Scott Aviation

Building a towbar

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I bought a new garden tractor recently for towing a 201 and ovation 3 in my hangar.  because I am not towing any other brand or style i thought I would have a tow bar built specifically for the 2.  first of all Im wondering the width of the shaft the towbar slide into on the nose gear and the diameter of the tubing needed.  Anyone have any suggestions on the bar itself, Im thinking offset the square stock so it comes out centre with the tire.  at least 6 feet long maybe out of 1-3/4 thin wall square steel with a loop to just slip over a 2" hitch ball?  Any thoughts or design ideas?  I want to slide the round bar through the nose wheel far enough to come out the other side to put a clevis pin in so it doesn't slip out during towing.  I would appreciate any feedback on this idea.  I am across the country and don't have access to the planes right now to get the measurements needed.

 

Thanks all.

 

chris.

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Hmnn,

 

Just completed my ez-go golf cart, tow bar conundrum.

 

The bar is a Th-5 from Aircraft Spruce, fast delivery, no state taxes . Comes as a ring, clevis or ball. $70.oo worth of welding for the cart hitch.

 

On the cart hitch found an adjustable height hitch at Lowe's. This permits the tow bar to be horizontal, not canted, as you would have with just the plain ball.

 

If still inclined to mfg., the photos on line of the TH-5 would be helpful and a complete spec sheet could prob. be obtained from Spruce.

 

 

Just my experience.

 

Best

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I made a tow bar from about $20 worth of pipe from Lowes.  Put the ring on the tractor, not on the tow bar.  I'm pretty sure I used 3/4 inch galvanized pipe, but I'm not at the hanger right now to verify.

 

Parts list:  All 3/4 inch galvanized pipe

2 - 10" threaded pipe

1 - 6' threaded pipe

2 - elbows

1 - end cap (thread finger tight after attaching tow bar through front gear)

 

One end goes through the front gear and attach the cap to keep it from slipping back out.

Other end is 90 degrees opposed and is pointing down (vertical).  Drop this end through the ring on the tractor.  

 

I can send pictures next time I'm out at the hanger.

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I made a tow bar from about $20 worth of pipe from Lowes.  Put the ring on the tractor, not on the tow bar.  I'm pretty sure I used 3/4 inch galvanized pipe, but I'm not at the hanger right now to verify.

 

Parts list:  All 3/4 inch galvanized pipe

2 - 10" threaded pipe

1 - 6' threaded pipe

2 - elbows

1 - end cap (thread finger tight after attaching tow bar through front gear)

 

One end goes through the front gear and attach the cap to keep it from slipping back out.

Other end is 90 degrees opposed and is pointing down (vertical).  Drop this end through the ring on the tractor.  

 

I can send pictures next time I'm out at the hanger.

Good parts list. I did the same for my M20E, except that it is a manual one. It is too heavy to carry in the airplane, but real convenient in my hanger. If I put a ring on my lawn tractor, it might make towing outside the hanger easier. I believe that Inside there is not enough room to make it practical. I may try the ring idea if I can figure out how to install one. I used black pipe as it was less expensive and will break before I damage the turning radius of the Mooney gear. I do not attatch cap in manual mode as not needed, but was designed to be done, and the other end is not 90 degrees to make easier for manual mode.

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Another difference, mine has 45 degree offsets so that I have a few more pieces of pipe. This puts the operating end directly in line with the nose wheel as the aluminum fabricated $50 one is.

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There are pictures in my gallery of the galvanized pipe solution. It is .75" pipe. Outside diameter is very close to 1".

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Lowes has 3/4" black gas pipe that is not galvanized and easier to weld.  1" square stock works well for the arm.  Lee

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Thanks for all the advice.  Got my dad to measure the tube size for me, its 1" OD. through the nose wheel and 7.5" wide.  Thought I would throw that in here incase anyone else decides to build one down the road.  My uncle has a welding and fabrication shop so off I go today to build a tow bar and front bumper/tow hitch for my tractor, I'll post some pics on here when I get a chance. 

Thanks again

 

Chris

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When I landed at Stinson Field in San Antonio, the FBO (San Antonio Aviation?) had a tow bar with an overload mechanism, specific for Mooney's.  If you tried to turn too hard with the tractor, the tow bar "popped" like a torque wrench instead of putting the load on the famously fragile nose gear.

 

Does anyone have drawings or pictures of that design?  I think they said they got the tow bar from Mooney directly.

 

-dan 

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Jason,

What did you use to drill the bolt holes?

Best regards,

-a-

I used a cordless drill and a drill bit made for metal. Marked both sides and drilled from both sides. It didn't take very long.
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On 9/8/2014 at 4:36 AM, Scott Aviation said:

Thanks for all the advice.  Got my dad to measure the tube size for me, its 1" OD. through the nose wheel and 7.5" wide.  Thought I would throw that in here incase anyone else decides to build one down the road.  My uncle has a welding and fabrication shop so off I go today to build a tow bar and front bumper/tow hitch for my tractor, I'll post some pics on here when I get a chance. 

Thanks again

 

Chris

Did you ever build your bar?  I'm looking for the size of the bar I can put thru the nose gear so a tug has attachment points.  I'm not at the plane now but you measured 1" and 7.5" wide?  This is what would be attached to the bar  :

tugattachmentpoints.jpg

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On mine, I use 1 inch OD steel tube. You didn't ask, but I make the part that extends onto the tube 1 3/4 inches long, past the weld (if that makes sense.)

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Mine is welded up hardware store tubing, not over built, so it is weaker than the tow limits, works well with my E on grass.  John Deere 425 has the pin welded to a plate, bolted to the front. Gave up trying to rotate Picts.

BF31D423-CC8D-4D13-AE63-6CB18421FA20.jpeg

43B9921C-AC7F-4651-AF35-4C741BE732D4.jpeg

283A6B67-4AF1-4A74-9FBF-962CCCAB6FFF.jpeg

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By using some 1" threaded pipe, I was able to thread on a cap to keep the bar from slipping off the plane.

IMG_0706.thumb.jpg.49888f7241fde27e4cc6895a3ec71c3a.jpg

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By using some 1" threaded pipe, I was able to thread on a cap to keep the bar from slipping off the plane.
IMG_0706.thumb.jpg.49888f7241fde27e4cc6895a3ec71c3a.jpg

Your nose gear could use some cleaning and painting. Corrosion anywhere on an airplane makes me nervous.


Tom

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Tom,

those parts were swapped out years ago....

replaced completely with a collection of similar, but different, 252 parts... :)

+1 for Mooney upgrades.

Best regards,

-a-

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3 hours ago, ArtVandelay said:

Your nose gear could use some cleaning and painting. Corrosion anywhere on an airplane makes me nervous.

Yep, this plane was sold, and then bought by an insurance company in exchange for a payout on the policy... and then scrapped.

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12 hours ago, ArtVandelay said:


Your nose gear could use some cleaning and painting. Corrosion anywhere on an airplane makes me nervous.


Tom

corrosion painted landing gear looks better than mine.  I think his gear is fine.

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