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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2023 12:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2023 7:59 pm
Posts: 2
Car Model: 1966 Dodge Dart
First post here. I’m considering a 66 Dodge Dart 270 4 dr as a summertime tow vehicle for my 60’s 16’ travel trailer. A sticker n the air breather says 225, I assume that to be horse power. Will this work for me? I currently have a 2008 Ford Ranger that is a pig on fuel, hauling or not, and I may prefer to get rid of it all together. I’m n Canada but the car came from Mass. in USA
A transmission cooler is a must I know for sure and I will use a weight distribution hitch and sway bar plus trailer brakes.

Thanks for helpful pointers in advance.

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2023 1:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2002 11:08 am
Posts: 16281
Location: Blacksburg, VA
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The 225 sticker means you have the 225 cu in. engine. In today's "net" HP ratings, it is around 100-120 HP. How much does your trailer weigh? My guess is you will get something like 12-16 MPG towing depending on weight and flat or hilly country, asssuming the Dart is in very good tune. Yes, you will definitely want trailer brakes and a heavy duty hitch that ties to the frame rails. The 9" drum brakes on the Dart from the factory are not good, even when new, so you will likely want to upgrade to disc brakes and likely non-stock rims and tires.

If you want to tow the trailer with the Dart for the "wow" factor, then by all means go ahead. I have towed a bit over 1000 lbs with my Darts (64 and 68) from time to time, and with load in the car. However, the 2008 Ranger would almost certainly do a better job, be safer, and get better MPG. That assumes the Ranger is well tuned and maintained.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2023 5:03 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2002 12:06 pm
Posts: 8307
Location: Silver Springs, Fl.
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Back when these cars were new, I flat towed my 63 Galaxie race car with a 64 Dart slant six, 3 speed stick. Did this a few times, and do not recommend it. There was not near the amount of traffic or high speeds back then. The brakes left much to be desired, and pulling power was lousy. At one point had to unhook the race car, and drive it to the top of a hill, as the Dart didn't have enough power. A lot depends on the weight of your trailer (loaded), and the tongue weight. I had zero tongue weight, but the race car weighed about 3600 lbs.
PS: The tow bar I used did have provision for applying the brakes on the towed vehicle.

65 Valiant 100 2dr post 170 turbo
66 Valiant Signet 225 nitrous
64 Valiant Signet
64 Valiant 4dr 170

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2023 7:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2002 7:27 pm
Posts: 13949
Location: Park Forest, Illinoisy
Car Model: 68 Valiant
As has been alluded to, a 66 Dart is a horrid choice for pulling a trailer unless you're on flat ground towing short distances.

IMHO, the Ranger isn't much better.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2023 6:28 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2004 8:03 pm
Posts: 8753
Location: IRWIN PA
Car Model:
It can be safely done With the Proper upgrades:
*Custom Frame receiver hitch
I have towed ~1800# with my 64 Dart to South Carolina and back to PA through the mountains and at highway speeds reaching 90.
The trailer I have is 850# empty so it's no lightweight.

Without doing all of that then yes the stock dart with stock factory parts would be limited to maybe 500-800# maximum gross trailer weight to be safe.

Here was my rig on a trip 2 years ago:
In the high county of West Virginia:

Best of Luck!



PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2023 4:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 7:18 pm
Posts: 323
Location: Falls Church, VA
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I've put a tow ball on every car I've ever owned, starting with the family '74 Dart when I was a new driver in '84. Most Dart/Valiant hitch setups are class I, bumper-mounted affairs, and even that modest max capacity assumes fairly healthy frame members to which the bumper is attached. My general guideline for towing limits is to pull half of the curb weight of the car doing the towing; this has worked safely for 40 years for me, most recently with my 2010 Honda Fit over the last 13 years. But unlike the '74 Dart which had disc brakes up front and had prodigious stopping power, most '60s A-bodies have dinky 9" drums all around, etc; They can, in proper adjustment, passably stop the car safely. If you tow with one of these cars you must drive gently.

Never seen a Valiant I didn't like!

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