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Looking for some ideas.  My stock Mooney towbar (for my 1978 M20J) is light and relatively short.  But it’s difficult to pull the plane out of the hanger because it’s short.  Anyone have any ideas as to how to make or buy something longer and better I can keep in the hanger?  Suggestions appreciated.

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Drop some words in the search box...

There are so many choices and suppliers...

Nice powered portable devices cost over an AMU...

Some are nice extended tow bars....

Some connect to a lawn mower...

Some connect to a golf cart....

My favorite ones come from a company called... Sidewinder...

Some get built by hand...

Some are fully robotic and remote controlled... :)

Best regards,

-a-

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Spruce has a collapsible one that works well and I keep in the plane; however, I made one from Aircraft Depot parts that's much longer I keep in the hangar for around $30.

mooney_towbar.png

Edited by smwash02
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When I got my 231 back from Rocket after the conversion there was a longer one in the plane. They felt it was needed with the 3 blade prop and heavier engine.

it would telescope to full length and then I would insert a pin to hold it. After use pull the pin and collapse to fit in the baggage area. Does anyone out there have one they can take a picture of?

simple thing it would be easy to weld up.

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When I got my E the previous owner gave me a longer tow bar, personally I like the shorter stock tow bar so I gave to longer one to a guy that has a Yak 52.

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First trip to a mechanic after buying my plane I discovered my tow bar had been modified and is just a little longer than normal. 

It appears the prior owner had a friend or took it to a local shop.  They took the handle off, welded on a little extension and put the handle back on.  One very important note, I going to "assume" the former owner put some thought into it and measured the width of the baggage compartment right behind the seat.  The tow bar fits perfectly.

Never used a shorter/stock one.  But I think those extra couple of inches lets me stand more comfortably in front of the nose cone and makes it easier to move around while pushing the plane back into a tiedown.

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I got a Bogert with my 262.  It's pretty nice.  Looked at them on the website and they're not cheap, but much nicer than the factory one.  Longer, doesn't slip out when you are manhandling the plane.  Collapses too.

But unless Miss Piggy goes on a diet soon, I'm going to need to start looking at powered options for in and out of the hangar. 

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You guys have been GREAT.  Looks like a trip to Lowe’s is in my immediate future.  Oh, I fergot tew tell you guys that I do have a powered one, too.  Duh!  But I’m going to make one out of steel pipe- save a few bucks and will give me an hour’s entertainment too...  thanks to all who chimed in.

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21 hours ago, ArtVandelay said:


I modified it, it kept slipping out:

bf4d9fc04143804cfe9eef373b41bfdc.jpg


Tom


One of the key ingredients to a successful tow bar... 

Use a bit of an acute angle at the end...

Under stress of towing, it tries to open up even more... 

Once the angle opens up past 90°... you can see how the system tries to wiggle free...

Very easy to end up on your back after that...

try to have the cross piece have contact beyond the center point of the wheel (deep inside the tube)...  this forces the wheel to want to turn in a direction that keeps the bar in place...

Is my writing clear enough to understand???

This is why a gusset often gets used on the 90° angle... 

Good luck with the tow bar project...

my attempt to build one was too flimsy... Steel pipe is good... pine wood splinters... :)

Best regards,

-a-

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I just wrap the end of the tow bar with some duct tape. It provides enough friction so it won’t slip out of the nose wheel. It wears, but easy enough to replace each year.

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If the angle between the bar and the end is less than 90 degrees, even a little bit, it won't slip out.   If it is more than 90 degrees, even a little bit, it will put you on your butt a lot.

 

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After a trip to Lowe’s Aircraft Supplies (plumbing isle) I dug deep into my overall pockets and spent $24 for some 1/2 inch black pipe, one elbow, and one T, which I (mostly) stripped using paint thinner and steel wool I already had on hand.  I then used some denatured alcohol to remove the thinner, and hung it up to paint.  Used red spray paint I had on hand, two coats.  (The enclosed photo is after the first coat.)  I plan to let it season for at least three days, and did not paint the socket length at the bottom, for obvious reasons.

I used an 8 inch length to insert into the nose gear socket, a 48 inch length for the body of the bar and two 12 inch lengths for the handles.  Came out great!  Appreciate all the great advice- all were super suggestions!

0CE76E46-04DB-4AED-A1E5-24DE994D480F.jpeg

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4 hours ago, larryb said:

I just wrap the end of the tow bar with some duct tape. It provides enough friction so it won’t slip out of the nose wheel. It wears, but easy enough to replace each year.

That’s an OUTSTANDING idea!  Will do.

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I liked my Sidewinder from Redline Aviation so much that I bought their collapsible hand tow bar. It’s really well made, fits in the baggage compartment, uses the same cam mechanism to attach to the nose gear as the Sidewinder and has the handles properly angled. It is not a CB solution.

Skip

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, EricJ said:

If the angle between the bar and the end is less than 90 degrees, even a little bit, it won't slip out.   If it is more than 90 degrees, even a little bit, it will put you on your butt a lot.

 

Funny you should say that.  Had the gear rebuilt and reconfigured last year, and didn’t know that my A&P had gotten quite a bit of grease inside the tow socket.  Sooooooooo... along comes yours truly, to take his nicely repaired bird Plane Jane for a test flight.  I slip my short factory tow bar into the socket, and ZING.  On my fanny.  (Didn’t help that my tire pressures were low, either.)  Hurt my pride, but it would have made a good Three Stooges video clip.... 

Hope y’all enjoyed the chuckle.  The things we Mooney owners learn....

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I welded up a 4’ Tow bar for the hangar and a 6’ Tow bar to pull the Mooney in and out with my lawnmower.  I don’t have a close-up photo of the tow bars but you can see the 4’ tow bar in front on the Mooney nose gear.  The 6’ Tow bar is hanging on the wall behind the Citabria’s right wing.  Lee

26B31F15-EEFA-4040-A656-0CF1C740CA66.jpeg

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This is my Missile/Rocket towbar. It is 2 part galvanized with lock pin.

Note that it has less than 90 degree angle and end of the bar has an offset washer welded on it to prevent it from sliding out.

 

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Today’s Eagle eye award, with explanation... goes to Don!

It is clearly written in 94’s description of his tow bar... (great pics too)

I suddenly saw the mod, after I read Don’s small post...

:)

Best regards,

-a-

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  • 2 months later...

NHey gang, thought I'd let you all know what I ultimately did on my "hanger" towbar.  All materials supplied by Lowe's, and EASILY made myself.  I ended up using 1/2 inch iron piping for the t-handles, a long 48” 1/2 inch pipe for the length.  But at the bottom, I used a "transition" elbow-- 1/2" on one side of the elbow, and 3/4" on the other side of the elbow.  Into that side I screwed a 8 inch long section of 3/4" pipe, which is what I now insert into the tow socket of the plane.  (Hope all of this is making sense.)  I used some leftover red paint and painted everything but the 3/4" pipe red, which I left bare.

How does it work?  Like a champ!  The plane's much easier to tow and turn, especially when I need to get leverage and lean back into the initial "pull" to get it unstuck from the hanger floor as well as on the return push back into the hanger.  The project involved one trip to Lowe's, about five minutes or so to put it all together using two pipe wrenches, and two hours for the paint to dry.  :)  The 3/4 inch pipe fits the socket, and the 10 inch length is perfect.  Great towbar.

Total cost? $27.  Parts list: 

  • Qty 1    1/2" iron pipe "T" (towbar connection to handles)
  • Qty 1    1/2-3/4" iron pipe transition elbow
  • Qty 2   10" x 1/2" iron pipe (for the handles)
  • Qty 2   Optional 1/2” iron pipe cap ends for handle ends
  • Qty 1    48” x 1/2" iron pipe (for the long towbar)
  • Qty 1    10" x 3/4" iron pipe (to insert into the airplane tow socket)

CF028A9E-BB08-4873-B098-FD6616A64B80.jpeg

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I keep wanting to build one, think of a flat shovel or maybe a dustpan, not literally, but the shape, put two wheels toward the handle end and put in it a lazy susan made from a plate with grease under it, roll the nose gear onto the flat shovel and pulling the shovel down levers the nose an inch off of the ground, connecting it to a golf cart or lawnmower keeps it the inch off of the ground, and the grease plate lazy susan means you can turn at a much greater angle than the stock nose gear allows and would keep you from damaging the nose gear.

‘But I no longer have my torch and welder so I don’t know if I ever will.

‘The electrics seem nice, but at $2,000 above my pay grade for a tow bar

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