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Old 10-01-2009, 07:46 AM   #1
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Dinghy Tow

I have a 2003 Tacoma 4x4 manual transmission that I would like to tow behind a motorhome. The Toyota Owners Manual says that it is not to be dinghy towed. Can someone tell me why, and how I can make it towable? Thanks
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:55 AM   #2
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Don't quote me on this...but it might have a lot to do with the drivetrain/transfer case etc.

Talk to a dealership or a reputable RV place about it or consult your dealer for more info.

I know in the Jeep world - folks will remove front & rear driveshafts from the vehicle to ensure safety in preventing drivetrain damage.
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:17 AM   #3
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Janster, thanks for your reply.

We live in a remote area and there are no Toyota dealers nearby. When we get to a city with a dealer I'll stop in.

I heard that it might be a problem with the drivetrain/transfer case, but I don't understand why if I put the maunual transmission in netural that should be a issue.

If that is still the case it seems like a lot of trouble to remove the drive shafts. There should be eaiser remedy.
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:04 AM   #4
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The transfer case on a 4x4 does not completely disengage. It has some shafts that turn constantly if the wheels are turning. THe only way to protect the transfer case is to disconnect the drive shafts on both front and rear.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:38 PM   #5
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Thansks JDCPA. Does it make a difference if the the transfer case is manual or electronic? I checked an aftermarket vendor, Remco, who makes drive shaft disconnect couplings, and they told me that if my Tacoma has a manual transmission and a manual 4x4 transfer case that it is towable as is. Their losing a sale by telling I can tow my Tacoma as is.
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Old 10-06-2009, 04:37 AM   #6
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Different manufacturers may do things differently. The Jeep transfer case fully disengages and you can flat tow the vehicle with no modifications. Some other trucks keep turning shafts whenever the front wheels are turning. I don't know about the Toyota unit but would think the dealer has that information. If they tell me not to tow it I wouldn't tow it.

Think about getting a two wheel doll and using that to tow the Toyota. That way the front wheels would be off the ground and putting the transmission in neutral would disenge the rear wheels.
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Old 10-06-2009, 05:12 AM   #8
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i thought that as long as you had the manual tcase... in other words no buttons at all... just you could put it in neutral and flat tow it.... but it had to be the fully manual tcase with the j shifter and no buttons...
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire931 View Post
i thought that as long as you had the manual tcase... in other words no buttons at all... just you could put it in neutral and flat tow it.... but it had to be the fully manual tcase with the j shifter and no buttons...
This would make sense to me, although the front hubs would still be engaged (unless you have lock-outs)

For the electronic T-case I remember reading that you DO actually have to disconnect the driveshaft before Dinghy or Flat towing.
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:40 AM   #11
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yea on electronic t cases there is no way to put it into neutral so you cant flat tow w/o unhooking driveshafts.. but on the manual tcase you can throw it in neutral and away you go. as far as the hubs.. the ADD is disengaged so its the exact same stuff spinning as if you were driving it normal... so there should be no difference.
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire931 View Post
yea on electronic t cases there is no way to put it into neutral so you cant flat tow w/o unhooking driveshafts.. but on the manual tcase you can throw it in neutral and away you go. as far as the hubs.. the ADD is disengaged so its the exact same stuff spinning as if you were driving it normal... so there should be no difference.
That makes more sense.... THX
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:02 PM   #13
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I have 4 different transfer case modes; L4, H2, H4 and N (Neutral). When I put it in N there is no power to the wheels. If this is not for towing what use is it?
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:32 PM   #14
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so you have the standard j shift manual tcase... in that case i see no reason why you cant flat tow it, just make sure the tcase is in neutral and i would probably put the tranny in neutral as well if its a manual..
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:39 PM   #15
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Thanks, that makes sense, however I've just been on the phone with Toyota and they still say that it can't be flat towed. I asked them what the purpose was of the neutral position in the transfer case (no power to the wheels) and they can't give me a answer.
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:40 PM   #16
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seems to me in the older owners manuals it used to have a section on flat towing and stated just what i said... tcase in neutral tranny in neutral....
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Old 10-07-2009, 05:16 AM   #17
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The purpose of a neutral position on the transfer case is to disengage the power from the drive train and allow you to shift to high or low range. It does not disengage the entire drivetrain on the front on many transfer cases and I WOULD NOT flat tow the vehicle for any distance if Toyota is telling you not to. You are just asking for trouble. And you will probably void any remaining warranty on the transmission and transfer case.
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Old 10-07-2009, 07:04 AM   #18
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Thanks, then to be safe and disconnect the driveshaft is it necessary to disconnect it at both ends, or could I just disconnect it at the rear and create some kind of bracket to suspend it while it's flat towed?
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Old 10-07-2009, 07:28 AM   #19
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Use one of these.. lots of people using them on Tacoma's old and new as well as lots of other 4x4 vehicles.

http://www.remcotowing.com/remco_drive_shaft_coupling
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Old 10-07-2009, 07:46 AM   #20
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I've spoken to the people at Remco, and they told me that I absolutely can flat tow, my 4x4 with manual trans and manual transfer case, without any modifications. They said they are losing a sale my telling me this and that Toyota is wrong. This is what makes this so confusing.
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