thesmartclub - the world's largest independent club for all things smart thesmartclub - the world's largest independent club for all things smart thesmartclub shop - the world's largest independent club for all things smart
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 34
  1. #1

    Default Towing a 450 with a motorhome/ A frame- steering probs!

    Trying to tow my 02 450 on a braked a frame, the steering slaps from side to side enough to shake the towing vehicle. I have read that a bungee on the steering wheel can stop it but this is not treating the disease, only the symptoms. It is professionally fitted qaulity kit (car-a-tow) and fits well. Some do it, some don't apparently. Any experience on here? Cheers folks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    over here
    Posts
    13,906

    Default Re: Towing a 450 with a motorhome/ A frame- steering probs!

    Does it have a steering damper fitted?

    Or maybe it's been removed ? (Or is worn)

    I guess there's loads of other causes really.
    fq101.co.uk

  3. #3

    Default Re: Towing a 450 with a motorhome/ A frame- steering probs!

    Hi TAIM,, it should have a damper, I haven't taken one off. No PAS on this either, all joints are good and normal even tyre wear. Steering does firm up the further it goes from straight ahead and is the same both sides, very minimal pull to left hands off, under power or braking- seems to be on a cambered road, on the flat its ok. I had steering column replaced and there is more friction in the uj's than previously when the old one was hopelessly worn. The fitter is going to have a look at it this week, and I have read about this problem before but can't find it now! Cheers.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Burnley
    Posts
    702

    Default Re: Towing a 450 with a motorhome/ A frame- steering probs!

    Check the tracking on the Smart.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    385

    Default Re: Towing a 450 with a motorhome/ A frame- steering probs!

    Quote Originally Posted by jackrussel1996 View Post
    Trying to tow my 02 450 on a braked a frame, the steering slaps from side to side enough to shake the towing vehicle. I have read that a bungee on the steering wheel can stop it but this is not treating the disease, only the symptoms. It is professionally fitted qaulity kit (car-a-tow) and fits well. Some do it, some don't apparently. Any experience on here? Cheers folks!
    I wouldn't say the bungee is only treating the symptoms. You are coupling two normally independent dynamic systems together - they will interact. It's the same with normal trailers and caravans. Each system combination is slightly different and sometimes the interaction will result in oscillations. Caravan owners often fit dampers into the tow link to control this and the bungee on the steering wheel is the same principle - it just shifts the dynamics enough (if it works) to reduce or eliminate the oscillations within normal speed range. If the car drives normally on its own I wouldn't spend time and money trying to 'fix' it if the bungee works.
    2016, ForTwo cabriolet, 900 turbo, DCT, Prime Premium, unmodified.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Near Norwich
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: Towing a 450 with a motorhome/ A frame- steering probs!

    If you are thinking of any travel abroad, France or Spain buy a Brian James trailer. Forget the spiel that other will tell you that it is legal, it might be but French and Spanish police will make you disconnect and the passenger will have to drive it.

    I have spoken to people who have been stopped and fined.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Towing a 450 with a motorhome/ A frame- steering probs!

    Quote Originally Posted by dpmike View Post
    I wouldn't say the bungee is only treating the symptoms. You are coupling two normally independent dynamic systems together - they will interact. It's the same with normal trailers and caravans. Each system combination is slightly different and sometimes the interaction will result in oscillations. Caravan owners often fit dampers into the tow link to control this and the bungee on the steering wheel is the same principle - it just shifts the dynamics enough (if it works) to reduce or eliminate the oscillations within normal speed range. If the car drives normally on its own I wouldn't spend time and money trying to 'fix' it if the bungee works.
    As a caravan tower myself I know about this- I have an old friction damper which I use when I can be bothered. My outfit tows very well as it is, some do, some don't. (it is not needed for lateral stability, but it makes pitching less noticable and hence a more comfortable ride; if our roads were a bit smoother I would not it for that either) .
    The dynamics of the smart and the towing car when not attached are completely benign and as expected, towing just places the thrust input from the front, along a nominal centreline, (bearing in mind I have only attempted to go completely straight on a non cambered level surface- I got about 40 feet before enogh was enough) when driving the smart, it comes from the rear, albeit with slight irregular off-axis moments from from the rear wheels, causes various..
    I can at this stage, only suspect weight transfer- not much tho' as the bar mount is hinged- unweighting the front ever so slightly. Realistically, not at all likely IMHO.
    I would expect problems when trying to turn the pair, as then things get a bit divergent with force input directions and suspension config etc. But I have not got that far, and am reluctant to try- a bungee may work 99.9% of the time but if it decides not to at the wrong moment........
    The question is- am I brave enough? We will have to see.
    Meanwhile, I can only envy the driver of the giant yankee MoHo I saw near home, towing his 450 out of Morrisons petrol station near home, round sharp corners, double roundabouts with cambers both ways, and ne'er a twitch!!!!
    Grrrrrrr

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    over here
    Posts
    13,906

    Default Re: Towing a 450 with a motorhome/ A frame- steering probs!

    What about the height of the towing ball in relation to the smart .......
    fq101.co.uk

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    385

    Default Re: Towing a 450 with a motorhome/ A frame- steering probs!

    Quote Originally Posted by jackrussel1996 View Post
    (bearing in mind I have only attempted to go completely straight on a non cambered level surface- I got about 40 feet before enogh was enough)
    So this is not while driving along at speed? It's going a few yards at, presumably, only a few mph?

    Quote Originally Posted by jackrussel1996 View Post
    when driving the smart, it comes from the rear, albeit with slight irregular off-axis moments from from the rear wheels, causes various..
    This appears to say the Smart has some stability problems even when not being towed.

    If my interpretation of those offhand remarks is correct ... then I'd agree that bungee cord is not appropriate. The car needs sorting.
    2016, ForTwo cabriolet, 900 turbo, DCT, Prime Premium, unmodified.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Towing a 450 with a motorhome/ A frame- steering probs!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAlmostInvisibleMan View Post
    What about the height of the towing ball in relation to the smart .......
    Its at the UK standard height, (can't remeber what) but the bar pivots vetically anyway on the car front attachment, and as it is very nearly horizontal when attached, there would only be minimal vertical interference when tugging (a resulting upward force in this case as the front of the bar is about an inch higher than the attaching eyes- hey, I might even get a pic on here!).
    Setting off as gently as poss and it still shook it's head. Seen some alarming videos from yank owners who try to tug jeeps etc (modern ones) and if you google it you will see how bad it can be.
    However, not chucking the towel in just yet, so keep the info coming please. Just waiting to pluck up courage now, and looking for my ol' bungees......
    I might make the six o'clock news yet.
    Last edited by jackrussel1996; 26th September 2017 at 10:02.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

     

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts