Towing with a manual GT PP1 (Bullitt). Need guidance.

Discussion in 'Mustang S550 General Forums' started by Elp_jc, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. Elp_jc

    Elp_jc Well-Known Member

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    With this COVID crap that is apparently going to linger until the end of days, I'm thinking of installing a hitch on my Bullitt, to take my bike places. I'd buy this 365-lb trailer: https://www.kendonusa.com/collectio...ingle-rail-ride-up-folding-motorcycle-trailer , to haul my 460-lb (fully fueled) Yamaha MT-10 bike, for a combined weight of 825-lbs. The Mustang has a maximum tow rating of 1,000 lbs, and even with the 2% reduction due to my 4K' of altitude, the limit is 922 lbs, so safely within that limit. However, the manual calls for a maximum of 15% tongue weight, meaning 150 lbs (although that's not specified directly). The Kendon guy told my it'd be about 200 lbs, and by looking at the wheels how far back they are, it might even be conservative. What do you guys think? It'd only be myself (162#), and my cargo, so well within the car's payload of 668 lbs... of which I have to deduct the jacking rails (25 lbs), and the hitch (45 lbs), so about 600 lbs left. But my concern is tongue weight is the equivalent of a lot more inside the vehicle, due to the lever effect. And my car is already lower at the rear, so it'd look like a low rider. Ha ha. Curious if somebody has towed not only with a Mustang, but with a manual.

    Now, let's move to the mechanical side. I'm very close to changing all fluids around 1K miles (830 at the moment). And if I'm going to tow, I need to think about fluids too. On the engine side, I'll switch to Mobil1 0/30, to help both with the hot temperatures here, and to lubricate better at start-ups (both in winter and summer). On the tranny, the 2 options I'm considering are BG Synchro Shift II, and Redline DCTF, which is actually approved by Ford, so I'll probably use that one. And it's the same kind of fluid as stock, as opposed to the BG, which I believe is gear oil. That leaves the Torsen, which I have no idea what to do with that one. Stock fluid is 75/85. Both BG and Redline offer 75/90 and 75/140, and only Redline offers a 75/110. Optimum Performance recommended me to use 75/140, even without ever tracking my car... and without knowing I wanted to tow with it. So which one would you use? Keep in mind where I live several months we're in the 100s, but also several months in the 40s in winter (it freezes many times too, but I wouldn't use the car with summer tires in those conditions anyway).

    Finally, is there anything I should do differently when driving the car with that trailer? Manual says not to exceed 70 mph for the first 500 miles. Don't know what the heck they mean by that. Ha ha. But I'd probably not exceed 80, which is the speed limit in TX. At 80 in 6th gear, the rpm are about 2,300. Would I lug the engine at that rpm in a flat road? I'd obviously downshift to 5th with any kind of incline. And even 4th with steeper ones. But should I stay in 5th even at 80? That'd be around 3K rpm or so. Other than that, I always engine-brake as much as possible anyway (downshifting gear by gear), so just keep a greater distance, and common sense like that. I'm used to towing, so nothing new. But have never done it in a car, let alone one like mine. But there's always a first time. Ha ha.

    Bottom line is I'm not fully convinced to tow with the Mustang, but it's my only vehicle, so it's either on it, or nothing at all. But want to make sure I wouldn't damage it, and that it'd feel good towing that trailer. The good thing about that trailer is that it has much larger tires than other competitors, like the Stinger (with 8" wheels, and no suspension). And it's a ride-on trailer, which makes it super safe to do alone. And it's foldable too. And I could always remove the trailer, and have fun with the car as well :D. Anyway, if I don't install the hitch, I'd just sell my bike then, since I live very far away from any fun roads, and that's what I use the bike for. Took it to the HIll Country on top of the truck last year for a week, and had a blast. But man, it was super dicey to get the bike up there by myself. And no way I can bring it down alone; can't see crap, so can fall off the ramp easily. That's also why I decided to trade the truck for the car. But I'd be very close to the limits, and I don't like that. But maybe it's not an issue at all. That's why I want the collective wisdom of my fellow brothers, to decide if I do it or not. Thank you guys.
    JC
     
  2. shogun32

    shogun32 Well-Known Member

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    towing should be approached with due caution. Measure hitch height with just trailer and then with your MT10. And I would caution going in excess of 65mph suitably loaded. And practice hard stops to see how the trailer and car will interact. Yikes a $2000 trailer is "cost effective"?
     
  3. Billy1

    Billy1 Well-Known Member

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    I thought about doing this also, but the trailer/bike combo might be taxing the brakes esp. if you live in a hilly area. Also, what/where is the hitch attached to: the valance, the subframe? Accelerating /decelerating is going to put a lot of stress on the hitch mounting points.
     
  4. OP
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    Elp_jc

    Elp_jc Well-Known Member

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    The hitch is this: https://www.etrailer.com/p-C11405.html . It's rated to 2K lbs, so not a problem in our cars, since the towing limit is half that. With a 5" rise drawbar (the highest available), the trailer would be almost perfectly leveled. I live in the desert, so no hilly towing here, or I wouldn't even think about it with a manual car. Yes, there are hilly sections of highways, but those wouldn't be a problem at all either up or down. My longest trip would probably be to the Hill Country, which is 500 miles away. Others, like Big Bend, or closer mountains, would be half at the most.

    Finally, the only reason I considered towing with this car is because it's actually rated to tow 1K-lbs from the factory. I knew maybe nobody here has towed with a manual GT, for actual feedback, but wanted to give it a try anyway :D.
     
  5. lacanteen

    lacanteen Well-Known Member

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    You need to start dating someone who owns a pickup truck. Problem solved.

    Be careful my friend. I see you're in El Paso, beautiful country over there.
     
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  6. ORRadtech

    ORRadtech Well-Known Member

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    I know others tow with a mustang. Maybe Google that phrase to see what comes up.
    Honestly, my biggest concern would be the transmission/ clutch overheating. Yours is a manual so maybe not as big a concern as an automatic but I think I would still worry about the extra heat and stress towing will create.
     
  7. OP
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    Elp_jc

    Elp_jc Well-Known Member

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    I traded a 2018 F-150 Platinum for the Bullitt, so no :D. And El Paso beautiful? Unless you live in freaking Amarillo, TX, I've never heard anybody say that before. Ha ha.

    I think autos are much less of a problem for towing, since basically all personal trucks have auto transmissions. But the clutch is not a problem unless you're using it. Unless you need to take off uphill, I don' t think it's an issue at all, if you know how to drive a manual properly, which is to minimize clutch friction/wear by quickly releasing the clutch with the minimum amount of throttle. Towing a 1K load is not much, and probably why Ford approves of it. I'm not a fan of towing with a car, but will probably give it a try, and report real feedback so others can benefit from it.
     
  8. JCFoster

    JCFoster Well-Known Member

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    Your brakes shouldn’t be a concern. I wouldn’t think the tranny would be either as long as your easy on the clutch. Besides mounting the hitch correctly my main concern would the weight distribution. Id try to find a scale to get it as close as practical. Or a good eyeball. If everything is within car, hitch, and trailer specs, I would do some test runs to see how it handles. Me personally I wouldn’t run over 65-70 with that set up. Light vehicles and excess weight usually aren’t a safe configuration at high speeds. Without driving it I wouldn’t know. It may do great.
     
  9. shogun32

    shogun32 Well-Known Member

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    I used to tow 2 race bikes (350lb-400lb each) on a Harbor Freight 4x8 with my Mazda Protege5 with 6MT. Not a problem. You just need to make sure you position the CG correctly so you're not putting excess weight on the hitch or worse, taking weight OFF. 55-60mph was plenty. If you need to go faster, you should have left an hour or two sooner.
     
  10. peoples1234

    peoples1234 Active Member

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    You’ll be fine.

    I have a Kendon single rail and I think you’ll find the tongue weight is much less than 200 lbs Unless you are adding their accessory boxes or rock shield to the trailer.

    I haven’t towed with the mustang, but I did tow it with my track bike using a Fiesta ST....and it did just fine.
     
  11. OP
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    Elp_jc

    Elp_jc Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your input. The Mustang is not a 'light' vehicle in my book, so not worried about that aspect. But I'd probably just tow in 5th gear, and at 75 or so. Not safe to go that much slower than the rest of the traffic. And it shouldn't feel unsafe either. That's also why I wanted that Kendon trailer, with large tires (and suspension), rather than the minuscule ones of other trailers like the Stinger (and without suspension). Brakes are not an issue at all on this car, since it's equipped with the big Brembo ones. Plus I hardly use the brakes anyway, since I drive very defensively, anticipating stops, always engine braking with sequential downshifts (part of the fun of driving a manual. Ha ha), etc. And would do so even more with a trailer behind.
     
  12. OP
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    Elp_jc

    Elp_jc Well-Known Member

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    Hey, THAT was exactly what I was hoping to hear. Tongue weight was my biggest worry, since you CANNOT adjust it in any way. The trailer has a fixed chock that cannot be relocated, so can't do anything about that. I see that the tires are farther back than I'd have liked, but let me give you specific dimensions of my bike, and see if you can come up with an estimated tongue weight. I'd appreciate that very much :D. My bike has 55.0" of wheelbase, which worries me because it's very short, putting more weight on the tongue. The front tire contact patch weighs 240 lbs, and the rear 220 lbs, for a total weight (fully fueled) of 460 lbs. The trailer I posted (the ride-up one) weighs 365 lbs, and with the bike, it'd be 825. The Mustang manual says that the maximum tongue weight is 15%, or roughly 124 lbs. I really doubt it'd be that low, but want your guesstimation. He he.

    Finally, may I ask you if you have the ride-up single, or the regular one, which only comes with a narrow ramp? That one weighs 320 lbs, so 45 less. I'm leaning on the ride-up, which should be easier to use. I want your comments on that too. Oh, and they also have 2 versions: the 'GO series', and the 'Premium' ones. Which one do you have? Thanks again for your great help :).
     
  13. boB

    boB Well-Known Member

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    I towed with a '94 Z28 Camaro with 6 spd manual, in many ways similar to my Mustang. My jetski was 400 lb dry and the trailer was about 200 lb. My motorcycle and trailer weighed about 50 lb more so both were well under the 1000 lb rating. The transmission and clutch had no problems nor did the brakes. The tongue weight was about 15%, right at the 9-15% that is recommended (adjusted by moving the axle). Running 75 mph on I-95 was not a problem and I went thousands of miles like that.
    Ymmv...
     
  14. doubleabeepbeep

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    I have done plenty of trailer towing, usually in trucks. I don't see any issues with towing with the Mustang. Plenty of power and brakes on tap. Most important thing is to mind your speed, traffic, and load the trailer correctly. This video is great. Not just because that's a Mustang.

     
  15. OP
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    Elp_jc

    Elp_jc Well-Known Member

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    For the record, I've towed for decades, having owned small to large boats, Wave Runners, enclosed motorcycle trailers, etc. And have towed all kinds of trailers over the years, as well. But always did that with trucks and SUVs. Didn't want to have a giant F-150 SuperCrew 4x4 just to tow a tiny litle trailer, so traded it for the Bullitt. And glad I did :D. So towing with a car will be new to me... but not towing itself.
     
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