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Old 04-19-2005, 07:31 PM
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Towing disabled vehicles in neutral?

I priced out a tow truck to move a full size GM van 30km. The steering box is out of it, and it has to be towed on its rear wheels. The towing company will tow it in neutral if I sign a damage waiver. (I don't want the expense of a flat bed for a truck I plan on scrapping after pulling the stuff I want.) I may opt to keep the trans for the purpose of a rebuild or re-use if its in good condition. (All I know is that it is a OD trans...) Can this do major damage to the trans. if I tow it this way, or is it just a safety net for the towing company?

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Old 04-19-2005, 07:40 PM
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Any rear wheel drive vehicle resting on the rear wheels while in tow must be in neutral. If it isn't, then gear lash will occur because if the transmission is in gear, it will have the wheels locked on that gear. (stick shift) If the vehicle is an auto in park, then the parking brake will be holding the wheels in place. Put the van in neutral unless you want to buy a new transmission.
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Old 04-19-2005, 07:54 PM
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Oops, I forgot to mention it was an auto trans I guess....I realize it has to be in neutral instead of "park", I'm just wondering why they want to put it on dollies or a flat bed instead. Can the driveshaft spinning at highway speeds cause a "non-running" automatic trans any damage? It has to be towed 30Km (18miles)
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Old 04-19-2005, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead forever
. Can the driveshaft spinning at highway speeds cause a "non-running" automatic trans any damage? It has to be towed 30Km (18miles)

The rule used to be that you could tow it up to 30 miles as long as you didn't go over 30 mph.................something about no lubrication to the output shaft bearing. That was for Powerglides and Turbo350s. Don't know about the O/D trannies.
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Old 04-19-2005, 11:38 PM
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Cant do it

Towing an automatic with the drive wheels on the ground will damage the transmission, regardless of what gear you tow in. Best thing to do is to remove the drive shaft or use a dolly.
If you don't, the drive shaft will turn the output shaft, which will rotate whatever is connected to it, (rear planets, clutches, etc). There will be no lube to any of these parts since the oil pump is driven by the T/C. There hasn't been a trans with a rear pump since the late 50's/early 60's.
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Old 04-20-2005, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly5759
Towing an automatic with the drive wheels on the ground will damage the transmission, regardless of what gear you tow in. Best thing to do is to remove the drive shaft or use a dolly.
If you don't, the drive shaft will turn the output shaft, which will rotate whatever is connected to it, (rear planets, clutches, etc). There will be no lube to any of these parts since the oil pump is driven by the T/C. There hasn't been a trans with a rear pump since the late 50's/early 60's.
Thats right on with what I've always known as well. Without the Torque converter turning, no fluid is getting pumped through the system. It would be like cranking the engine over for an extended period of time without the distributor in to turn the oil pump.
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Old 04-20-2005, 05:42 AM
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Thanks guys....I'll pop the shaft off. The drive shaft that is...
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Old 04-20-2005, 09:29 AM
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Aluminum Powerglides and old dual range hydros have rear oil pumps - can even push start them! Towing them on the rear wheels will quickly lunch them. Same rule for all automatics for that matter except for different reasons in modern units w/o the rear pump. Spend 10 minutes and take out the drive shaft.
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Old 04-20-2005, 07:18 PM
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rear pumps on power glides were deleted in 1969 or 70 if I am remembering correctly


Quote:
Originally Posted by willys36@aol.com
Aluminum Powerglides and old dual range hydros have rear oil pumps - can even push start them! Towing them on the rear wheels will quickly lunch them. Same rule for all automatics for that matter except for different reasons in modern units w/o the rear pump. Spend 10 minutes and take out the drive shaft.
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Old 04-20-2005, 07:41 PM
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willys right pull the shaft even some manuals can be damaged by a flat tow the cars you see that get towed by RVs have an electric pump oiling the units (mostly automatics)
case in point had a bud that did wide load escorting(mobile homes)want to say 95 baby ranger p/u or mazda same thing anyway they would flat tow it on the flip flop and the drive shaft did not come out on the bottom of the tranny (5spd manual) and it wiped out because the oil was in the bottom and the upper gears were spinning w/o oil
a lesson from the school of hard knocks

good luck sr66
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Old 04-20-2005, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crosley
rear pumps on power glides were deleted in 1969 or 70 if I am remembering correctly

I am sure it was earlier than that.........my dads 67 Biscayne could not be push started, but his 58 could.
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Old 04-20-2005, 10:38 PM
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I must correct that information;

I've built powerglides in 68 Camaro's that I owned or were cars of friends that had rear pumps.

One of them had no second gear , which was caused by the drive pin shearing off inside the rear pump. No rear pump pressure = no upshift in those trannys

Quote:
Originally Posted by poncho62
I am sure it was earlier than that.........my dads 67 Biscayne could not be push started, but his 58 could.
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Old 04-20-2005, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crosley
I must correct that information;

I've built powerglides in 68 Camaro's that I owned or were cars of friends that had rear pumps.

One of them had no second gear , which was caused by the drive pin shearing off inside the rear pump. No rear pump pressure = no upshift in those trannys
That happened to my wife's '56 Bel Air Sport HT except the ring gear in the rear pump for her cast iron PG split - equivalent to the pin shearing - thus no shift to second!
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