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Unread 05-03-2012, 10:48 PM   #1
05Unlimited
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2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
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Best setup to tow cars?

I have decided I want to start flipping cars for a profit on the side. Hence I figure it makes sense to get a vehicle dolly and appropriate hitch/receiver. I really don't know **** about towing and realize it can be a complicated question with all the variables.

I started to search and read briefly and all kinds of options/concerns came about. Some hitches can double as a spare tire and/or bike rack carrier. They have different class ratings and ground clearance, height is a concern, etc.

I have an OME 2.5" SL about to go on and will likely step up to 33's later ...my rig will only be wheeled occasionally but when I do wheel it I want good clearance or want to be able to remove the receiver easily ...one or the other.

Finally, I guess a vehicle dolly reduces the need for ultimate strength ...and seems the only way to go anyway if I'm going to be towing fixer-uppers a few times a year.

Anyone have suggestions or some parts they'd like to sell? Thanks.

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Unread 05-04-2012, 09:04 AM   #2
Jason
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So, you're looking to do this with your LJ? That limits you to towing about 3000 lbs. worth of car behind you. The dolly will weigh 500+ pounds, chewing into your 3500 maximum tow capacity. You're brakes are barely adequate for a stock rig, questionable on 33s, likely dangerous if you add 3500 more pounds to stop. Not sure if dollies have their own brakes or not?

My suggestion is to get a truck.
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Unread 05-04-2012, 09:32 AM   #3
05Unlimited
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason View Post
So, you're looking to do this with your LJ? That limits you to towing about 3000 lbs. worth of car behind you. The dolly will weigh 500+ pounds, chewing into your 3500 maximum tow capacity. You're brakes are barely adequate for a stock rig, questionable on 33s, likely dangerous if you add 3500 more pounds to stop. Not sure if dollies have their own brakes or not?

My suggestion is to get a truck.
I had in my head somehow that it could tow 5,000 but I think you're right. It's 3,500 for the LJ and 2,000 for the TJ isn't it? Crap, good point. I guess I could just have one towed to either my place or my mechanic friends place depending on how extensive the needed repairs are. I don't see myself flipping more than 3 - 5 cars per year anyway. Part of the idea of why it would be nice is without a dealer's liscense the only way I could avoid paying sales tax would be to not register/title/insure so I'd need to tow it to one lot or another to sell. Maybe I should get a dealer's lic so I could at least drive it legally without having to pay sales tax. Probably expensive though. I have lots to research and learn of course. I just feel an urge because I've found several nice flips in my local Ad Bulletin.

Examples, 2003 Trailblazer with clear title that someone has almost finished repairing for 2K. 2000 Impala that needs trans work, 1K OBO. Stuff like that just has me chomping at the bit to start flipping. I think I should forget the towing idea ...thanks for the reminder about the 3,500 limit ...I had it in my head that it was 5,000 or I wouldn't have even considered the idea. Didn't want to fool with a hitch anyway! Good point about 33's and brakes too.
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Unread 05-04-2012, 09:40 AM   #4
little_Jeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason View Post
So, you're looking to do this with your LJ? That limits you to towing about 3000 lbs. worth of car behind you. The dolly will weigh 500+ pounds, chewing into your 3500 maximum tow capacity. You're brakes are barely adequate for a stock rig, questionable on 33s, likely dangerous if you add 3500 more pounds to stop. Not sure if dollies have their own brakes or not?

My suggestion is to get a truck.
X 2..... a LJ is NOT a tow rig. Besides, flat towing or towing with a dolly sucks in general unless the tow rig weighs a LOT more that what is being towed. I think the perfect setup as far as weight of tow rig goes, for this would be a motorhome as the tow rig. However, a motorhome will not work out too well for what you are doing. If you are serious about flipping cars for $$, the first thing you need is a big (3/4 ton or larger) pick up truck, with a diesel or a big V8, then get a dual axle, flat deck trailer with e-brakes.
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Unread 05-04-2012, 09:40 AM   #5
Jason
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 05Unlimited View Post
It's 3,500 for the LJ and 2,000 for the TJ isn't it?
Yes, it is.

Make your first repair a truck. Then use it for towing.
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Unread 05-04-2012, 10:17 AM   #6
05Unlimited
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason View Post
Yes, it is.

Make your first repair a truck. Then use it for towing.
No doubt. Thanks for the info guys. I guess if I only flip a few per year I may as well pay the tow each time (plus not all fixer upper cars will even need a tow) ...less trouble than maintaining and keeping a big vehicle and trailer. Just had to entertain the idea but I wouldn't have in the first place if I had remembered the max was 3,500 ....I mistakenly thought it was 5K.
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Unread 05-04-2012, 01:59 PM   #7
gwph1255
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On the subject of towing: I plan to tow 76 cj with my motor home. I know to put transfer and tranny in neutral. Do I unlock steering column?
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Unread 05-04-2012, 02:50 PM   #8
little_Jeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwph1255 View Post
On the subject of towing: I plan to tow 76 cj with my motor home. I know to put transfer and tranny in neutral. Do I unlock steering column?
I'm not a CJ guy, but you want to research flat towing a CJ as depending upon the transmission you have, etc., the answer to your question about putting the transmission in park or in neutral will change. This is important because some transmission if allowed to spin will lack lubrication and get burned up in short order.... I think you are always safe if you remove the driveshafts, but this is a PITA. Newer Jeeps don't have some of the issues that the CJ's had, so do your research on your specific CJ.

**EDIT** I'll finish this thought... some Jeeps you will put transmission in park, others you will put transmission in neutral. HOWEVER, you will ALWAYS put the transfer case in neutral.
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Unread 05-04-2012, 04:21 PM   #9
DougE
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Don't know the WV laws but most places if you tow more than 3,000# you must have brakes on the tow. Get a 16' car hauler with brakes on one axle and all your problems are solved. Then you don't have to worry about shredding an old tire on what you're towing. For about $250 you can put air pressure monitors on the trailer tires so you can catch a tire going down before it blows. Much safer rig if you're doing often and for long distances.
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Unread 05-05-2012, 11:57 AM   #10
bobsled84088
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwph1255 View Post
On the subject of towing: I plan to tow 76 cj with my motor home. I know to put transfer and tranny in neutral. Do I unlock steering column?
Unlock steering
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Unread 05-05-2012, 12:16 PM   #11
little_Jeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsled84088 View Post
Unlock steering
Yes....... unlock it. Some newer Jeeps have an additional key postion that allows the Jeep to be off, steering wheel unlocked, but key removed. Not sure if CJ has this feature or not. Key off, steering wheel lock, then first postion, is power off, steering wheel unlocked, key able to be removed. The second postion is power on, steering wheel unlocked, and third postion cranks engine.
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Unread 05-05-2012, 06:25 PM   #12
wilson1010
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Guys that flip cars have a trailer or a transport for a lot of cars. When you drive 150 miles to a car auction and buy a car that is gonna get flipped for a $400 profit,if you're lucky, you have to have a few of them. And, disconnecting drive shafts and flat towing cars with alignment troubles, or bad tires or whatever, is not in the program. Look at the guys who do it and you won't find one guy flat towing a purchase with a Jeep.
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Unread 05-17-2012, 10:47 PM   #13
Peace
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I've been flipping cars for years now. My advice is bring a friend along and have him drive the other one home. If the car doesn't run, rent a truck and trailer to do the tow, or have it towed. Add that into the expenses of the car you're flipping and you can make your money back. Just my two cents.
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Unread 06-08-2012, 09:30 AM   #14
IndyBlueWK
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Put some helper air springs on the rear of the truck.
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Unread 02-17-2013, 10:09 PM   #15
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I know this is an old post but my friend took this picture coming back from the local Manheim auction near me. I thought you'd get a kick out of it.

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