Flat towing FJ40... Mountains and Apache saga

Captn Conch

Life Begins Above Timberline.
Jun 7, 2010
Colorful Colorado
I just got back From flat towing my '71 Fj40 with 2.5" lift, 10.50x33/ 15's with Harbor Freight towbar. After disconnecting one end of the driveshaft at the rear differential and zip tying it over to the frame, transfer in neutral, Warn lockouts in free, I Towed the 40 over 3 Colorado mountain passes. La Veta Pass, Cumbres pass and La Manga Pass. None are really hairy mountain passes, but two are over 10,000' above sea level and do involve lot's of turns and climbing through Spruce and pine forests as well as going down hill with that load behind. This was en route from
Colorado Springs to Farmington New Mexico. Towed with my 1992 regular cab, non dually regular cab 8' bed C-30 1 ton Chevy pickup with 454 ci engine. I also bought a magnetic tail light kit off Amazon for cheap and routed the wires along the 40 frame. Just to make sure, I used a strand of bailing wire to secure the tail light on the back steel diamond plate bumper...So nice to have working tail light functions when towing.

Results... I bought a tow bar chain kit on Amazon with the proper clips and links, to connect it properly. Fortunately the tow bar on my lifted Cruiser to PU was just about level. and the hookups felt good. The FJ 40 followed perfectly. I had no hairy moments and the trip ended with no problems. The Wife followed in the '07 Xterra with the Indian Drifter 1500 motorcycle securely trailered and likewise had no problems. It is a beautiful 360 mile drive. This trail takes you through the Jicarilla Apache Rez which is in beautiful mountainous country and their town Dulce, where the gas was cheap and the folks very friendly.

The tow bar and the chain kit performed flawlessly. Dang! Why didn't I take some pictures? BTW We encountered the Cumbres Toltec Narrow Gauge vintage Locomotive and vintage cars full of people at the top of Cumbres. They were taking on water and it was setting there huffing and chuffing at idle... so cool....as was the weather at that altitude. One of my most favorites routes to travel.


Dec 25, 2013
Flat towed my 1970 fj40 with PS once and with a dolly once.
Didn't tie the steering wheel either time with no problems.
Long as caster is good no need to tie steering wheel. If not be rdy for cruiser in tow to go left when u go right
Apr 21, 2005
Toe in is important as well. My 79 had the tie rod between wheels bent that increased the toe in. Was awful to flat tow. Have flat towed thousand of miles and stock height 40 with good alignment have all towed well.


Supporting Vendor
Apr 2, 2015
I flat towed my '76 FJ40 to this year's Solid Axle Summit in Ouray a couple of weeks ago, did great. Disconnected the rear driveshaft, front hubs unlocked, transmission and transfer case in neutral, bungee cord on steering wheel. Took it over three passes going, and the same coming back - Coal Bank (10,610), Molas (10,912), and Red Mountain (11, 018). Towed it with my 2009 Silverado 2500HD crew cab long bed with the Duramax diesel and Allison automatic with tow/haul mode. Pulled the grades easily, even with the Lance cab-over camper. The tow/haul mode works well on the downhills, saving the brakes.

In the past I've flat towed my '71 FJ40 and my '76 FJ40 between Las Vegas, NV and northern New Mexico (quite a few trips) with my 2001 Silverado 2500 HD regular cab long bed with the 496 CI gas engine and ZF-6 6-speed manual transmission. The longer wheelbase of the crew cab definitely helps.

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