Rear cross member and pintle hitch.....are there real numbers? (2 Viewers)

flintknapper

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I've searched and not really found any hard, fast numbers with respect to what it will hold. On the one hand I see folks using the cross member and attaching various hitches to pull trailers or suspend things (bike racks, etc). It sounds like 'Toyota' is rather silent on the subject (U.S. Market) as to whether or not they even approve of using it.

I'm thinking about ditching the frame mounted tow hitch I have on mine and installing a pintle/ball combo. The hitch on it now drags the ground when departure angles are severe. I know the mount on the rear cross-member is not that much higher but sometimes a few inches can make a difference.

I don't tow anything more than 4,000 lbs. (trailer and payload) and usually not that much. Most often just a small trailer with total loads of less than 2,500 lbs.

Is the cross member up to that?
 
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I've searched and not really found any hard, fast numbers with respect to what it will hold. On the one hand I see folks using the cross member and attaching various hitches to pull trailers or suspend things (bike racks, etc). It sounds like 'Toyota' is rather silent on the subject (U.S. Market) as to whether or not they even approve of using it.

I'm thinking about ditching the frame mounted tow hitch I have on mine and installing a pintle/ball combo. The hitch on it now drags the ground when departure angles are severe. I know the mount on the rear cross-member is not that much higher but sometimes a few inches can make a difference.

I don't tow anything more than 4,000 lbs. (trailer and payload) and usually not that much. Most often just a small trailer with total loads of less than 2,500 lbs.

Is the cross member up to that?
@Dave 2000 input?
 

Dave 2000

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Mine had the original tow hitch fitted from Toyota complete with tags identifying it as such, unfortunately Spain's import rules did not allow me to keep it. The rear cross member is not used alone for a tow hitch. There is a plate that is fitted to the cross member that hangs down below the chassis, this is then triangulated out to the chassis rails on either side, each chassis rail has a length of angle iron bolted to it allowing the supports to meet up.

When the tow bar/hitch was removed I left the two lengths of angle iron on the chassis in place, these are quite substantial to say the least. I opened up the bolt holes used for the triangulation bars and use them for recovery shackles. Given that Toyota not only felt the need to have this reinforcing, and that the reinforcing is of such a substantial nature I would not consider fitting a tow hitch to the chassis without adding supports as per the OE fitment.

regards

Dave
 

MrMikeyG

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This is cut/pasted from an old thread so take the info as fith or sixth hand:

"Like e9999 said, overseas the rear OEM pintle attachment was rated at 3500 kg (braked) and 750 kg (unbraked). I believe max tongue load is 350 kg. This topic comes up quite often as published info from Toyota is almost non existent."

from this thread:
 
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I have used my ball pintle several times without issue. Have typically towed a 6x12 tandem axle, enclosed Uhaul trailer which weighs ~1950 lbs empty fully laden with furniture, etc. I'm sure I have towed at least 4000 lbs 6 or more times for several hundred miles. I have the OME "stock" height springs and the hitch is relatively high but so far that hasn't been a major issue.

1611989362876.jpeg
 

Dave 2000

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Great to hear that, but is it doing any harm long term? Having seen the way Toyota rigged the tow bar they clearly were not convinced the single chassis member was up to the task.

But seeing as these vehicles were 'overbuilt' I am not surprised there have not been any issues.

regards

Dave
 

Dave 2000

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The link below mimics a picture of the OE fitment, note the extended bracket or plate coming down from the cross member and then is tied to the side chassis rails.


Of course European rules versus ROW may be different, but why manufacture a tow hitch that copies the OE fitment if the rear cross member was up to snuff in the first place?

Looking at the diagram it seems the fitment not only prevents twisting of the cross member but would also prevent the load 'pulling' in on the side chassis rails, much in the same way as you should use a bridle when doing recovery work on a stuck vehicle for example.

EDIT: @WarDamnEagle Seeing the picture you posted I am prompted to think about the threads holding the bolts in place, you may of course have washers and nuts on the rear? If not the OE threads will be a number of years old and may actually fail? The next issue I see is the breakaway chain connections being on the actual hitch, if the bolts did pull out then the hitch and hence the breakaway chain would go with it, so no safety chain action.

I may be 'Mr Picky' but these are just casual thoughts and nothing ever may happen, so don't take them personally.
Regards

Dave
 
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The link below mimics a picture of the OE fitment, note the extended bracket or plate coming down from the cross member and then is tied to the side chassis rails.


Of course European rules versus ROW may be different, but why manufacture a tow hitch that copies the OE fitment if the rear cross member was up to snuff in the first place?

Looking at the diagram it seems the fitment not only prevents twisting of the cross member but would also prevent the load 'pulling' in on the side chassis rails, much in the same way as you should use a bridle when doing recovery work on a stuck vehicle for example.

EDIT: @WarDamnEagle Seeing the picture you posted I am prompted to think about the threads holding the bolts in place, you may of course have washers and nuts on the rear? If not the OE threads will be a number of years old and may actually fail? The next issue I see is the breakaway chain connections being on the actual hitch, if the bolts did pull out then the hitch and hence the breakaway chain would go with it, so no safety chain action.

I may be 'Mr Picky' but these are just casual thoughts and nothing ever may happen, so don't take them personally.
Regards

Dave
I used the highest strength bolts and nuts McMaster Carr had to offer and there are nuts on the backside of the plate as well as washers and lock washers all around. IIRC the top holes are threaded and the bottom are not. Also IIRC it was a total Bitch to get the nuts onto the top bolts as I think I had to get them started more or less as they came through the threaded holes.

I'm pretty picky myself. :cheers:
 
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I've searched and not really found any hard, fast numbers with respect to what it will hold. On the one hand I see folks using the cross member and attaching various hitches to pull trailers or suspend things (bike racks, etc). It sounds like 'Toyota' is rather silent on the subject (U.S. Market) as to whether or not they even approve of using it.

I'm thinking about ditching the frame mounted tow hitch I have on mine and installing a pintle/ball combo. The hitch on it now drags the ground when departure angles are severe. I know the mount on the rear cross-member is not that much higher but sometimes a few inches can make a difference.

I don't tow anything more than 4,000 lbs. (trailer and payload) and usually not that much. Most often just a small trailer with total loads of less than 2,500 lbs.

Is the cross member up to that?
The tow rating on the rear crossmember is the tow rating on the truck. That's where Toyota intended a hitch to be mounted. The steel section will support a greater load, but the rear differential won't, so there's no point in exceeding (or way to exceed) the listed tow rating.
 
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The link below mimics a picture of the OE fitment, note the extended bracket or plate coming down from the cross member and then is tied to the side chassis rails.


Of course European rules versus ROW may be different, but why manufacture a tow hitch that copies the OE fitment if the rear cross member was up to snuff in the first place?

Looking at the diagram it seems the fitment not only prevents twisting of the cross member but would also prevent the load 'pulling' in on the side chassis rails, much in the same way as you should use a bridle when doing recovery work on a stuck vehicle for example.

EDIT: @WarDamnEagle Seeing the picture you posted I am prompted to think about the threads holding the bolts in place, you may of course have washers and nuts on the rear? If not the OE threads will be a number of years old and may actually fail? The next issue I see is the breakaway chain connections being on the actual hitch, if the bolts did pull out then the hitch and hence the breakaway chain would go with it, so no safety chain action.

I may be 'Mr Picky' but these are just casual thoughts and nothing ever may happen, so don't take them personally.
Regards

Dave
I've seen similar rigs all over Germany, on everything but a Land Cruiser. I think that's more a European standard than a Toyota standard, but that's just a guess.

I laughed so hard I hurt myself the first time I saw a German tow hitch. Then I saw the little box they were intending to tow with it and I understood why it was so much smaller than anything you could sell here. My lawn tractor tow hitch is larger than what is sold in Europe for cars/trucks (such as trucks in Europe are, that is).
 
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...as for safety chains, you don't need them with a pintle ball; the cap prevents the hitch cap from leaving the ball. The pin securing the cap in in double shear (at least on mine) and I think the load rating on it exceeds the towed load by about 5x. The chains are only supposed to keep the hitch from bouncing when it leaves the ball, and turning the load end over end; if the hitch doesn't leave the ball, it won't bounce. Yes, I'm putting a lot of faith in the equipment, but anyone who tows anything has already done that, so I don't feel very alone.

@Dave 2000 did your ball hang down below the frame? That is the way I've seen all the European hitches designed and may account for the need for the extra stabilizing elements. IIRC, some of them hung down as much as 4" below the frame (at least the bend did). It looks like that's the way a hitch is intended to be mounted in the advert as well.
 
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Dave 2000

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All points taken, but it does not excuse why the Toyota OE fitment has the triangulation. The actual hitch could be at any height between the cross member and lower plate, on mine it was on the lower half , and I used it probably just 20 times in the first year of ownership so no real reason to test the install.

I have little doubt you will have problems, in particular the fact that you have added nuts to the rear of the bolts, I can only guess the reason for the OE fitment with the reinforcement was perhaps overkill?

Regards

Dave
 

flintknapper

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...as for safety chains, you don't need them with a pintle ball; the cap prevents the hitch cap from leaving the ball. The pin securing the cap in in double shear (at least on mine) and I think the load rating on it exceeds the towed load by about 5x. The chains are only supposed to keep the hitch from bouncing when it leaves the ball, and turning the load end over end; if the hitch doesn't leave the ball, it won't bounce. Yes, I'm putting a lot of faith in the equipment, but anyone who tows anything has already done that, so I don't feel very alone.

I wouldn't argue that by 'design' the chains shouldn't ever be needed....BUT the laws in my State (probably Federal too) require the use of them under most conditions. Suffice to say that IF the trailer being towed was equipped with safety chains, the wise man will use them to prevent being stopped and ticketed.


I have a safety chain plate to go with my pintle hook hitch and safety chains on every trailer I own and use....so it only makes sense to employ them.
 

flintknapper

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I have little doubt you will have problems, in particular the fact that you have added nuts to the rear of the bolts, I can only guess the reason for the OE fitment with the reinforcement was perhaps overkill?

^^^^

Or not.

Toyota Engineers would by default ...design the hitch to work safely under the WORST of conditions, not the best.

That is always my position too.

I will take a closer look underneath and see what kind of reinforcements are possible. I can certainly weld up something to improve the strength in that area.

I don't tow anything really heavy with the 80 series and was just wondering if others had any experience using the cross member 'as is'.
 
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I have no experience with towing off the rear cross member only. But my 80 came with the factory 2" hitch that bolted to either chassis rail

The previous owner, who is a long time friend of mine, backed into another car in a parking lot some 10 years ago. The rear cross member deformed pretty bad, at least more than I would expect.

When I removed it to install my 4x4labs bumper (logical choice given that no other bumper would fit without a new cross member), I was honestly shocked as to how light the cross member is.

Personally, and this so far has been and will continue to be my opinion, I wouldn't tow anything that's just bolted to those four holes in the cross member.
If there's some reinforcement behind it, then sure. Or some other sort of rigging like the factory tow hitch. That thing was super heavy compared to the cross member.

Just my opinion.
 

flintknapper

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Personally, and this so far has been and will continue to be my opinion, I wouldn't tow anything that's just bolted to those four holes in the cross member.
If there's some reinforcement behind it, then sure. Or some other sort of rigging like the factory tow hitch. That thing was super heavy compared to the cross member.

Just my opinion.

Looking at it a bit more.....the cross member is not just a piece of U-Channel, but instead is 'Boxed' nearly its full length and then makes an angle where it ties into the side rails of the frame.

My only concern is that the metal is fairly thin where the bolt holes are. I might add a reinforcing plate behind that to help distribute the load there. But beyond that....I don't foresee the need for additional strengthening (for MY purposes).

Cross M.jpg

Cross M1.jpg

Cross M2.jpg
 

thatcabledude

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Before going 4x4Labs I towed with this for years. Never hesitated to use a snatch rope on it either. It has triangulated braces that use the spare tire hoist's mounting points on the frame. IMO, it seems stronger than the pintle because of the bracing and a big advantage is the ability to run a drop hitch if your lifted. Not compatible if you have the spare tire under there. It's made by Slee as add on accessory for thier bumper.

7C1B673F-6B32-4A88-B159-BFAD227E88AD (1).png
 

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