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View Poll Results: Will my 04' Grand Prix be able to get the 88' PS 190 up the concrete launch?
Yes 27 52.94%
No 24 47.06%
Voters: 51. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 02-08-2005, 04:51 PM
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PeteS PeteS is offline
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Grand Prix Towing Capability

We've talked about this in another post, but I just wanted to take quick poll to see what everyone thinks.

I have an 04' Grand Prix GT2, it's front wheel drive car with a 200HP, 3.8L V-6 under the hood. I don't know if the block is steel or aluminum, but the curb weight is 3,484 lbs. I can put a Class II hitch on it, and I only have to get my boat from the house to the launch, and in/out of the water.

The launch is concrete with traction groves milled into the surface, and is private to the sub. I'd guess the chances of it being dry vs. wet is about 50/50. It has a "moderate" angle.

My question is, what is everyone's opinions on whether or not my car be able to get the boat and trailer back out of the water? We'll say the launch will be wet, as we have to go with worse case scenario. I don't think it'll be a question of power with 230 lb-ft of torque, rather traction. Thoughts?

Thanks,
Pete
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  #2  
Old 02-08-2005, 04:56 PM
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east tx skier east tx skier is offline
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How far from the launch are you. My father in law tried to tow a boat with a Lincoln Town Car with a V8 in it and turned around after a few miles. The suspension was just not built for that application.

Surely, the horsepower/torque numbers suggest that it can be done. But you should consider that your vehicle is very light. What about your gear ratio?
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Old 02-08-2005, 05:01 PM
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PeteS PeteS is offline
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Thanks for your reply, Tx. The launch is only about 2 blocks away, through the sub. Don't know the gear ratio off the top of my head, but I was hoping that the amount of time/exposure of stress on the vehicle would be light enough to prevent damage to the car. It wouldn't be used to tow on main roads.

Appearently the dealer said the GP had a 2,000 lb. towing capcity. I believe the boat + trailer weight is approaching 3,000 lbs. Again, I figured the distance would be short enough where as exceeding that number wouldn't be a big issue. Thanks again.
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  #4  
Old 02-08-2005, 05:22 PM
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Tom Wortham Tom Wortham is offline
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I think you are right on with the boat/trailer weight. One test could be taking it half way down the ramp (or a hill near by). (having a buddy with a bigger vehical with a hitch around... and a couple of tire chaulks... back about half way down the ramp.... before the boat goes in the water.... and pull back out. Depending on how easy it pulls... will give you an idea that it can be done. If you put that GT in low (1st gear) and go slow... My vote is YES. Video camera also needs to be near by. Cheers.
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Old 02-08-2005, 05:40 PM
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east tx skier east tx skier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteS
Thanks for your reply, Tx. The launch is only about 2 blocks away, through the sub. Don't know the gear ratio off the top of my head, but I was hoping that the amount of time/exposure of stress on the vehicle would be light enough to prevent damage to the car. It wouldn't be used to tow on main roads.

Appearently the dealer said the GP had a 2,000 lb. towing capcity. I believe the boat + trailer weight is approaching 3,000 lbs. Again, I figured the distance would be short enough where as exceeding that number wouldn't be a big issue. Thanks again.
The boat and trailer weight loaded should surpass the 3,000 lb mark. I can't remember where I heard it, but I remember trailer weight being quoted at around 700 lbs. But if if you happen to lose traction, that boat will pull that car into the water like it was in neutral.

Some wheel chocks are in order if you try it. I second the video camera request.

Good luck.
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  #6  
Old 02-08-2005, 06:06 PM
Tom023 Tom023 is offline
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My first boat was a 16 1/2 foot Bayliner bowrider. I towed it with a 1979 Scirocco, which is FWD and had a wopping 97 HP, curb weight barely over 2000#. It was a manual, so it took a bit of clutch slipping to get it up the ramp, but I must have retreived that boat a couple of hundred times without a problem. It may not be the wisest thing, but your car should be able to pull it out without a problem if the ramp is clean.

Last edited by Tom023; 02-08-2005 at 08:46 PM.
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  #7  
Old 02-08-2005, 06:36 PM
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AirJunky AirJunky is offline
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The curb weight on my '98 Dodge Dakota is only about 3700 lbs so I don't think weight is going to be a problem. The fact that it's front wheel drive & not four wheel is what I think will present itself as a problem at some point. It'll probably work under ideal conditions...... and the one time it doesn't will be the time when we want you to have that camera ready.
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  #8  
Old 02-08-2005, 06:49 PM
T Scott T Scott is offline
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Disclaimer...This is not a bright idea.....

I had a 68 Mustang in college with a wimpy in line 6 cylinder engine. The car could pull my 88 Prostar 190 (My boat at the time) around the parking lot and to the gas station with no problem. However, it did not have enough torque to get the boat up the ramp. Realizing that I had much more horsepower in the boat than in the car, I had one of my buddies put the boat in gear and give it pretty heavy throttle while on the trailer. This was enough thrust to literally push my car up the ramp and that rolling start was all I needed to get the boat out. If you try this, make sure that the person in the boat does not have the boat under power once the prop clears the surface of the water.

Again, this is not a bright idea....but it worked.
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  #9  
Old 02-08-2005, 07:23 PM
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whitedog whitedog is offline
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It should be able to be done as long as the ramp is clean. Your biggest problem is weight transfer. With the boat on the trailer the weight is on the back of the car not on driving wheels. Wheel slip will be a problem if the ramp is wet or dirty. Have wheel chocks handy and a video cam around. Hope that the trailer does not drop off the end of the ramp.
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  #10  
Old 02-08-2005, 07:25 PM
pdoppenheim pdoppenheim is offline
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It's not the vehicle weight, it's the attachment point

It's not the vehicle weight, it's the attachment point. Your boat and trailer will run around 3500 lbs. minimum. The problem with a hitch is that certain vehicles have monococque construction. In other words, unibody. No frame.

The problem is that your class II hitch may not be able to attach to anything strong enough to take the weight of your boat. I had a 1997 GP and it did not. I speculate yours is the same.

I once pulled a 3500 lbs (boat and trailer) 23' sailboat through the hills of KY, all of OH and into MI with a 3150 lbs. Corvette. I had a special hitch made that mounted to the frame. The Vette had the power and the brakes, but if the trailer had tried to change ends with the Vette it would have been no contest. The point is that HP and disk brakes can handle anything that the connection to the vehicle can handle. I don't think your GP body can handle the strain. Note to other Vette owners: The hitch was designed by GM/Corvette. You will not find anythig on the market that can do this. Please don't try. You will hurt your car. That's the advantage of growing up in Detroit.

Front wheel drive is definitely not a traction problem. Olds promoted their early FWD Toronado by driving it around the country towing an Airstream trailer with the rear wheels removed from the car. They used an equalizing hitch.

My advice, for the two blocks distance, buy a burger and a beer for somebody with a proper hitch, unless you can find a hitch place that will guarantee to repair you car. Or rent something. It will be cheaper than the body work.

Most of us around here are happy to get together to help launch and retrieve our boats. I'm sure there's a friendly M/Cer where you live.

I refer you to:

http://www.big-boys.com/articles/smalltobig.html

reference the strength of attachment points.

Last edited by pdoppenheim; 02-08-2005 at 08:21 PM.
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