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Discussion Starter #1
if you have the rear drive shaft off and you have it in 4wheel high and the front hubs locked would it be ok to drive this way for short dist,. my thought is if towing an 87 samurai behind motorhome with the rear drive shaft off would you allways have to reconnect to drive the sammy. just a thought. i know they say the best way to tow is with the drive shaft disconected. i know you can tow with transfer in neutral and tranny in 2nd but than they say there is a tendancy to jump in gear than your engine is toast. any thoughts..... jj
 

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if you have the rear drive shaft off and you have it in 4wheel high and the front hubs locked would it be ok to drive this way for short dist,. my thought is if towing an 87 samurai behind motorhome with the rear drive shaft off would you allways have to reconnect to drive the sammy. just a thought. i know they say the best way to tow is with the drive shaft disconected. i know you can tow with transfer in neutral and tranny in 2nd but than they say there is a tendancy to jump in gear than your engine is toast. any thoughts..... jj
I was wondering same thing as I flat tow. In addition I been on the transfer case noise thread as well. When flat towing if the driveshaft is not removed both the front and rear drive shafts will turn. Kind of a bogus neutral! Dont quite get it. If its ok to tow this way, long distance. Its kind of like driving around all the time in 4wd high and just unlocking the hubs, wouldnt think that would be a good idea.
I think removing the drive shaft is better but I also hear just towing per manufactures spec. should not harm especialy if you got stock tiresize w no lift.
Havent heard the transfer case jumps into gear while towing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for the come back. i just dont see any reason you couldnt drive around with the reardrive shaft off and just put it in 4 wheel high and lock the front hubs. sounds logical to me but im not an expert. it sure would make towing a lot less worrysome. going to be taking my 87 zuke to colorado next month and i will be towing it behind my motorhome on a dolly. run out of money and wont be able to get baseplate and tow bar and brake set up for this trip.
 

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Im no expert either. But It seems like you should be able to tow that way. Mine came all set up for towing. My bar is just a basic cheapie, works good though and very easy not quite as conveinient as some of the fancy setups. We pull with a motorhome as well. As for Brakes we dont have them but heck its pretty light weight though.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
i will be towing 4 down but for this trip as i allready have a dolly and it has surge brakes on it thats how we will be doing it this time. im towing it with a 97 georgie boy 454. just got back from oklahoma last mounth and we took our daughter and her saturn and didnt even know it was back there.as far as the sammy i just got it and have been trying to get it ready for the trip. it has been a big project but it has been fun. just running out of money and time.hope to get tranny back in this week than i think we will be ready.
 

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I had the rear drive shaft forcefully removed once and after getting the rest of it out I was able to get it the 5mi's back home with just the front wheels powered so for an emergence it is doable.

it is just four bolts and less than 5 minutes to take off/put on the rear drive shaft so I would just park the motorhome at the camp ground and put in the drive shaft in and at the end of the trip take the drive shaft back out and put it on the dolly.
 

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Have flat towed my 87 Sami thousands of miles with my 87 VW Syncro. Just took the rear driveshaft off at the diff and wired it up tightly. Careful not to let it slip off the splines. Turned out the front axles at the hubs. Put the tranny in 4th and the T/C in faux neutral. Disconnected the battery at neg side. (so as to steer without steering wheel lock, key must be in the on position)
Be careful with the tires...I over inflate them. Less tire on the road. One time the rear right tire lost air and before it was noticed, the face of the tire was a road-gater and the warrantee was not good for it.
At destination 4 bolts and good to go.
Some take both driveshafts off at the diffs...just to be sure the bearings in the tranny and T/C survive, as the turning of the D/S will not lube the bearings.
There are cheap magnetic towing lights available, that can be compatible with most towing vehicles. Some just ductape enough lights to meet DOT standards. To secure the 4X4 to the VW a padlock instead of the bolt thru the towing ball hitch.
Some put a childs bike whip with a flag on the towed vehicle to make it visible inside the MoHo. Have adequate mirrors on the towing vehicle...not seeing the rig behind is not good enough. Have fun with your tow !!
 

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No need to disconect battery I tow with key in ignition unlock the wheel but dont turn ignition on. As for removing the drive shaft most of my towing is under 100 miles if I stop I will start motor and run thru gears.
So is the info from suzuki wrong? 2nd gear and t case in nuetral without pulling drive shaft will that cause damage to countershaft bearings or not? It seems the manufacture would not recomend it if it causes damage.
 

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Towing the Sammy 4down is pretty easy as you guys already know. The manual is correct, 2d gear and t-case in N. It works most of the time with no problem. But hit a bump and it can catch and turn out to be a really bad day.

I learned the hard way. So I first dropped the rear driveshaft for trips. As long as the front hubs are unlocked, you don't have to touch the front driveshaft. I later installed other methods to make it easier. Driveshaft disconnect on the street rig and full floater rear axle with Warn lockouts for the trail rig.

You can drive on the front axle with the rear disconnected, but it will drive completely different as a front wheel drive vehicle.
 

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Oh, something that was touched on earlier... The Sammy t-case does not have a true neutral. Although it has a neutral position that disconnects the engine from the drivelines, it locks the front and rear drivelines together. So when you tow with the hubs unlocked and the t-case in neutral the rear tires turn the rear AND front driveshafts. A way to gain a true neutral without swapping to another t-case is to upgrade to a twin stick shifter. You end up with a true neutral and a 2WD low gear.
 

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Ok yes I know about a drive shaft disconect and about the twin shifter upgrade

1 why do a drive shaft disconect instead of twin sticks? any advantage?
2 what can happen if I hit a "bump" flat towing my stock Samurai
I might concider removing my driveshaft on a long trip but I often flat tow from San bernardino Ca to Camp pendleton some 85 miles I dont want to crawl under there 3 times in a weekend doing that. Am I causing harm?
 

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Ok yes I know about a drive shaft disconect and about the twin shifter upgrade

1 why do a drive shaft disconect instead of twin sticks? any advantage?
2 what can happen if I hit a "bump" flat towing my stock Samurai
I might concider removing my driveshaft on a long trip but I often flat tow from San bernardino Ca to Camp pendleton some 85 miles I dont want to crawl under there 3 times in a weekend doing that. Am I causing harm?
1. The driveshaft disconnect involves adding a component to the rear of the t-case, cutting a hole in the body for the lever and shortening the driveshaft. If you are considering doing a suspension lift, you may not need to shorten the driveshaft as you would need the extra length anyway. The selling point for most people is that you don't need to crack open the t-case. For rock crawlers, you also get to quick way disconnect the rear on the trail to do front digs. Take a look at both installs and decide for yourself:
Twinsticks
DS Disconnect

2. With the trans in 2nd gear, if the worn shifter sheet (bushing) allows the t-case to drop into gear when being towed - you are now spinning the motor at a ahigher RPM than the components are made for (2nd gear/60mph). And remember where I said that the front and rear driveshafts get locked together? Here is what happened to my t-case after the spinning front shaft let go while pulling the trail zook behind a motorhome. Didn't find the damage until the next stop...


That is the front output gear, and the front case needed to be replaced because of that crack. I never found the $300 custom driveshaft...

Bottom line, disconnect and know that nothing from the t-case forward is spinning. Soooo much easier on the nerves - and the wallet.
;)
 

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Ok billjohn thanks for the pics and explanation. Though I havent been offroad that much I can see the driveshaft disconect could be helpful to go into front wheel drive only by disconecting. Cut and ballance drive shaft and the driveshaft disconect pretty simple install . Kind of out of my price range right now I think. Im going to chance it for now (fingers crossed)
 

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My off road buddy suffered the 'catystrophic' drop into gear at hiway speed. It did much the same as the pix u posted. The driveshaft did however beat (read massacre) the rust out of the floor of the Sami. Then it imploded. We decided that we would then use the 4th gear tow option, we reasoned that the 5th or OD gear did not look as substantial as the 4th in the tranny. We reasoned that if the 4th gear was engaged when the T/C engaged then the tranny might survive and that the T/C would not take such a shock and perhaps survive. Since my Sami, at that time, had full time hubs up front, the driveshafts were always disconnected.
We never had any more trouble and were not put off by the under the 4X4 crawl since we had to do that to be sure we had no oil taking a 'vacay' after our off road fun. Were we 'out to lunch' in our reasoning ? Anyone ? Would it be better to leave the tranny in neutral ?
Still flat towing after all these years.
 

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anyone done any research to find out why the t-case is "jumping" into gear.... a bad shifter sheet or something ??
So many of these Sami's out there with thousands upon thousands of flat towing miles with zero issues, so why is a select few having/had this problem....has to be some sort of variable involved here.

Here is how flat towing is recommended by SUZUKI :
http://www.petroworks.com/pdf/How to Flat Tow a Samurai.pdf

I still think it would be best to disconnect the driveline with one of many options (true neutral, ds disconnect, unbolt shaft, ect..) but these should be able to be flat towed in stock form without issue, the manufacture even has a procedure for it.
 

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anyone done any research to find out why the t-case is "jumping" into gear.... a bad shifter sheet or something ??
So many of these Sami's out there with thousands upon thousands of flat towing miles with zero issues, so why is a select few having/had this problem....has to be some sort of variable involved here.

Here is how flat towing is recommended by SUZUKI :
http://www.petroworks.com/pdf/How to Flat Tow a Samurai.pdf

I still think it would be best to disconnect the driveline with one of many options (true neutral, ds disconnect, unbolt shaft, ect..) but these should be able to be flat towed in stock form without issue, the manufacture even has a procedure for it.
Thanks. I agree that a true neutral or driveline disconnect sound like a great thing to have. My question is do I need to drop a thousand or so dollars ? Cant I tow it like Suzuki says? I guess Im going to find out because I flat tow just like Suzuki says I can. I just dont get why they would build sell and warranty their vehicle to be towed if It cant be towed without major upgrade.
 

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When they were new, or within their warranty, I didn't hear about problems like this. But remember, even the newest of the North American Sammy's are almost 17 years old now. And most of them that are on the market are 87-90 models... do the math. The parts don't stay perfect on such a low priced vehicle forever. We just try to keep them together for as long as possible.
:p
 
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