K5 Blazer flat towing FJ40 to Colorado??

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by copperhead_69, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. I am looking at flat towing my stock '71 FJ40 to Colorado from Georgia. I will be driving a stock 1991 K5 Blazer. Is this a good idea?

    Background: I am in the Army and finally coming back to America. I will be home in Georgia for vacation before driving the K5 Blazer to Colorado. I want to take the FJ40 with me, but not sure if a 1991 K5 Blazer is up to the task. The Blazer is completely stock and so is the FJ40 - down to the 4 wheel drums and column shifter. The Blazer will be gone through and every fluid replaced. Maybe a brake job.

    Time and ability is not an issue, just the short wheelbase of the Blazer is my concern.

    And yes, I did search and found out x-fer in neutral with it xms in first gear with the front hubs unlocked. I'll even remove the rear drive shaft.

    Thanks
  2. SteveH

    SteveH

    Messages:
    1,494
    Location:
    Southern Colorado
    Removing rear driveshaft of FJ40 before flat towing = Very good idea.

    I would worry most about the Blazer tranny overheating. I would also plan on driving 65-70 max, not 75-80. The FJ weighs at least 1000# less than the Blazer, which is good. Recall you won't have 'trailer brakes' so I would leave a large gap in front of you.

    Steve
  3. Glad to have you back in the USA and thank you for your service.
  4. DSRTRDR

    DSRTRDR I can mangle anything ... SILVER Star

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    gas mileage will suck big time
  5. Fast Eddy

    Fast Eddy SILVER Star

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Morgan Hill, CA
    Not only no, but f*ck no. The blazer is not nearly heavy enough and the wheelbase is way too short to flat tow an fj40 safely for that distance, especially in the mountains of CO.

    Rent a u-haul trailer that has brakes and you'll be fine.
  6. Sharp38

    Sharp38 Supporting Vendor

    Messages:
    260
    Location:
    Pagosa Springs, Colorado
    Concur wholeheartedly

    Don
  7. Some say ok, one says F*ck NO... I was planning on going 65 mph max. I have about 4 maybe 5 days to get there so speed is not an issue. I've read that electric brake controllers can get expensive. I have never used them and don't really know alot about them. Any body?

    So, I would be ok renting a trailer from U-haul and driving there?
  8. Bigcity25

    Bigcity25

    Messages:
    322
    Location:
    Denver
    Having trailer brakes is just as important as enough power to pull. If you need to make a quick stop that load will keep pushing. Possibly kicking out and worst case crashing. Rent a car dolly with brakes on it. I don't know but it may have surge brakes and not electric brakes so you won't need a brake controller. Spend the extra cash and protect yourself and your 40. How far into Colorado are you going? West of the front range?
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
  9. StaleAle

    StaleAle MUD-aholic SILVER Star

    Messages:
    1,149
    Location:
    McLean, VA
    Rental trailers should have a self-contained inertia brake so there is probably no need to install a controller. IMHO, that distance and terrain is too far and too mountainous to flat tow a 40 with a K5 Blazer. You will be physically drained by the distance and tackling those hills without brakes on a 4000 load is asking for trouble on the down grades. Sure hope you have new brakes if you decide to do the flat tow because your gonna use em a lot, fur sure.
  10. Fast Eddy

    Fast Eddy SILVER Star

    Messages:
    11,617
    Location:
    Morgan Hill, CA
    Speed is not an issue until you need to get rid of it in a hurry. The fj40 with no brakes will spin that little blazer around like a baby's toy when you hit the brakes going downhill. 30mph is too fast in many circumstances and jabbing the brakes at 20mph on a wet surface or dirt lot, in a turn, will cause a jackknife, at least. Try it. :eek:

    I flat tow a lot with a C3500 crew-cab dually and it's still white-knuckle for me to come down from the mountains at 45mph. I spun my wife's Suburban, fully loaded, probably 7000lbs, on a wet freeway offramp going about 25mph. I haven't towed with it further than across town since.

    I think it would be ok with a trailer with good brakes if you're careful.
  11. Unoman

    Unoman SILVER Star

    Messages:
    588
    Location:
    Austin
    I've flat towed my 40 behind my 2005 V8 4runner several times. Furthest distance being ~250 miles on flat TX roads. I've towed it across town many times. The 4runner has 4 wheel disc brakes and a tranny cooler. The only issue I've had is it jack knifing on me in a wet parking lot going slow. Both vehicles are similar in weight, but the 40 just kept on pushing. I'm always sure to go slow around the turns especially if its wet out.

    I would be concerned with the down hills. Things can go sideways on a hurry and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Does your 40 run? Is it possible for you to get it most of the way there by flat towing, drop it off somewhere and then come back for it?

  12. juanchogaviria

    juanchogaviria

    Messages:
    184
    Location:
    El Retiro, Colombia
    I would drive the 40 and leave the blazer at home, not sure if you have read the tale on mud, saving the old rustbucket, it will probably change your mind...

    :beer:
  13. nuclearlemon

    nuclearlemon not an addict Moderator

    Messages:
    14,502
    Location:
    meh-ico, colorado
    having flat towed behind an fj60 a few times, i'm in agreement with the no crowd. all of mine was around town. it's weird feeling your ass end pushing you forward. and i was keeping speeds down very low.
    DSC00777.jpg
  14. Fast Eddy

    Fast Eddy SILVER Star

    Messages:
    11,617
    Location:
    Morgan Hill, CA
    Now change the setting to a red light with an occupied crosswalk. :crybaby:
  15. X2!!!
  16. jbee

    jbee Thank God for the deserts SILVER Star

    Messages:
    630
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    Just flat towed one (73) behind a 2000 tundra from the Mogollon Rim down into Phoenix. Max speed of maybe 55 and it sucked. That 40 was all over the place. Wife nearly left me over it (she's still on the fence).

    I think a 40 won't fit on a dolly for some reason. I've tried renting them before. Too narrow or wide or tall or something.

    Also pulled one on a trailer a couple of weeks back, it was smooth sailing with the trailer brakes, dual axle, etc.

    Easy for me to spend your money, but i suggest you rent a trailer with brakes, tie downs, etc.

    Best of luck and thanks for your service.
    image-321075443.jpg image-1884105841.jpg
  17. Kleatus

    Kleatus

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Nebraska
    [​IMG]

    Dude, if my 2wd Taco can flat tow a '40 you'll be fine! :rolleyes:

    All kidding aside (that was just across the neighborhood because my trailer wouldn't fit where I was going..) I am going to say not only is it a bad idea, it's a horrible idea.

    I have a K5, and have towed with it, with and without trailer brakes, with loads approximating or exceeding that of an FJ40. (1/2 ton pickups for example). It's too short for comfortable towing, especially on the highway.

    Flat towing is out, you can get a tow bar and try it out around town but I think you will come to the realization that you haven't much if anything in the way of reserve capacity in either steering or braking for emergency maneuvers, and a flat towed vehicle pushes you around more than just a trailer in my experience.

    Let's think about the U haul trailer option. Let's call the K5 5,000 lbs, and the '40 3,500. Add in another 1,000 lbs for a trailer. I'm going to assume you'll be packing other thing as well, lets say 500 lbs. Now you're up to around 10k lbs.

    Assuming you get a trailer with brakes, you are still relying on a 25 year old 700R4 and 10 bolt to tow nearly 10k lbs cross country (assuming they are original, if it even matters..) Neither is known as a pillar of reliability, even without towing, and both have long since departed my K5 in favor of an SM465 and 14 bolt.

    It sounds like you haven't towed much and aren't confident in towing with the K5. Your gut is right. Since you said time is not an issue, I would drive the 40 and ship the Blazer. There's some companies that have pretty good rates if you put in your request and wait for a truck to have a spot rather than needing it done now.

    Thank you for your service and hope you have a safe trip, however you figure it out.
  18. Gumby

    Gumby Supamod Staff Member s-Moderator

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    Goebbler here on Mud will tell you exactly how much fun it is to flat tow a FJ40 with a K5. He totaled them both. The wheel base is way too short on the K5 for something as heavy as a FJ40.
  19. jmdaniel

    jmdaniel SILVER Star

    Messages:
    1,403
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    This.
  20. MicahMan

    MicahMan SILVER Star

    Messages:
    942
    Location:
    Lehi, Utah
    Both

    I've done both. Once on a car hauler from Uhaul.[​IMG]
    Second Flat Towed behind a Dodge Dakota.

    Over 250 miles each time and even on the trailer I got pushed around. I drove from Salt lake to Moab last year for cruisemoab and it was ok, but the roads are pretty straight and not that downhill. Definately I'd recommend a longer wheelbase with the trailer. I've towed the 40 with my father in law's flatbed and Dodge 2500 and didn't even feel it!

    Do yourself a favor and at least rent the trailer. $50 bucks a day is cheap to keep you and your baby safe.

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