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Author Topic: Toad question  (Read 1253 times)
travelingfools
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« on: September 17, 2009, 06:09:26 PM »

I have a 2001 Ford Windstar and would like to tow it behind my bus. As I dont think Ill be keeping it for much longer, Id rather not invest any money into it. Is it feasable to flat tow it with the motor running and the trans in neuteral ? I typically would be towing it for four or five hours at the most..
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John P, Lewiston NY   1987 MC 9 ...ex NJT
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« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2009, 06:17:59 PM »

Hi TF,

Motorhome Magazine's dingy towing guide only goes back to 2002 but, maybe your car is in there?

http://www.motorhomemagazine.com/output.cfm?ID=1073647

Good Luck
Nick-
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Eagle Andy
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« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2009, 06:23:07 PM »

You might look in the owners manuel , under towing . I always look when Iam considering buying a new to me toad.
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2009, 06:51:04 PM »

When I tow our Lexus (very rare) I leave it running they use more gas than you would think idling   




good luck
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2009, 07:02:52 PM »

Clifford , you really leave it running while you tow ? why would you do that ? Iam just wondering .
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2009, 07:11:35 PM »

Andy, if I don't you have to stop every 100 miles start it run through all the gear because the transmission doesn't oil while towing and at night the lights come on and run the battery down.
I could put a transmission pump on it but the Jeep works best for me very seldom do we tow it so being cheap I run the engine. LOL   


good luck
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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2009, 07:30:03 PM »

Andy, if I don't you have to stop every 100 miles start it run through all the gear because the transmission doesn't oil while towing and at night the lights come on and run the battery down.
I could put a transmission pump on it but the Jeep works best for me very seldom do we tow it so being cheap I run the engine. LOL   


good luck

I guess that answered my question...lol
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John P, Lewiston NY   1987 MC 9 ...ex NJT
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« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2009, 08:20:07 PM »

In 91 I needed to tow my Olds Tornado equipped with the GM Turbo 400 automatic.  I was very green at any of this and I had heard that it was a no no.  I called the Olds dealer and he told me "absolutely NOT!"....that will destroy the trans.  OK, so I called two different transmission shops.  Same answer....disaster!  I pondered this dilemma for half a day and loathed the option, only one I knew of, of buying a dolly for the front wheels.

While I was ruminating the unfairness of it all, I happened on the thought of how many times I had shifted an automatic into neutral and coasted down a long freeway grade.  I never ruin't a tranny so what gives?  There must be a way cause those dollys are so darn expensive and heavy and need plates and holy crap Mildred.  I had an "Epiphany" about "what if the engine was running like when I descended a hill"?  I called back the tranny store and asked if the trans was getting oiled( I was considering it) when it idled in neutral.  Three answers that the trans got full oil pressure at idle in neutral.  Solution found.  The Olds got 1,000MP Tank being towed at 65.  A friend got more than twice that mileage but he towed a Fiat.


I added a relay to the idiot lights for oil pressure and over temp and I connected that to a set of electric air horns.  I switched them on after starting the car and they stayed off till she lost oil pressure or overheated. N ever happened in 4 years. Back then my ears were good enuf to hear an air horn go off directly behind me.

Some have said that this practice is not legal.  Really!

HTH,

John
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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2009, 05:26:44 AM »

     We have a friends that full time and tow a full size Chevrolet van that has an automatic transmission. They always tow it by running the engine, transmission in neutral.  !/2 tank fuel from Cleveland, Ohio to Arcadia, Florida
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BG6
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« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2009, 07:52:46 AM »

I have a 2001 Ford Windstar and would like to tow it behind my bus. As I dont think Ill be keeping it for much longer, Id rather not invest any money into it. Is it feasable to flat tow it with the motor running and the trans in neuteral ? I typically would be towing it for four or five hours at the most..

If you check Craigslist, you can probably find a tow dolly under $500 (I just paid $300 for one), and be able to handle pretty much anything you're going to want as a toad.  Considering the price of even the Harbor Freight tow bars, that's not too bad a price range.

If you go to crazedlist.org, you can check multiple Craigslist sites at a time.
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« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2009, 08:29:39 AM »

I did that once, but for a different reason.

towing a jeep with the rear driveshaft off. motorhome alternator took the big vacation. I ran the Jeep to charge the battery. when the motorhome battery faded, I drove the Jeep around the front, traded batteries and jump started the former motorhome battery, now in the Jeep.

every cop who has heard this story for the last 15 years went into panic mode. apparently some horrible and unstated thing will happen if a car idling in neutral gets loose from the tow bar and takes off on its own.

tow dolly versus cop panic. just get the tow dolly.
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« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2009, 08:49:43 AM »

every cop who has heard this story for the last 15 years went into panic mode. apparently some horrible and unstated thing will happen if a car idling in neutral gets loose from the tow bar and takes off on its own.

I'll STATE it for you, then.  Wink

Think about driving down the road.  You hit a bump, and the gearshift lever jiggles.  With a manual, this isn't a problem when you are in gear, because the gear pawls are engaged and there is a detent to help keep them like that.  With an automatic, the lever is held by the step and detent.

In NEUTRAL, however, nothing is engaged, and what detent there once was has degraded with use.  There is a lot more room for the lever to wiggle before it hit any resistance, meaning that it takes more resistance to stop it than to just keep it from moving.  In a manual, with the engine going, this means that it can pop into gear.  In an automatic, it can drop from neutral into drive.. 

In either case, now you have the toad fighting the coach, especially if there is a wide difference between the gear that each is in.  And all of that fight is taking place at your hitch, that itty-bitty chunk of steel that Walmart sells for seven dollars.  With a live engine, you have multiplied the stress, PLUS you have made sure that if the toad breaks free, it will keep going UNDER POWER until something stops it. 

I have seen hitches break when towing trailers (that's why you have to have a safety chain) -- I wouldn't want to trust my life and the lives of the people around me to it if the toad were suddenly in first gear while being pulled along at 70!

Cops have seen these things happen, or seen the pictures in the trade mags about them (if you have a strong stomach, ask a highway patrol trooper for a copy of their monthly magazine).  That's why they turn pale when you casually mention doing this sort of thing!
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bruceknee
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« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2009, 10:51:09 AM »

as dangerous as it is out there, I think I'll sell my bus and just stay home
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Don4107
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« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2009, 11:26:01 AM »

<as dangerous as it is out there, I think I'll sell my bus and just stay home> 

How would you ever live with selling such a dangerous thing to some poor unsuspecting soul.  Why don't you just give it to me and I promise to just park it out in the back forty where it won't hurt anybody. Grin  If you talk really nice I would even take your super dangerous toad off your hands too.
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