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

Godwin

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I'll add this to thread, a recent towing experience that could have been better. I have a military surplus pintle hitch and chain plate on 80 that is used to tow a M416. A few weeks back I was towing the M416 and had failed to close the pintle on the lunette but I had hooked the safety chains. I had driven about 10 miles on county roads when I was crossing a bridge that had a rough patch on both ends causing the trailer to bounce. Lunette came loose but the chains held. Kind of a wild ride seeing a the trailer bouncing around behind the 80. Once stopped I reattahed the trailer and made sure the pintle was closed. Today I noticed that the left ear in the photo had been bent during the loose trailer time.


IMG_5668.jpg
IMG_5670.jpg
 
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Most of what more I can add is already in the thread that MrMikeyG referenced earlier.

I would point out that the way Toyota handles Euro tow standards may be different than how they might handle, say, Australian tow regs. Generally, IIRC though, all the foreign markets cite the same "overseas the rear OEM pintle attachment was rated at 3500 kg (braked) and 750 kg (unbraked)..." numbers. Presuming the full-float axle is spec-ed, I would assume that the chassis in general is up to handle that sort of load in theory.

Here in the US, we got stuck at 4500 lbs. Hitches are a dealer or post-dealer installed item, generally, and there was no factory hitch offered here AFAIK, except US market hitches designed for this market.

It may be that the angled reinforcing bars are necessary to achieve the higher tow ratings there, but would sure be interesting to confirm what ratings are and how the tow hitches are designed that Toyota offers for comparison purposes, as well as to provide guidance on how to go about doing reinforcing in the various overseas markets.

But speaking of lawyers, I doubt that Toyota would've left 4 holes in the rear x-member that bolt up easily to typical hitches if it couldn't fulfill the rated 4500 lbs tow capacity. That keeps things legal and your insurance company off your back, too.

BTW, I have crash tested a Land Cruiser rear x-member, only it was on my FJ-55...

NFJuZH.jpg

The Pacer that hit me was totaled. He was doing about 25 mph when he hit me. I would presume the 80's rear is equally strong. You'll note that Toyota has been making rear bumpers that accept pintles for a long time.
 
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Tachycardic

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I don't know...if something goes wrong on the highway, you're going to be at fault exactly because Toyota has not specifically stated that those holes are rated to tow in the US. Good luck trying to have any insurance company cover your losses. If you use it to tow things off the beaten path, and it doesn't involve damage to others, that's your choice. Also, if you're traveling over areas that cause your frame-bolted tow hitch to scrape the ground, then you may either want to drive something with a better departure angle or consider a lift?
 
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I don't know...if something goes wrong on the highway, you're going to be at fault exactly because Toyota has not specifically stated that those holes are rated to tow in the US. Good luck trying to have any insurance company cover your losses. If you use it to tow things off the beaten path, and it doesn't involve damage to others, that's your choice. Also, if you're traveling over areas that cause your frame-bolted tow hitch to scrape the ground, then you may either want to drive something with a better departure angle or consider a lift?

Unfortunately nothing is risk free in the US; particularly if you have an accident. I'm guessing though if you're just talking vehicle/trailer damage that the insurance won't dig as deep as you suggest. I had a receiver hitch pin sheer once towing a boat and the insurance company didn't even look at the hitch or the vehicle, just the boat and trailer. Anyway, I do find it interesting that hitches are openly sold in the US, "for this specific vehicle", with hardware for mounting in those four holes. Just one example:


Carrying this same line of questioning around legality, one can question any homemade or small vendor, custom hitch. Right?
 

Tachycardic

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Unfortunately nothing is risk free in the US; particularly if you have an accident. I'm guessing though if you're just talking vehicle/trailer damage that the insurance won't dig as deep as you suggest. I had a receiver hitch pin sheer once towing a boat and the insurance company didn't even look at the hitch or the vehicle, just the boat and trailer. Anyway, I do find it interesting that hitches are openly sold in the US, "for this specific vehicle", with hardware for mounting in those four holes. Just one example:


Carrying this same line of questioning around legality, one can question any homemade or small vendor, custom hitch. Right?
Sure, what you say is true. But you know as well as I that insurance companies are evil and lawyers are the gatekeepers of Hell. In a case of a serious accident, say one that includes a death, you know that the lawyers for Toyota, ETrailer, Curt, etc. are going to twist and backstab everyone to get their client out of paying big money.

Curt's instructions specifically state "Do not exceed vehicle's manufacturer's recommended towing capacity". One can interpret this in a couple of ways. But since it's designed for the 4 pintle holes, they must mean the tow capacity of the bumper/cross member. So as long as Toyota USA publishes the maximum tow capacity for those attachment points, and you stay below them, then you're good to go. Toyota USA never published them? Sorry, you can't fall back on what Toyota Japan, or Australia, or South Africa say, and you're going to lose. Does it suck? Yes. Is it fair? No. Could it bankrupt you? Maybe. Personally, I just don't think it's worth the potential headache.
 
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Sure, what you say is true. But you know as well as I that insurance companies are evil and lawyers are the gatekeepers of Hell. In a case of a serious accident, say one that includes a death, you know that the lawyers for Toyota, ETrailer, Curt, etc. are going to twist and backstab everyone to get their client out of paying big money.

Curt's instructions specifically state "Do not exceed vehicle's manufacturer's recommended towing capacity". One can interpret this in a couple of ways. But since it's designed for the 4 pintle holes, they must mean the tow capacity of the bumper/cross member. So as long as Toyota USA publishes the maximum tow capacity for those attachment points, and you stay below them, then you're good to go. Toyota USA never published them? Sorry, you can't fall back on what Toyota Japan, or Australia, or South Africa say, and you're going to lose. Does it suck? Yes. Is it fair? No. Could it bankrupt you? Maybe. Personally, I just don't think it's worth the potential headache.
Clearly we could argue about this all day. I think as long as the hitch can be linked to cause then you might have some exposure by using a hitch in that location but otherwise I don't think so. With your logic you would have to say that any modification to US designated OEM is potential for liability in an accident....and of course bringing in my 1994 FZJ75 that was never sold in the US would be a complete non starter.

Legality aside, that hitch location is plenty strong to tow 4000 lbs all day long which was the original question. :cheers:
 

flintknapper

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Clearly we could argue about this all day. I think as long as the hitch can be linked to cause then you might have some exposure by using a hitch in that location but otherwise I don't think so. With your logic you would have to say that any modification to US designated OEM is potential for liability in an accident....and of course bringing in my 1994 FZJ75 that was never sold in the US would be a complete non starter.

Legality aside, that hitch location is plenty strong to tow 4000 lbs all day long which was the original question. :cheers:

^^^^

Thank You! 👍
 
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Sure, what you say is true. But you know as well as I that insurance companies are evil and lawyers are the gatekeepers of Hell. In a case of a serious accident, say one that includes a death, you know that the lawyers for Toyota, ETrailer, Curt, etc. are going to twist and backstab everyone to get their client out of paying big money.

Curt's instructions specifically state "Do not exceed vehicle's manufacturer's recommended towing capacity". One can interpret this in a couple of ways. But since it's designed for the 4 pintle holes, they must mean the tow capacity of the bumper/cross member. So as long as Toyota USA publishes the maximum tow capacity for those attachment points, and you stay below them, then you're good to go. Toyota USA never published them? SNIP

Actually, Toyota did publish what the 80 series tow limits are for US market versions, right in the manual, as well as stating what should not be used.
"Without towing package, 3500 lbs
With towing package, 5000 lbs"
Combined gross combination weight:
"Without towing package, 10025 lbs
With towing package, 11525 lbs"
Max tongue weight:
"Without towing package, 350 lbs
With towing package, 500 lbs"

"Hitches
* Use only a weight carrying hitch designed for the total trailer weight. Toyota does not recommend using a weight distribution (load carrying) hitch.
* The hitch must be bolted securely to the vehicle's frame and installed according to the hitch manufacturer's instructions.
* The hitch ball and king pin must have a light coat of grease.
* Toyota recommends removing the hitch when not in use...
NOTICE
Do not use an axle-mounting hitch as it may cause damage to the axle housing, wheel bearings, wheels, and/or tires."

One additional caveat...
"If the trailer weight exceeds 1000 lbs, trailer brakes are required."

None of this rules out the pintle attached in the usual place that Toyota provides, assuming you're within those limits. I think I did just discover a good argument to use with my finance director to go ahead and upgrade to a braked axle on our M101 CDN, though. The requirement for brakes when towing over a 1000 lbs is what will probably cause grief more often than any other factor by the looks of things.
 
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"Hitches
* Use only a weight carrying hitch designed for the total trailer weight. Toyota does not recommend using a weight distribution (load carrying) hitch.
* The hitch must be bolted securely to the vehicle's frame and installed according to the hitch manufacturer's instructions.
* The hitch ball and king pin must have a light coat of grease.
* Toyota recommends removing the hitch when not in use...
None of this rules out the pintle attached in the usual place that Toyota provides, assuming you're within those limits. I think I did just discover a good argument to use with my finance director to go ahead and upgrade to a braked axle on our M101 CDN, though. The requirement for brakes when towing over a 1000 lbs is what will probably cause grief more often than any other factor by the looks of things.
Excellent point. I think everyone just assumes that the aftermarket hitches that are bolted onto the underside of the frame by the dealer or port are the "factory" hitches. Odd that you also have to drill holes to install them (IIRC). I also think Toyota USA rightly just assumed that nobody in the US would accept anything less than the receiver hitches that they are use to having on domestic SUVs. My guess is it has much more to do with marketing and little to do with safety.

If you research the parts diagrams, the rear frame crossmember where the pintle style hitch is bolted is part of the frame subassembly (51001-6A251) and also is called out as part of the frame if purchased separately:

51291CROSSMEMBER, FRAME, REAR
51209-60111

Therefore, a pintle style hitch can be bolted to the "frame" per manufacturer's specifications and still meet the criteria outlined in the Owner's Manual. At least it can be in my opinion; which arguably means nothing to anyone but me.
 
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SNIP

If you research the parts diagrams, the rear frame crossmember where the pintle style hitch is bolted is part of the frame subassembly (51001-6A251) and also is called out as part of the frame if purchased separately:

51291CROSSMEMBER, FRAME, REAR
51209-60111

Therefore, a pintle style hitch can be bolted to the "frame" per manufacturer's specifications and still meet the criteria outlined in the Owner's Manual. At least it can be in my opinion; which arguably means nothing to anyone but me.

Yep, a frame consists of rails (usually just two) and crossmembers (varies, but includes at least the front and rear crossmembers.) And that's what a pintle is bolted to with the factory-provided holes.

Also of note can be seen in the pics that flintknapper provided on the previous page. The lower two holes aren't threaded like the upper two. Instead, they're open as is the oval area behind them. I suspect that this is to make it possible to bolt additional bracing to angle forward from the back of the rear crossmember, tying the lower pintle hitch mounting further forward to the frame rails on each side. Can anyone verify such an arrangement on non-US market trucks? That would certainly provide plenty of strength to permit the truck to tow up to the listed overseas weight limits.
 

Dave 2000

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Excellent point. I think everyone just assumes that the aftermarket hitches that are bolted onto the underside of the frame by the dealer or port are the "factory" hitches. Odd that you also have to drill holes to install them (IIRC). I also think Toyota USA rightly just assumed that nobody in the US would accept anything less than the receiver hitches that they are use to having on domestic SUVs. My guess is it has much more to do with marketing and little to do with safety.

If you research the parts diagrams, the rear frame crossmember where the pintle style hitch is bolted is part of the frame subassembly (51001-6A251) and also is called out as part of the frame if purchased separately:

51291CROSSMEMBER, FRAME, REAR
51209-60111

Therefore, a pintle style hitch can be bolted to the "frame" per manufacturer's specifications and still meet the criteria outlined in the Owner's Manual. At least it can be in my opinion; which arguably means nothing to anyone but me.
The factory unit that was fitted to mine had a Toyota spec tag and serial number, and the triangulation bars fitted to angle pieces which are bolted to what appears as OE threaded holes in the chassis rails. Apart from the Toyota tag and serial number, further investigation revealed that if the 80 was used at it's 'all up' weight of UK 7.5 tons (8.4 US tons) inc trailer for commercial reasons, then there should be a tachograph fitted and the driver should hold a Class III driving licence for heavy goods, years back this would have been HGV 3.

Perhaps the OE fitment was designed to meet the absolute maximum gross train weight for the 80 in the UK? Does the US allow 8.4 tons gross train weight, I can't see any reason why not, but would it be using only the four bolt holes in the cross member without some form of reinforcement?

FWIW I was hoping to keep the tow bar, but Spanish rules did not recognise it for imports when I brought the vehicle in about 10 years ago hence the research. Fortunately I was not desperate to keep the bar, it would just have been nice to have if needed.

Regards

Dave
 
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The factory unit that was fitted to mine had a Toyota spec tag and serial number, and the triangulation bars fitted to angle pieces which are bolted to what appears as OE threaded holes in the chassis rails. Apart from the Toyota tag and serial number, further investigation revealed that if the 80 was used at it's 'all up' weight of UK 7.5 tons (8.4 US tons) inc trailer for commercial reasons, then there should be a tachograph fitted and the driver should hold a Class III driving licence for heavy goods, years back this would have been HGV 3.

Perhaps the OE fitment was designed to meet the absolute maximum gross train weight for the 80 in the UK? Does the US allow 8.4 tons gross train weight, I can't see any reason why not, but would it be using only the four bolt holes in the cross member without some form of reinforcement?

FWIW I was hoping to keep the tow bar, but Spanish rules did not recognise it for imports when I brought the vehicle in about 10 years ago hence the research. Fortunately I was not desperate to keep the bar, it would just have been nice to have if needed.

Regards

Dave
Interesting. My US 80 didn't have an under frame receiver hitch installed so I can't really comment on how they were mounted by the port or the dealer. I did compare the North American 80 parts diagrams to the GCC 80 diagrams. The NA do not show any kind of hitch as far as I could find, nor do I see any optional reinforcement for the frame. The GCC diagrams show a pintle hitch (or Pintle Hook as they call it) with no additional reinforcement to the frame.
 

flintknapper

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While waiting on my 10.8 grade bolts from BelMetric....I thought I'd test fit the pintle/ball hitch using the 1/2" bolts supplied with it in the lower two bolt holes.

It fit up nicely and I think will be just enough higher that I can dispense with the Port Installed hitch that tends to drag on certain crossings here on the ranch.

With this vehicle I won't ever be towing more than 4,000 lbs. (trailer and load) so I think it will be OK.

Pintle1.jpg


Pintle2.jpg

Pintle3.jpg

Pintle4.jpg
 

flintknapper

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OK....finally done!

Got my BelMetric grade 10.9 bolts in....along with hardened washers and lock nuts.

They are a great source for fasteners. You can purchase in small amounts, they've always gotten my order right and they ship quickly.

So....the final installation is complete. Just need to remove the Port Installed skid plate (I mean hitch) now.


Pintle done1.jpg

Pintle done3.jpg

Pintle done2.jpg
 

Heckraiser

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I tow from the pintle holes, although it's not a pintle hitch. This setup does just great with my popup camper, including a little bit of off-roading with the camper in tow.

hitch2.jpg



Also bear in mind that toyota has no problem approving pretty much the identical setup on late-model vehicles. I think they just didn't bother with testing/approvals back in the 90s. I have also read here and there that the 80 series with a pintle is actually rated to 5000 in other markets, but can't really back that up with anything.

Here's genuine toyota hitch for a late-model 4runner. Bolts to the rear subframe exactly like mine.

s-l1600.jpg



:edit: to be fair, the 4runner rear crossmember does appear to have more structural metal out where it meets the rails (no gaps)

bumper_swap_15.jpg
 
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flintknapper

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I tow from the pintle holes, although it's not a pintle hitch. This setup does just great with my popup camper, including a little bit of off-roading with the camper in tow.

View attachment 2576675


Also bear in mind that toyota has no problem approving pretty much the identical setup on late-model vehicles. I think they just didn't bother with testing/approvals back in the 90s.

Here's genuine toyota hitch for a late-model 4runner. Bolts to the rear subframe exactly like mine.

s-l1600.jpg



:edit: to be fair, the 4runner rear crossmember does appear to have more structural metal out where it meets the rails (no gaps)

bumper_swap_15.jpg


Excellent. Thank you for that contribution. Makes me feel better about towing with mine. I will almost always be towing a small trailer with light loads but occasionally will need to tow up to 4K (trailer and load) for less than 50 miles on highway and FM roads (Farm to Market).
 

MrMikeyG

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I'm about to digress, so fair warning. in the above pictures of @flintknapper surplus safety plate, what's the prescribed method for introducing a bend in metal that doesn't immediately create a fatigue area? Is it simply heating then bending? More of a fab question I know. Sorry.
 

flintknapper

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I'm about to digress, so fair warning. in the above pictures of @flintknapper surplus safety plate, what's the prescribed method for introducing a bend in metal that doesn't immediately create a fatigue area? Is it simply heating then bending? More of a fab question I know. Sorry.

In the case above (mild steel safety plate) simple bending (cold) to the degree shown should not produce any worrisome metal fatigue. Mild steel has good ductility. Clearly.... heating (to a point) will aid in this, but for relatively small bends you can do without if that was your concern.
 

MrMikeyG

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copy that. We were discussing modifying a flat structural plate to fit a location where a 90 degree plate was called for at work last week. (I left things alone and grabbed the proper missing 90 degree plate).

I did see this a while back. How the heck can you call a ball mount "tactical?" Good grief.
Amazon product
 

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