Trailer Hitches Dig Into Driveway Ramp

suspension
struts

#1

I bought a 2000 Buick Century Custom and would like to have a trailer hitch on it but it would dig into the driveway ramp and also grind away at the bottom of the hitch. Another Buick I had, a Regal, could not use air adjustable shocks as it had struts so I had to bolt heavy duty casters under the hitch frame. But I don't want to have to design wheels to fit this Buick Custom I now have. Might anyone know if anyone sells air adjustable struts for this Buick Century that would jack up the rear end a bit, or are there maybe spring boosters that would work without giving too stiff of a ride?? This Buick Century has rear coil springs; my Buick Regal had a transverse spring.


#2

How much more clearance do you need? Have you measured it?

On most cars, you can go one size larger on tires. For example, if your car now has 205/70-15 tires on it, you could replace them with 215/70-15 or 225/65-15. Both will raise your car by about 0.4". Do all four tires.

Going more than one size larger could become problematic, but on some vehicles, this is possible.

You might also look into custom hitches the receiver may sit a little higher or not stick out as far in the back. That might solve your problem too, but it could be the cheapest solution in the long run. If your trailer is small, you may get buy with a 1.25" receiver instead of the usual 2" receiver.


#3

The Century is not a highly modified car, and there aren’t many after market parts for it. Certainly, I can’t find any suspension mods for it. Replacement parts, sure, but no mods.

Good luck,
Chase


#4

Is there any way you can build up your entrance with asphalt to make it more a more gradual transition from the street. It can always be done, it’s just a matter of expense. This seldom occurs to contractors of private drives because of added expense but does to engineers for city streets. It would be cheaper than air shocks or changing cars. And people wonder why SUVs are popular in the city. .;=) I like all of Keith’s less expensive options too.


#5

Thanks to all who reply to this post. Your suggestions point out to me to not be closed minded about obstacles and just give up!


#6

Nope…don’t want you to be closed minded, nor to give up, but rather that your unique situation may have an expensive fix. If no one makes after market parts to do what you want to do, your option is to have something designed and fabricated, or modify something that wasn’t meant for a specific purpose. You could check into some kind of lift kit for a strut mount axle (does it even have struts??). I’m sure there must be one out there somewhere. then you have to extend the rest of the components, which may be more complicated. Don’t forget the brake lines, if they get stretched.

There are always options. It all depends on how important those are to you, and how much you’re willing to pay to get where you want to be.

Good luck, whatever avenue you pursue.


#7

Even if I couldn’t “jack up” the rear suspension to gain driveway ramp clearance, I’m wondering if I could buy heavy duty rear springs, helper springs, or spring boosters to keep the rear end of the car from sagging after I would install my class 2 hitch which adds a lot of weight in addition to all the tools and equipment I carry in my trunk permanently?


#8

From what I can find, one option may be Gabriel parts and accessories. Apparently they have an air adjustable shock that may suit your car.


#9

Thanks for the link to Gabriel parts, chaissos. But I could only find years up to 1996 and I have a 2000