Trailer hitch

Discussion in 'Fiesta ST Autocross' started by spangenb, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. spangenb

    spangenb Active Member

    I have a tire/utility trailer that I have towed behind all my autocross cars since the '98 neon ACR. We also use it for camping with the miata. Has anybody determined if a standard Fiesta hitch will work on the ST? I think the lower rear valance might cause problems. I might try to custom fab one that hides completely like the Flyin' miata hitch: http://www.flyinmiata.com/index.php?stocknumber=29-50000
     
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  3. Zormecteon

    Zormecteon Active Member

    Reading thru the manual (luckily available for download, as I don't have a car yet---3rd printing) the ST is NOT rated for towing. Period.
     
  4. spangenb

    spangenb Active Member

    I'm sure it's not rated for towing by Ford, but since it shares the basic structure with the regular Fiesta I would expect it to tow as well as one. With that in mind I think it's unlikely the NA miata was rated for towing by Mazda, but it does a wonderful job as long as you are smart about it.
     
  5. spangenb

    spangenb Active Member

    Typical load for a camping weekend. I bet the whole rig weighs around 500 pounds and the miata barely knows it's there except when climbing steep hills on side roads. On the interstate the cruise control handles things fine in 5th gear.
     

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    RavynX likes this.
  6. RodMoe

    RodMoe Well-Known Member

    Only thing i can think of Ford not liking the towing for the ST is the turbo and heat issues possibly keep an Eye on that and you should be fine..
     
  7. wash

    wash Active Member

    A Miata is rear wheel drive, that's better for towing.

    There is one crazy idiot out there who made a web site about the dangers of towing with a small car. As far as I can tell he made the site because he ran in to a car towing a trailer and he needed something to blame.

    Personally I would only tow very light loads like something that just carries a set of race tires. For camping trips, fold down the rear seats and leave the trailer behind. A bike rack is a very good reason for a trailer hitch.

    The smart move is to get a suitable tow vehicle if you have a big load to tow. If you are towing frequently, the Fiesta isn't a good choice. If its infrequent, renting a tow vehicle is cheap insurance.
     
  8. spangenb

    spangenb Active Member

    I wasn't real clear in my original post. The Miata is for camping trips with that rig pictured. The Fiesta would only be seeing tire/tool trailer duty ... same trailer but much less "accessorizing" resulting in a smaller and lighter load. I am likely to travel several hours to autocross events and like to carry more tools and spares than I want to cram into the car itself. I like the flexibility of having a hitch on just about any car for anything from a bike rack to an appropriately sized trailer.

    I have had my share of "proper tow vehicles" in my time (F250 V10, Honda Ridgeline). With gas costing what it does these days, my '12 Focus plus a 5'x8' utility trailer makes an excellent light haul solution that averaged 32mpg over my recent 3200 mile round trip to Florida to move my mother back home. Very stable, safe, and efficient. Best of both worlds if you ask me.
     
  9. Sil3nt611

    Sil3nt611 Active Member

    I think your main problem would be fitting the hitch receiver because of the rear bumper cover of the ST. That being said, just eyeballing a similar angle of each car for comparison, the receiver looks like it hangs low enough that it would clear the bumper cover. It probably just depends how well it clears the exhaust.

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    As for towing, no car is really rated for towing because people tend not to use sense sometimes so no one can sue Ford for a tow rating. Cars can tow, and I've seen a video of an Escort towing an Eclipse on a tow dolly. The Escort was turboed and the dolly had electric brakes, and obviously the guy didn't accelerate or brake fast or go too fast. Would I ever do it? No. But it can be done. A small trailer with extra wheels on it should be a pretty easy tow for the ST. The Turboed engine should have no trouble pulling it, and the brakes are pretty amazing to me so stopping shouldn't be an issue.
     
  10. spangenb

    spangenb Active Member

    I really do like the Flyin' Miata hitch that takes a U-shaped drawbar that inserts vertically behind the bumper. Totally hidden when not in use and the frame that mounts to the car is pretty light for a hitch. I think I will take the drawbar for the Miata hitch and see how it fits with the ST rear bumper cover. If that looks like a good fit then I will have a buddy fab up a frame to mount to the car based on the Flyin' Miata design. This guy fabs Mustang parts (www.cheperformance.com) so if there's interest then maybe he will turn it into a product offering :)
     
  11. wash

    wash Active Member

    The strength of the brakes aren't a big issue, its the balance.

    I had to do some heavy towing years ago and rented an F150 to do it. Before I left I did a brake check on a wide, empty road and with heavy but not quite emergency level braking, the trailer was starting to come around, like spinning a car with locked rears.

    After I knew what could happen and what it would feel like, I made my trip at low speed, leaving lots of space between myself and the next car.

    Any way, if you somehow manage to get negative tongue weight and do a panic stop you could spin and jack knife at the same time and not stop very well either.

    So if you are going to tow, check your brakes and drive like you are towing.
     
  12. spangenb

    spangenb Active Member

    Yup that's good advice wash. It's like riding a motorcycle. You can't pretend you are driving a car and survive. When you are towing you have to drive with a whole different set of rules AND make sure the load is properly balanced (tongue weight correct) and trailer attitude correct: tongue slightly downhill to the car ... NEVER tongue high.
     
  13. RavynX

    RavynX Member

    I'm interested to hear if the Fiesta hitch will fit on the Fiesta ST as well. I refuse to use roof-racks for bikes and I prefer to use a hitch. Has anyone tested yet?
     
    Chris likes this.
  14. spangenb

    spangenb Active Member

    This thread has been real quiet. With it being middle of winter here I won't get a chance to tinker with the hitch fitment til April. I am sure I can get something to work. Not sure if I can start with a base Fiesta hitch and mod it or just fab from scratch. The pic above of a hitch on a base Fiesta (ugly) really makes me want to shoot for the completely hidden option that I alluded to in my original post.
     
  15. Sil3nt611

    Sil3nt611 Active Member

    It's likely putting a hitch on a sports model car isn't a particularly popular idea... If you want it done you're pretty much going to have to be the guinea pig to see if the regular Fiesta one fits or mock up your own.
     
  16. LuvfiestaST

    LuvfiestaST Active Member

    I had to sell my bike rack I used on my old fiesta cause it doesn't fit the ST.. And not crazy about hitch or roof racks but I found these..Sea suckers bike racks
     
  17. RavynX

    RavynX Member

    Hah, nice! I had a similar setup for going to the track.

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  18. RavynX

    RavynX Member

    According to Post #13 here ( http://www.fiestast.org/forum/fiesta-st-discussions/480-any-hitch-luck-yet-2.html ) the hitch from AutoAnything fits onto the ST but the exhaust rattles against it.

    ^ Posted -> 01-18-2014, 08:47 PM
     
  19. spangenb

    spangenb Active Member

    Yeah just confirms that I may have to fab something to get what I want, or at least mod an existing hitch.
     
  20. eRic

    eRic Active Member

  21. RavynX

    RavynX Member

    That's good to have confirmation from one site. On the other forum one person has installed the Curt hitch and another has installed the Draw-Tite hitch. Both fit the 2014 Fiesta ST with no problems with bumper clearance but the while driving and especially in turns the exhaust tends to hit the hitch bar.
     

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