Cookie Cutter Flat Towing

While the Cookie Cutter TJ is working out well for what it is, there are still some short comings with it. Mainly space. Trying to pack a wife and kid into it for a weekend trip is nearly a no-go at this point due to the amount of ‘stuff’ that always seems to accompany them.

Going by the numbers, the TJ weighs in right at 4,000 lbs, the Mercury is rated to tow 6,250 lbs in its current configuration. So with a little bit of fabbing, we decided to give it a try. Starting with the easy part, slapping a tow hitch and some wring on the back of the Mercury:
Sara L.: Build and Misc. &emdash;

A friend gave me a 5,000 lb tow bar that he was no longer using, so I put it to use. Starting with modifying the mounting brackets:
Sara L.: Build and Misc. &emdash;

I then whipped up some new brackets to mate up to the D ring mounts on the TJ Bumper:
Sara L.: Build and Misc. &emdash;

Bolted it all together it looked like this:
Sara L.: Build and Misc. &emdash;

Stuck the assembly onto the front of the TJ:
Sara L.: Build and Misc. &emdash;

And things were looking pretty good:
Sara L.: Build and Misc. &emdash;

Added some safety chains, Harbor Freight Tow Lights, trail tools (in the Merc) and hit the road for a trial test. We left home:
Sara L.: Build and Misc. &emdash;

.. and ended up about 30 miles east for lunch:
Sara L.: Build and Misc. &emdash;

The whole assembly crossed the scales at 9,350 lbs! A little bit heavier than I though it would be but it appears the package will work out. There were three things I was really worried about, High speed stability, braking performance, and towing speed. The Mercury has more than enough brakes to bring everything to a halt quickly from highway speeds, and the whole package is extremely stable at speed. The down side? I can only run about 60 mph.

So that’s a bit slower than I would like to go, and I’m likely to get about 10 mpg doing it (3rd gear at 2500 rpms). But this setup will work out for the few times a year that I want to tow it somewhere rather than drive it.

One thought on “Cookie Cutter Flat Towing”

Leave a Reply