and tacked it. Then I pulled this down and welded the cross bar in solidly. Then I measured and installed the hitch receiver to it. On mine I used a two inch receiver so that I would have more options.

I use my hitch for a basket that I modified so I can carry my luggage. I could also it to pull a small trailer. But, I wouldn't use it to haul a large or heavy trailer.

If you want the drawings just PM me and I will send them to you electronically.


PM sent!

[This message has been edited by KentsOkay (edited 01-29-2015).]

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sardonyx247
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I tow all kinds of stuff with my GT.
I do have more HP than stock, and better brakes with the bigger booster. I don't have stopping problems towing.

I have flat towed a Fiero before, just a few miles.

But I tow this every year, trailer prob weighs in at 3000lbs and I do that for 1000 miles.



I have a custom hitch my Friend Dave made for me. It was based off the Fiero store design.

This year I even draged raced a mitsubishi while I had the trailer hooked up,...and won, LMFAO

------------------
"DRIVE IT LIKE A FIERO"
'84 Fiero, engine to be determined '87 Duke (Sold)
'87 Quad 4 H.O.
'87Blue GT 3.4L Swap Completed!!!!!!!! Boosted!!!!!!!
^^^^ Now in the Construction Zone^^^^
Las Vegas Fiero Club Parts/Sales/Service/Club
Fiero Road Club Of Northern Nevada

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Report this Post01-29-2015 01:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'll look for you this year!
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quote
Originally posted by thesameguy:

I'll look for you this year!


Awesome )'(
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Report this Post03-09-2015 06:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MakrochipClick Here to visit Makrochip's HomePageSend a Private Message to MakrochipEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
In Germany we've got a shop wich offers a trailer hitch with detachable knob for the 84-87 Coupe's (not SE or GT). click me!

For those who doesn't unterstand german:

the tow capacity is 1543 lbs and the weight that lasts on the knob is limited for 110 lbs. But you must know, that in Germany we've got a speed limit for cars with trailers of 49 mph (in some special cases with a at the geman DOT special declared Trailer AND Car with anti-lock-brakes 60 mph). This trailerhitch costs 1448 U$. For using it streetlegal in germany you need the permission of the german DOT-Station (=> TÜV) and have to write the hitch-rates in the car-documents (ca. 60-70 U$ on top).
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quote
Originally posted by Makrochip:

In Germany we've got a shop wich offers a trailer hitch with detachable knob for the 84-87 Coupe's (not SE or GT). click me!

For those who doesn't unterstand german:

the tow capacity is 1543 lbs and the weight that lasts on the knob is limited for 110 lbs. But you must know, that in Germany we've got a speed limit for cars with trailers of 49 mph (in some special cases with a at the geman DOT special declared Trailer AND Car with anti-lock-brakes 60 mph). This trailerhitch costs 1448 U$. For using it streetlegal in germany you need the permission of the german DOT-Station (=> TÜV) and have to write the hitch-rates in the car-documents (ca. 60-70 U$ on top).


No offence we can get better hitches(more weight capacity, some even hidden) here in the USA for under $200 USD, so you won't be selling one here, but thank you for offering one.
Your hitch wouldn't even tow MY trailer.
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Report this Post03-10-2015 12:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for devildog0692Click Here to Email devildog0692Send a Private Message to devildog0692Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
This is actually very interesting lol. I had no idea you could make this work. I will personally never do it but its definitely interesting
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Report this Post03-10-2015 01:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierosoundClick Here to visit fierosound's HomePageClick Here to Email fierosoundSend a Private Message to fierosoundEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by thesameguy:

You won't see this in the US:





Towing a load that outweighs your tow vehicle is asking for trouble!!

------------------
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3.4L Supercharged 87 GT Click me
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Report this Post03-10-2015 04:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MakrochipClick Here to visit Makrochip's HomePageSend a Private Message to MakrochipEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by sardonyx247:


No offence we can get better hitches(more weight capacity, some even hidden) here in the USA for under $200 USD, so you won't be selling one here, but thank you for offering one.
Your hitch wouldn't even tow MY trailer.


This is the ONLY way to geht a hitch streetlegal in Germany on your Fiero. When i see the hidden hitch stuff they offer @US-eBay i hate my country for beein that safety-conscious down to the core... sometimes it's better to live on "the other side" of the ocean
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Report this Post03-10-2015 04:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Makrochip:


This is the ONLY way to geht a hitch streetlegal in Germany on your Fiero. When i see the hidden hitch stuff they offer @US-eBay i hate my country for beein that safety-conscious down to the core... sometimes it's better to live on "the other side" of the ocean


The grass is always greener on 'the other side'......
so......do you pull your trailer on the Autobahn? Maybe the hitch should be a little better.

[This message has been edited by Gall757 (edited 03-10-2015).]

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i tow my jetski with my 88 all summer.... i do have to say tho, its hell on my brakes....
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quote
Originally posted by fierosound:
Towing a load that outweighs your tow vehicle is asking for trouble!!


My trailer only outweighs the car when I fill up with water and ice for the last 100 miles of my yearly journey home, I can feel it want to push the car around on two particular turns, (it wants to but doesn't) no problem with the brakes though, (I have very good brakes) The only problem I usally have is blowing out trailer tires, I swaped to 16" car tires this year for a higher load rating, only blew one at 70mph, after that we slowed to 55 and all was fine. But that trailer is so overloaded we had to put a lift kit on it one year. So worth it all
 
quote
Originally posted by Makrochip:

In Germany we've got a shop wich offers a trailer hitch with detachable knob for the 84-87 Coupe's (not SE or GT). click me!

For those who doesn't understand german:

the tow capacity is 1543 lbs and the weight that lasts on the knob is limited for 110 lbs. But you must know, that in Germany we've got a speed limit for cars with trailers of 49 mph (in some special cases with a at the geman DOT special declared Trailer AND Car with anti-lock-brakes 60 mph). This trailerhitch costs 1448 U$. For using it streetlegal in germany you need the permission of the german DOT-Station (=> TÜV) and have to write the hitch-rates in the car-documents (ca. 60-70 U$ on top).


The hitch you sell is rated at 1/2 the tow rate and 1/3 tongue weight as all the ones for sale here, If you got one here, could you have German DOT approve it? As they are allready set up for heavier loads, it should be no problem. (Not that I have a clue on German DOT)
IE: You buy one from here, have it approved, and be able to offer a cheaper price to your customers? Just an idea.

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Zeak
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Report this Post03-11-2015 10:51 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ZeakSend a Private Message to ZeakEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'd be worried about something happening like on Ep. 17 of Roadkill.

Hang on!

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1988 Fiero 2.5

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Makrochip
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Report this Post03-11-2015 02:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MakrochipClick Here to visit Makrochip's HomePageSend a Private Message to MakrochipEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by sardonyx247:


The hitch you sell is rated at 1/2 the tow rate and 1/3 tongue weight as all the ones for sale here, If you got one here, could you have German DOT approve it? As they are allready set up for heavier loads, it should be no problem. (Not that I have a clue on German DOT)
IE: You buy one from here, have it approved, and be able to offer a cheaper price to your customers? Just an idea.


There is a misunderstood... i don't sell these hitch. I want to show you that the hitches you get for the Fiero in Germany are very expensive comparing the prices in the USA. The German DOT is very strict on giving you the approval for US-Parts. Its nearly impossible to get approval for a trailer-hitch that was build for US-Market, cause mostly they got no declaration papers wich showing that the hitch was tested for several cases from an considered institute for vehicle safety or vehicle surveyor.
Germany is bad for people who love to tune up their rides. It costs a load of energy and money in some cases to get your Mods streetlegal in Germany. So lean back and enjoy that the USA are more friendlier in that point...
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Egor
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Report this Post03-12-2015 08:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for EgorSend a Private Message to EgorEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The best thing about a trailer hitch on a Fiero:

When pulling the cradle/engine it makes the job so much easier!!





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____________________________________________
"Of all the things I have lost during my lifetime, I miss
my mind the most."

[This message has been edited by Egor (edited 03-14-2015).]

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