Author Topic: Ramcharger as tow vehicle  (Read 7480 times)

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Offline superprowizard

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Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« on: July 4, 2007, 09:17:22 PM »
All:
I'm interested in using my 85' RC as a tow vehicle. I did a site search and could only find info on the diesel rams so I must apologize in advance if this topic has already been covered.
Specifically I'm interested in pulling a car trailer with a 65' coronet drag car. Does anyone have experience or advise on using the RC as a tow vehicle? The first thing that comes to mind is overload springs or maybe airbags.

Cliff out

Offline cjohhny

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #1 on: July 4, 2007, 10:01:12 PM »
If it's bone-stock with 3.23 gears, I wouldn't tow what you're wanting to tow with it.  It would probably work, but we need more info as to the setup of your rig.  Auto tranny?  If so, do you have a cooler?  What engine?  Gears?  How far do you plan to tow and how often?  How may miles on the RC?  One time shot you might be OK.  Most RCs weren't factory rated for much over 5000lbs towing weight.
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Offline superprowizard

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #2 on: July 4, 2007, 10:34:44 PM »
Cjohhny:
Thanks for the reply. The 85' RC has 3.23 gears on the dana44 and 9 3/4 rear. The truck has a fresh 318 converted to a 4 barrel along with a fresh 727. The towing would be short, flat runs 5-10 times a year.
Thanks in advance.
Cliff out

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #3 on: July 5, 2007, 05:47:53 AM »
l tow with my 84 RC all the time [ 318- 727 and 3.21 gears ]/ l have helper springs in the rear / l tow a car trailer [1200 Lbs ???] and either RC,s or 8 ft trucks that wieght 5000 to 6000 Lbs / the only time l had a hard-scary time was towing a 87 SRW 1-ton dump filled with roofing shingles / l,d say it wieghed 7000 plus pounds / the trailer wanted to push me all over the road but the truck pulled it without a problem /  to tow a 3200 Lbs Coronet should be rather easy
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Offline wycowboy

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #4 on: July 5, 2007, 06:30:26 AM »
I wouldn't hesitate to tow that load with my RC, although its a 360 auto with 3.55's. My old 82 was a 318 auto and 3.23's though, I would've still towed with it and did.

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Offline Rambunctious86

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #5 on: July 5, 2007, 06:54:07 AM »
What are you really towing casue you aren't towing a 65 foot trailer as your first post indicates?  Maybe it's 65 inches (65") wide or something?  Or are you trying to say 1965 ('65)?
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Offline cjohhny

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #6 on: July 5, 2007, 11:31:08 AM »
Cjohhny:
Thanks for the reply. The 85' RC has 3.23 gears on the dana44 and 9 3/4 rear. The truck has a fresh 318 converted to a 4 barrel along with a fresh 727. The towing would be short, flat runs 5-10 times a year.
Thanks in advance.
Cliff out

I'd say get the biggest trans cooler you can fit in there and make sure the brake system on your trailer is in good condition.  After towing roughly a 4000 pound load with my '83 RC and with my '82 extended cab 8' bed truck, I'd have to say I definitely prefer towing with my longer wheelbase truck.  In my experiences towing with various RCs I've had, the heavier/longer the loads, the worse it was for handling.  The bigger loads just try to overpower the short wheelbase RC.
However, with that being said, the main thing you can do is strap it up and see how you like it.  But before you do, get a trans cooler and maybe some helper springs.  Your RC will handle quite a bit if you prep it first.
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Offline superprowizard

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #7 on: July 5, 2007, 12:08:14 PM »
Roosertail:
The 65' is in reference to the 1965 Coronet drag car.
Thanks all for replying. I think I will move forward with this idea. I imagine I will need tires rated for the difference in weight.
Thanks again
Cliff out

Offline TheRamChargerMan

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #8 on: July 5, 2007, 07:43:55 PM »
Cjohhny:
Thanks for the reply. The 85' RC has 3.23 gears on the dana44 and 9 3/4 rear. The truck has a fresh 318 converted to a 4 barrel along with a fresh 727. The towing would be short, flat runs 5-10 times a year.
Thanks in advance.
Cliff out

Did YOU put the dana 60 under it ????  Cuz the stock diff would be the 9 1/4. Is it 8 lug or 5 ???

It would tow it, but it wouldn't like it.

Personally, I wouldn't use it as a regular tow vehicle.
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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #9 on: July 6, 2007, 07:37:08 PM »
just so you know / my very first car was a 65" coronet 440 2dr ht / it had a 383 RR motor with 3.55 gears / l drove it all thru high school / l paid $300 bucks for it in 1977 / after that l owned about 10 of them in the last 30 years / l got rid of my last one awhile back [ it killed me to sell it ] you know the routine- married bought a house blah blah / it was a 65 coronet "500" and l had it just down to the 10,s with a 440 and 4.10,s / l pulled the drive train out and sold the shell for $500 / l aint been to the strip since [ kills me ] l have one TOY left and thats my 1964 A-100 dodge van with the "500" drive train other than a dozen trucks / GOOD LUCK on your towing
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Offline 451Mopar

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #10 on: July 7, 2007, 07:50:40 AM »
For towing a car with a flat bed it will work OK as long as you don't have to pull steep hills.
The biggest part is getting the right amount of weight on the hitch by where the car is on the trailer.
When I say it will work, I mean it can be done.  I towed my '69 Coronet from OR to CO with my ramcharger, but I overheated badly pulling long hills, and had to stop to let the RamChatger cool down.  This was the 318 engine and 3.23:1 gears, With the weaker 318 engine and 3.23:1 gears, I was on the converter pulling the hills and the converter slippage really caused the most overheating.  More gear (and power) would have really helped.
Obviously, a large trans cooler should be used.
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Offline 57plymouth

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #11 on: July 8, 2007, 05:18:19 PM »
Just for reference:

My 1980 1/2 ton really had to work to pull my trailer.  I have a 1957 Plymouth, which actually weighs about 3600, on a 1600 pound open trailer.  My truck weighs 4200.  The rear has 3.55 gears, with 29" tires.  The tranny is an 833O/D, and the motor is a 340.  It worked pretty good to pull the load, and I had a slight issue when the welds failed on the spring perches and the axle spun.  The trailer may or may not have been responsible. 

If I were you I would look for something with a longer wheel base.
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Offline eralov

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #12 on: July 8, 2007, 07:15:14 PM »
next item is the rear suspension
if it is a 4x4 it has blocks and will get some spring wrap
trailer brakes are good too
i wouldn't recommend the whole idea, but i'd probably do it if it was all i had
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Offline warlock4x4

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #13 on: July 8, 2007, 08:01:34 PM »
I had to change over to 4:10's in mine with the 33's.  Now it tows just fine.  I tow a '73 holiday rambler camper that is a lead sled.  I have also towed my trailer with a RC on it, no problem.  I added the biggest trans cooler I could find locally.  However the factory one that was on my '87 2wd was even bigger.
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Offline tv_larsen

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #14 on: July 9, 2007, 11:44:58 PM »
Even with a 318 and 3.23's it will pull it, but that doesn't make it right or safe.  As already mentioned you may need to add a trans cooler, and upgrade the engine cooling.  You will also need overload springs, add-a-leaves, or air bags to support the tongue weight.  Don't forget you will also need a weight distributing hitch (probably with sway control), and a trailer brake controller.  You would need to drive slower and anticipate all maneuvers ahead of time.  This is all required to just barely put the RC on the ragged edge of being safe and appropriate for towing that kind of weight.  The problem is the RC's short wheelbase and light weight, and all of the upgrades in the world won't make those any better.

On the other hand, you could get a long bed 1/2 ton for improved handling (same upgrades).  But a 3/4 ton or better would provide a comfortable safety margin for you and the rest of us on the road.
« Last Edit: July 9, 2007, 11:46:48 PM by tv_larsen »
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Offline Bummo

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2007, 08:56:35 AM »
Looks like everything has been covered.  If you arent going to a longer wheel base tow vehicle then....

Have brakes on the trailer.   I like electric brakes and a tandum axled trailer....you can use the trailer brakes seperate which can help straighten you out in slippery spots and tandum because 4 brakeing wheels and if a wheel drops in a pot hole or something there is another to help keep the trailer level.

Air bags or helper springs....air bags that wont share a common free air passage between them (line check valves or 2 lines needed (JMHO)

Disk brakes on the rear of the rc.  Dodges have bad brakes and the rear drums suk.  JMHO

e rated tires, and a rear sway bar maybe should do it.   Tranny cooler for sure, engine oil cooler is nice.  Make sure you have spares, emergency triangles, a couple of flares, and a jack that will safely lift a trailer wheel when loaded.  And a cell phone and fresh credit card.  hahaha

Offline daveyramone

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2008, 05:10:41 PM »
What about other means of towing a car behind a Ramcharger? Car dollies or even flat-towing with a tow bar attached to the car?
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Offline cjohhny

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2008, 11:45:12 AM »
I've towed similar weights/lengths behind both my 83 RC 4x4 360 auto 3.23 gears and 82 Club Cab 1-ton 360 4x4 manual 4.10 gears and found I definitely prefer the longer wheel base for towing.  I also towed a couple tons of gravel behind my old 87 RC 4x4 318 auto 3.23 gears.

With that being said, most RCs with decent maintenance and upkeep should be fine for towing just about anything up to around 5000lbs.  Using a tow dolly or flat towing helps cut down on the overall weight of the load/vehicle being towed.  The lighter the weight, the easier the tow.  An auto transmission cooler is also a good idea and a must for heavier loads.
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Offline smokey y

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2008, 04:41:52 PM »
its not going to be fast but going to a 4.10 ratio or even a 3.90 ratio could help 2 ways getting up to speed and better  braking. if you do a gear swap a good rv cam like a summit or crane theres more out there just them just somthing to try
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Offline madd_hatter_rc1979

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2008, 12:52:59 PM »
I agree with just about everything said, first priority would always be the braking system just cause u can tow it dont mean u can stop it, and the stock rc brakes are barely adequate to stop it let alone a 5000 lb loaded trailer on any kinda road.  I would for sure make sure my trailer had brakes as well, and then definitely look at the hitch setup, definitely a rear sway bar, sway control on the hitch might be nice too.  The next is step would be the tranny cooler and engine cooling system, get one of the big rv coolers, most are like 50 tops, and are good for up to 40,000 gvw, u can never have a tranny that is too cool, and dodge coolers stock are junk, a shift kit in the tranny wouldnt hurt ya either with the ability to increase line pressure and would definetly extend the life on the trans, engine cooling is handled easilly enough aftermarket aluminum radiators are out there i bought em for both my rc and my mustang from a guy on ebay for about 200 shipped, guys ebay store was "southwest speed" or sumthin... great guy to deal with the rads are all aluminum cores and tanks, 2inches deep, and keep the coolant cool like nobodys business, but thats just my .02 good luck.
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Offline tv_larsen

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2008, 07:34:27 PM »
going to a 4.10 ratio or even a 3.90 ratio could help 2 ways getting up to speed and better braking.

Except for engine braking, how do lower gears improve braking?
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Offline movarl

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2008, 03:39:18 PM »
Yes Brakes are the big issues.  I've got a 93 4x4 with a 360 that will tow anything, and still pass on the highway at 75.  I regularly tow a 3k heavy equipment trailer with my 92 4x4 RC with a V10 getting close to 10K lbs with my 92 2wd 5.2(with rear air bags) and it is just fine, until you try to stop.  :o
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Offline smokey y

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2008, 04:00:53 PM »
engine braking is what i was talking about
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Offline madd_hatter_rc1979

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2008, 07:35:25 PM »
taller gears have more drag on em and help let the backpressure of the motor help you stop nice if you got it but dont let that be all thats helps you stop.
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Offline tv_larsen

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2008, 08:29:38 PM »
Putting the trans in a lower gear will do more for engine braking than any gear swap ever could.
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Offline stroked368

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2008, 08:26:41 PM »
i have an 86 rc with a mildly built 360, 727 auto with shift kit, 4x4 with 3.91's. and overloads out of a 78 truck, hell of a stiff ride but handles anything i put on my 19 ft car trailer and has all kinds of power. but i dont like the short wheelbase for pulling, but, if it's all ya got then ya gotta do it!!

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #26 on: November 1, 2008, 09:45:12 AM »
if it's all ya got then ya gotta do it!!

That's fine if it's still reasonably safe.  But not having the proper equipment is never a good excuse for towing something that is unsafe.
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Offline chryco

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Re: Ramcharger as tow vehicle
« Reply #27 on: November 19, 2008, 06:59:15 PM »
Go ahead and use your R/C to tow your drag car. We used to tow a 68' Cuda on a heavy tandem open carhauler all over with no trouble .
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