Flat Tow

Thed

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Hummmm, I know my Miata... I have to flat bed tow it, I've heard that if you tow a RWD car it will destroy the transmission. I guess because it spins the drive shaft but no coolant nor transmission oil is flowing. I'm interested in the answer to this... I wonder how the owners manual says to tow it.
It's because when the engine is stationary, neither the input shaft (red) nor the countershaft (blue) are moving. Only the output shaft (green) would be moving. The reason this is a problem is because the transmission is either splash lubricated via a submerged countershaft or lubricated by a lubricant pump that is usually driven off of the countershaft. If you go too long with the vehicle coasting out of gear with the engine off (as are all towing situations regarding wheels on the ground) the output shaft will be spinning and spinning without receiving any lubrication from a spinning countershaft.

That's also the reason why the manual tells you to put it in gear. When you keep the trans in neutral the output shaft will start to rotate freely just from the friction within the transfer case. Then you'll be wondering why you can't drive your Jeep with four flat-spotted tires.

m-trans.jpg





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RickyR

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that is an awesome setup, but I still dont understand the double pole 4 way switch....I am some what mechanically challenged
Thanks.
There's a company who sells this ( I don't want to mention them) that sells a kit for $159 that basically has a switch instead of diodes. So when you tow the jeep you flip the switch, then when you are driving the jeep the switch gets flipped the other way, basically determining where the tail light signal comes top. Up from the towing vehicle, down the jeep's system.
I have a better way brewing in my noggin, just not sure I want to market it or not.
The only down side to this setup, is if you forget to flip the switch.
 

JurassicKP

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All Wranglers and now the Gladiator flat tow easier than all other mass produced vehicles. It is by far the most commonly towed of all.

Transfer case in neutral, vehicle transmission in any gear (MT) or Drive (AT). Key off, if steering wheel has no lock. I know since at least 2012 there has been no steering wheel lock.

Ready Brake is my favorite for towed braking systems, I use a Blue Max Adventurer for a towbar, but will upgrade to higher quality one next RV season. For lighting, there's a plug n play kit for JK's and earlier. Still waiting on one for JL/JT but you can splice into your lighting using diodes (nope, I'll wait) or use magnetic slap ons if you have a metal rear bumper.
Automatic transmission must be in Park, not "Drive"
 

Donkey Fluffer

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Automatic transmission must be in Park, not "Drive"
I corrected this, but I guess it didn't take. I know I do it right or I would have lost my transfer case thousands of miles ago
 

Gatorized

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I corrected this, but I guess it didn't take. I know I do it right or I would have lost my transfer case thousands of miles ago
Just curious - if the transfer case is in neutral for both the MT and the AT, what is the impact to the AT transmission if it is in any gear or in neutral (MT or AT)?
 

Donkey Fluffer

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I can only guess. To make sure the transmission fluid circulates correctly.
 

JurassicKP

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Just curious - if the transfer case is in neutral for both the MT and the AT, what is the impact to the AT transmission if it is in any gear or in neutral (MT or AT)?
The automatic transmission receives its lubrication through a pump located at the front of the transmission, so if the engine is not turning(running), regardless of any gear, the transmission will not lubricate and it will literally burn up the internal parts.

The manual transmission does not have an oil pump and rather is "splash" lubricated, so high gear is fine for flat towing.

The transfer case on this particular vehicle receives its lubrication from a rear mounted oil pump, so its lubricated every time the wheels are turning, hence why its ok to flat tow with the transfer case in neutral, but not ok for the automatic transmission in any gear but park.
 
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Thed

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The automatic transmission receives its lubrication through a pump located at the front of the transmission, so if the engine is not turning(running), regardless of any gear, the transmission will not lubricate and it will literally burn up the internal parts.

The manual transmission does not have an oil pump and rather is "splash" lubricated, so neutral or high gear is fine for flat towing.

The transfer case on this particular vehicle receives its lubrication from a rear mounted oil pump, so its lubricated every time the wheels are turning, hence why its ok to flat tow with the transfer case in neutral, but not ok for the automatic transmission in any gear but park.
See my post above. It is NOT OK to flat tow with the manual transmission in neutral. Keep it in gear, it does not matter what gear it is.
 

WhippetTaxi

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Very helpful thread. I am planning to set up the Gladiator via Blue Ox tow plates to link up with my Ready Brute tow arms that I used with my previous Wrangler Rubicon. I was curious if the tow plates would fit properly under the steel front bumper and it looks they will. Now, if I can just get the RV out of the shop some day.
 

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