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Author Topic: Towing a Four Wheel Drive Toad  (Read 3016 times)
Fredward
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« on: July 07, 2009, 02:57:08 AM »

I've found various threads here on toads. What are you doing when you tow your 4WD toad? I purposely bought a toad with manual transfer case and automatic transmission. I believe that the proper approach is to put the transfer case in neutral and leave the tranny in Park. I have pulled the vehicle (2002 Nissan Pathfinder) with the transmission in Park and in Neutral. Both seem to work. I think that Park is better because the transmission doesn't spin at all then?

If you've been towing a 4WD, how have you been doing it? I don't think a driveline disconnect kit would help as the front wheels are always connected to the transfer case.

Fred
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2009, 03:55:21 AM »

If you've been towing a 4WD, how have you been doing it? I don't think a driveline disconnect kit would help as the front wheels are always connected to the transfer case.
Fred

Fred,
   That is the way we tow our Jeep Grand Cherokee (transfer case in neutral & transmission in park) as per our owners manual.  MAKE SURE STEERING COLUMN IS NOT IN LOCKED POSITION!!!   Jack
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2009, 05:27:31 AM »

Uh, yeah...  What Jack said!

I found it both disturbing, and amusing, to have come across a couple of guys towing their car on the way back from FL with my bus...

He couldn't figure out why the car kept peeking at him from behind the motorhome he'd just bought...  I asked a few basic questions, and he told me pretty quick (and without hesitation) that he locked the steering wheel...

I asked how he thought the car was going to track his motorhome's directionality if it couldn't turn its own wheels...  He thought about it a moment and promptly unlocked the steering wheel and disconnected the battery...  It didn't help that his tow bar was bent, but it didn't appear cracked at the bend and the weld lines looked OK...  I told him he'd be better off getting another tow bar...  He said he would 'eventually'...  What can ya do?

Nice guys though...  We sat around and BS'd about the bus for a bit...  He couldn't believe the price I picked it up for and by the time we got done talking and I got done showing him around the bus...  He wished he'd bought a bus... especially after I told him how S&S vs. buses do in rollovers and crashes...  But, alas, he'd already spent everything he had on the S&S.

I didn't get his info, but I imagine he's saving up for a bus conversion.  ^.^

Ya meet all kinds of people on trips, usually it's great socialization..  Smiley

-Mac
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2009, 05:34:59 AM »

The exact answer may vary some depending on the vehicle and transmission/transfer case setup. However, this is one area the owners manual nearly always covers, assuming it's ready-to-tow from the factory.
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cody
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2009, 05:51:52 AM »

The owners manual should have it listed under 'recreational towing'.
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NewbeeMC9
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2009, 06:24:50 AM »


Fredward,

Is there a issue that you are having? 

If you have Transfer case in neutral,  then transmission wont spin from pulling regardless of the gear that it is in.

Do what the book says!


Also in "N",  you shouldn't be able to lock the steering wheel accidentally.
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2009, 06:54:46 AM »

Even thought the transfer case is in neutral, there is the chance that the spinning gears in the transfer case will still spin the input shaft from the transmission in left in neutral.  While the shaft may only turn at a slow rate-during a drive-that could still mean the shaft turning several thousand times without the oil pressure from the engine running.  So unless the owners manual says so, always put the transmission in park, with the transfer case in neutral.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2009, 07:13:28 AM »

We have the electronic transfer kit in our explorers. They shift the transfer case to neutral, but to do that, the transmission must be in neutral, and it stays in neutral. The advantage here is that when the transmission is in neutral, the key cannot be turned into the lock position, so the steering remains unlocked. No chance of forgetting to unlock the wheel if you properly engage the neutral transfer kit, and there's an LED indicator to tell you when it's engaged. Very simple.

Bottom line. I would leave the transmission in neutral. If the transfer case gets shifted out of neutral while being towed (yes, it can happen), you will do less damage if the transmission is in neutral, than if it is in park.



« Last Edit: July 07, 2009, 07:17:51 AM by gumpy » Logged

Craig Shepard
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« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2009, 08:28:33 AM »

I have a 03 Chevy 3500 4 by I tow and the manual says to leave it in park with the key in the off position, when I do this the wheel lock is disabled. I have towed it through out the midwest and the west. The only trouble I have had is people think the tow lights are for looks only and have run into the back of it. I changed the lights to led's and it didn't help they still run into the back so I leave the trailer ball in the receiver in the back. Really does a job on the hoods of the cars that run up under it.

Don
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« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2009, 09:24:04 AM »

I have a 03 Chevy 3500 4 by I tow and the manual says to leave it in park with the key in the off position, when I do this the wheel lock is disabled. I have towed it through out the midwest and the west. The only trouble I have had is people think the tow lights are for looks only and have run into the back of it. I changed the lights to led's and it didn't help they still run into the back so I leave the trailer ball in the receiver in the back. Really does a job on the hoods of the cars that run up under it.

Don

And here I thought that it only got back over by Dina's when parked! LOL! Grin
Grin  BK  Grin
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Dallas
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« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2009, 09:24:46 AM »

Twice  Grin

I have a 03 Chevy 3500 4 by I tow and the manual says to leave it in park with the key in the off position, when I do this the wheel lock is disabled. I have towed it through out the midwest and the west. The only trouble I have had is people think the tow lights are for looks only and have run into the back of it. I changed the lights to led's and it didn't help they still run into the back so I leave the trailer ball in the receiver in the back. Really does a job on the hoods of the cars that run up under it.

Don

And here I thought that it only got back over by Dina's when parked! LOL! Grin
Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2009, 09:44:15 AM »

A girl in baton-Rouge ran up under the ball with a Pontiac and cut up the hood before wolf had a double shot at it. I also had a girl try to center punch it in ten. on the way up to your place Bryce. Go figure, a big ol bus and a one ton truck in tow and it can't be seen.

I also had a guy in MO. run into the back of it after I left your place.

I have never had it run into in AZ NM Texas or Okla.  (yet)

Well see what happens on my way back there the last week of Sept.

Don
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Lin
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« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2009, 12:03:15 PM »

Don,

People do not have to know how to drive to get a license in Louisiana.  I lived there for 11 years and was absolutely amazed.  When I first moved there from the LA area, my insurance rates went up.  When I questioned the agent about that, he just said, "Haven't you noticed how people drive here?"  I had a friend that went to for road test having never driven before and passed.  Maybe there was a bribe involved.  Anyway, he then moved up to NYC, got I job as a cab driver, and learned as he went along.

Anyway, what color is the truck?  There may be an issue regarding contrast causing depth perception problems.  Hang an American flag over the back and see if anyone dares to hit it.
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« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2009, 02:22:47 PM »

Not all 4x4s can be flat towed, & of those that can, some must have the transmission in park & some must be in neutral.

It all depends on how the lube is circulated in the transmissions/ transfer cases. The transfer cases that are safe to tow have an output shaft driven oil pump.

I'd always leave the automatic transmission in park unless the owners manual stated otherwise, since all the automatics I am familiar with have the oil pump driven off the input shaft.

The more you run the gears together without oil on 'em, the sooner they wear out.


YMMV
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« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2009, 02:52:16 PM »

Hi Fred,

I leave the bus in nutral and keep the Hummer in gear so I can push.. Grin

Seriously, Just do as your owners manual states. I electronicly shift the transfer case into nutral and then put the trans in park.

I think the Hummer might be able to push if it had to. Cheesy Lol

Nick-
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« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2009, 06:00:26 PM »

Louisiana and driver's licenses....  Yeah.  I could go on about that one for a while...

I got my driver's license here...  But, I failed the first attempt.  The 'course' consisted of a square track with a few stop signs.  The very last sign they hadn't bothered to trim a hedge that was growing around the sign and obscured it to the point of it being invisible, yet somehow the asshole felt I should have anticipated its existence with no other markings (not even the typical line across the 'street' indicating so)...

The second time through, they'd trimmed the bush and the sign miraculously sprang forth.  I passed, of course....

Now, my motorcycle license was a complete joke.  I'd been riding for years before getting my 'official stamp of approval' from the 'Great State of Louisiana'....

That test consisted of (I kid you not) simply driving the bike around the building without setting your foot on the ground for stability....  It was gravel...  Having ridden dirt bikes up to that point, it was a snap...  But street bikes definitely aren't made for gravel paths. heh...

People here don't know how to drive...  It's worse if it rains, and if there's even a HINT of ice...  DO NOT leave your house.  You WILL get creamed by someone.  I'm used to driving on ice and snow (being from Minnesota), but I refuse to drive if there's a single snowflake in the air here.  It just isn't worth it. 

I was nearly broadsided several times in the course of a single hour when the last freeze hit, which was VERY mild in comparison to some I've seen here...  When I got home I refused to leave the house again until the streets were 100% clear of all ice.  These people are simply insane.

-Mac
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« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2009, 06:58:56 PM »

Mac,

I forgot about ice.  I remember people abandoning their vehicles in the middle of overpasses if they got a rare flurry of snow.  Sorry, this is way off topic.

I have a Jeep Cherokee.  I put the transfer case neutral.  I have done both putting the transmission in park and neutral with no apparent problem.  I liked neutral because I did not have to leave the key in the car to unlock the steering wheel.  I do not have the owner's manual though and should see what it says.
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« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2009, 09:02:27 PM »

Lin, it will depend on what year your jeep is and what type of 4 wheel drive system you have. I have an 87 Wagoneer, (not the Grand Wagoneer), with Command Trac, and the procedure is a little different than ones with the SelecTrac system. You really need to get the right book for your jeep.
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Fredward
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« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2009, 09:08:12 PM »

OK I see where this is heading. I'm leaving the Pathfinder at home and putting my F350 Powerstroke on back. Craig, could you help me rig up remote control from the bus to the Ford? I'll just rev up the 'stroker when I'm slowing down up the hills.. If Nick's Hummer can help imagine what my pickup might do? !!  Grin

(Thanks for the quick replies guys!!)
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Fred Thomson
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« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2009, 04:29:32 AM »

I have a Jeep Cherokee.  I put the transfer case neutral.  I have done both putting the transmission in park and neutral with no apparent problem.  I liked neutral because I did not have to leave the key in the car to unlock the steering wheel.  I do not have the owner's manual though and should see what it says.

The owners manual for our '95 Grand Cherokee says "transfer case in neutral, transmission in park".  Jack
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« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2009, 05:33:58 AM »

Our jeep says the same thing and so does our dodge truck.  As far as motorcycle courses here go, jamie just got her motorcycle endorsement for her drivers license, the course is set up for very small street bikes, I made her take the 4 day class at the harley dealer so she was exempted and didn't have to do the skills test (road test) but I found out that our harley wouldn't make the corners even if it were walked thru, the corners are too tight and one of the requirements is to do a figure 8 in a square box shaped area, again, the bike wouldn't turn the corner that tight, just wouldn't make it, most people take the skills test on nothing bigger than a 250 and most on a moped.
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« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2009, 05:48:47 AM »

We have some friends that have a Jeep Liberty, when it was new he hooked it up like he thought it should be, rather than looking in the owners manual. Ended up costing him $4000 for a new tranny.
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« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2009, 06:46:19 AM »

OK I see where this is heading. I'm leaving the Pathfinder at home and putting my F350 Powerstroke on back. Craig, could you help me rig up remote control from the bus to the Ford? I'll just rev up the 'stroker when I'm slowing down up the hills.. If Nick's Hummer can help imagine what my pickup might do? !!  Grin

(Thanks for the quick replies guys!!)

We can come up with something. You want wireless?

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Craig Shepard
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« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2009, 06:50:06 AM »

I have a Jeep Cherokee.  I put the transfer case neutral.  I have done both putting the transmission in park and neutral with no apparent problem.  I liked neutral because I did not have to leave the key in the car to unlock the steering wheel.  I do not have the owner's manual though and should see what it says.

The owners manual for our '95 Grand Cherokee says "transfer case in neutral, transmission in park".  Jack

I'm changing my answer....  I'd read the manual and do what it says. 

I don't know what you do if your manual doesn't say.

I still like Ford's neutral transfer switch.
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« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2009, 09:21:02 AM »

If the manual doesn't say, the safe assumption would be that it isn't flat towable without further modifications, mainly due to lubrication issues.

For example;
In most manual transmissions, the oil level is below the main shaft & the cluster gear is submerged. When the cluster gear is turning, it is splashing/slinging oil all over the place & it ends up lubricating the necessary parts on its way back to the bottom.
If the input shaft isn't turning, the cluster gear isn't & that means all the other gears aren't turning either. Since the output (main) shaft is turning, the plain bearings between the gears & the main shaft need lubrication.

In automatic transmissions, the oil is pumped & the pump is usually driven from the input shaft.

This is why simply leaving a transmission in neutral isn't necessarily a good idea.


4x4 transfer cases work differently & as a result, some can get sufficient lubrication from the spinning out put shaft. But, not all can & that is where the owners manual comes in handy.

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« Reply #25 on: July 08, 2009, 08:47:20 PM »

What Kyle said.

I have a 956 Ranger 5 speed manual with electric select 4X4, Hi Low.  To tow I will need to get a "chip" from the Ford dealer.  The chip allows me to get it to go onto N by manipulating the select sw.  Or so I am told by people that should know.  I might go over and pick up the chip tomorrow.

A stick that will destroy the transfer case without a mod!!!!!

HTH,

John
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« Reply #26 on: July 08, 2009, 09:59:09 PM »

I nocked o ut the park on my trans on my 98 jeep by forgetting to put in nutural. Now if I put it in park it will roll just as if it were in Nutural.
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« Reply #27 on: July 09, 2009, 04:32:20 AM »

I don't know what you do but I do know what you should do.

READ THE OWNERS MANUAL AND DO AS IT RECOMENDS PERIOD.
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