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Offline fordblue72

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can I flat tow my 72 4-speed car
« on: April 03, 2017, 03:39:17 PM »
Have a 72 runabout with a 2.0 and the stock 4-speed, I want to flat tow (4 wheels down) behind our RV. Will this be okay?

Offline dick1172762

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Re: can I flat tow my 72 4-speed car
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2017, 04:48:23 PM »
NO _ NO_ NO! Not without removing the drive shaft first. I have towed car all over the USofA with out a problem TILL I had the tranie lock up big time. Tranie broke loose from the bellhousing, shifter took out the floor board, drive shaft was bent big time, and I was only going 35 mph. Hurst shifter broke into. Why? Because the cluster gears do not turn while in neutral and the cluster gear is in the bottom of the tranie where the oil is. So if you tow with the shaft hooked up, the oil never gets to the main drive gears in the top of the tranie to lub them. I've net several people over the years that had this happen. Do it either way as its your car, but don't say I didn't warn you. And pulling with a rv, you would never know anything was wrong till @#$%^&. My mechanic friend says if you use one of the two wheel dolly to tow with it might be ok because the front of the car would be up in the air, allowing the oil to run rearward and MAYBE lube the tranie, MAYBE. DO YOU FEEL LUCKLY. Did I shoot 5 times or 6 times????
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Offline TIGGER

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Re: can I flat tow my 72 4-speed car
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2017, 05:26:48 PM »
NO _ NO_ NO! Not without removing the drive shaft first. I have towed car all over the USofA with out a problem TILL I had the tranie lock up big time. Tranie broke loose from the bellhousing, shifter took out the floor board, drive shaft was bent big time, and I was only going 35 mph. Hurst shifter broke into. Why? Because the cluster gears do not turn while in neutral and the cluster gear is in the bottom of the tranie where the oil is. So if you tow with the shaft hooked up, the oil never gets to the main drive gears in the top of the tranie to lub them. I've net several people over the years that had this happen. Do it either way as its your car, but don't say I didn't warn you. And pulling with a rv, you would never know anything was wrong till @#$%^&. My mechanic friend says if you use one of the two wheel dolly to tow with it might be ok because the front of the car would be up in the air, allowing the oil to run rearward and MAYBE lube the tranie, MAYBE. DO YOU FEEL LUCKLY. Did I shoot 5 times or 6 times????

Never knew that.  Good information.  Thanks
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78 Cruising Wagon (sold 8/6/11)

Offline fordblue72

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Re: can I flat tow my 72 4-speed car
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2017, 08:04:58 PM »
So I guess I'll have to keep that ugly a** Pt cruiser for our tow car, rats.

Offline dick1172762

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Re: can I flat tow my 72 4-speed car
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2017, 08:36:54 AM »
You don't really have to remove the driveshaft per say. Just unbolt it at the rear end and tie it up to the exhaust pipe or what ever is handy. A big hose clamp works great.
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Offline Wittsend

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Re: can I flat tow my 72 4-speed car
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2017, 10:53:37 AM »
You don't really have to remove the driveshaft per say. Just unbolt it at the rear end and tie it up to the exhaust pipe or what ever is handy. A big hose clamp works great.

And going up a hill you really don't want to remove the shaft..., unless you need a trail marker to get back home!

Fordblue72:  You should check with every specific manufacturer, but in general what applies to one car, would apply to all. As Dick said the main shaft turns without gears down in the oil sump flinging oil onto the other parts. There is nothing specific to the Pinto that causes it to have this unique limitation. And given that most Automatic transmissions only lubricate from the front pump turning (thus meaning a running engine) a similar limitation would apply.  I'm just speaking from concept. You should check on line the whole flat tow aspect to be more versed.

Offline dga57

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Re: can I flat tow my 72 4-speed car
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2017, 01:02:42 PM »
If you really don't like the PT Cruiser, I'd say sell it and invest whatever you get out of it into a car towing trailer.  With a full trailer there are no wheels on the ground and your Pinto can be towed safely with no hassle at all.  An open car trailer isn't all that expensive - I bought mine new for $2000.

Dwayne :)
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Offline fordblue72

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Re: can I flat tow my 72 4-speed car
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2017, 01:57:01 PM »
Been flat towing the PT for over 5 years from Washington to Arizona, its really easy, super fast to hook up and drop, but I live in California so I have to deal with smog checks and late model gremlins, I really want something that is more fun(Pinto , older Bronco) Found a 73 pinto wagon , thought about that but looks like the older 4 speed is a no-go, I guess t-5s are too. Don't really want to put a driveshaft off and on every time . Full size car trailers are a solution but a hassle as are tow dollys. The devises that unhook the driveshaft via cable are as much as my tow car is. Wonder if there is a way to lubricate a manual transmission like they do for automatics... 50wt is pretty thick. Oh well I guess it will be the PT for now. Maybe will have to get a Jeep(hahahaha). Thanks to all for the ideas.

Offline Wittsend

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Re: can I flat tow my 72 4-speed car
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2017, 04:14:21 PM »
I had thought about a 90 degree fitting on a drain plug opening that looped to a fitting on the fill plug. Run a pump between them. Of course that would have to be wired into the towing vehicles system that powered the pump when its engine was running. I know in NASCAR they run the gear oil through coolers, but I don't know what they use for a pump.  Maybe an aux drive off the speedometer gear to drive the pump?  I have a Halda Twinmaster that has a Tee to drive both it and the speedometer.  Though I doubt the plastic gear could handle the load of pumping gear oil since all it does is spin a nearly non-resistive speedometer.

I guess there is the option of putting the car in gear and jamming the clutch in, but I'd think you would go through throw out bearing pretty fast. Or, just leave the car in gear and pull the spark plugs. LOL

Offline pinto_one

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Re: can I flat tow my 72 4-speed car
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2017, 07:28:11 PM »
You will have to buy a driveshaft disconnect , they are made by remco , if they are still in business, it was a set up that unhooked your driveshaft with a coupler type of system , used a lever to engage and disingauge the transmission, we use it on our car when being towed behind our RV ,  might try camping world and see if they still have it , I know they made them for front wheel drive cars too, hopemthis helps , Blaine
76 Pinto sedan V6 , 79 pinto cruiser wagon V6 soon to be diesel or 4.0

Offline LongTimeFordMan

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Re: can I flat tow my 72 4-speed car
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2017, 07:49:17 PM »
The driveshaft disconnects use a modified shift ring from a transmission that engages or disengages with a syncro like device from a transmission like on the mainshaft of a manual transmission. The drive shaft is cut  and the apparatus is welded onto it. Thats why it is so expensive.  Not sure how they keep the driveshaft u joints realigned when you reconnect to maintain balance..

Years ago i saw a fellow who flat towed a pinto and he cut an opening in the floorboards above the rear u joint and made a cover plate so he could bolt and unbolt the ujoint from inside the car without getting under the car.

Heres a linkto the coupler

http://www.remcodsc.com/driveShaft.php
Red 1973 pinto wagon DD, SoCal desert car, Factory 4 speed, 3.40 gears, Stock engine, 14" rims and tires, 60 K original miles

Offline pinto_one

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Re: can I flat tow my 72 4-speed car
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2017, 08:36:26 PM »
Works very well , has bearing inside the drive shaft , did some looking and found Drivetrain.com has it , and they have a listing for the Bobcat , (do not know why ) but same as a pinto , they have years 73 up to 80 , guess worth the money for it if you save a transmission from failure.
76 Pinto sedan V6 , 79 pinto cruiser wagon V6 soon to be diesel or 4.0

Offline oldkayaker

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Re: can I flat tow my 72 4-speed car
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2017, 05:55:23 AM »
Just curious, I heard somewhere that you could flat tow a car safely in neutral if the engine is left idling.  I flat towed my 71 4-spd a couple hundred miles once with out problems but I do not remember how I did it (no drive shaft disconnect, maybe just lucky).
Jerry J - Jupiter, Florida

Offline pinto_one

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Re: can I flat tow my 72 4-speed car
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2017, 09:25:32 AM »
Yes you were , done the same thing for years until one day I had one of the gears weld itself to the output shaft , felt the truck load up and thought that I had a brake problem , spent some time to try and figuring that out on the side of the road , lucky for me back then I had a spare and pintos were plenty ,
76 Pinto sedan V6 , 79 pinto cruiser wagon V6 soon to be diesel or 4.0

Offline dick1172762

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Re: can I flat tow my 72 4-speed car
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2017, 10:15:52 AM »
Back in the days, NASCAR in the 60's used bilge pumps to lube the tranie and rear end. Weren't really made for it because of the heat. They would last for a 500 mile race. They were about the size of an oil filter. In USAC stock cars they allowed a quick change rear end. Frankland rear ends mounted an early VW oil pump to the rear of the quick change to pump the oil. Worked very good and was a cheap mod that lasted a season or more. No matter which pump was used, the hot oil was pumped through an oil cooler. Was it necessary ? On my Boss 302 69 Mustang road race car, the oil in the rear end would peg the temp gage at 300 deg in 20 laps or so. As SCCA races were all 25 laps or so, I could live with it. Ford gave us some black gear oil with a really bad smell to run in the rear end. It worked! We changed the oil every 100 laps or so.
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Offline LongTimeFordMan

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Re: can I flat tow my 72 4-speed car
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2017, 11:11:24 AM »
I saw somewhere years ago that some circle cars were using a modified sbock absorber on the outside wheel.as an oil pump to circulate rear end oil thru a cooler. But on a flat road it probably wouldnt pump much.

With pinto parts geetting as rare as they ar I wouldnt risk towing with the driveshaft connected. As stated above, the cluster gear isnt driven if the front shaft isnt turning, so the mainshaft will run dry and seize up.

If i ever start towing, i think i will opt for a removable plate in the floor board above the u joint to do an easy disconnect.
Red 1973 pinto wagon DD, SoCal desert car, Factory 4 speed, 3.40 gears, Stock engine, 14" rims and tires, 60 K original miles

Offline pinto_one

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Re: can I flat tow my 72 4-speed car
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2017, 11:30:20 AM »
there is one more Idea , if you have converted your car to the T-5 it uses transmission fluld , the RV sites , (the same ones that offer a driveshaft disconnect ) has a electric pump they use to lube the automatic transmision when being towed behind a RV, you could use that and tap in a spray bar to lube the gear cluster , or next to just over filling the trans as a last resort ,
76 Pinto sedan V6 , 79 pinto cruiser wagon V6 soon to be diesel or 4.0

Offline LongTimeFordMan

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Re: can I flat tow my 72 4-speed car
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2017, 11:39:23 AM »
Another idea..

I was investigating building a hydrolic leveling system for an old rv years ago and discovered thar mustang convertables have electric hydrolic pumps with some pretty heavy duty motors to raise and lower the tops.  They seem pretty available in wrecking yards... with no load, ie hydrolic cyllenders to feed they might have decent flow and not draw a lot of power.  Should however be powered from the tow vehicle.
Red 1973 pinto wagon DD, SoCal desert car, Factory 4 speed, 3.40 gears, Stock engine, 14" rims and tires, 60 K original miles

Offline dick1172762

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Re: can I flat tow my 72 4-speed car
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2017, 04:45:38 PM »
Best thing you can do is buy a second hand tow dolly. They go for under $1000 used. Put your Pinto on backwards and tow away. The dolly's will work with the car facing either way just fine. Good investment for what you want. And you can hide it behind your house when not in use.
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