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Ken Henderson's $30 DIY toad brake
Tow vehicle weight that requires tow Brakes
Since the topic came up a while ago, and we just purchased a 2001 Saturn SL2 as our toad, I asked the service manager at Saturn about the fuse thing on the 2001 and 2000 models. We went through the service bulletin book. and came up with two service bulletins. I've included the major parts of the bulletins below: Also the owners manual recommends A MAXIMUM SPEED while towing an
Saturn with automatic trans of 65 MPH. Possible damage to transmission above that speed.
FWIW: I pulled the fuse on our SL2 and put a amp meter
and turned the key to the ACC postion. I measured a .5 AMP
as long as the key was in the ACC position. So there is a continous 1/2
AMP draw on the Saturn battery at all times with the ACC
I guess 8 hours of towing would not cause a problem, but extended
towing periods without starting the toad might cause a problem, thus
reason for the service bulletins.. There is NO report I could find to
possible damage to the car if you leave the fuse's in, just the
of a dead battery. Current Draw with key OFF is Zero. but you
tow in the off position since it locks the steering wheel..
Bulletin 00-T-19 covers all 2000 L series Saturns.
Dated March 2000
0/3/CR 30 AMP
Remove fuse IGN 1/2 30 AMP
Condition: Dead battery after being towed behind RV.
Cause: body control module being active when ignition
the ACC position.
Bulletin 00-T-33 covers ALL 2000 & 2001 S series
Dated June 2000
Remove fuse IGN 1/4 30 AMP
Condition: Dead battery after being towed behind RV.
Cause: body control module being active when ignition is
the ACC position.
John & Brenda Szalay
About a year ago, someone posted that they were able to charge the GMC batteries by running the TOAD which was plugged into the towing connector on the GMC. This sounded like a neat trick but would have several problems if the two were connected directly together.
1 Two dissimilar batteries should not be connected in parallel
2 If either vehicle battery ran down, so would the other
Connecting with a diode isolator would not help since charging would occur in only one direction.
The answer is to use a BATTERY COMBINER connected to the TOAD. The features are the following:
1 All batteries can charge from any source, GMC alternator,
charger, TOAD alternator.
2 All batteries are separated during discharge.
So now it is possible to jump the GMC from the TOAD or Jump the Toad from the GMC. The TOAD will charge while being towed which will stop that unpleasant surprise that you left a light on in the TOAD.
Look at the bottom of this picture for connection information
Tracker Automatic Hubs
WHY I BOUGHT A TRACKER
It is a very easy tow, and at about 2300 lb, only a saturn seems to weight less. I have a 4wd and have not had to use that yet but it is a real easy tow with the standard transmission. I am very happy with the ease of hooking up to tow, takes only minutes and we will disconnect when we enter a town to go look for a place to stay or have dinner. My tracker has a hard top as you can see on the net and I like that since I have had enough of soft tops.
It is a real comfort to have a Toad. When I broke down in Santa Barbara, I drove to Tracker the rest of the way to LA for the funeral I had to attend, and then when I got back, used the Tracker to get repairs and back on the road.
I use the tracker when I am home to pull my trailers. I like it so much I am selling my full-size van because I no longer need it to pull trailers and the arround-the-home trips. The tracker is easy and fun to drive arround town for those little pickup trips and the rear seat folds down so I can carry stuff in the back. It has my vote as you can see. gene
I finally found a 2 inch receiver hitch for the Tracker that will use the same accessories that I use on the Motorhome. This is a bolt on and fits.
GMC NAME PLATES
Are you aware that GM sells Trackers in Canada that are called "GM Tracker". A friend and I purchased the GM nameplates and put them on in place of the Go nameplates. If it is tracking a GM why not call it a GM Tracker! You can purchase the nameplates here in USA.Chuck
OWN TRACKER SURGE BRAKE
WARNING-- BE CAREFUL
1 "Also looking for a 1.3L engine for my 88 Suzuki
Would you believe an improperly stowed lawn chair pushed the transfer case lever
into 2 wheel drive at 70 mph?"Walter
2 Fire wood stored in his Corvar Bug, hit the shift
and took out the transmission of the Baha Bug. Gary
TRACKER TOWING WEIGHT
My 87 S15 Jimmy 4X4 weighed 3645.
I sold my Jimmy and got a Geo Tracker 2 DR manual trans 4 wheel drive. It weighs in at 2275. I have towed it about 5K miles this year and don't even know it is there. Generally the lighter the better when towing with a GMC. In our club there is a mix of Honda's, GEO Trackers, Saturn's, Jeeps and even small vans. The choice is really yours to make. The heavier you go the need for auxiliary brake is needed. J.R. Wright
'98 Tracker 2 dr 2392 lbs 1.6 L
'99 Tracker 2 dr 2600 lbs 2.0 L
'98 Tracker 4 dr 2650 lbs 1.6 L
'98 Saturn 4 dr 2294 lbs 1.9 L
'99 Saturn 4 dr 2910 lbs 2.2 L
'97 Cavalier 2 dr 2676 lbs 2.2 L
'99 Cavalier 2 dr 2617 lbs 2.2 L
'98 Honda CRV 4 dr 3126 lbs 2.0 L
'99 Honda CRV 4 dr 3150 lbs 2.0 L
Seems that many vehicles weight increased in 1999.Bill
Maintence Books on Trackers
You can order these books on Amazon.com
Chilton's Suzuki :
$18.36---------------good book, covers many models
Haynes Suzuki Samurai & Sidekick Geo $14.36------waste of time, some good pictures
Fold Away Tow Bar for Tracker
The one that came on mine is available from campers choice www.camperschoice.com you have to search for this listing.
Z142 tracker tow bar 189.98---Stow Master
It is really excellent, bolts on, and easy adjusting for hookup.
The wiring kit is available from Camping
16888 Stormaster accessory kit $150.30
tow bar cover, coiled safety cables, uhniversal wiring kit, 4 wire
set of keyed-alike padlocks and free vinl tow bag.
pricey but great stuff gene
Try this site for a reconditioned $195.00 tow bar.
Order the Tracker attchment plates here also.
This wiring is placed inside the rear light assemblies. The diode blocks are cut into the wiring at the light assemblies. The input socket is mounted in the plastic under the front bumper of the Tracker. A coiled cord with a connector on each end runs between the Tracker and the GMC. I put a 20 amp circuit breaker into the fuse block in the glove box of the GMC. This fuse controls the running lights of the GMC .
Universal Wiring Kit from Camping
$52.99- diodes, wiring,connectors etc
Here is a description that shows pictures of the diode connections
You will have to use a test light to find which wires go to the
and the sockets
Arch's Tracker Links
American Suzuki Motor Corporation
Suzuki Sidekick Sport Technical Specifications
Top Flite, Removable Fiberglass Tops
Suzuki at Richards
Lycos Makes/Models Guide: Suzuki
Suzuki Truck Sidekick (2WD) Recalls and Suzuk...
Ivan's Suzuki Sidekick Page
Sunport Tops for Samurai, Sidekick and Tracker
Suzuki 4x4 - Samurai (Sierra), Sidekick (Vita...
Wet Okole Hawaii .. Custom Car Seat Covers
Suzuki Engines, Factory Remanufactured by ATK...
Accessories for Jeep, Chevy, Ford, Toyota, Do...
PopSci.c om | SUV buyer's Guide | Suzuki Sidekick
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