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Mikes Z car

Tow Dolly- How do you get non running car pushed up on the dolly?

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I want to use a tow dolly to move a rolling 73 240Z parts car with relatively little structure rust about 20 miles. The car has no engine and the driveshaft and transmission are out. With the car not running how do I get the car up on the dolly? Can I use a come along? Can I jack it up and put it on two jack stands behind the front wheels on the tension control rod mounts and back the dolly underneath the front wheels that way? I wonder if the jack stands would get in the way of the dolly if I do that. I have read other threads and info on the net, no one says how you do this so it must be either really easy or impossible. There is no bumper so I can't use a tow bar I don't think. U-Haul has the idea that the towing car should weigh at least 750 lbs more than the towed car. I will be towing a 2000 lb 240Z with a 2200 lb car, has anyone had a problem with the relative weight like that? Thanks for any ideas.

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Mike,

I towed my 240Z about 180 miles home using a car dolly and my 1997 Nissan truck (4 cylinder, automatic):

http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/members/ehlersrs-albums-1971-datsun-240z-picture53969-took-several-attempts-line-car-up-car-dolly.html

The car was located in the owner's garage at the end of the smooth driveway. Since the car wasn't running, we pushed the car up onto the car dolly. The long driveway allowed us to pick up momentum to get the car up and it did take several attempts to get the car on straight. My truck weighs approximately 2900 lbs (with the topper) and it has a Class II hitch mounted to the frame. I estimate the trailer weighed 500 lbs and the 240Z weighs around 2300 lbs. The bed of the truck was also loaded with car parts that weighed maybe 200 lbs. That comes to a vehicle weighing 3100 lbs. and a towing weight of 2800 lbs. I didn't have any problems getting back home, except my truck had difficulty making it up several hills on the interstate and that was with the gas pedal to the floor! My truck hasn't had any problems towing over a ton of weight before, so I figured it could handle towing the 240Z.

For your situation, 20 miles isn't that far to tow a vehicle. I would be extra cautious about towing the 240Z with a light car, however with the engine and tranny removed, that does remove a lot of weight from the 240Z. It would be better to find someone that has a bigger vehicle, but if you decide to use your car and a dolly, be sure to take a route where you can travel at slower speeds and leave lots of extra space for stopping. Do you plan to borrow the car dolly? I'm sure UHaul won't rent a car dolly to you if they knew what the towing combination was going to be. I rented a car dolly from a local guy who rents it out, because I'm sure UHaul wouldn't have approved of my truck. As for getting the car onto the dolly, if it's located on a smooth surface, you shouldn't have any problems pushing it on otherwise you can use a come along, which will take longer. Even without the bumper, there should be a place to connect the come along. Besides, it's just a parts car!

I hope everything works out of you!

Robert S.

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Thanks Robert, thanks for taking the time to type in those details. That helps quite a bit. I won't be renting from U-Haul but the place I am considering might have similar rules on what they will allow. Might force me into hiring a tow truck.

Mike

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If you tow with the rear wheels off the ground, lock the steering and use seat belts or other restraint wrapped around the steering wheel to keep it straight. Make sure any chin spoiler will not hit.

If you tow with the front wheels off the ground, make sure the drive shaft is disconnected from the differential (I guess it is with the motor and transmission out.). Also lock the steering and use seat belts or other restraint wrapped around the steering wheel.

I would tow backwards because the front of the car will be lighter and will tow better .... and less chance to damage the differential.

Don't forget the parking brake and secure any loose parts.

Stop and check the straps after a mile to make sure nothing loosened. Then check at 10 miles into your 20mi trip for safety.

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Come-along AND park the dolly on a downhill makes loading a LOT easier.

Edited by Wade Nelson

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Mike,

Like Blue said, I also stopped during the trip home to make sure everything was secure and no wheel bearings were overheating. Since the previous owner had used a car dolly to transport the car, I felt confident it would be fine. I also didn't have any issues with stuck brakes although this can be a problem with cars that are parked for years. One thing I forgot to mention, which I didn't know until I used a car dolly, is you shouldn't back up the car dolly with the car attached to the dolly. On the dolly I used, the platform that the tires sit on pivets on a large bolt to allow cornering. Going in reverse can cause the dolly and car to jack knive.

Let us know how the trip works out!

Robert S.

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black gold man, Blue, Wade Nelson, EhlersRS,

Thanks for the ideas. The engine is still in the car but is going to someone else, they are supposed to pick the engine up next week. Should have the car here by next weekend. I haven't been this excited about an acquisition in a long time. It will take some discipline to strip the parts off and not try to turn this into another restoration!

Mike

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You're thinking too hard. Two guys can push a Z up onto a dolly/trailer easily, especially one without an engine. It helps to have someone in the car in case steering adjustment is needed. ;)

post-19146-14150825063165_thumb.jpg

post-19146-14150825063679_thumb.jpg

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You're thinking too hard. Two guys can push a Z up onto a dolly/trailer easily, especially one without an engine. It helps to have someone in the car in case steering adjustment is needed. ;)

Thats the way i hauled my non-running Z. It even had seized rear brakes and we still managed to push it all the way up to trailer. For 400 miles i saw this beauty staring at me from rearview mirror. LOL

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I really appreciate the helpful info on getting my parts car home but I (insert sound of clucking chicken here) chickened out and got a tow truck. I didn't know anyone who could help me with the car dolly. This parts car has less rust on it than the orange '71 240Z I had 30 years ago except for the driver's dogleg. It has a MFR date of 1/1972 and has been entered into the registry. The floor pans are better than the ones my 1970 Z car had on it when I got it. All parts will be carefully saved if possible even the floor pans and frame if I can, bent part of frame and all.

An odd story for this car if I get it all straight, a customer of the local mechanic was going to have a larger engine put in and then the mechanic noticed the frame was bent so he refused to do the install. The customer purchased another Z car but didn't want the wife to know he had two Z cars hence the reason the parts car was stuck parked at the mechanic's business and the reason I got it. I guess the customer had to answer the delicate question "how do you hide an entire car from the wife?".

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How bad is the frame? We straighten frames all the time. Where is it damaged?

Charles

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In my opinion this parts car might be restorable though there is too much work in the whole process for me to take another car on, not even considering the expense. It might be that the frame doesn't need fixing I am no expert on them. Apparently the car was being driven with a stock 240Z engine with no problem. In the engine bay looking at the top of the driver's side (in USA) frame rail in the middle of the bay a foot or so of the frame rail appears to have been shoved over towards the engine a bit, maybe 1/4 inch or so. The passenger frame rail seems to have more dents in the vertical wall of it than what is on my good car, I am not sure how they might have gotten there. Also, the front left flat area that the hood hinge is bolted to has wrinkles in it seemingly indicating that the car was hit in the front left and then the metal was flattened out. There is some evidence the left radiator support was pulled out in that left hood hinge area but not extensively so.

I will post pictures later.

Edited by Mikes Z car

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Frame rails some pictures with straight edges:

Driver's side bottom of rail pushed toward fender:

post-18366-141508252132_thumb.jpg

Driver's side frame rail fairly straight looking straight down:

post-18366-14150825212227_thumb.jpg

Passenger side frame rail (bowed) with straight edge:

post-18366-14150825211633_thumb.jpg

Left front bumper mount (?) torn metal:

post-18366-14150825212722_thumb.jpg

Patcon, can this type of damage be fixed?

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The drivers side frame rail would probably be a hard fix. The bowed frame could probably be pulled by a good frame shop. We buy a good many salvage cars and rework them. We have a frame guy that is amazing. It would be interesting to show those pictures to a good frame man in your area to see what they think. If I were going to do it myself I would replace the front frame rails or front clip entirely. If the car is really clean every where else it might be worth it, otherwise use what you can and recycle the rest. I just hate to see a Z that isn't all eaten up with rust get scrapped, but they can't all be saved.

Charles

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Yes I feel the same way I hate to see a Z get scrapped that isn't all that bad rust wise, hence the decision to save everything if I can. If a Z was abandoned in a field near here I would consider sneaking over and spraying it with some anti corrosion material in the critical spots. Fortunately I know someone who has cut up a car. I will need to know where to cut to save the rear quarter panels and other sheet metal parts to maximize their usefulness. When I get further along with this I might have to start a new thread to get that info. Sorta reminds me of that cow you might have seen that has lines drawn on it for the different cuts such as rib eye, T bone etc. except in this case the cow would be a Z.

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If I were gonna do it. I would drill out the spots at the rear apron to the quarter panel and cut through the floor to separate the quarters and the rear apron from each other. I would separate the floors from the rockers by drilling those spots as well. Separate the front clip in the same way or just cut it off since it is damaged. My 2 cents...

Charles

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