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Old 07-17-2016, 04:34 PM   #1
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Towing 2x4, all wheels on ground

Ok, I KNOW why the transmission has to be disengaged while towing a 2x4 with all wheels down... Transmission Internals are moving, but fluid is not pumping throughout.

So, your choices are to either disconnect the driveshaft, or use a tow dolly with rear wheels on dolly.

But, if I'm moving under 30-40 miles...
What is wrong with towing with a tow bar all 4 wheels on ground, steering wheel tied off with ratchet strap to seat base, and the engine running on the towed vehicle and in neutral. Torque converter is pumping fluid while engine/crankshaft is running. Sure, it's using fuel... But it'll be less than driving 2 vehicles to get the second vehicle moved!

Being alone, it sure would help! Instead of bothering a friend or family to take you back to second vehicle.

2005 2x4 automatic 5.3 liter suburban is towed vehicle.

Researched that Remco has a driveline disconnect for 2x4's, but haven't looked long enough to shop for best price.

Then there's added price of tow bar & install.
First 2x4 I've had in 25 years... It's nice and paid off, so I don't want to change primary vehicle sales.
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:04 PM   #2
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Can't give a definitive answer about the transmission on anything GM, Best answer is what ever the owners manual says, GM 4wd forums would also be a good place, you will probably get as many yeses as nos. You didn't say manual or automatic. DO NOT tie off the steering wheel or let the steering lock if not running while towing 4 down. It has to be able to turn so it will follow you.

I tow a Land Rover but it's manual and manual says to put both transfer and trans in N. I removed steering lock so I don't have to leave the key on.

Dick
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:21 PM   #3
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Just gotta say it. The only worse idea than strapping down the steering wheel and towing 4 down would be to drive the Burb a block, run back to the bus and drive two blocks ahead and then run back to the Burb and so on.

With the steering strapped down, your bus and tow bar would have to be strong enough to drag the Burb sideways against the locked down steering on the Burb every time you went around a corner--won't work so I'm sure that isn't what you meant to say.

What does the owners manual for your Burb say about dingy towing a 2X4?
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:22 PM   #4
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I used to do the same sort of thing over the road. Do *NOT* tie off the steering wheel. A nice rigid towbar will do the steering, the vehicle will follow along as it should. You *MUST* leave the ignition switch "unlocked" enough for the wheels to turn (usually one "click", but still off).

Just bite the bullet and pull the driveshaft. 4 bolts and you're done. Wrap some tape around the u-joint caps, strap it up to the frame and out of the way, you should be good to go (don't leave it loose, strap it up nice and tight). Pulled a full size GMC pickup all over the country this way (100K+ miles) with no problems. Never once pulled the driveshaft out of the tranny. I could pull/reinstall the driveshaft in just a few minutes.

These days I would consider a driveshaft disconnect, this was during the days when I didn't have much money for such things. But for a one-time tow, I'd pull the driveshaft.
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
I used to do the same sort of thing over the road. Do *NOT* tie off the steering wheel. A nice rigid towbar will do the steering, the vehicle will follow along as it should. You *MUST* leave the ignition switch "unlocked" enough for the wheels to turn (usually one "click", but still off).

Just bite the bullet and pull the driveshaft. 4 bolts and you're done. Wrap some tape around the u-joint caps, strap it up to the frame and out of the way, you should be good to go (don't leave it loose, strap it up nice and tight). Pulled a full size GMC pickup all over the country this way (100K+ miles) with no problems. Never once pulled the driveshaft out of the tranny. I could pull/reinstall the driveshaft in just a few minutes.

These days I would consider a driveshaft disconnect, this was during the days when I didn't have much money for such things. But for a one-time tow, I'd pull the driveshaft.
Exactly the direction I was headed, pulled many driveshafts. Plus the burb is high enough to get under without jacks & stands.

Heavy Ratchet strap from one frame rail to the other, tape the caps. And go!

I remember years ago, driving my K5 blazer around with front wheel drive only, until the parts came in.
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Old 07-17-2016, 10:24 PM   #6
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Take a look at the tranny end of that drive shaft. Probably has a slip yoke. When tying up the axle end of the drive shaft, be sure it's done in such a way that the slip yoke can't work its way out -- the front end of the shaft would fall to the pavement while under way. (yes, this is the voice of experience.) I got lucky; the drive shaft was very short and it was in a lifted vehicle, so there wasn't any pole vault phenomenon. But I did have to spend an hour searching the highway to recover the fallen drive shaft.
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Old 07-18-2016, 12:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
Take a look at the tranny end of that drive shaft. Probably has a slip yoke. When tying up the axle end of the drive shaft, be sure it's done in such a way that the slip yoke can't work its way out -- the front end of the shaft would fall to the pavement while under way. (yes, this is the voice of experience.) I got lucky; the drive shaft was very short and it was in a lifted vehicle, so there wasn't any pole vault phenomenon. But I did have to spend an hour searching the highway to recover the fallen drive shaft.
And this is (one reason) why federal law requires buses to have their driveshafts within protective "hoops" (and one reason I would not remove them). Another reason is to prevent a whipping driveshaft coming through a floor if something fails.
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Old 07-18-2016, 12:05 PM   #8
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At what length do hoops become required (or even merely a good idea)? There aren't any in my rear engine Blue Bird. When I flat towed this bus I just removed the entire shaft. At about two feet long that drive shaft from the bus was similar in length to the one I lost in the Samurai in that tale above, but it weighed a whole lot more!
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Old 07-18-2016, 04:29 PM   #9
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I'd have to dig out and read up my copy of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regs, but since the primary reasons are to keep a driveshaft from coming through the floor, or pole-vaulting a bus ... if the driveshaft is behind the axle, and short enough to not hit the floor, the hoops may not be required.
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