Author Topic: factory spec towing hitch  (Read 6863 times)

jjccp

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factory spec towing hitch
« on: 09 May 2006, 06:05 PM »
I've heard that there is a tow hitch available for the 116. I want to tow my 30 year old boat & trailer with my 30 year old car for short distances. Anyone know about this? Any info on towing capacity or diagram of hitch available?

Thanks,

Jim
1977 280 SE
1978 San Juan 23
1979 6.9 #6846

Mforcer

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Re: factory spec towing hitch
« Reply #1 on: 09 May 2006, 06:56 PM »
I believe Styria has a factory towing hitch fitted to his W116. He should be around shortly to answer your query :)
Michael
1977 450SE [Brilliant Red]
2006 B200

jjccp

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Re: factory spec towing hitch
« Reply #2 on: 12 May 2006, 07:05 AM »
Thanks for the reply Michael. Since I didn't get any other replies, I'll contact him directly.

Regards,

Jim
1977 280 SE
1978 San Juan 23
1979 6.9 #6846

BAR

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Re: factory spec towing hitch
« Reply #3 on: 12 May 2006, 07:59 AM »
Are you a resident of Australia or USA?

In either case there may be a 'local' law applicable to the Design of the towing connector [hitch or bar in some parlances].

In Australia the 'factory' bar is in fact not legal for use and I had to pay for an Australian 'compliant' bar to be fitted when wanting to pull my boat and trailer.

The Warden

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Re: factory spec towing hitch
« Reply #4 on: 12 May 2006, 11:55 AM »
I'll admit to being curious as well. It'd be nice to be able to use the 116 to move a small utility trailer (so I do'nt have to burn fuel at 17mpg to tow the trailer with my truck) if needed. I know that tow hitch assemblies exist for the 123 chassis, but they're VERY rare...
1979 300SD (W116.120), miles unknown, daily driver, keeping her on the road
1984 Ford F-250 6.9l IH diesel

oscar

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Re: factory spec towing hitch
« Reply #5 on: 12 May 2006, 10:14 PM »
Are you specifically after THE 116 towbar?

I've got a Hayman Reese unit.  After removing and losing the id sticker I can't tell you much about the tech stuff except it's about 15 yrs old and has in the past towed mainly a dual axle 8'x6' trailer with cage, loaded with everything from firewood, cattle, furniture and gravel.  No idea what these kind of wieghts were involved but I can't see any damage to its attachment points.  I would think a boat wouldn't be beyond the car or hitch. I'll provide a photo soon.

Meanwhile, this photo should provide some reassurance.

1973 350SE, my first & fave

Des

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Re: factory spec towing hitch
« Reply #6 on: 13 May 2006, 12:20 AM »
No idea if this is a factory job or how old it might be but my 6.9 has a towba on it:

1977 W123 230 
1977 W116 280S *new*
1980 W123 250
VW Beetle "Oval Window"
VW Golf Mk1
Volvo 240GL
Volvo 740GLE

jjccp

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Re: factory spec towing hitch
« Reply #7 on: 13 May 2006, 09:46 AM »
Thank you friends for all the great info and pics. It's really amazing to being able to get information like this from people all over the world.

BAR, I'm in the US. I believe I need a Class 2 hitch, good for up to 3500 pounds.

Styria, I found the picture of your car, very nice.

Oscar, I've seen that picture of the 116 towing the giant trailer before. What a car.

Des, your pic gives some better detail, thanks

Ok, so now I need to ask which one of you very helpful people would be willing to get under there and take some pics for your bro in the Motor City. Not too many 116's here. Most having long since rusted to death. Mine is originally a California car and very strong.

I know there will be no problem towing my boat. Anyway, stopping is the most important part of towing and I have brakes on the trailer. I'm pretty sure I won't be finding a tow bar or hitch right away so if I could get a idea of the design and method of attachment, I'm sure one can be made. I just had new rear springs put it too, so we're ready to go.

Here's a pic of my car. It just came in out of the rain to get a new sound system. I have a bunch of pics of the installation, if anyone is interested. Let me know where to upload them. I'm kind of new here.

Jim

1977 280 SE
1978 San Juan 23
1979 6.9 #6846

oscar

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Re: factory spec towing hitch
« Reply #8 on: 14 May 2006, 05:32 PM »
Hey Des,

Why did you drive all the way from Tassie to Sydney to take a photo of your towbar?  :D Sorry, I recognised the locale.  I only mentioned it because I got a surprise to read the oldtimer centre is closing down.  It's a shame.

jjccp, I forgot about your US bumpers.  My tow looks similar and sticks out as far as Des'.  The flat bar extends to another flat bar which attaches to under the spare wheel.  The whole thing is also joined to a long round bar behind the bumper which is then attached thru the body to two points on the subfarme approx 2ft either side of the tow ball.  My camera's kaput so I can't illustrate but I don't know whether this arrangement would suit your bumper style.

Re; the sound.  Start a new thread and do what you did to show the pic of your car, (nice wheels BTW), or throw them in the gallery under 'garage' perhaps.  Start an album.  I keep missing out on beckers on ebay and plan on letting the sound system upgrade lapse for a while, however it's good to refer to someone elses experiences before I do anything. Post away.
1973 350SE, my first & fave

oscar

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Re: factory spec towing hitch
« Reply #9 on: 15 May 2006, 07:17 PM »
.... It's just that I think the ugliness  of the genuine bar looks great !.....
 
It's not ugly,  it's unique :)

Farewell Old Fuji. RIP


Hello pentax SLR digital!!!!! and thanks to whoever invented mothers day.  Luckily my wife wanted something I did.  ;D  Tis a shame she's not a fanatical mercedes collector.

So here's the towbar pics as promised.




The next two pics show the long bar behind the bumper and its attachment on the other side to frame. RHS shown



I've only had a small look so far on ebay but it's hard to find a US bumpered 116 with tow ball.
« Last Edit: 15 May 2006, 07:18 PM by oscar »
1973 350SE, my first & fave

jjccp

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Re: factory spec towing hitch
« Reply #10 on: 16 May 2006, 09:10 AM »
Oscar,

Thank you very much. I'm just now on my way to see a custom hitch guy and I have everyone's pictures in tow (sorry, I couldn't resist).

I found a 'tow bar' as you guys call it, for a 116 on the Hayman Reese web site at haymanreese.com.au in Australia. They don't show a picture of it on the web site. If I converted correctly, it looks like the gross towing weight is 2750 pounds or 1250 kgs. It looks like we have Reese tow hitches in the US, but they don't list anything for a 116.

I'm going to get the boat and trailer max loaded and weighed at a truck scale so I know exactly what I'm dealing with.

I'm getting closer with all your help and I'll let you know what happens.

Jim
« Last Edit: 16 May 2006, 01:04 PM by jjccp »
1977 280 SE
1978 San Juan 23
1979 6.9 #6846

jjccp

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Re: factory spec towing hitch
« Reply #11 on: 29 May 2006, 07:06 PM »
The plot thickens.

I went and talked to the custom hitch guy. At my first visit he turned me down since "there's no frame back there to attach to." I tried to shame him by showing him the 116 towing the big house trailer, but no luck.

I then called Mercedes Classic Center. Even though they no longer recommend using an older MBZ for towing, they gave me the name of the company that used to make the hitches for MBZ in the US. I called them and learned that this company used to make hitches for our cars, but they no longer make them. They were nice enough to email me some drawings of there design.

I then emailed Hayman Reese in Australia. They show a tow bar for a 116 on their web site.  I asked if they had a distributor in the US or if they would sell and ship me one. They informed me that they no longer made the unit. They were also kind enough to email drawings of their design.

Armed with the new drawings, I went back to the custom hitch guy and showed him the designs. With the new information he agreed to do the job. He will make the hitch from scratch and attach it for $300 and another $50 for wiring for lights.  It will basically be the Hayman Reese design with a different attachment set-up to accommodate the differences in our US bumpers.

I'm going to get the work done this week and I'll let you know how it turns out and upload some pictures.

I tried to upload the designs to the gallery, but they are PDF files and it didn't work. Can someone let me know how to upload them and I'll try again.

Thanks for all your help with the pics and information.

Jim
1977 280 SE
1978 San Juan 23
1979 6.9 #6846

oscar

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Re: factory spec towing hitch
« Reply #12 on: 30 May 2006, 12:03 AM »
I gotta hand it to you for persistance.  Looks like it's going to payoff.  $350 sounds good too.  You never know, this fella may get a few more orders if yours turns out well, which I'm sure it will.  For a minute there I thought you were going to say that you're off to buy a welder, some steel pipe and bar to rig one up yourself.

I'm surprised to hear about the 1250kg limit because I'm sure mine has exceeded that to at least 1500kg during its former life.  Not doubting that figure.  I suppose the manufacturer is covered by giving a conservative limit. Good on hayman reese and the US manufacturer for giving you the obsolete drawings too.

Although I assume the drawings will suffice, let us know if you need any more detail photos of my setup and I'll post em here as soon as I can.
1973 350SE, my first & fave

jjccp

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Re: factory spec towing hitch
« Reply #13 on: 31 May 2006, 06:37 PM »
Trailer Hitch Nirvana

I had my towing package installed yesterday. I'm very happy with the way it turned out. I towed my boat to Lake St. Clair today and launched it at the boat ramp easily with the 116.

I also had the receiver type hitch installed (my idea) and the ball mount is removable. That's really the way to go. Not much shows when the ball is removed. Plus, I can now get a bike rack that mounts to the receiver if I want to in the future. I can easily put 200 lbs. of tongue weight on that car. My boat and trailer are 177 lbs. of tongue weight. The company that did the work also did a nice job installing the plug to the trailer lights.

Thanks again to everyone that helped from this forum. I've wanted to do this for quite a while.
I really couldn't have done it without your help.

I sure did get some funny looks from people when they saw the old MBZ towing a boat. If anyone has a big giant house trailer that needs to be towed, let me know.

Jim

These pics are bigger in the gallery.










The pic below is one of the best features. When you don't need it, it's almost gone.









The fleet is ready to roll.

1977 280 SE
1978 San Juan 23
1979 6.9 #6846

oscar

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Re: factory spec towing hitch
« Reply #14 on: 31 May 2006, 07:02 PM »
Nice work jjccp.  I was just about to log off and I saw your id.  Great idea about using a removable ball.  No one's going to sue you for banging they're leg into the ball.  Wiring thru the trunk's a great idea too.  I've only seen it on a newer Aussie Holden Commodore.  It beats having the plug exposed to the elements. 

I was also hoping for some pics of Lake St. Clair.  Did you catch any fish or did you just anchor 50ft off shore to sit back and admire your car and towing setup?  ;D ;D

Well done, thumbs up  8)
1973 350SE, my first & fave