Tow hitch on a sedan?

General information about the first-generation Nissan Maxima in the US. What was the Datsun 810 became the luxury leader Maxima in the US in 1981.

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kassim503
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#16

Post by kassim503 » 14 years ago

Naw, extra pics not necessary, the one pic says it all. I want to do something just like that except keep the cab on for dry storage and to mount my generator and pressure washer- get it out of my garage and in a place where I can use them, if possible. But a ford ranger weighs 3600 lbs, even if I cut the engine, trans, and front clip off. Anybody want to take a guestimate on how much im losing? Do they have I-4s or V-6's? I think craigslist might help me find a free truck, so I can cut it up.

If the compact pickup would be too much weight ill just buy a trailer, but thats no fun
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

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kassim503
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#17

Post by kassim503 » 13 years ago

al, you said you installed a class 1 hitch on your wagon back in the day, is it a full out bumper hitch? I really am pretty skeptical about the bumper towing anything more than a baby utility trailer.
I pulled my friends moderately beefy utility trailer to drop off some refuse at the landfill some 40 miles away, and the trailer was bumped while I was unloading garbage, but on the way back I noticed the front of the trailer bouncing a whole lot more than it did in the beginning, stopped to look and found my bumper moved up and down a little bit when you jump on the hitch. Took it easy on the way back and now I can move the bumper up and down about a 3/4 of an inch with some squealing or creaking come out of the bumper assy.
So I was figuring that ill tear the whole thing out and start over, and skip around the bumper, like a normal hitch. Or include the bumper in there somewhere. I like the maxima as a tow vehicle, it backs trailers up like a champ, and its immune to boat rock and stays on the road like a full size truck
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

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asavage
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#18

Post by asavage » 13 years ago

I wrote upthread that I'd never mounted a ball on the hitch I'd had installed. A couple of months ago, I finally put a little 1-7/8" ball on it so I could drag our Apache tent trailer conversion around, move my lawnmower, etc. The trailer is about 400 lbs., a lot lighter than its size would imply.

The hitch I'd had installed bolts to the bumper. It is just a little thing.

Dragging this particular trailer is pretty noise-inducing in my Wagon. Esp. under 30 MPH, the rear (cargo area) resonates badly. It's not so bad up at highway speeds.

I've been gradually increasing the loads I've been dragging. I think I've found the upper limit:

Image Image Image Image

That is a 1987 Onan ES 20Kw genset, with a Ford Pinto (Four) engine. It weighs approximately 900 lbs. I have it mounted so that there is about 50-60 lbs. tongue weight. So the combination weighs about 1300 lbs. The power and braking are somewhat marginal, but not quite unsafe; I would do this again. The Sedan has better rear brakes than the Wagon, and your gasser Sedan has a lot more power. Based on this, I think maybe 1500 lbs. might be a reasonable upper limit on your rig, regardless of how the hitch is mounted.
Last edited by asavage 13 years ago, edited 1 time in total.
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

odie
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Location: CC, TX

#19

Post by odie » 13 years ago

OOOOH.....

some close up pics of the wagon hitch pleeeeeease.

I have cool little bumper hitch I got from Midnightz but havn't decided if to use that or make a custom frame mounted hitch.

The bumper on my 83 looks to be mounted solid to the frame/unibody and not a shock absorber type bumper.
1996 VW Passat B4V TDI diesel...main ride
1983 Maxima LD28..sold
1984 Isuzu P'up diesel 4x4..sold
1981 Rabbit diesel - sold
1984 MB 190 diesel - for sale...sold
1987 MB 300TDT diesel...sold
1983 Holiday Rambler 6.2 diesel Banks turbo...sold
1983 Dodge Ram D50 2.3 TD diesel for sale
gas stuff-Jeep, Lebaron, Porsche, Harley

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asavage
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#20

Post by asavage » 13 years ago

odie wrote:some close up pics of the wagon hitch pleeeeeease.
Well, scratch my lunch break, but here:

Image Image Image Image Image
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

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kassim503
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#21

Post by kassim503 » 13 years ago

Ooops, I didnt read carefully enough when I re-visited the thread.

Does the bumper flex at all? The bumper is not a 5mph stop style bumper, so mabye it is good, and im just abusing it too much :lol: Yes I would agree about towing too much with the maxima, I feel that the breaking is not sufficent, well its sufficent, but the wheel/tire combo dosent grip enough, which makes for a scary ride if you ever had to emergency stop.

The power in the gasser is plenty enough for me, as long as I can get up to highway speed and almost keep up with traffic im fine. My hitch is really the same style as yours, so I guess I shouldnt be having too much of a problem, ill pull the bumper off once im done getting stuff done around the home.
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

odie
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Location: CC, TX

#22

Post by odie » 13 years ago

asavage.....

looks like that hitch bolts to the bumper only?

the one I got from midnightz looks to use two bolts on the bumper and two bolts on the cargo floor pan.

If the bumper is not a shock absorber type and juat a solid bolted piece of metal.....then there does not really appear to be any real difference between makeing a "frame" mounted hitch to bolt to the bumper mounting points with a cross bar for the hitch bar/reciever tube to attach to......OR..... just mount a basic bumper hitch to the bumper since the bumper is basically a solidly mounted "crossbar" anyway.

all opinions welcome here.
1996 VW Passat B4V TDI diesel...main ride
1983 Maxima LD28..sold
1984 Isuzu P'up diesel 4x4..sold
1981 Rabbit diesel - sold
1984 MB 190 diesel - for sale...sold
1987 MB 300TDT diesel...sold
1983 Holiday Rambler 6.2 diesel Banks turbo...sold
1983 Dodge Ram D50 2.3 TD diesel for sale
gas stuff-Jeep, Lebaron, Porsche, Harley

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asavage
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#23

Post by asavage » 13 years ago

The hitch I have bolts only to the bumper. The bumper is energy-absorbing, but only because it contains stryofoam or something. It is probably the later 2.5 MPH bumper rather than the '70s 5 MPH units that have the integrated shock-like system.

The OEM bumper brackets aren't designed for much side loading. For that reason, a strap or plate to the trunk skin or whatever may reduce the possibility of stress cracks occuring in the bumper brackets or mounting area, but that's just a guess.
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

Carimbo
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Joined: 14 years ago

#24

Post by Carimbo » 13 years ago

asavage wrote:The bumper is energy-absorbing, but only because it contains stryofoam or something.
Actually white plastic honeycomb blocks between the steel bumper armature and the black rubber outer cover.
asavage wrote:The OEM bumper brackets aren't designed for much side loading. For that reason, a strap or plate to the trunk skin or whatever may reduce the possibility of stress cracks occuring in the bumper brackets or mounting area, but that's just a guess.
The bumper mount standoffs are not very strongly welded to the armature; they can separate fairly easily from a sharp pull straight outward, and bend from a sideways load.

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kassim503
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#25

Post by kassim503 » 13 years ago

yeah, I noticed a few spot welds holding the bumper mounts to the bumper, so I whipped out the welder and welded all the pieces down, they dont seem to be all that strong
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

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asavage
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#26

Post by asavage » 13 years ago

Great. And the safety chain loops on my professionally-installed bumper hitch are also to . . . the bumper. One good overload, and the whole thing heads for the ditch :roll:

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kassim503
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#27

Post by kassim503 » 13 years ago

ahahhaa, I gave that a thought every time im towing something more than a empty trailer
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

RacnJsn95
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Location: Central Point, OR
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#28

Post by RacnJsn95 » 12 years ago

Sorry to bring back an old thready, but how can you tell what a hitch would be rated for? My 82 D-max I purchased recently has what looks to be a frame mounted hitch, and what I would guess to be a 1.5"x1.5" receiver tube. I don't have the stinger/hitch for it yet, but I will probably get one... I was contemplating towing a small quad trailer with my quad behind it...
82 Maxima Diesel, Auto 164k
77 620 k/c 4x4, 4spd, L20b (wishes it was an LD20)

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asavage
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#29

Post by asavage » 12 years ago

Bringing up an old thread is the preferred thing to do, if it's on topic.

I do not know the tow rating of a Gen1 Maxima. I can tell you that it's the brakes that are the limiting factor. The front brakes are wimpy (and shared with other lines like the 200SX); the rears on the Wagons are drum.

I have hauled this little 500 lb utility trailer all over with my '82 Wagon in the last year. I have loaded up to about 1800+ lbs in it, for a combined weight of just over a ton, and the brakes are marginal (power's not too sweet, either) but if you drive in paranoid mode, it can be done, as long as you don't have to perform an emergency maneuver.

Onan 20ES genset (Ford "Pinto" engine, 20Kw) (towed 100 mi. from Issaquah, maybe 1300 lbs.):
Image

Jet Mill/Drill & heavy stand (towed 150 miles from Monroe, maybe 700 lbs.):
Image

Case 184ci diesel tractor engine and Winco 12.5Kw genhead on extremely heavy I-beam farmer-weld frame, plus a welding table. This thing was a lot heavier than I thought, definitely the heaviest thing I've hauled behind this Wagon (towed 60 miles from Purdy area, possibly 1800 lbs.).
Image Image

If you don't mind slow, and can keep in mind the brakes situation, you can safely move about 1500 lbs. with the Wagon. Beyond that, brake upgrades are recommended for the safety-minded. It really wasn't designed to tow.
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

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kassim503
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Location: Stony Brook, NY

#30

Post by kassim503 » 12 years ago

The brakes are definitely the limiting factor with towing on these maximas, towing a trailer really makes a huge difference in braking qualities with this car, id say 1500 lbs is a safe level for it as well. I towed a bunch of junk that probably weighed 1200 lbs safely, like with all towing, you just gotta leave yourself extra room to stop and make sure you dont stop too frequently to fade the brakes.

Power isnt all too great either, and the transmission gets kinda hot under towing too. I think the cars manual states that 1k lbs is the most its supposed to tow, dont quote me on it because the last time I read it was many months ago. But brakes are definitely the limiting factor, I believe the structural aspect of things hold up fine to towing


RacnJsn95 there are a bunch of bumper hitches that fit on these maximas, and im sure it would have absoultley no problem towing your quad. Just dont freeze over while riding, its winter! :wink:
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

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