Sway control without weight distribution - Page 5 - Club Touareg Forums
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post #41 of 79 Old 05-09-2010
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Thanks for the input Nick...

The trailer's box is 20' plus the tongue adds another 3.9' for a total of 24'.

Payload is not a problem...Race car and spares will be another 3000 lbs max depending on which race car I'm running...

I am trying to decide on which WD/Sway control hitch I will get and looking for impressions on the Husky Center Line...


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Peter
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post #42 of 79 Old 05-27-2010 Thread Starter
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We travelled a total 1118 km (~698 miles) round trip. Our trailer weighed in at 1870 kg (4114 lbs).
75% of the driving was on 4 lane with a cruising speed of 110 km/h (~70 mph).
15% of the driving was on 2 lane with a cruising speed of 100 km/h (~60 mph).
10% of the driving was on a 2 lane patch work secondary highway that would probably be better off being a gravel road.
We consumed 222 litres of diesel translating to an average fuel economy of ~19.85 l/100 km (~11.84 mpg). Our first 350 kms (~220 miles) yielded 22.2 l/100km (~10.6 mpg) into a diagonal head wind. The following 230 kms (~140 miles) with a tail wind yielded 17.7 l/100km (13.3 mpg).
Heading out we travelled into considerable diagonal head winds. The wind was strong enough that when stopped we could feel the wind blowing the Touareg. Traffic was relatively light but we did see a number of other trailers in tow. It was very evident which trailers had some kind of sway device and which ones did not. One trailer was swaying enough to make me uncomfortable. With our set up, wind gusts pushed on the entire unit and did not lead to any perceptible sway of any assort. In my QX4, when passing or being passed by a semi, the trailer would wag the dog to some extent. That is, it felt like the trailer was controlling the QX4. With our current set up, I knew we were next to a semi but there was no tail wagging the dog.
I am very pleased with my choice of hitch system and would be happily recommend it to anyone with or without a Touareg although I do not have years of experience with the system. I found the hitch silent except for slow speed significant turn maneuvers when the hitch would “pop” as the spring bar trunnion moved out of the centering compression position. Again for Touareg owners, I chose this system as sway control and weight distribution are independent of each other. From a cost perspective, as a solution for just sway control, the system is overkill but very effective.

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post #43 of 79 Old 05-27-2010
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Thanks for the info sounds like the husky is working well!

Are you able to adjust the Husky for some weight distribution on the Touareg?
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post #44 of 79 Old 05-27-2010 Thread Starter
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Yes one can very easily adjust the amount of weight distribution from none to too much. For a Touareg with air suspension, adjusting the weight distribution requires a weigh scale and is a function of two settings: the tilt degree of the hitch head and/or adjusting the lift brackets up or down. A steel sprung suspension could be adjusted using wheel well measurements but a weigh scale is still a better measure.

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post #45 of 79 Old 05-28-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NuttinButTDi View Post
Yes one can very easily adjust the amount of weight distribution from none to too much. For a Touareg with air suspension, adjusting the weight distribution requires a weigh scale and is a function of two settings: the tilt degree of the hitch head and/or adjusting the lift brackets up or down. A steel sprung suspension could be adjusted using wheel well measurements but a weigh scale is still a better measure.
Alternatively, if you have the air suspension you can lock it in position as you would for jacking the car and use the same method of wheel well deflection used for the steel suspension.

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post #46 of 79 Old 06-02-2010 Thread Starter
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Touareg Towing and J2807

Disclaimer: This post is not for the faint of heart. It is for the O.C.D. purist. Be warned and be afraid. To gaze upon the distended verbiage and ambitious math of the associated spreadsheets of this post will either instantaneously put you to sleep or surely transport you to planet nerdsville and in some rare cases lead to excessive tidiness. It is the culmination of personal interest and opinion using whatever math I could dream up. With all of this in mind, the information within this post should not be taken as absolute fact or be used for any legitimate reason. The intent is to provide a post to melt your grey matter or to speak about at the water cooler (or in the case of trailering the filling station). Although you can use the following does not mean you should. Use at your own risk.


Props:
· VW
· Richard Klein (http://www.richardhklein.com/)
· Nick Crowhurst (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464/load-distribution-hitches-an-analysis-19236.html)
· Kenneth Lenger (http://www.klenger.net/)
· The internet

Spreadsheets (use at your own risk or don’t use at all): I am not able to upload my spreadsheet. Please feel free to contact me if you would like a copy or have a burning desire to learn more about the spreadsheets.



I have some interesting news and information to share regarding my trailering situation but more importantly how it will relate to others.

The SAE J2807 (Performance Requirements for Determining Tow-Vehicle Gross Combination Weight Rating and Trailer Weight Rating) is coming to a tow rating near you for voluntary adopters MY2013. “Voluntary” means it may or may not apply to VW… Although primarily a North American automotive directive, I believe the J2807 will help bring more fact to folklore for combination vehicle (CV, tow vehicle[TV] and trailer[TT]) understanding and safety. Although some manufacturers are early adopters, the standard will be finalized this year (likely this spring). It would appear VW may not have provided any input into the standard and they may not adopt the standard.
In short, the J2807 towing standard is a more stringent and industry standardized means of determining tow ratings for vehicles as it includes overall performance metrics. The current rating system might be described as a marketing tool rather than well engineered. Here is a link to a decent article regarding the J2807 - SAE Tow Ratings - Tow Ratings Finally Pass the Sniff Test.
Below is my summary of the various metrics that would allow the Gross Trailer Weight Rating (GTWR) and/or Trailer Tongue Weight Rating (T-TWR) designation:



Tow-vehicle Structural Performance Requirement
  • Chassis content – The design specification of suspension, steering, brakes, tires, etc able to accommodate the specified GCWR
  • Trailer Connection Point – Defines the specifics about OEM and aftermarket hitch receivers as well as helps define weight distribution
Propulsion System Performance
  • Level Road Acceleration – acceleration metrics
  • Launch on Grade – starting on a grade metrics
  • Highway Gradeability - Minimum speed, Drivetrain system, and Cooling system performance
Combination Braking Performance
  • Straight Line Braking - Combination stability and stopping distance
  • Park Brake – ability to hold specified GCWR on grade
Combination Handling
  • Tow vehicle understeer – handling metrics for the specified GCWR
  • Trailer Sway Response - Trailer yaw damping ratio
To me, one of the interesting areas covered by the J2807 is weight distribution. It is safest to drive with a CV within all specified limits with an equalized load (taking some weight off the rear tires or rear axle) and a level combination. The proper set up of a CV will yield significantly better yaw stability (that is, reduced or controllable trailer sway). J2807 describes the methodology of FALR (Front Axle Load Restoration) which is the percent change in front axle load (from TVTW) due to weight distributing hitch application divided by change in front axle load due to addition of trailer tongue weight. TVTW is Tow-Vehicle Trailering Weight which includes a driver (150 lbs), a passenger (150 lbs), optional equipment purchased by at least one third of the customer base, (standard and/or optional) hitch equipment, and the base weight of the tow vehicle (essentially a representation of a loaded up vehicle ready to tow). Simply stated, FALR is a measure of returning the vehicle weight ratio back to what it was before the addition of tongue weight using a weight distribution system. However, FALR and a level combination are separate issues. Essentially, what this means is that not only will automobile manufacturers specify the GTWR and T-TWR, they may also suggest a proper FALR (between 0-100%) which implies the use of weight distribution. The recommended FALR may or may not result in a level combination as a level combination may actually require overloading the front axle (or FALR > 100%).

So how does this relate to the Touareg today?
Without actually performing the test procedures, one can still use some math (and theory) to see how the current Touareg measures up to the J2807.

I have created a spreadsheet that calculates TV (Tow Vehicle) performance of the MY2006 V10 TDi Touareg. My findings are as follows:

Tow-vehicle Structural Performance Requirement



I wanted to address three issues with the chassis:
  • Trailer Tongue Weight Rating (T-TWR) and Rear Gross Axle Weight (RGAW):
(refer to the TWR and RGAW tab of the CT- Touareg Towing.xlsx spreadsheet)



Using VW specifications, the original T-TWR (616 lbs) of an unloaded vehicle leaves some RGAW reserve. The revised T-TWR (770 lbs) of an unloaded vehicle actually surpasses the RGAW without even being loaded. Bring the vehicle up to the J2807 TVTW specifications by adding 300 lbs of passengers (driver and passenger) and both Volkswagen T-TWRs surpass the RGAW according to my calculations. The J2807 specifies that the Trailer Weight Rating (TWR) as the minimum of: GCWR –TVTW, (GVWR - TVTW) x 10, or (RGAWR - TVTW rear axle load) x 10/((WB + CPOH)/WB). Where: WB is wheelbase, CPOH is connection point overhang, measured from rear axle centerline to connection point position, and no allowance is to be made for weight distribution effects. According to my calculations these translate into 7,772 lbs, 8,270 lbs, and 5672 lbs respectively. This means the suggested J2807 TWR for the Touareg might be 4841 lbs limited by the Rear Gross Axle Weight Rating (RGAWR). Translate the TWR to T-TWR @ 10-15% and one ends up with a T-TWR between 567 lbs to 850 lbs. Using my calculations, staying within the RGAWR of a J2807 TVTW would translate to a T-TWR of no more than 567 lbs without weight distribution.
  • Relative change to weight ratio:
(refer to the TWR and RGAW tab of the CT- Touareg Towing.xlsx spreadsheet)



The V10 Touareg has a reported 52/48 weight ratio. Adding the original T-TWR (616 lbs) of an unloaded vehicle changes the ratio to 43/57. The revised T-TWR (770 lbs) of an unloaded vehicle changes the ratio to 41/59. Adding the J2807 specifications for TV-TW (Driver and passenger) only changes these slightly back toward the front. Combining 1 and 2 means not only is the RGAW is overwhelmed but also the balance of the vehicle has (significantly) shifted from the front to the rear.
  • Non-recommended use of weight distribution: VW does not recommend the use of weight distribution on the Touareg (supposedly due to unibody construction and perhaps self leveling suspension). It is my opinion (as evidenced by my calculations) the reason VW does not recommend a weight distribution system does have to do with the lever forces of distributing the entire weight of the tongue weight via a weight distribution system surpassing the spec of the unibody attachment point for the Touareg hitch. I believe what is right for me is in between not having weight distribution and having too much weight distribution risking (frame) damage. The answer is the ability to provide a calculated amount of weight distribution up the equivalent dead weight force of the T-TWR on a specified hitch ball through the weight distribution system. That is, an FALR of 100% is achievable by overwhelming the hitch attachment point. For me, an FALR of zero (percent) does not represent the safest towing state. However, an FALR greater than 0 but less the hitch attachment point force capacity is achievable and will provide both safety with a mitigated risk of damage. Combining 1 through 3, by shifting a portion of the tongue weight back to the front axle and to the trailer axle and understanding the amount of tongue weight to distribute helps alleviate all three issues.
Propulsion System Performance
(refer to the Towing Data Calcs tab of the CT- Touareg Towing.xlsx spreadsheet)
As performing the J2807 is impractical on the 2006 Touareg at this point, one can instead use some calculated metrics both expected performance and allow comparison across vehicles. Expected performance is a function of torque and horse power, the drive train ratios, and diameter of tire. It is important to compare force (torque) and work (power) where they matter which is at the pavement. Therefore, using some math and the Touareg as an example, we can explain the differences in expected performance between Touareg power plants (engine outputs). The two metrics used for comparison are Pounds/Torque in 1st gear and Pounds/HP in 6th gear.
Pounds/Torque in 1st gear is an indicative measure of weight to torque available for acceleration or launch. The lower the number, the better the anticipated acceleration as there is less weight per torque. The mathematical evidence below provides an explanation of the expected difference between the different Touareg power plants. Comparing V6 to the V10, one would expect significantly better CV acceleration from the V10.
Pounds/HP in 6th gear is an indicative measure of weight to horsepower available for (highway) cruising overcoming CV weight, drag, and wind speed. The lower the number, the better the anticipated performance as there is less weight per horsepower. That is, at cruising speed a lower number represents the power plant having to work less. One might suggest this measure might help represent fuel economy expectations. Comparing V6 to the V10, one would expect significantly better fuel economy from the V10 despite the fact that the V10 CV weighs ~800lbs more than the V6 due to the V10 engine.

Pounds/Torque in 1st gear: V6 - 6.03, V8 - 4.66, V10 TDi - 2.67

Pounds/HP in 6th gear: V6 - 34.59, V8 - 27.32, V10 TDi - 28.60

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post #47 of 79 Old 06-02-2010 Thread Starter
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Touareg Towing and J2807 continued

Combination Braking Performance
I chose to use the Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller for two reasons. First, I already had the unit. Secondly, after reading several user opinions of the unit and using the unit myself I really like the relatively straightforward install, ease of use, and function of the unit. I particularly like the “boost” functions. For a relatively unloaded trailer I use b1, when the trailer is loaded I use b2, and when the trailer is weighed down with fresh and “used” water I use b3. The CV braking has always been spot on. The Prodigy and the 2006 Touareg was simple install.


Combination Handling
(refer to the Summary tab for expected outcomes and Weigh Scale for actuals of the CT- Touareg Towing.xlsx spreadsheet)
Proper trailer sway damping is a function of many things that may include speed, TV/TT weight ratio, distance of the hitch ball from the rear axle, trailer tongue weight, drag (aerodynamic properties of TV, TT, and CV), trailer length, TV wheelbase, the levelness of the CV, travel conditions (weather, roads, traffic), and hitch system.
I want to further address FALR and hitch system.
1. FALR - Most vehicles without the ability to couple a trailer at or forward of the rear axle are not primarily designed for towing. That may sound like I am stating the obvious but what it means is that most tow vehicle’s (primarily SUVs) performance dynamics are better without trailers. Although towing is within the design scope it is likely further down the precondition list. What this means is, when coupled with a trailer, better performance will be obtained by returning the (SUV) TV back to its uncoupled (trailer-less) performance dynamics. J2807 addresses this issue with the FALR. As FALR allows a TV manufacturer to specify optimal CV setup (or % return to uncoupled performance or front/rear weight ratio/distribution). Therefore, in my opinion, there is more to be gained by proper weight distribution than by mechanical “sway control”. Proper CV (for both TV and TT) weight alignment provides significant trailer sway damping. I believe simply dropping 770 lbs onto the back of the Touareg is a significant change from the Touareg’s uncoupled performance dynamic.
2. Hitch System - I live in an area with steady westerly winds and frequent formidable wind gusts. Several of my common highway routes travel perpendicularly to these conditions and I have seen some significant (trailer) events as a result. Because of this, having my CV act in unison or as a single unit is very important to me. It is important enough so that despite the fact that I know my properly* set up CV using weight distribution is good enough, I prefer to take it one step further. Enter the “active” sway control Husky Center Line. I chose this unit because of its realistic common sense sway control design that I could see being quantifiably proven. The premise is simple; the compression cylinders produce a tangible centering force when tensioned. According to Husky, the Center Line is not for use with TTs under 4000 lbs. I assume this has to do with the amount of the centering force. I installed the hitch system myself which was very easy to do once we found a nice piece of level ground.
3. The road test - My test section included both two lane highway parallel with the wind travelling into and with the wind and single lane highway with significant (perpendicular) cross winds. As well I took the CV up a significant hill. Compared to my previous set up I’ve changed two significant pieces of equipment. First the Touareg and second the hitch system. I came from a 2002 QX4 with a chain style weight distribution system and a friction sway control bar. There is no comparison between the two setups. Forget the QX4 to Touareg comparison; I want to address the overall CV handling. I believe the chain weight distribution system did a fine job of doing its thing. I might even argue it is a better weight distribution system as I believe the spring bars had more vertical flex (which translates into a smoother ride for the trailer). I was not a fan of the friction bar though. I did not like the sound of the friction bar and in wind gusts my I felt trailer movement. There is something to be said about the fact that the Touareg is a heavier rig than the QX4 but in similar cross wind conditions my new set up felt like a true CV (train). Where with the QX4 set up, the trailer felt like the initial force, the new set up moved in unison – exactly what I was after.
4. Why not the Propride or Hensley? When I started this journey I was convinced my primary concern was sway control. However, after a lot of research, it turns out I was after a proper set up. First and foremost, I was primarily after (some) weight distribution. My second focus was sway or trailer damping (from both weight distribution and active device). Finally, to me the two sway kings are everything they claim to be but too cost prohibitive.


Supplementary Touareg information for Husky installation (Use at your own risk or don’t use at all):
Please refer to the Husky installation manual: http://www.huskytow.com/FTP/HuskyFeaturedProducts/HuskyCenterLine/Installation_CenterLine.pdf
· In order to level my trailer, I installed the hitch shank in the down position.
· Before positioning the head assembly, place one (1) of the adjusting plates on the larger bolt (¾” x 5.5” HEX BOLT) as even with two of us, the head assembly was awkward to handle and position. Having the second (top) bolt assembled, accessible, and ready to go helps.
· I installed the head assembly with the bottom of the head assembly lining up with the bottom bolt hole of the shank.
· The adjusting plates require a little wiggling to get them to slide into position. You will need to budge the entire hitch head to align the teeth. The adjusting plates should not need significant (hammering) force to align. I would suggest if you can’t get the adjusting plate teeth to slide into the hitch head teeth by hand there’s something wrong.
· My goal with my set up was to end up with a minimal initial weight distribution as I intended to dial in the weight distribution using weigh scales to be precise. That is, to measure the amount of weight being distributed via the Center Line so I do not exert more force than the hitch attachment point would allow. The Husky instructions read, “The amount of leveling is adjusted by changing which hole the square head set screw is secured in on the spring bar lift bracket.” I believe the amount of leveling (or weight distribution) is a function of the distance between the spring bar lift bracket and the spring bar. I believe this distance can be adjusted two ways, tilting the hitch head up (less tension - do not adjust above level) or down (more tension) and/or moving Spring Bar Lift Brackets up (more tension) or down (less tension). Once the hitch head is set and torqued, it is definitely easier to adjust the spring bar lift brackets.
· My goal was to have no more than an inch or so of vertical distance from the bottom of the spring bar lift bracket to the top of the spring bar. That is, if one were to move the spring bar lift bracket down one (1) notch the spring bars would merely rest without tension (and without weight distribution) in the spring bar lift bracket.
· I did not follow the “Preliminary Head Adjustment Chart” and simply installed hitch head level as it looked as though the spring bars would end up roughly where I envisioned.
· Step 3 of Husky’s instructions regarding, “Hooking Up Spring Bars” did not make sense to me. Holding the spring bar lift bracket and the spring bar to determine the initial height of the spring bar lift bracket seems useless so I skipped it and went to step 4.
· I installed the spring bar lift bracket per the Husky instructions initial height of 2.5 holes showing.
· I did not measure the dead (tongue) weight effect on the rear axle wheel well height but you might want to do this. I plan on doing it next time.
· I coupled the trailer and loaded the spring bars into the spring bar lift brackets.
· I measured ~1 inch of drop at the rear wheel wells before allowing the Touareg to self level.
· I am aiming for weight distribution of the tongue weight that is less than or equal to (<=) the equivalent downward (torque) force of the VW specified 770 lb tongue weight creates has on the hitch attachment point.
· The “Check Vehicle Height And Adjust Spring Bars If Necessary” pertains to the more civilian (non air suspension) vehicles. For those that have self leveling air suspension, I believe the truth lies in the weigh scales. To dial in my suggested weight distribution it may take a number of passes through the weigh scale. Without exact measurements I would suggest distributing no more than the equivalent of ~390 lbs of tongue weight using the Husky Center Line (dimensions). I use a tongue weight of 491 lbs in my calculations of which an equivalent of ~390 lbs can be distributed. From my calculations this means the measurable trailer axle weight should increase by 82 lbs and front axle weight of the Touareg should increase by 134 lbs.

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post #48 of 79 Old 06-02-2010 Thread Starter
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Touareg Towing and J2807 Amendment

UNDER
  • Trailer Tongue Weight Rating (T-TWR) and Rear Gross Axle Weight (RGAW):
This means the suggested J2807 TWR for the Touareg might be 4841 lbs limited by the Rear Gross Axle Weight Rating (RGAWR).

SHOULD READ
This means the suggested J2807 TWR for the Touareg might be 5672 lbs limited by the Rear Gross Axle Weight Rating (RGAWR).
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Touareg Towing and J2807.pdf (77.8 KB, 2311 views)

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Thanks for the detailed information. I enjoyed reading it! I might pull the trigger on a Husky afterall!
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post #50 of 79 Old 06-06-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintage911 View Post
Any updates ??

I am looking to tow a 3300lb 8.5x20 race car trailer with my 2110 Touareg V6TDI and am very interested in your results...All of my race buddies think I am pushing it towing with a short wheelbase vehicle and recommend getting some sort of swy control at a minimum.

I am new to towing so any info will be quite useful...

BTW, I'm in Calgary too

Cheers
I just towed a 25foot Airstream Coast-to-Coast with 55mph plus gusts between Nebraska/Colorado - granted I have a ProPride Hitch - still not a single issue!!!

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TV = '11 F-350 King Ranch 6.7L 4x4 SB SRW - Forrest Green & Chaparral Leather
TT = '11 30 Classic Limited - Praline Leather & Hickory Wood
Hitch = ProPride "Pivot Point Projection" (3P) Hitch

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