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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-09-2007, 15:51 Thread Starter
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Daihatsu Charade tow car

have just been told by A FRAME fitter when asking for a quote that recent Daihatsu Charade models are not good cars to tow on A FRAMES as they have zero caster angle suspension which isnt good so far as towing is concerned, has anyone heard this or would dispute it,
ken
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-09-2007, 18:20
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Daihatui Charade Tow Car

When I was talking to Chris Cox recently he told me that the newer models of the Charade posed a problem regarding towing on an A Frame but did not elucidate on the matter.

Has anyone on MHF any further info, in particular from which year has the specifications changed. My interest is that I have just purchased a 2003 model specifically for A Frame towing.
Ian
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 12:42
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Re: Daihatsu Charade tow car

Quote:
Originally Posted by kencocamper
have just been told by A FRAME fitter when asking for a quote that recent Daihatsu Charade models are not good cars to tow on A FRAMES as they have zero caster angle suspension which isnt good so far as towing is concerned, has anyone heard this or would dispute it,
ken
Ken,

I have beem pm ing you but for the rest of the members I reiterate here that not only is it a great TOAD but my wife is in love with it for her voluntary driving, taking old/infirm etc to hospital etc as its doors open a full 90 degrees and it has a low floor/deep seats great for access. The clients love it too for that and its roominess, always getting compliments.

I tell my missus thats why I bought it but she knows its because its the lightest 5 door in its class (740KG Unladen, 1200KG GVW)! Up to 68 mpg, acceptable performance, and 35 road tax. Pulled behind an only 2001 1.9TD Fiat I literally do not know its there and it hardly affects solo M/H performance, which is admittedly poor. I can reverse it in a straightish line on tarmac or similar high adhesion surface for as far as I need (YES without the overun applying the car's brakes!) for overshot fuel pumps etc with no problem either.

If Chris Cox is reluctant perhaps he has had problems with some aspects of fitting and tying-in the electrics on this car to work the car's existing rear lights via the M/H rather than use a separate board?

I note Towtal (obviously they never mentioned any problems) always fit the spreader bar for the tow eyes behind the front skinning whereas Chris Cox/ Car a Tow/Pro Tow fit all in front so you have a black lateral bar and eye ends showing, I only see the eye ends on mine.

As I said, apart from the first set of front tyres wearing quickly on the outside treads (and that might have been under-inflation from new, I never checked a new car) I have had absolutely no problems in 2 years of towing over 1000's of miles in all sorts of conditions including some pretty horrendous hair-pins in Germany. The second set of front tyres are wearing fine now I inflated to 5 psi over normal load figure.

It has had 2 full annual services (no MOT yet, 2005 model) where my very good local garage mechanic has not noted any problems with the suspension (it was he who noted the tyre wear on the first service).

Thoroughly recommended, go for it!

Regards,


Noel.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 15:16 Thread Starter
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Noel,

yes I think it looks like a trip to Towtal when I find a charade, Chris Cox told me it was because of the zero camber angle but I cant see how that would affect towing, maybe the tracking was out on the car he was fitting the A frame to, once again many thanks for your info,

kind regards

Ken
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 16:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kencocamper
Noel,

yes I think it looks like a trip to Towtal when I find a charade, Chris Cox told me it was because of the zero camber angle but I cant see how that would affect towing, maybe the tracking was out on the car he was fitting the A frame to, once again many thanks for your info,

kind regards

Ken
I think you may mean Zero CASTER angle, not Camber.
The caster angle is responsible for wheels returning to the straight ahead position when the steering wheel is released going forward, It's also responsible for the stering lock trying to increase when reversing.
Thats what makes Towcars awkward to reverse, as once they start to turn in any direction whilst reversing, they soon go to full lock in that direction

If you draw a straight line through top and bottom balljoints or their equivalent, you will notice the stub axle is always a few millimeters behind the center line enabling the wheel to "caster" like on furniture.
The above paragraph is the only reason towcars work, otherwise the steering would jump around all over the place.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 16:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proff
Quote:
Originally Posted by kencocamper
Noel,

yes I think it looks like a trip to Towtal when I find a charade, Chris Cox told me it was because of the zero camber angle but I cant see how that would affect towing, maybe the tracking was out on the car he was fitting the A frame to, once again many thanks for your info,

kind regards

Ken
Thats what makes Towcars awkward to reverse, as once they start to turn in any direction whilst reversing, they soon go to full lock in that direction

True, in theory, or on a surface of sheet ice or soft sand etc but in practice and on a hard good adhesion surface with weight on friction the wheels will follow the direction of steer and push (or pull). IF the Charade has a "zero castor angle", what would be the point and what would Daihatsu be trying to achieve in terms of normal use over other cars?

Noel.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 17:47
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I used to have a Daihatsu Charade GTTi. It went like S**T off a shovel and was a cracking little car to drive. You could throw it into corners and it was stonkingly quick off the mark (x-boy racer). I wished I had kept it now and could use it as a tow car.

Johnny F
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 10:59 Thread Starter
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HI Noel/Proff,

yes your right Proff I did mean caster angle as I had said previously, but what I was trying to get accross is that the caster angle is designed and set by the manufacturers to keep the wheels in a true straight line but if the tracking has been knocked off line or badly adjusted then the wheels would be fighting each other for the straight line and could cause the car to try and wonder when being towed, especially if the Charade does have only a small caster angle

regards

Ken
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 12:38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kencocamper
HI Noel/Proff,

yes your right Proff I did mean caster angle as I had said previously, but what I was trying to get accross is that the caster angle is designed and set by the manufacturers to keep the wheels in a true straight line but if the tracking has been knocked off line or badly adjusted then the wheels would be fighting each other for the straight line and could cause the car to try and wonder when being towed, especially if the Charade does have only a small caster angle

regards

Ken
Hi Ken,

If the tracking were out of adjustment you would get wander and tyre scuffing on one edge irrespective whether during normal use or being towed.

I can't see that there would be any difference in effect from being driven or towed even if, indeed, Daihatsu have set a zero castor angle as part of the required suspension/steering design of this car. Cars are not tea trolleys and are not designed to castor for sideways movement but will follow the line of least rolling resistance whether being steered internally, or externally by the M/H, forward or reverse. I can see my car via a prism lens in the M/H rear window and it is certainly not moving/wandering from side to side but is very stable.

Regards,


Noel.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 14:50 Thread Starter
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Hi Noel,

the geomitry of front wheel camber, caster and toe on front suspention and steering is very involved, ask any racing driver and they will tell you, they change all these settings for better steering in corners but that gives them less stability in a straight line which they are not too worried about, I dont for one minute claim to understand all the ins and outs of it but I do know that they use different caster angles on rear wheel drive cars to front wheel drive cars because on FWD cars the wheels are pulling the car and on RWD cars the front wheels are being pushed same as when being towed, so I suppose that when we tow a front wheel drive car we are altering the characteristics of the set-up.

However if you say yours tows stably and isnt waring the tyre edges then thats good enough for me, I will be buying a Charade and having an A frame fitted at Towtal

regards

Ken
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