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Old 03-11-2013, 08:43 PM   #1
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Question 4 wheels down towing questions

I have a 2002 Jeep Wrangler Sport 2 door manual transmission I am towing with a Winnebego Aspect. I am confused on how to prepare and configure it to tow 4 wheels down. Here is the info I have and the major questions.

RECREATIONAL TOWING (BEHIND MOTORHOME, ETC.)
CAUTION!
Internal damage to the transfer case will occur if a
front or rear wheel lift is used when recreational towing.
NOTE: The transfer case must be shifted into N (Neutral) for recreational towing.
Use the following procedure to prepare your vehicle for recreational towing.
CAUTION!
It is necessary to follow these steps to be certain that
the transfer case is fully in N (Neutral) before
recreational towing to prevent damage to internal parts.

Shifting Into Neutral (N)

1. Depress brake pedal.
2. Depress clutch pedal on manual transmission.
3. Shift transfer case lever into N (Neutral).
4. Start engine.
5. Shift manual transmission into gear.
6. Release brake pedal and ensure that there is no vehicle
movement.
7. Shut the engine off and place the ignition key into the
unlocked OFF position.
8. Apply parking brake.
9. Attach vehicle to the tow vehicle with tow bar.
10. Release parking brake.

QUESTIONS:

1. Is step #5 correct?. Put the Jeep in gear (and neutral transfer case) when towing 4 wheels down? Or should you put the Jeep into Neutral transfer case AND gear shift in NEUTRAL?

2. Is step #7 correct? Put the key in OFF when towing 4 wheels down? Thought I read put into Accessory? Don’t think Accessory is in the position shown in the diagram in the manual. Dealer said accessory was at the ON/RUN position when you could play radio and wheels stayed UNLOCKED!

thanx
Bill

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Old 03-11-2013, 08:48 PM   #2
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Yep, put in gear to keep trans from turning. Turn ignition one click forward to keep steering from locking. No radio play.

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Old 03-11-2013, 08:53 PM   #3
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We tow our manual 1999 Jeep behind our motorhome, and the manual is correct. #5-Transfer case in neutral and we run our transmission in 2nd or 3rd gear (they leave the transmission in gear simply to provide a little resistance so the transmission gears won't turn as much) #7 Ours has an off postion between "locked" and "on" where the ignition (and radio) is off but the wheels are unlocked. Not sure if the 2002 is the same, but the manual should be correct. I would trust it over what someone else tells you.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:30 PM   #4
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Dumb question maybe as I've never towed a vehicle....
Why not put it on a trailer, figure it would keep allot of the wear and tear off the Jeep...?...
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:42 PM   #5
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Dumb question maybe as I've never towed a vehicle....
Why not put it on a trailer, figure it would keep allot of the wear and tear off the Jeep...?...
Some cannot afford the trailer.. also that's a big trailer to put a vehicle on, much more weight behind the motor home..
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:49 PM   #6
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I'm reading it as put it in gear to insure the t-case is out of gear then leave everything in the neutral position. That seems like it makes more sense rather than leaving it in gear for the transmission and the t-case in neutral. I could be way off I have never done a tow behind. Like I said that's just how I interpreted it. Everything in neutral. I have a 2002 and I think mine has a wheel unlock point in the key sequence.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:25 PM   #7
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You put the trans in gear to keep the trans from spinning. Not too bad for the sticks. But if you leave the auto in neutral, The spinning transfer case could spin the auto trans. And with no engine running to spin the trans pump. The trans spins with no oil pressure. That will KILL the auto quick!!!
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:36 PM   #8
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Not trying to hijack here, but, should you follow the same recomendations if you put the front end on a tow dolly.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:36 PM   #9
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Not trying to hijack here, but, should you follow the same recomendations if you put the front end on a tow dolly.
Yes.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:41 PM   #10
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I'm reading it as put it in gear to insure the t-case is out of gear then leave everything in the neutral position. That seems like it makes more sense rather than leaving it in gear for the transmission and the t-case in neutral. I could be way off I have never done a tow behind. Like I said that's just how I interpreted it. Everything in neutral. I have a 2002 and I think mine has a wheel unlock point in the key sequence.
You're misreading it.

Transfer case in Neutral.
Manual transmission IN GEAR!!! Yes, IN gear... 1st gear, 2nd gear, etc.
Automatic transmission in PARK!!!

The transmission is IN gear or Park to prevent it from spinning from parasitic forces when it's not being properly lubricated as is the case when the transfer case is in Neutral.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:57 PM   #11
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Not trying to hijack here, but, should you follow the same recomendations if you put the front end on a tow dolly.
Do not tow with a tow dolly! Unless you disconnect the rear driveshaft.

and again put the trans in gear or if Auto in Park. Transfer in neutral.

This is not hard to follow.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:00 PM   #12
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Do not tow with a tow dolly! Unless you disconnect the rear driveshaft.

and again put the trans in gear or if Auto in Park. Transfer in neutral.

This is not hard to follow.
You can use a dolly without issue, drive shaft installed just the same as flat towing.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:02 PM   #13
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If my only option was a tow dolly, and I disconnect the rear driveshaft, what would be the reasoning behind putting the trans in gear and the xfer case in neutral? There wouldn't be anything but the rear axle turning would there?
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:04 PM   #14
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Do not tow with a tow dolly! Unless you disconnect the rear driveshaft.

and again put the trans in gear or if Auto in Park. Transfer in neutral.

This is not hard to follow.
Why would you have to remove the rear DS for a tow dolly?
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:04 PM   #15
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If my only option was a tow dolly, and I disconnect the rear driveshaft, what would be the reasoning behind putting the trans in gear and the xfer case in neutral? There wouldn't be anything but the rear axle turning would there?
None. If you remove the rear shaft and put the front on a dolly, you can do what you please with the transmission and transfer case. Put in 4wd low range in OD if you want. But there's no reason to.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:29 PM   #16
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Why would you have to remove the rear DS for a tow dolly?
See the op. manual says damage will occur.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:52 PM   #17
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See the op. manual says damage will occur.
If the manual told you to drive off a cliff, would you do it?
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:08 AM   #18
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If the manual told you to drive off a cliff, would you do it?
The manual says put regular gasoline in the tank. By your reasoning, would running diesel be ok?

When I used to flat tow, I always followed the manual's instructions as stated above, and never had a problem.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:32 AM   #19
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Towing on a dolly and not removing the rear DS isn't going to cause damage. It is going to put a bit of extra wear on the T-case, but it's no different than having the output shaft bearing spinning or axle bearings spinning when flat towing.

When you have it on a dolly the front DS doesn't spin which means the front output shaft on the t-case doesn't spin, but the rear output shaft is still spinning. Compared to flat towing where the front output shaft and rear output shaft are spinning at the same relative speeds.

Like a lot of things the manufacturer is overprotective from idiots. Most likely they say damage will occur because they don't want some dummy accidentally leaving it in 4wd or trying to shift it into 4wd when towing on a dolly.
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:49 AM   #20
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If the manual told you to drive off a cliff, would you do it?
Boy is this the wrong forum to ask THAT question in! Most of us don't need encouragement to drive off cliffs...
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:59 AM   #21
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:36 AM   #22
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I see this string is for a manual. what about an automatic? I just traded my 11 rubicon manual trans in on a 13 sport automatic trans (so the wife could drive it) we are going to pull behind am RV. I am probably going to buy a trailer (cheaper than i thought, less than 2K new), but would like knowledge of how to tow 4 wheels down. It seems i get different answers depending whether i ask the jeep dealership or the rv dealership.

An before the comment comes up, yes i would have preferred to keep the manual trans.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:45 AM   #23
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Transfer case in Neutral, transmission in Park, ignition switch turned to the unlocked Off position so the steering wheel is unlocked. Your Owners Manual will confirm that, it gives instructions on how to flat tow your Jeep.

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