Home made mounts for an All-Terrain tow bar
Cross post from the Fabrication Forum.
Needed to mount a Falcon All-Terrain tow bar between my jeep and my truck for an upcoming trip. Problem was, the jeep is a lot higher than my truck, and the tow bar has quick-disconnect brackets that mandate using mounts about 2" narrower than the clevis mounts on my jeep. I figured that by raising the truck end 8", and dropping the jeep end about 2", I could keep the tow bar level and still clear my truck's tail gate when it folds down. Here's what I came up with.
Made a couple brackets out of 3/8" and 1/2" scrap. The 1/2" spacer allows my to clear the receiver I built into my front bumper. The need for this will become apparent later on. The brackets will fit over the BESRK clevis mounts that use a 1" pin hole. Be nice in the weld critique, I'm still learning. ;)
Couple coats of paint. Satin on the lift receiver, Hammered on the brackets just cuz I had a can from long ago and wanted to use it up.
Front and back of the brackets. Here you can see why I needed to drop the mount for the Q-D brackets down--- their mounting bolts would have interfered with the clevis mount.
How the bracket fits on the clevis mount. The box that surrounds the clevis mounts fits snug to the bumper, keeping the box from pivoting. This eliminates having two horizontal pivoting points inline, meaning only the tow bar now gives up and down rotation so the two pivots do not interact with each other and allow the bracket to turn into a "crumple zone" when braking. A simple safety chain keeps the lock-pin for the 1" clevis pin from getting lost.
I saw the 1" to 3/4" reducers, and considered using those, but figured it was just another small part to get lost on a trip and FUBAR getting back on the road. So for now, the 1" clevis bolt is overkill to the max, but what the heck? It's what I had to work with, and any Tractor Supply type store will have them across the nation.
This is how the Quick-Disconnect bar attaches to the Q-D brackets. Because it is a fixed width, this is the reason I had to make the brackets not only drop the bolt holes, but move them inside the clevis width. You can also see why I needed the 1/2" spacer of the bracket --- to clear the receiver hitch I built into the front bumper. To remove or replace it, you just pull a lock-pin on each side on the bar, and lift it off the jeep. Takes ten seconds.
The tow bar mounted up. It's now dead level front to back, and the Z-bar hitch clears the tailgate when it folds down to open. The little upright bracket on the tow bar holds the swing arms in place when not in use, and then the tow bar swing arms fall together and the whole bar rotates to the side for storage on the tow vehicle when not in use... just pull two other pins to remove the cross bar. The arms also slide in and out and rotate to allow easy hook-up, no matter if the towed vehicle is at an angle to the tow rig, then pull out and lock in place as you move ahead. So the tow bar itself allows for up-down and side-to-side movement on turns and uneven terrain, allowing for rotation in all three axis (hence it's name- All Terrain). It's a pretty slick set-up.
Picking up some magnetic tow lights today, and still have to add some extra safety chains for the jeep. All in all, I like it.
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