Flat-tow an FJ 40? (1 Viewer)

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Nov 12, 2010
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If I want to use a towbar on my '78, can I just put the xfer case and trans in neutral or do I need to drop the rear driveshaft? And if i do need to drop the rear shaft, why? I do have front Warn lock hubs, and a Detroit in back. Thanks.
 
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I don't drop the shaft on my 40, but others do.

Some will say that the chance for breakage and cost to repair is too great for the time it would take to remove four bolts. You will hear horror stories about what happened to others that did not remove the drive shaft and how you are taking too great of a chance by not removing it.

With that said, I've been towing vehicles this way for years and have yet to run into trouble.

My $.02
 

Mace

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I don't drop the shaft on my 40, but others do.

Some will say that the chance for breakage and cost to repair is too great for the time it would take to remove four bolts. You will hear horror stories about what happened to others that did not remove the drive shaft and how you are taking too great of a chance by not removing it.

With that said, I've been towing vehicles this way for years and have yet to run into trouble.

My $.02
Yes....
 
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I have a Tacoma pick-up, also 4WD. I do have a car trailer, but it is very low and there are some places I can't use it. Mostly I just drive the FJ everywhere i go, but sometimes I might want 2 vehicles. Why do you drop the shaft? Is this a lubrication issue?
 
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There are alot of flat-tow threads. Tried it myself and
found it difficult at best behind a full sized PU. Basically, gave
up and plan on getting a trailer.

Lots of people seem to do it without a second
thought, but recommend great caution and a few
test tows before taking on a road trip.

My 0.02 cents.
 
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Denver CO
I towed my 78 last October hunting. I was told to keep the tow bar as level as possible, drop the drive shaft, and let the steering wheel float without a tie down or bungee. It seemed to work great. I towed it over the divide on mountain passes with a 3/4 ton Dodge. The Cruiser did great (first big trip for her w/me). cant wait till next year!
 
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I have a Tacoma pick-up, also 4WD.
Don't do it. You'll wreck them both. Seriously.

I spun my wife's fully-loaded suburban towing a stock fj40. It's way too heavy of a trailer to have no brakes behind a single-rear-wheel vehicle.

If you don't believe me, hook it up, get in a gravel lot, go 20mph, turn slightly and hit the brakes. Cops call it the PIT maneuver. Your '40 can do it to you without even trying.

Get a dually or a trailer with brakes. I suspect your Taco is not rated to tow your '40 even with a trailer.
 
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Search my old posts about the time I more or less joined this BB.

I used a device that activates the brakes of my BJ-44.

Cost maybe $300.

I can't remember the name of the device.

Essentially, it attaches to the 2 inch hitch in my Durango (any 2 inch hitch will work).

An A-frame tow bar attaches to the front bumper, and a cable is drilled through the firewall and attaches to the brake peddle.

The device is purely mechanical. It pulls on the cable and activates the brakes in the LC when the force of the LC pushes on the trailer hitch. That means when you use the brakes in the lead car, the pulled car pushes the hitch and makes this device activate the LC brakes.

Elegantly simple and avoids the need for a flatbed.

And yes, I disconnected the bloody driveshafts. IIRC, the rear can only be disconnected from the differential, because if you pull it from the transfer case you will lose all your fluid.

Best,

T
 
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Eddy, you are probably right. I didn't intend to towbar any real distance, just locally. And maybe even that isn't safe. I've stiffened the tacoma and my trailer has 4-wheel brakes.
OK, I'll basically forget the idea, but if I wanted to do it-- say because of breakdown in an area I can't get a trailer-- is there any real reason to pull that driveshaft? Some think not...
 

Mace

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SD has it right, the reason to pull the driveshaft is just in case you hit a bump and it puts the tranny or tcase into some sort of drive gear

Which, if both are in Neutral, is a pretty difficult thing to do..

But, it's not complicated to pull 4 bolts..
 
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Eddy, you are probably right...
You'll get used to that. :flipoff2:

I think that across town or whatever, as long as it was dry it would be ok. A recent Tacoma is probably 4000lbs, right?

When we looped the Suburban it was a sort-of unexpected rain. We went around an off ramp going really slow, maybe 25 and it all happened in slow mo.

The towbar was pointing slightly downwards as prescribed. We were at the end of a 1500 mile trip to Phoenix and Moab.
 

76FJ40

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I tried to flat tow my 40 with my '99 Taco and didn't make it around the block. The Taco is too light in the back so the 40 just pushed it through the turns. I've also towed with a 3rd gen 4Runner and an 80 series with better results but it's still sketchy. I bought a trailer and never looked back.
 
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been flat towing 40s with 40s for years never a problem also towed 12 6x6s home with an fj40 not fast and on back roads and still no problem .you have to pull the other vehicle through the corner or it will jack knife ,why tow the extra weight of a trailer when you dont need it?
 
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When I flat tow my 45 I drop the rear DS. I do this primarily to save gas. It is the same principle as unlocking your front hubs when 4x4 is not needed. Less weight to turn, ergo less effort needed to get it and keep it moving behind you.

My 45 has 410 gearing and I don't feel comfortable cruising with TC or tranny spinning that fast all day. I would never cruise in the 45 at 70+ mph for more than a short time.

No direspect Mace, but I have never heard of a TC or tranny bouncing into gear, although I have heard several stories about them bouncing out of gear. That doesn't mean it hasn't or won't happen, but it would be highly unlikely.

The biggest concern would be the lack of braking in the tow vehicle. I have been lucky enough to never be in a bad position towing. I take it easy in the turns and leave lots of distance between me and car in front of me.

With a brake gizmo to give braking assistance from the towed vehicle, I would feel very comfortable towing the 40 with a newer Tacoma. Does your Taco have 4 wheel discs?
 

Mace

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No direspect Mace, but I have never heard of a TC or tranny bouncing into gear, although I have heard several stories about them bouncing out of gear. That doesn't mean it hasn't or won't happen, but it would be highly unlikely.
None taken, I have only "heard" of it happening myself.
 

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