Flat towing a 2wd automatic.


Dirtman

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Me and a buddy just got a f350 quad with a bed camper. We plan on using it... uhhh... for camping.

I found and ultimately bought the tow bar kit for my truck (09 2wd xl) it was so cheap I couldn't pass it up. We were gonna get a trailer but with the tow bar so cheap now we wanna flat tow. The idea is to use the 350 to tow my ranger to campsites then use my ranger as the get around vehicle.

I'm 99.9% positive there's no rear pump in the auto trans so bad idea with the driveshaft attached... I found a company that makes a nifty driveshaft coupler disconnect but its insanely out of the price range.

It's not hard to pop my driveshaft off my issue is it has a trans slip joint so with no driveshaft the trans is open. Dont wanna be ghetto and duck tape a bag on the tail shaft. What are my options for sealing the trans output legitimately during tows?

Anyone have any other concerns with this idea? Or tips? And what are options for steering locks? Never did this before...
 


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adsm08

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You could try to find a butt-plug.

My understanding is that flat-towing should be done with the steering unlocked or you can damage the column, but I could be wrong.
 

Uncle Gump

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Just leave the driveshaft in the transmission after disconnecting the rear. Use a ratchet strap across the frame rails to hold the shaft up and a bungie cord to keep it pulled forward.
 

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Just leave the driveshaft in the transmission after disconnecting the rear. Use a ratchet strap across the frame rails to hold the shaft up and a bungie cord to keep it pulled forward.
Did this with a 93 Ranger 4x4 automatic, put the front end up on a dolly and pulled the rear driveshaft loose from the rear differential and just tied it up out of the way, made a 600 mile trip that way with no issues, in my case I may as well just left the driveshaft connected because the transmission was blown in that truck anyhow LOL, but regardless if you want your transmission to continue working just remove it from the rear differential and securely fasten it up out of the way so that it doesn't get caught up on any suspension components, and so that you don't have to try and keep the fluid from pouring out of the transmission.
 

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Yes, +1 on strapping up the rear of drive shaft, put permanent mark on drive shaft and axle so you can line it up each time

Get a plain, non-PATS, key cut for ignition and leave steering wheel unlocked

Get a set of magnetic tow lights for rear bumper
 

PetroleumJunkie412

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....camping, eh?
 

Dirtman

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Yes, +1 on strapping up the rear of drive shaft, put permanent mark on drive shaft and axle so you can line it up each time

Get a plain, non-PATS, key cut for ignition and leave steering wheel unlocked

Get a set of magnetic tow lights for rear bumper
Never thought about the key. Thanks.

....camping, eh?
You wanna come and touch butts in the woods or something?
 

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I've heard of people wrapping the seat belt around the steering wheel but I have never flat towed a vehicle so I don't know how well that works.
 

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I flat tow a Subaru Crosstrek (manual trans) behind our motorhome. Have flat towed for many years.
You are correct about dropping the driveshaft as an auto trans Ranger cannot be flat towed with it in place.
The steering wheel must be unlocked as the front wheels of the towed vehicle must be allowed to turn when the towing vehicle turns.
If steering wheel is locked, it will destroy/damage the steering of the towed vehicle.
Grumpaw
 

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Front wheels need to turn side to side to follow towing vehicles movements when flat towing

If using a car dolly, front or rear wheels on the dolly, you would want to lock steering wheel
 

Dirtman

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So friggin big!
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Grumpaw

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These other people are correct that you should not tow rear wheels on the ground with the automatic, if the driveshaft is connected. Unless you just like spending money at a tranny shop. I've towed mine off and on for several years, but I did have the driveshaft disconnect installed. Mine was about $1300.00, but so well worth it. AS to the steering, I've used a dolly with the locked steering. But to many times the tie down straps loosened up. Actually dropped my ranger off turning into my drive. I'm making tow hooks on the front, and will flat tow. Steering, under the wheel there is a metal disc with notches for the locking pawl to engage. I will remove that disc and grind/file to get rid of the notches. then won't have to leave the key on. Of coarse the steering will never lock again. Better than chancing running down the battery, or in my old forgetful case, won't forget to turn the key before leaving
 

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