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Unread 09-10-2010, 02:59 PM   #1
twohawks
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Flat Towing my 89 FSJ NP229 - knowledge needed

Hi folks,

I want to mount a towbar accessory onto my Jeeps so I can flat tow them (one with the other).

I know my '89 has an NP229 in it, and (I am not there right now but) I think my '85 has the same.
Grand Wagoneers, 5.9L, 4500-5000 lbs each probably. Gear ratios -- ??

I read here that the 300 cannot be towed, but it doesn't say anything about the 229.

Can I flat tow these?
If so, what is the proper procedure for setting it into towing mode?
I don't have lots of money for a $500-$800 setup... is it unsafe to use a Curry or Harbor Freight offering? I saw some Blue Ox's for under $300... recommendations?

I would be grateful for any info, pointers to good threads, etc, you may share.

Cheers,
TwoHawks

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Unread 09-10-2010, 06:14 PM   #2
CutterN55
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I flat tow mine all the time, I disconnect the drive shaft from the diffs and hang them with cargo straps and unlock the steering wheel. The front bumper is a little flimsy though, and I welded tow bar mounts to the front cross member right next to the frame rails. I towed once using the bumper and it was okay, but i was sweating the whole time.

i bought my tow bar from U-haul.
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Unread 09-10-2010, 07:02 PM   #3
twohawks
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Thanks for chiming in , Cutter.
So I take it there is no towing these without disconnection? Or that's just your choice method?

Where do you set the automatic shift lever... just neutral, or?
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Unread 09-11-2010, 08:57 AM   #4
BJ's Off-Road
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You want the xfer case in neutral and the transmission in park for flat-tow.
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Unread 09-11-2010, 09:32 AM   #5
CutterN55
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I agree with BJ's too T-case Neutral/tranny in park, but I hung the driveshafts, because I didn't want anything turning other than the axles. Now I have manual hubs in the front so I only hang the rear.
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Unread 09-11-2010, 11:13 AM   #6
twohawks
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Thanks guys. That helps a lot.

You know, didn't occur to me, and I am travelling right now so I have to dig and see if the book is with me or in the other Jeep... is towing discussed in the manual? I am just wondering if literature exists on this topic, and if so, where.
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Unread 09-29-2010, 10:06 AM   #7
carnuck
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Just don't tow them in 4x4
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Unread 10-04-2010, 08:19 PM   #8
twohawks
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Its interesting, I have seen some talk about placing xfer case in neutral and then...
....the transmission in neutral as well... as a precaution..., instead of in park -->> the only explanation I glean about that so far being that if the xfer case somehow incidentally jumps into gear you have a chance at not smoking your tranny.
This is mentioned with acknowledgement that Jeep manual (supposedly) states just as "BJ's Off-Road" mentions above. But there is no mention of the "other possibility".

Can anyone explain, mechanically, what is the difference between the two approaches? Does this simply have to do with whether the tranny fluid provides some lubrication while the vehicle is being towed?
Or what exactly?
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Unread 10-04-2010, 11:21 PM   #9
carnuck
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Actually, if the trans is in park, the trans output shaft can't turn
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Unread 10-05-2010, 03:54 AM   #10
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That would seem to suggest the possibility that in neutral (and as opposed to 'in park') it could potentially incur rotational motion, thus potentially generating friction+heat on components within ...while the fluids intended for lubrication and cooling are not being "actively" circulated.

If true, the questions in my mind would then be
1) what amount of action and heat might be generated while turning in neutral?, some/too much/enough to matter?
2) is the splashing and dipping in the static pool of fluids "practically" sufficient for lubing and cooling and simply just not "strictly technically recommended"?
3) are there other not-readily-apparent concerns to consider?

I know with (my) Harley, although it is not recommended by the manufacturer to be towing (front tire in a raised cradle method) without, say, removing the chain (or belt in the newer ones), the mechanics generally agree that it does the bike no harm leaving it on and allowing the gears to statically tumble seeing as how they are dipping into the drink, and its splashing around and such. Not that you would want to tow your bike, say, across country like that, ...but no one raises an eyebrow over a few-hundred-miles-tow and then some, even, leaving it linked up. (Not that I would rest easy doing it myself, but at least I don't sweat getting it to the next town's mechanic without the trailer if I need to without all the fuss.)

Back to the Jeep, gotta say, I like the idea of leaving it in neutral as a fallback in case the xfer case somehow locks back in while rolling. I forget if it was posted here or on another site.. guys are recording a video as their friend tows his zj ahead of them and the smoke starts pouring out...
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Unread 10-06-2010, 09:39 PM   #11
CutterN55
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Just go pull your eight little 5/16 driveshaft bolts and be done with it. I put the tranny in Neutral as a safety in case the "never let me down, but still don't trust it" 229 transfer case catches gear. In case you didn't know, it makes horrible noises when it's not all the way in or out of gear.
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Unread 10-10-2010, 06:32 AM   #12
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T/case in neutral, trans in Park. BUT, be sure the t/case is indeed in neutral by rolling the vehicle while in Park. Had a customer at the dealership back in the day who didn't and he cooked the trans and t/case. Other than that, you're fine to go. No worries.
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Unread 04-24-2015, 09:42 AM   #13
87hunter
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I have a manual trans - should I still drop the drive shafts??
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Unread 04-24-2015, 10:33 AM   #14
lindel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 87hunter View Post
I have a manual trans - should I still drop the drive shafts??
Put it in gear. Doesn't matter which. With the transfer case in neutral, the transmission will never know the difference.
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