Towing a spool'ed vehicle with a tow dolly

Discussion in 'Tow Rigs and Trailers' started by Tim88XJ, Apr 14, 2005.

  1. Tim88XJ

    Tim88XJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh NC
    I am considering using/purchaseing a tow dolly to tow my jeep with for the summer. While I realize Its not the best means, I have nowhere to store a trailer, and my student budget simply will not allow for a trailer any time in the near future.

    My question is:

    I am currently in the middle of an axle swap on my jeep with the rear end having a a full spool in it. How would this react on a tow dolly behind my truck? Would it be feasable to tow it with the front wheels on the ground? (Front has only a lunchbox locker) or would this be unsafe due to the light weight on the dolly? Anyone have any input, expiriences, or suggestions.

    I will be making a trip to tellico, possibly a trip to paragon, and several trips to uwharrie.

    Let me know, Tim
     
  2. SHINTON

    SHINTON Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Triad area of NC
    Hey Tim, I towed my YJ from Chicago to here backwards, BUT my front axles have manual hubs that I unlocked. (Does yours have manual?) I locked my steering column in place, and then used several straps to secure the steering wheel "just in case"

    Only issue was when it over a bump (such as bridge) the YJ would sway a little bit, due to any slop etc left over in the steering. I found out quickly that as long as I kept a constant pull, the sway went away almost immediately, but if you hit the brakes the sway gets worse! This is probably true for ANY sway situation with towing...So, yes it can be done, IF you have manual hubs...(read tcase part below)

    The rest of the places I have towed it normal (front on the dolly), and I have a Detroit locker in the rear.

    Now I have a YJ, with a 231 tcase, which is designed/BUILT by Jeep to be flat towed, etc (lubes properly), if your rig has another tcase, you will want to research it first...OR, to be safe you can always unhook the rear driveshaft. (Read your owners manual, if they reference FLAT TOWING...I assume an XJ 231 is the same but you need to research, and not all XJs have the 231)

    I only dropped my rear driveshaft once, the rest of the miles were hooked up. With lockers front and rear, rear tires drive the driveshafts and axles, so if you break up front you may still need to drop rear shaft, I did. Plus you will have to manually unlock the hubs ALL the time.

    If you have auto hubs, I would just plan on ALWAYS unhooking rear shaft. I literally used my tree saver to tie the shaft up to my crossmembers/tub out of the way. HOWEVER, I have SYE, if you still have a slip yoke you will have to either tie it "correctly" or remove the shaft and plug the hole? Guys?

    I am not sure that a spool would react much worse than my Detroit, but I think the Detroit does allow some movement...so somebody else may clue you in on a spool specifically. (Borrow a tow dolly and try it around town...)

    Finally...your tow rig will appreciate having less weight as well, I have dolly towed my YJ just over 6000 miles now, I like it ALOT better than flat towing (whole nother story) but I am upgrading regardless, to a full on trailer and tow rig, mostly because my tires have changed from BFGs to bias Swampers!

    I would be happy to answer other questions...

    Sam
     
  3. Rich

    Rich Asshole at large

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Central PA
    Tim, you're towing with a club cab, long bed(?), 3/4 ton truck.. it doesn't care :p

    It'll want to go straight in the corners until the tires slip, but I doubt you'll feel it, with your tow rig weighing 7000lbs.. :D
     
  4. lomodyj

    lomodyj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Out in the Middle
    All of my research said NEVER FLAT TOW a YJ with the 231, unless you drop the driveshafts. The 231 DOES NOT have a neutral detent (it does have the "in between gears detent"). I've read horror stories about people pulling down the road, hit a bump and kick the transfer case INTO gear and blow stuff up...Added issue for automatics (TF999) is that even if you put it in Neutral, it does NOT have an oil slinger, so all those miles going down the road...it's not lubing itself. It only takes a few minutes to pull a driveshaft...be safe, pull it.
     
  5. Tim88XJ

    Tim88XJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh NC

    Thats kinda what I figured... Thanks for the input guys.
     
  6. SHINTON

    SHINTON Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Triad area of NC
    I don't have an owner's manual but have read in others, Jeep specifically writes in there how to flat tow it? (...and for the 999, the procedure from Jeep is to put Tcase in Neutral and tranny in Park)

    There have been a 1000 opinions on both sides of this...but I became a believer when one old boy posted he had flat towed his behind the RV for 150,000 miles...999/231 combo. I only have 6000ish miles doing this so far...but I agree the SAFEST thing is dropping the d'shaft.

    Sam
     
  7. NCJeepin

    NCJeepin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Conway, SC
    I have seen kits for CJs, not really sure for XJs that will give you manual hubs for the rear axles, that would be your best bet if available, drive it on the dolly, unlock the rear hubs and go for it.
     

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