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towing a taco with an automatic transmission question

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Old 04-23-2013, 06:22 AM   #1
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How to tow a taco with an automatic transmission?

I have a 2003 base Tacoma with an automatic transmission.

Question:

I plan on towing this taco about 10 to 15 miles with a large PU using a tow rope. Can I put the ignition to the on position, put the transmission in neutral, and tow the Taco with all for wheels on the ground without doing any damage to the automatic transmission?

I'm almost positive this would not be an issue for a manual transmission, but it might damage the automatic.

I hope there are some experts out there who know the answer. Thanks!
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:24 AM   #2
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I don't see a problem. That's a pretty good distance though.

Meaning safety wise. A dolly from uhaul is only like $35. Most rollbacks in my area will tow anything within a 35 mile radius for $35.
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:38 AM   #3
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Good advice Matic, I think I'll get the dolly. This will also make it less stressful. I remember as a youngster, helping my dad when towing a vehicle with a chain. he'd get pissed if i let any slack get in the chain....stressful :.)

But even with the dolly, the back (driving) wheels will still be on the ground.

I'd like to get the opinions of several people regarding that it will be safe to tow it about 15 miles or so without doing damage to the automatic transmission. Just want to make sure, because repairing a transmission is pretty expensive.

By the way I just posted the following question on the list:

At what temperature does the engine fan clutch engage?

It explains why I need to do all this.

Thanks for all the help on the site!


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Old 04-23-2013, 06:40 AM   #4
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the only answer that really works is:

mark, and then disconnect drive shaft at differential

install heavy strap to hold it up

tow away

---
easier and safer to fork over the dough for a roro trailer though, just costs $$
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:45 AM   #5
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I've seen people with auto transmission be towed off trails in nuetral so I think you'll be good
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:44 AM   #6
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When being towed off the trail, was the engine running? I'm no expert but I'm pretty sure that fords have to be running to circulate trans fluid and do not disengage "everything" in the tranny while in neutral. Are toyotas any different? If towing in neutral and the engine is off, I'd be concerned that fluid is not being circulated. Dolly or roll back would be my two choices....or have the engine running the whole time.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:09 AM   #7
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disco drive shaft
it is one of the easiest things to do, just has to be redone correctly or you
get vibes after slapping it back on
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:39 AM   #8
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It is always the safest option to disconnect the rear driveshaft when towing. No, there is no fluid circulation if the engine is not running. Towing in neutral IS the safest way if you do have to tow a vehicle, and to be honest, I have never seen a transmission be damaged from such a short distance like you are talking about. I would not recommend doing this over a longer distance however.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:29 PM   #9
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If you have a transfer case, putting that in neutral would prevent the tranny from spinning when being towed wouldn't it?
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:05 PM   #10
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What tan4x4 ^^ said 15 miles ain't nothing. Stick it in neutral on the transmission selector if it is not a 4x4. If it is 4x4 put 4x4 gear shift in neutral. Tow away that ain't far at all.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:55 AM   #11
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Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the OP has a 2wd, so he does not have a transfer-case.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BamaToy1997 View Post
Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the OP has a 2wd, so he does not have a transfer-case.
He didn't mention it either way. I just gave him option if it was or wasn't a 4x4 thats all.
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:11 AM   #13
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I did mention it was a base model with Auto transmission in the original post. By base I meant stripped down. But it somehow came with an automatic. It is a 2wd.

Thanks for everyone's help and posts
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
the only answer that really works is:

mark, and then disconnect drive shaft at differential

install heavy strap to hold it up

tow away

---
easier and safer to fork over the dough for a roro trailer though, just costs $$
Tape up the universal joint needle bearing cups, so not to loose them or any needle bearings.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twfsa View Post
Tape up the universal joint needle bearing cups, so not to loose them or any needle bearings.
No need to tape up any universal joints. The Tacoma has a flange that bolts to the rear diff yoke. So no open universal joints.
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