Item # Various
Description: Porsche 914 tow bar brackets
While a few years back there were a couple of vendors that provided tow bars for our 914s, there is not currently a source for this item. This prompted me to design and build my own retrofit bracket for my cars and due to popular demand; I will make it available to others.
The basis for the bracket is the tow eye base plate that I manufacture for the front of 914s and 911s. This bracket has been modified slightly and a connection bar is added for increased rigidity. The components are now built of 3/8” A36 steel and mig welded in a jig to provide accuracy and repeatability. Why 3/8” rather than thinner steel? Because no one wants a teener coming loose on the highway.
NOTE: This bracket is not to be used in cars that are too rusty to provide a secure anchor point for attachment. If you bought a rust bucket, please use a trailer to transport it home.
The tow bar brackets are available it two varieties based on the type of tow bar you have available. The EMPI Super Beetle bar is popular as it has a low price of roughly $60 at your local VW store. You only need to buy the bar and the two pins. The Super Beetle base plate is not needed. EMPI (or their dealers) sell the bar and pins by themselves. The bar for use with a 2” ball is EMPI #3131-7 and the pins are EMPI #3138.
The other popular bar is by Reese or sometimes labeled as Draw-Tite. It is an adjustable bar with 5,000 lbs capacity. The Reese product carries #R74950 and retails for $150. This price includes some universal brackets that may help you attach the bar to flat bumpered cars such as a Jeep or VW Thing. I have seen knock-offs sell on Ebay for $25 to $50, but beware of the freight on this animal. It is a beefy bar and weighs more than the SB bar.
I do not manufacture or provide these tow bars and have no intension of competing with these companies. I am merely providing a means for 914 owners to utilize these products safely in transporting their cars. Which brings up my next point……..
Safety chains…..Neither of the above mentioned manufactures provides a safety chain kit with their tow bars. Reese does provide one as a separate billable item #R74954 for $40.15. It is my recommendation that if you are utilizing one of these towing products, you should also utilize a pair of safety chains that run from your tow vehicle hitch to the 914 you are towing. Check your local laws before towing for the details. My bracket has a very convenient cross bar of 3/8” by 1 ˝” steel that provides a good mounting point for your chains. Please don’t skimp on safety. Your life and other lives are at stake.
Lights are also necessary when towing a vehicle. While there may be a 914 electrical guru out there that will show you how to tap into your Porsche lighting
system, I prefer a set of stand alone tow lights. The Haul Master #93036-1VGA, sold by Harbor Freight seems to work well. At $24.95 list and $19.95 on sale, they are a deal. These have a magnetic base and will do the trick. The best place to locate them in my experience is on the engine lid.
12 VOLT, MAGNETIC TOWING LIGHT KIT
What I Provide:
-Bracket to retrofit either a EMPI or Reese type tow bar (please specify)
Bracket for EMPI bar weighs 8 lbs
Bracket for Reese/Draw-Tite bar weighs 7.75 lbs
-Zinc plated hardware to attach to front torsion bar mounts (replaces existing hardware)
-Two mild steel tube spacers
-Instructions and support
Cost $100.00 plus UPS to your door (roughly $10-15)
For a freight quote please use the dimensions and weights listed below. I can also provide the quote for you. Please use the UPS freight calculator provided on www.ups.com. (I do not tack on handling charges.)
As an example:
UPS Ground $10.77
I accept Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide your full shipping address and the style bracket you need to match your bar. You may also order directly from my website www.rennenmetal.com Thank you.
There is also a race eye option with these bars. For an additional $7.50 I will weld on a NASA, PCA and SCCA compliant tow eye. Keep in mind that this eye is rather low and may become buried in DEEP gravel traps. Please contact me with specific placement (left, right or center), the type of spoiler and the distance that you would like to protrude. The box is also larger, so you will have to add $5 to the base shipping charge calculated above.
Another option is for an additional $5 I will include a raw steel eye that is 8” long so that you may drill and bolt it to the 3/8” x 1˝” crossbar. My only suggestion in this case is that you should only mount it on the left or right as the drilled holes will weaken the bar in the center.
I would also suggest that the owners paint this eye in a bright red color for identification.
What you must also source at a minimum to safely tow your vehicle:
-Empi SuperBeetle or Reese/Drawtite tow bar
-Safety chain set
-DOT approved Light set
-Vehicle capable off towing a 914
-DOT approved trailer hitch with 2” ball
-Structurally sound 914!!!
Instructions for mounting the bracket to the car
(Step by Step pictures with instructions are provided when a bar is purchased)
Position your 914 on a level concrete surface. Set the handbrake (if it is still working) and chock the rear wheels. Jack up the front of the car and secure
safely on jack-stands. It may be possible to complete the install with your car on the ground, but it depends on your age, athletic ability and general demeanor.
Remove your front valance if so equipped. It may be necessary to remove your front spoiler depending on the style of spoiler. It is not necessary to remove the “special edition” type spoiler.
From under the nose of the car use an Allen wrench to remove the two bolts (one on each side) securing the torsion bar protective end cap guards. Use a 17mm socket and ratchet to remove the four bolts (two on each side) that are securing the back side of the front torsion bar mounts. Offer up the new bracket to each torsion bar front housing and secure with the four short bolts and lock washers provided. Do not fully tighten yet. The remaining two long bolts and washers should be fed through the bracket and then passed through the spacer provided (one on each side) prior two threading into the body. Torque all bolts to the factory suggested value of 38 ft/lbs.
You may now reattach your spoiler and valence provided it does not interfere with the bracket. Some spoilers fit with no problem such as the Flex Dam, the “Ultimate” Air Dam, snow plow and the “special edition” spoiler. Most will have to be removed to tow and placed in the car for safekeeping. The good news is that if you mount them carefully this is a quick and painless operation. Units like the 916 fiberglass front bumper or the stock valence must be notched to provide clearance. (Yuck) This might be a good time to upgrade to a “special edition” spoiler? Please don’t cutup your stock steel valance. They are a dieing breed.
You are now ready to attach you Reese, Draw-Tite or EMPI tow bar, tow chains and lights. Don’t forget to turn you key on to unlock the steering column so that your car follows you. A word of warning….DO NOT REVERSE WHILE TOWING WITH A TOW BAR! You will bend the bar and possibly damage your car. Please read and comply with the manufacturers instructions provided by the manufacturer for utilizing their product.
Many weekend racers have found that the flat tow is a great way to get their car to the track without having to provide storage for a trailer. Many teeners like to tow their car to events (MUSR or WCC for example) so that they have a comfortable and air conditioned ride to and from the event. My wife loves to drive her 914 once we get there, but would arrive in a very bad mood if we had driven the 914 five hours to get there. I’ve found that even if you don’t keep the bracket attached to your car, it is a handy unit to keep just in case.