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Freelander 1 Tow balls

Discussion in 'Land Rover Freelander' started by htr, Jun 19, 2016.

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  1. htr

    htr Well-Known Member

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    question: I'm wanting to add a strong recovery point to the rear of my FL1. I have the LR tow bar arrangement fitted. It has the cast 50mm tow ball which uses two bolts attaching it to the tow bar assembly. I see LR and other makers offer a 50mm cast tow ball which includes a drop pin arrangement also with a two bolt arrangement. Are these a straight swap? Bolts appear to be at 90mm apart [centre to centre] and are M18 bolts?
     
  2. dave21478

    dave21478 Active Member

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    Yes, all 2 bolt balls are a standard fitment.

    However a towball is not a great recovery point. The distance between where you attach the strap and where the tow bar bolts to the chassis is quite long so provides a bit of leverage to pull the towbar off the chassis or twist it. On a straight rear recovery it will probably be fine, but pulling from the side somewhat will put a lot of side loading into the towbar.
     
  3. htr

    htr Well-Known Member

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    Okay, any recommendations re making / fitting F&R recover points? That front one looks more like a tie down point and appears to be secured with only one bolt and I don't have a rear on as it was most likely removed to fit the T'bar.
     
  4. Nodge68

    Nodge68 Well-Known Member

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    The standard recovery rings are designed to take a 4,000 Kg pull iirc. The rear tow bar mounts to the same chassis points as the rear recovery ring but with 2 extra 12mm bolts into the rear crossmember. I can't see why it can't be used as a recovery point. It's much more securely fixed than the standard recovery rings.
     
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  5. Colonial

    Colonial Well-Known Member

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    htr.
    Is this the tow bar you're talking about? If so, as others have said, they are an identical fit. There is another thread on here as well about using this as a recovery point. Do check that the steel plates that the tow bar is attached to beneath the vehicle are relatively free from corrosion.
     

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  6. teddywood1

    teddywood1 Well-Known Member

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    I can not see any problem using the tow bar as well
     
  7. dave21478

    dave21478 Active Member

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    Its not about how securely fixed the towbar is, its the distance between where you fix the rope and where the bar bolts to the chassis. This length has two disadvantages, it risks being twisted or bent if you arent pulling straight on it and secondly if it doesnt bend it provides a nice amount of leverage to twist the rest of the frame. If you are pulling straight back or nearly straight then this is not really an issue but if you need to pull to the side then a towbar isnt ideal.
    Im not saying its guaranteed to fail or anything, its just not ideal and if you are going to the effort, you might as well do it properly which would be two points, on on each chassis rail, and and equalising strap between them to share the load.
    I have worked a lot of years doing accident recovery of caravans and trailers and when sh1t goes wrong at speed then side loading a towbar can bend it like a banana. Would pulling a stuck vehicle exert the same side loadings? I dont know, but its something that needs considered.

    Also bear in mind that many towball and hitch pin arrangements are cast....
    [​IMG]
    These are brittle and not ideal for a snatch recovery.

    Better with this kind.....
    [​IMG]
    Which is less brittle and not likely to shear off.

    NEVER use the ball itself, always use a strap around the pin.
     
  8. teddywood1

    teddywood1 Well-Known Member

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    I will keep this in mind thanks
     
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  9. htr

    htr Well-Known Member

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    I've had a look at how the T/B assembly is bolted on. 3 bolts each side through the chassis rails and another two about 200mm either side of the centre of the T/B ass' up through the load space floor. I'd have to say you'd have to be doing something pretty demented to bend / twist wreck that set up!
     
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  10. htr

    htr Well-Known Member

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    Advice on this plan please. But please note I'll only fit this recovery point when I'm out on a club 'run', normally the T'ball will be fitted.
    The plan: remove st'd tow ball arrangement. The bow ball assembly is bolted to a flat plate which is welded to a 40mm square tube which is welded to the T/B proper with welded 'fillet' or 'webs' either side. I plan to drill a large pilot hole in the flat plate and grind it out so I can slip s piece of 30mm square bar in to the 40mm tube. That tube has 5mm thick walls hence the 30mm bar. Drill both the 30mm bar and 'receiver' tube to take a hi tensile pin / bolt to secure the 30mm bar. Drill a 20mm whole in the end of that bar and fit a 3.2 T rated 'bow' shackle. The process isn't hard but will it be up to the task as a recovery point if I keep the protruding 30mm bar & shackle short?

    OR make up a matching flat plate like where the B'ball assembly bolts onto the 40mm tube and just weld a piece of 40mm bar to that, grind to desired width to accept a slightly heaver 'bow' shackle. I suspect this arrange is the weaker of the two.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2016
  11. teddywood1

    teddywood1 Well-Known Member

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    do not go drilling into the tow bar anywhere if something happens then your insurance could reject a claim as they could claim it is not to standard
     
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