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Old 05-26-2016, 08:05 PM   #1
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Default Need Towing Advice

I'm picking up a truck tomorrow and need some advice on towing it home. I'm using a tow dolly behind my father's 2001 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab. It's a 4.7L V8 with 4x4 so should have enough power to pull. The truck I'm towing on the dolly is a 1997 Dodge Dakota Regular Cab V8 4x4.

Now.... would it be okay to pull it in Neutral

OR

Do I remove the driveshaft and hang it up on the body.

I was told it's a bad idea to tow a vehicle in Neutral because it ruins the transmission.
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:55 PM   #2
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is there a way to put the transfer case in neutral?
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:57 PM   #3
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if it were me, i'd remove the driveshaft just to be safe.
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:01 PM   #4
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is there a way to put the transfer case in neutral?
Yes, there's a 4H, 4L, and N position like post old 4x4 trucks. My only fear is not being able to loosen the bolts. I got a can of WD-40, a breaker bar, cordless impact, and limited patience lol.

I gotta tow it from Lake Geneva, WI to Hammond, IN.

So maybe taking the drive shaft out maybe a safe bet. It's my first time towing anything to be honest.
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:06 PM   #5
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i wouldnt risk it. chances are with the t-case in neutral it will be fine for a short distance, but that's not a chance i'd take.
the bolts holding the u-joints in may look rusty, but they usually come out no problem.
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:10 PM   #6
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i wouldnt risk it. chances are with the t-case in neutral it will be fine for a short distance, but that's not a chance i'd take.
the bolts holding the u-joints in may look rusty, but they usually come out no problem.
I was testing how to remove the drive shaft on my dad's truck, it was pretty hard. The rust really holds it tight, but I know enough leverage will break it loose.
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:17 PM   #7
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Pull driveshaft. Last resort double neutral.
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:45 PM   #8
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Pull driveshaft. Last resort double neutral.
What i'll do is attempt to remove the drive shaft.

If I can't get the bolts loose i'll double Neutral it to a shop with an air impact. My Ryobi cordless impact is only a 3/8 drive. Doesn't have much power.
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:51 PM   #9
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Most yoke bolts are small, they'll either come out or snap off. Hand tools should be plenty.
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Old 05-26-2016, 10:09 PM   #10
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Most yoke bolts are small, they'll either come out or snap off. Hand tools should be plenty.
They're 15mm bolts. As I said before, they are a little tough, hopefully the regular Dakota is a bit easier.
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Old 05-26-2016, 11:57 PM   #11
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Pay to have it flatbed towed
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Old 05-27-2016, 12:01 AM   #12
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Pay to have it flatbed towed
I would if it wasn't so far, it's in Lake Geneva, WI and needs to be towed 110miles to my parents place.
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Old 05-27-2016, 12:09 AM   #13
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Remove drive shaft
if the transfer case only has 4 low and 4 high with no two wheel drive....disconnect the drive shaft as it is very likely that it is full time 4 wheel drive transfer case and even when in neutral the both outputs will be tied together through a differential geartrain in the transfer case output.
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Old 05-27-2016, 06:48 AM   #14
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why not just use a flatbed car trailer instead of a dolly.
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Old 05-27-2016, 08:31 AM   #15
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My buddy thrashed a T5 by flat towing. I'd pull the drive shaft.
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Old 05-27-2016, 08:37 AM   #16
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The easiest solution is to get a flatbed. You are then assured you'll get it home without issue if that driveshaft isn't easy to get out. You're already getting a dolly, so just get the flatbed and call it a day.
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Old 05-27-2016, 08:55 AM   #17
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If you have AAA they wil tow up to 100 miles. puch it 11 miles from where its at and call AAA.
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Old 05-27-2016, 08:59 AM   #18
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The problem with pulling an automatic is that even in neutral you are still turning the transmission internals, but without the engine running, there is no fluid being pumped through the trans, so you'll likely burn up some bearings. Since the T-case can be put in neutral, disconnecting it from the transmission, and it has it's own lubrication like a manual trans, you could put the back tires on the dolly, and lock down the steering so you can pull it backwards as a last resort.
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Old 05-27-2016, 09:32 AM   #19
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Quote:
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why not just use a flatbed car trailer instead of a dolly.
I JUST reserved a trailer and it was $10 more a day over a dolly
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Old 05-27-2016, 09:54 AM   #20
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a 4.7 Dakota should be able to do 6500lbs give or take. Weight of a regular cab is probably 3500lbs. Uhaul trailer is 2500. I'd flatbed trailer that thing.
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Old 05-27-2016, 04:18 PM   #21
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Default Well, I Got it Home!

It took me a while, but got it home. What I ended up doing was loading it on the dolly, putting it in Neutral, took it to a mechanic shop so they could help me remove the drive shaft, locked the steering wheel and went on my way. I just made sure to keep tightening the straps so it wouldn't fall off. Surprisingly, the truck had enough power to pull the truck.



The truck is a 1997 Dodge Dakota. Has a 318 5.2L V8 swapped in, with a "rebuilt" 44RE transmission, Posi rear end, and 4x4. It's got a lot wrong with it but it's gonna be my beater, not too worried about it. For $800, I don't think I did too bad.





I started cleaning it out till it poured rain.
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Old 05-27-2016, 04:20 PM   #22
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So we're the bolts difficult to remove?
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Old 05-27-2016, 04:25 PM   #23
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So we're the bolts difficult to remove?
No, but I didn't do it, had a mechanic do it in WI, and here in IN. They are different on the '97 than on the '01. I stupidly only brought the tools based on the '01, so had to shell out a few bucks at the shops.
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Old 06-18-2016, 10:12 PM   #24
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Default I learned something!

So turns out you can't tow a truck in Neutral on the highway for too long. We got lazy and didn't remove the driveshaft on my new parts truck, motor was shot and the drivetrain was useless to us anyway. Well, when we got home we realized that if you wanna keep your transmission from completely self destructing, you should probably remove the driveshaft. There was trans fluid everywhere, all over the dolly and we only noticed AFTER we got home. MEH, who cares, was a useless V6 transmission anyway. It was so hard to push I ended up just pulling it with my other truck. I'll open up the transmission pan soon and see what kinda carnage is in there, i'm really curious.
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Old 06-18-2016, 10:53 PM   #25
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well....yeah you cant do that. without the engine running and turning the pump, you toast the internals. at least it was junk anyway though
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