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Dinghy Tow

Discussion in 'Towing' started by jbrown, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. jbrown

    jbrown [OP] Member

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    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
     
  2. Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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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.
     
  3. jbrown

    jbrown [OP] Member

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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.
     
  4. JDCPA

    JDCPA Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  5. jbrown

    jbrown [OP] Member

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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.
     
  6. JDCPA

    JDCPA Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  7. Justin723

    Justin723 Dont judge me

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    You guys dont think it has anything to do with the automatic hubs?
     
  8. Fire931

    Fire931 Well-Known Member Vendor

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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...
     
  9. Justin723

    Justin723 Dont judge me

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    I really dont know, but if i had to guess it would have to be dew to the hubs always being engaged.
     
  10. TacoNut

    TacoNut IgnoringChrisWatchingEdLi veVicariouslyThroughMJP2

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    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.
     
  11. Fire931

    Fire931 Well-Known Member Vendor

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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.
     
  12. TacoNut

    TacoNut IgnoringChrisWatchingEdLi veVicariouslyThroughMJP2

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    That makes more sense.... THX:)
     
  13. jbrown

    jbrown [OP] Member

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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?
     
  14. Fire931

    Fire931 Well-Known Member Vendor

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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..
     
  15. jbrown

    jbrown [OP] Member

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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.
     
  16. Fire931

    Fire931 Well-Known Member Vendor

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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....
     
  17. JDCPA

    JDCPA Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  18. jbrown

    jbrown [OP] Member

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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?
     
  19. j4x4ar3

    j4x4ar3 Well-Known Member

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  20. jbrown

    jbrown [OP] Member

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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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