Flat-Towed 40

Joined
Oct 26, 2005
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3
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Torrance, CA
Greetings,

Can anyone provide a definitive answer about flat-towing their 40? Until my trailer is finished, I have to flat tow my stock '77 FJ40 about 600 miles for a trail trip. I've heard of the slow speed steering issues some owners have experienced turning corners and would like to hear how or if those issues were resolved too.

After reading some of the literature, I'm thinking trans in neutral, T/C in neutral and it's good to go. Is it your practice to disconnect the rear driveshaft?

Thanks for your expertise.

Fred
 

orangefj45

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yup, both in neutral. definetly pull the rear driveshaft off the diff if not all the way out.

if anybody on here thinks atht's bogus, then check with wooody on here. ask him how flat towing his 40 to last year's surf-n-turf had him spending a lot of extra time on the beach instead of out in the dunes. :frown:
 

35inchoverdrive

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I usually drive mine to and from the trail, but I have flat towed it a couple of times for one reason or another. Both trips were probably less than 300 miles one way. I threw on some radials since my bias plys like to chase after ruts in the road. I also disconnected my rear driveshaft since taking out 4 bolts sure provides piece of mind and it doesn't take long to do. As far as steering goes...I went the ghettofabulous route used rope with a little slack in it. I don't know if I would recommend it, but I didn't encoutner any problems in the two relatively short trips.
 
Joined
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Moorpark, CA
Last fall, I flat towed my 81 FJ40 from Moorpark, CA to Moab, then Canyon Lands and then south to Gallup on the way home. I had no problems at all and I was evidently one of the lucky uninformed types as to disconnecting the rear drive shaft. I didn't and every thing still works great. Phew!!
 

TemboTusk

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I've flat towed my 40 thousands of miles without removing the driveshaft. I have had zero problems. Now that I have mentioned zero problems, what is the reason for removing the driveshaft anyways & should I be worried?!

I also never tie anything to the steering wheel, but I do have 6 degrees of caster. The 40 never fails to follow!
 
Joined
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I have also flat towed my 40 all over the southeast.

You should NEVER have to tie anything to the steering wheel- that is merely a bandaid.

I have never removed the rear driveshaft out of laziness, it is a good idea but not necessary.

You DO need to have plenty of caster (stock is fine, most lifts require shims etc), and you need to put the transfer case in neutral. Magnetic tow lights and a safety chain are a good idea.

It is equally important that the tow bar be close to level or slightly angled downward towards the tow vehicle. Otherwise it will push up on the rear of the tow vehicle and cause all sorts of odd and dangerous behavior.
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2005
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176
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Utah
I flat towed my 40 from SLC to Moab without removing the driveshaft. It seems somewhere between Price, UT (last time I inspected everything) and Moab somehow I spun the xfer case nut, the driveshaft dropped, pushed the pinion THROUGH the diff, and completely destoyed the ring gear. I didn't even feel it happen. When I got to Moab I was missing a driveshaft, and my emergency brake assembly. :mad:

My first experience with diff oil was in the Days Inn parking lot, fishing ring and pinion pieces out of the diff in 40 degree weather (thanks for the help Kurt).

Hubs were open, trans and xfer in N.

Now I remove the rear driveshaft when I tow it.
 

35inchoverdrive

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I fully admit that tieing off my steering wheel wasn't a great idea. It is indeed ghettofabulous. However, I don't doubt that with tranny and tcase in neutral, you *could* flat tow for thousands of miles without problems, but then again, you could also encounter what happened to xiero. Why gamble when you could just pull 4 bolts? Wow...I just said, "Why gamble," and that I tied off my steering wheel in the same post. I'm a fool. Don't listen to anything I say, no matter how reasonable it may sound.
 
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If your rig is lifted and the tow bar is higher than the ball hitch.. IMO you will have problems and will not track or follow thru turns. I read where the tow bar needs to be as close to level or lower than the ball to track well.

opinions may differ
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
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Blenheim, New Zealand
I recently had a go at flat-towing home from a trip - quite a few hills & fairly windy roads, and was pleasantly surprised at how well it towed. I wouldn't do it without a reasonably heavy tow vehicle with good brakes. My FJ40 has stock suspension with 33in tyres. I just put gearbox in neutral, T/C in H2, front hubs unlocked. No worries - I'll do it again without hesistation.
 

orangefj45

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. I just put gearbox in neutral, T/C in H2, front hubs unlocked. No worries - I'll do it again without hesistation.

this will cause the t-case to spin anytime the vehicle is moving. the tranmission internals will also spin. if for some reason the trans shifter pops into gear you're gonna have some major damage on your hands. or if you develop a leak or have little fluid to start with you'll end up with major problems also. hence i stress that people disconnect the rear driveline.


i try to learn from other people's mistakes and misfortunes.
 

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