Towing on a dolly: does the key have to be on? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 19 Old 08-15-2017, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
azzkicker
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Towing on a dolly: does the key have to be on?

I've towed several times now on my tow dolly (front wheels on the dolly). I was told I need the key on to let the steering turn, but that has caused a number of issues so far. Also, I've forgotten several times to turn the key on, and nothing bad happened (YET). In fact, the times I've left it "on" seems to have the straps loosen up more than when I've forgotten. That is by no means scientific: I have not tried it both ways and done similar maneuvers. It has been coincidental when I didn't have it unlocked.

I'd rather just leave it off. So, how likely am I to damage the steering lock, assuming there is one?

The dolly pivots, and obviously the hitch pivots, so there is play.

Does anybody have experience with this to share?


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post #2 of 19 Old 08-15-2017, 06:39 PM
colinzj
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There is no steering lock in domestics. Transfer case in neutral, transmission in park, ignition off.

Per Chrysler it must be four-on-the-floor even in neutral to avoid transmission and transfer case damage. No dollies. (IIRC there's a lubrication issue when you're not flat towing.)
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post #3 of 19 Old 08-16-2017, 12:22 AM
underscore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colinzj View Post
There is no steering lock in domestics.
My YJ and XJ most certainly had steering locks, I thought that was an antitheft requirement.

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post #4 of 19 Old 08-16-2017, 04:21 AM
caulk04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underscore View Post
My YJ and XJ most certainly had steering locks, I thought that was an antitheft requirement.
And yet here we are, in the WK sub-forum.

Lots of domestic vehicles have column locks, but WK/XK Jeeps do not.

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post #5 of 19 Old 08-16-2017, 08:53 AM
underscore
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Yes we are, that doesn't change the fact that the statement is certainly false.

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post #6 of 19 Old 08-16-2017, 02:45 PM
durango-bob
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I agree that you should NOT be using a tow dolly. Sell it and buy a tow bar so that you can flat tow it with all 4 wheels on the ground. The tow dolly can be use IF you remove the rear drive shaft.
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post #7 of 19 Old 08-16-2017, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
azzkicker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by durango-bob View Post
I agree that you should NOT be using a tow dolly. Sell it and buy a tow bar so that you can flat tow it with all 4 wheels on the ground. The tow dolly can be use IF you remove the rear drive shaft.
I apologize if I've replied twice. I was having Chrome hop all over when the ads refreshed and had to switch browsers.

I don't question your knowledge or advice, but I am curious what goes wrong with a dolly? How does it cause a problem?

I enjoy how smooth the dolly tows, and I've heard that flat towing can have death wobble. I also like the idea of being able to put whatever axle is damaged on the dolly, if I hurt something when I'm out playing. I'm willing to give that up, if necessary, but I'd like to understand why I have to.

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post #8 of 19 Old 08-17-2017, 12:36 AM
underscore
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I know in mechanically-linked AWD cars it will damage the equivalent of the transfer case. If all 4 wheels are linked together then they either need to all be moving or all be stopped (give or take some slippage of course). I'm not sure how the system in the WK works, but according to the owners manual:

Quote:
TOWING A DISABLED VEHICLE
2WD Models Only
Provided the transmission is operable, tow only in N (Neutral) at speeds not exceeding 30 mph (48 km/h), for distances of not more than 15 miles (24 km). Towing at more than 30 mph (48 km/h) or for more than 15 miles (24 km) can cause severe transmission damage. If the transmission is not operable, or the vehicle must be towed faster than 30 mph (48 km/h) or farther than 15 miles (24 km), remove the driveshaft or tow with all four wheels OFF the ground. Acceptable methods are to tow the vehicle on a flatbed or with one end of the vehicle raised and the other end on a towing dolly.

4WD Models Only
The manufacturer recommends towing with all four wheels OFF the ground. Acceptable methods are to tow the vehicle on a flatbed or with one end of the vehicle raised and the other end on a towing dolly.
This is counter to how I would have thought the WK works, the best explanation that I can think of is that the transfer case disconnects the front and rear outputs from each other when the trans is put in neutral. It seems strange that they have so much detail on towing a 2WD model and so little about the 4WD though.
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post #9 of 19 Old 08-17-2017, 04:03 AM
caulk04
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It would have to be either a lubrication or clutch pack wear consideration.

Pull the rear drive shaft off the axle and tow on a dolly all you like.
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post #10 of 19 Old 08-17-2017, 04:29 AM
Clarkyau
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Page 290 of the manual
http://www.wkjeeps.com/Manuals/2005_...d_Cherokee.pdf
RECREATIONAL TOWING (BEHIND
MOTORHOME, ETC.)
Towing – 2WD Models
Recreational towing is allowed ONLY if the driveshaft
is removed.
Towing with the rear wheels on the ground
while the driveshaft is connected can result in severe
transmission damage which is not covered under the
Limited Warranty.
Towing — Quadra-Trac I (Single-Speed Transfer
Case) 4WD Models
Recreational towing is not allowed. This model does not
have a N (Neutral) position in the transfer case.

Towing — Quadra–Trac II /Quadra–Drive II 4WD
Models

CAUTION!
Internal damage to the transfer case will occur if a
front or rear wheel lift is used when recreational
towing.

NOTE: The transfer case must be in the N (Neutral)
position, and the transmission must be in the P (Park)
position for recreational towing.
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post #11 of 19 Old 08-17-2017, 05:33 AM Thread Starter
azzkicker
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Thanks for the info guys! You saved me a lot of hassle. I don't know why I assumed having a transfer case neutral would make it all okay, but I guess that's why there's an A S S in assume.

I will be pulling the driveshaft and towing it on my dolly.

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post #12 of 19 Old 08-17-2017, 09:47 AM
underscore
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Ok now I'm concerned as to why there appear to be two different owners manuals saying two completely different things. I accessed a digital copy for a 2007 from the Jeep website, which is where I cut and paste the above quote from.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarkyau View Post
Towing — Quadra-Trac I (Single-Speed Transfer
Case) 4WD Models
Recreational towing is not allowed. This model does not
have a N (Neutral) position in the transfer case.

Towing — Quadra–Trac II /Quadra–Drive II 4WD
Models

CAUTION!
Internal damage to the transfer case will occur if a
front or rear wheel lift is used when recreational
towing.
NOTE: The transfer case must be in the N (Neutral)
position
, and the transmission must be in the P (Park)
position for recreational towing.
How exactly do we get the transfer case into neutral? All we have is a button to switch between high and low.
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post #13 of 19 Old 08-17-2017, 09:48 AM
PolkaPower
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If you change your mind I have the tow set up that bolts to the front in the tow hook location I'd sell you for cheap.
Mine was towed behind an RV by the previous owners.
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post #14 of 19 Old 08-18-2017, 04:21 AM
caulk04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underscore View Post
Ok now I'm concerned as to why there appear to be two different owners manuals saying two completely different things. I accessed a digital copy for a 2007 from the Jeep website, which is where I cut and paste the above quote from.



How exactly do we get the transfer case into neutral? All we have is a button to switch between high and low.
There's a little tiny button on the low range switch that you press with a pen to activate neutral. I forget the exact process, but it's in the manual. Something like engine off, foot on brake, handbrake set click you heels twice then do a dance and press the button. It's not that complicated, but there is a process so that it doesn't happen accidentally.

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post #15 of 19 Old 08-18-2017, 09:15 AM
underscore
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Good to know it's possible, thanks! I'm still worried about the 2007 manual telling people to do the wrong thing. I'll take a look at my physical manual and see what it says.

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