The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Russco, May 29, 2019.
Can you flat tow an early Ford with a torque tube without damaging the transmission? ( 350 miles )
Good question. I’ve seen people mention tying the shifter to hold it in neutral.
I’d love to hear some real world advice past “they did it back in the day”
Back in the early 60's we had an A bar and that was what we used to tow all the "barn finds" home. From my experience with early Ford trans Tim's idea of tying the shifter in neutral is essential.
Also how do you think all those Fords got to the speedway, trailers were not that common back then.
This is column shift so I don’t think falling into gear would be an issue. I’m mainly concerned about transmission lubrication while towing. I flat towed my old A coupe long distance many times but it had a quick change and I could just pull a spur gear.
Just use my trailer.
I’d think you’d be more likely to have a columbshift drop down into a gear than a floor shift seeing as the shifter and the car will be moving up and down.
Probably easier to tie off the underhood linkage in that situation I’d think.
A lot of us don’t own a trailer, I’ve looked at flat towing because my daily could pull a light model A and be well with in the pulling limits. Add a trailer that weights just as much if not more than the model A and I’m probably pushing it as far as being safe.
The trans shouldn’t be having any lube issues I wouldn’t think. It’s flat on the ground like normal and it’s getting lube by shit spinning around like normal?
Good idea on pulling a spur gear in a quick change, I’d never thought of/heard of that
I’ve mainly wondered about this because I’d like to pull a model A hotrod with my 46 ford Tudor.
Don’t think my pussy truck can pull it
Yes, I flat towed this ford 530 miles. No problems. Been using the same drivetrain for 20 years.
I’d think if you have a locking steering column you could load it back wards.
cant damage a manual from towing
if the linkage is a worry, put in neutral and disconnect the rods
Yes you can. I flat towed my 40 coupe 400 miles from Poughkeepsie NY to Wellfleet, MA in 1967.
Put the car in neutral, unlock the steering column and your good to go. The car tracked easily behind my heavier 57 Pontiac that had a spare flatty in the trunk. I did not disconnect the torque tube or anything else. BE CAREFUL as you don't want to get yourself in a situation where you have to back up.
Things may have changed since back then. I was lucky as I was never stopped for having no brakes lights or a tag on the 40. Just a paper plate that said CAR IN TOW.
Also, flat towing may not be legal in all states.
Could use those magnetic trailer lights that they often use on towed cars. If it’s something you plan on doing regularly I’m sure you could put a plug on the front of the car to plug into the tow vehicle like a trailer plug would?
Almost nobody had a trailer in the 50's and those old Fords were towed all the time.
Top of the oil.
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Every thing was towed.
Slings on a wrecker or a piece of pipe with a chain thru it
I've never had a problem...
Anything you do to tow or things you would recommend? Since you have first hand knowledge
Like ways to hold in neutral, lights etc.
Thanks fellas, I was just worried about the trans not getting lubed. I’ve flat towed my stuff several times. On my old truck with a Muncie trans I disconnect at the rear differential and tie the shaft to the safety hoop. And my Model A I just pulled a spur gear. Both pulled nicely behind my little GMC Canyon.
Flat towing most manual transmission long distance can cause problems. Most transmissions get oil from the cluster gear spinning. When towing the cluster gear does not spin. The pocket bearing and other top bearing will run dry. How far do you need to go before damage? Not sure.
One way to prevent possible transmission failure or damage, is to stop on the trip and start the engine with the transmission in neutral to lube the upper bearings.
Some latter transmissions and transfer cases have provisions for splash lubercation from the output shaft and can be towed indefinitely.
depends on where the fill location is in regards to the output shaft
and of course, the amount of lubricant is important
Ok for sake of conversation let’s say it’s a 34 to 48 ish ford three speed. He mentioned early ford and torque tube so that seems a fair assumption
Here is a pic
Ok maybe I wasn’t clear. I ment how would it effect this transmission. Is the oil fill being close to the output shaft better or worse.... you were kinda vague in what was better or worse or why
The higher the fill the closer to the main shaft the less likely for any damage
If that trans has the correct amount of fluid, towing should be fine.
I towed my 1937 Ford 57 miles by wrapping chain around the back bumper of my 1947 Mercury to the front bumper of the Ford
Make sure the trans and rear axle are full of lube, trans in neutral and you are good to go. Nobody worried about this until automatic transmissions came along. Most only have a front pump, if the engine is not running they get no lubrication. Manual transmissions lubricate themselves, they don't need a pump.
Should be no problem-never though a thing about it in the 50's 60's-towed as lot of old fords.-some out of the mountains on windy roads too but did no go very fast. never had a problem.
I almost seized up a '39 Ford top shift box towing it 30 miles!
The rear bearing had no lube and transferred some metal from overheating.
Topping off the lubricant(to top of box) would have probably saved it.
...don't you have a buddy with a truck and trailer?...be a whole lot easier than doin some of this stuff suggested...lots of stuff can go wrong flat towing, it ain't worth the hassle.
...good luck gettin it home.
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