Author Topic: Flat towing  (Read 37333 times)

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steveco.

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Flat towing
« on: Oct 22, 2007, 01:10:22 PM »
this weekend i'm planning on going to glamis and taking my rig... i've trailered it before but i couldn't get access to the trailer this time, so someone had suggested that i flat tow my truck...  i already got the tow bar and the wiring hooked up to my truck.. i'm wondering if i should put both transfer cases in neutral. will i have a problem with that setup? any info would be great....thanks steve
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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #1 on: Oct 22, 2007, 01:52:33 PM »
I put everything in neutral also make sure your steering doesn't lock. If you see the rig swaying back and forth put a bungee cord around the steering wheel to apply tension.  :twocents:

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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #2 on: Oct 22, 2007, 01:53:44 PM »
how far are you towing it? removing the driveshaft doesnt take too long
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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #3 on: Oct 22, 2007, 02:35:38 PM »
You must remove your rear driveshaft!!!!!!

jimbo74

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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #4 on: Oct 22, 2007, 02:46:56 PM »
what are you towing it with?
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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #5 on: Oct 22, 2007, 03:39:05 PM »
2wd and remove the rear driveshaft.

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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #6 on: Oct 22, 2007, 06:01:50 PM »
You must remove your rear driveshaft!!!!!!

x2
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steveco. [OP]

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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #7 on: Oct 22, 2007, 06:25:57 PM »
i'm towing it with a tundra.. i've done it it the past many times before and it towed it like a champ... from whittier it's about 230 miles each way...  if i were to remove the rear driveshaft do i remove the whole thing or just one end... 
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JnJ

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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #8 on: Oct 22, 2007, 06:47:57 PM »
I don't mean to hi-jack and I know this is a newbie question...but why should you remove the driveshaft? What can happen if you don't?
Jenn and Justin

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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #9 on: Oct 22, 2007, 07:05:18 PM »
I don't mean to hi-jack and I know this is a newbie question...but why should you remove the driveshaft? What can happen if you don't?
im taking a stab at this...i can think of 2 possible reasons...

1. The shifter could pop into gear if you hit a bump = (BAD)

2. The bearings in the t-case wont get any oil (not completely sure about that)
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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #10 on: Oct 22, 2007, 07:45:52 PM »
#2 is correct.
The transfer case oils only when the imput is spinning.
The transfer case could explode/freeze if you flat tow with the rear driveshaft connected.

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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #11 on: Oct 22, 2007, 07:50:25 PM »
#2 is correct.
The transfer case oils only when the imput is spinning.
The transfer case could explode/freeze if you flat tow with the rear driveshaft connected.
:yesnod: X2

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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #12 on: Oct 22, 2007, 07:51:01 PM »
Or your driveshaft bolts can come loose and ruin your weekend and leave you with a fat tow bill. TRUST ME

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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #13 on: Oct 22, 2007, 07:52:00 PM »
Ya that really sucked for you  :shake_head:

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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #14 on: Oct 22, 2007, 08:40:59 PM »
Flat-towing 101: Front hubs unlocked, rear d-shaft removed from 3rd and tied up or completely removed, key in ignition turn the key on then turn it back to the ACC position, parking brake off, auxilary lighting and of course a good towbar. Now there are some laws on the books about braking so be careful depending on the GVWR of the tow vehicle you may be required to have a braking system on the towed vehicle. I've never worried about the braking issue and have never had a problem with the PD but then I've never been pulled over either.
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steveco. [OP]

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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #15 on: Oct 23, 2007, 12:20:05 PM »
thanks for the great info guys...
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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #16 on: Oct 23, 2007, 01:54:29 PM »
Thanks for clarifying!
Jenn and Justin

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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #17 on: Nov 08, 2007, 10:05:12 AM »
You must remove your rear driveshaft!!!!!!

I used to flat tow mine and I would get oil coming out around the rear shaft of the T-case. The oil was only present when I would tow. If its not oiling, then what is that oil coming from? Not arguing, just wondering.
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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #18 on: Nov 08, 2007, 11:20:14 AM »
Oh it's oiling but it's in 4wd when in neutral and is spinning the front axle which will overheat and spit gear oil which may be what you were experiencing.
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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #19 on: Jan 20, 2008, 11:33:03 AM »
After all is said and done I will be falt towing my Mini with my new Tacoma. Here is a good idea so that you have brakes on your trail rig while it is being falt towed it. If you already have rear disk brakes you could add a second caliper to each side of the rear axle and instal a Elect./ Hydro. brake unit to run the second caliper on the rear axle giving you trailer brakes on your trail rig. Sure it might cost a little to do but it is better than having a wrecked tow rig and trail rig if you flat tow alot. If you do not want to run 4 calipers on the rear you could also pulmb one of these units in below your master and plumb in a manual isolator valve and have 4 wheel brakes...
Just my  :twocents:
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Rocksurfer

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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #20 on: Jan 20, 2008, 08:37:58 PM »
I don't think my truck would affect my tow rig at all.  :cheese:
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nowhitefenders

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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #21 on: Jan 21, 2008, 08:24:11 AM »
 :twocents:  I flat tow my truck and have never removed the driveshaft.  I do check my truck (looking at the tow bar tabs too!) along the way and after I arrive at the trail.  For the Tin Benders event I took off the night before half tired and can confirm leaving the truck in gear will result in the tranny spewing oil.  I just flushed what was remaining (most of it was) and haven't had any problems.  Although the truck interior smelled like gear oil for a couple months.  I was only told to keep everything in neutral and to keep the key on to let the truck steer.  I can see removing the rear shaft in case the truck would pop into gear, I just don't know how that could happen.  (Page 67 on my pristine 1984 Toyota 4WD truck manual only says to have everything in neutral and the key on.)  I have a manual trans Suzuki Grand Vitara (4WD, of course) that I've flat towed to Montana and back and just had that into neutral as well.  The manual for that one only says to put it in neutral, keep the key on, and let it have a break every two hours to let the tranny cool down.  I guess the auto trans model can be flat towed, since it's a 4WD.  But it appears all the advice you've been provided is sound. 

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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #22 on: Jan 21, 2008, 11:01:42 AM »
I have also towed my 80 with the ds in from Panamint to Santa Clarita with no ill effects, I know it won't hurt to leave it in but I take it out to reduce the wear & tear on the driveline.
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grant526

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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #23 on: Mar 04, 2008, 11:59:13 AM »
I don't mean to rain on every bodies parades, but just because you haven't seen an ill effects from flat towing without removing the rear drive line. Doesn't mean that you haven't shortened the life of the transfer case and/or transmission. 

Having just completed a Manual Transmissions and Drive-train course, I now understand how manual transmissions, t-cases and differentials work.  And I understand why it is not good to flat tow with out removing the drive lines. 
I would also recommend anyone that has the time and is interested, sign up for a drive-train class at your local community college.  I was amazed at what I learned I was well worth the $60 tuition plus $100 or so for books.

It's not recommended that you flat tow more than 50 miles and not over 50 mph without removing the rear drive line.  Some vehicles, Saturn's in particular, are designed to be towed with a special mod from the factory.  This is why you see so many Saturn products behind motor homes.  You can also buy "disconnects" for lack of a better word for some other vehicles.  My Dad has talked about when he used to flat tow his Vega, it called for adding an addition quart of oil to the 4speed.  Making up the difference in fluid height in the tranny and allowing the main-shaft bearings to get lubed while the input shaft wasn't turning. 

One tip, that surprisingly, no one has mentioned yet.  Before removing your drive line, index it, make a mark on both the pinion flange and the Drive shaft flange that line up with each other.  This allows you to re-align your flange and drive line the same way they always are, thus reducing any possible additional vibration from not being balanced.  Really you should index before removing the drive line for any reason and always keep it index, for future removals.  Indexing makes it much easier to be sure it's going back in the same way it came out. 

And by removing your driveline, you remove that little bit more rolling resistance your tow rig would otherwise have to overcome.  Which is especially important when towing with a low power truck like a Tundra or other Yota. 
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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #24 on: Mar 04, 2008, 12:38:21 PM »
I think everyone is saying that it is best to disconnect the driveshaft.  If you don't the tcase will not get proper lubrication and shorten the life of the drivetrain, and like myself I realized when I towed mine home with it inplace I was not doing it any good. Also I have been in the transportation of vehicles for most of my adult life and there are vehicles that can be towed any distances with no damage to any drivetrain parts due to the way the gear oil continues to lubricate the parts and seals. This would be the main issue anyways other than normal wear and tear which with the ds still connected would still occur.

As to the Tundra being under powered I don't mean to rain on your parade but:

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« Last Edit: Mar 05, 2008, 09:04:52 AM by Rocksurfer »
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grant526

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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #25 on: Mar 04, 2008, 02:34:05 PM »
Sorry Rocksurfer,
I was just putting in my 2cents worth. 

And as for the tundra being underpowered, the only one I have had anything to do with was a buddy of mines that I was pulling his racecar with.  Don't get me wrong, I  think they are great trucks and would like to own one.  But it wasn' the fastest getting up to speed with the trailer on.  And his racecar weighs considerably less than any of our trucks. 

And sorry to everyone else too, I'm not trying to Hi-Jack the thread.  I wasn't disagreeing with anyone, I'm just throwing out my experience and opinion. 

And this thread has been intersesting.  I'm looking at building a Towbar, so I can one day flat tow my '85.  Incase I have to at some point or just if I want to. 

Have a great day!
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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #26 on: Mar 05, 2008, 02:05:46 PM »
Don't worry about it I'm just yanking your chain, you'll get used to my crude humor.
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grant526

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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #27 on: Mar 05, 2008, 11:00:47 PM »
Cool!  I'm new to this forum and don't want to make to many enemies right off the bat!  ;)
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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #28 on: Mar 06, 2008, 07:36:23 AM »
Enemies are not allowed here, we are a bunch of buddies even when we disagree. You'll find this out as you get more time here. As diverse as we all are here, we strive to get along on this board, in fact it is mandatory. I'm sorry you took my jab as flame attack, in fact flamming is strictly prohibited.
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Re: Flat towing
« Reply #29 on: Mar 06, 2008, 08:59:53 AM »
Enemies are not allowed here, we are a bunch of buddies even when we disagree. You'll find this out as you get more time here. As diverse as we all are here, we strive to get along on this board, in fact it is mandatory. I'm sorry you took my jab as flame attack, in fact flamming is strictly prohibited.

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