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Post Info TOPIC: Advice on trailer towing with '57 Pathfinder??


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Advice on trailer towing with '57 Pathfinder??


Hi Folks,

 
Been thinking lately about whether our '57 Pontiac Pathfinder with 261 six & three speed standard transmission would be capable of pulling a small trailer. Would be really fun to take our car and this small travel trailer camping. I find the trailer is kind of complimentary to the style of the car (a bit tattered & has charcter LOL).
 
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Trailer is 1570 lbs (I'm guessing closer to 2000 by the time everything is loaded into it). It's 12 ft or so, pretty small - similar in size to a bowler. Not many big hills to speak of in Saskatchewan, but wind is sometimes a factor. I wouldn't even THINK about taking this setup to the mountains, it'd be strictly a short distance rig (like a few hours from home).
 
 
No idea of the rear end gearing in the car. Only option it has is heavy duty springs. Has old school drum brakes that are freshly redone, engine seems to run really well, just bought it this past April and have it ready for the road finally. Basically, mechanically the whole car has been gone through (rebuilt carb, overhauled the brakes & replaced all rubber brake hoses, inspected & packed front wheel (ball) bearings, new fuel and remanufactured water pump, replace all under hood rubber, new complete exhaust system and windshield are coming). 
 
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What do those of you that have trailered with these classics think? Possible? Or not advisable? I'd put a proper frame mounted trailer hitch on it & probably upgrade the shocks to good quality moderns units too, BTW. It sits on modern 14" radial tires.
 
I do have a newer F150 I could use that would pull this trailer without batting an eye - but the car is so much more interesting & we want to take it on as many adventures as possible as a family this summer!
 
Thanks, 
TFC


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Poncho Master!

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The only thing I would be concerned about is the single master cylinder, any brake line leak and no brakes. I would get a manual dual master cylinder and split the system in two. front and rear. Front disc brakes would be nice but the original 4 wheel drum brakes will be ok when split as you have done the brakes already. The diff if original will be a 3:55 and I would pull the diff out check and clean it and install new axle bearings and oil. I have played with these cars for 40 years now and the rear axles bearings have went out on a few of the cars I have owned. The 261 will have no problem pulling that trailer.

Al

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Poncho Master!

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I would also make sure the trailer has brakes. If not originally equipped with brakes I would definitely be adding them. I used to tow a 17 ft travel trailer with a 1979 Catalina, Canadian built with a 305 Chevy engine and lets say it was interesting trying to slow down if the trailer brakes werent working.

Paul

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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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I know nothing about towing with a vintage car, but I do know the trailer primary colour must be painted to match your 57 for maximum vintage impact. wink

And I do think it's a super idea you're planning. Talk about cool!



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65 Laurentian post, 67 Grande Parisienne 4 door HT. 
 


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Screen Shot 2021-02-27 at 9.47.57 PM.pngCheck this out, the 6 can do it as this guy proved.



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