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Old 09-18-2009, 02:37 AM   #1
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How do I flat tow a 87 samurai?

I need to know how I can flat tow a samurai without damaging it.... What do I have to do in order for the samurai to be flat towed on the highway? I have never flat towed anything before and need help, I don't want to blow my transfer case or transmission.
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Old 09-18-2009, 05:30 AM   #2
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If you have twin sticks in you t-case you can put one stick in neutral and the other in 2wd and be fine.

or....You can remove your rear drive shaft

or....you can put a rear drive line disconnect on it

or...there is a specific way the Suzuki manual describes to do but you have to stop and check it at specific mile intervals and I dont remember what exactly what it is and I would do any of the above mentioned before I would have to stop and check things at certain miles.

Also, when you start to tow you need to put your key in the ignition and turn it to the on position then back to off and leave the key there. this lets the steering wheel stay free and not lock up. If you remove your key the steering wheel will lock up and not track very well.
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Old 09-18-2009, 06:14 AM   #3
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flat tow

Do a search for flat tow at Ack's FAQ (the link is in my signature, below).

You will find several links to detailed flat-tow instructions.

I also remove my rear driveshaft as itsmejoe suggests as added insurance against damage. It's inconvenient, but I don't flat-tow very often.

I hope that this helps!
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Old 09-18-2009, 06:25 AM   #4
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towing instructions from suzuki
put tranny in 2nd and transfer case in nutral

but the transfer case could pop out of neutral and if your doing 80 with the tranny in second your sammys engine will be way over redline so id pull the dshaft
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:56 AM   #5
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I say pull the driveshaft to be on the safe side, that way you will have no worries.
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:19 AM   #6
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I personally do not remove the DS. Flat tow all the time. I put the tcase in neutral and the tranny in 2nd. i do have twin sticks so my front doesn't turn but the rear does. i also have spools front and rear.
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Old 09-18-2009, 11:06 AM   #7
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I flat towed mine all over the place as well with the tranny in 2nd and tcase in N. Never had an issue. Don't try to back up though.
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Old 09-18-2009, 03:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazygavman View Post
.........................
but the transfer case could pop out of neutral and if your doing 80 with the tranny in second your sammys engine will be way over redline so id pull the dshaft

If your driving 80 mph while towing, you're just asking for trouble. When towing, slow down to a safe "controlable" speed; where it doesn't take a mile to come to a complete stop.
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Old 09-18-2009, 08:41 PM   #9
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If your Zuk is stock, you can follow Suzuki's instructions. I towed 20K+ miles that way. But without true (2wd) neutral, you're spinning the front driveshaft through the T-case from the rear. The front driveshaft is at a steeper angle and sometimes they come apart from the high-speed stress, creating real havoc underneath. Keep your speeds down -- the front driveshaft vibrates a LOT at or above ~45mph. Re-lubricate the bearings and seals by running the engine in gear (T-case in neutral) every 200 miles or so, as Suzuki recommends. I do it while gassing up.

If you're really lifted, then there are further precautions you should take. Both driveshafts are at a steeper angle and both more prone to coming apart at interstate speed. Safest is to disconnect the rear driveshaft at the axle and tie it up securely. Edit: Other approaches may also work, especially at lower speed and over a short haul.

But with a modest lift, as I have, then twin sticks might work for you. Put one lever in 2WD and the other in Neutral. Now you've got a true neutral and the front driveshaft won't be spinning. These days I'm experimenting with using 4th gear, as a precaution against over-reving the engine should the T-case slip into high range. But then, 2nd gear used to work OK for me as well. Do what you think best.

Edit: And don't forget to unlock the steering and release the parking brake. I forgot about the parking brake once and dragged it 300+ miles into Whitehorse, YT. I got lucky -- it cost just over 300 bucks to get the rear brakes rebulit at Canadian Tire -- an expensive oversight, but I met some great folks there!

Last edited by Merlin93; 09-19-2009 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 09-19-2009, 10:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPR Ram View Post
If your driving 80 mph while towing, you're just asking for trouble. When towing, slow down to a safe "controllable" speed; where it doesn't take a mile to come to a complete stop.
well i have never towed anything nor do i have anything to tow with i was just throwing a number out there
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Old 09-19-2009, 03:11 PM   #11
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I am no expert but have flat towed 3 Sammys and one Sidekick all over the western US and western Canada. I always just make sure that the transmission is in neutral and the key is on in the first position. I don't know about the driveshaft issue with extreme lifts but have blown a motor from towing it at 55 mph in first gear. BUT, that was my fault totally. I left the Sammy in first gear when I hooked up to a new tow vehicle. I took off onto the freeway and didn't realize the problem untill I saw the steam. OOPS! That being said I tow mine everywhere my motorhome goes. I leave it running in first gear with the radio on while hitching up. After hitching up, I turn the key back one notch so the engine shuts off and the radio is still on. When I stop while towing (usually for gas or food), I start up the car and let the clutch out to circulate the oil in the transmission. I did have a problem on one transmission that the oil was too thick and dirty. After towing it in cold weather for almost a thousand miles, I had a problem with the synchro in second gear. I don't know if towing caused it but it could have. (I am still driving it several years later and it only grinds a little going into 2nd)
I don't think that a car could accidently jump into low gear while being towed. I am not going to say anyone is being less than truthful but I bet someone left it in gear by accident as I did and towed it. It's too hard to get a car in gear without a clutch or the engine turning the right speed to make that kind of accident possible or worse likely. JMHO you can do what you want.
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