Towing My AWD Explorer

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  #1  
Old 07-21-08, 06:05 PM
Yukon Youngun's Avatar
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Towing My AWD Explorer

Yesterday my '03 Explorer, V6, AWD, developed an electrical problem shortly after returning home. Problem is, I need to get it to the shop now. Manual says it is "not recommended" to tow AWDs with any wheels on the ground.

I have never gotten a definitive answer as to why this is usually true, but I suspect it is not an absolute. Just how critical is this "recommendation"? Can I get by going 3.5 miles at 30 mph?
 
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Old 07-21-08, 07:11 PM
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If you tow your AWD with any wheels on the ground it is possible to overheat the viscous fluid coupling and damage it. The ONLY way to tow it with wheels on the ground is to remove both drive shafts.
 
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Old 07-22-08, 05:53 AM
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Well said for a wire guy.

The other problem is fluid circulation. With the engine not running the fluid does not circulate. In some cases this can result in either overheating or damaging lubricated surfaced due to lack of lubrication.

The towing "Bible" says "no". It also mentions that if you drop drive shafts they must be marked for reinstallation in the same position.

In some cases AWD vehicles can be wheel-lift towed. What's normally done is the rear shaft is disconnected and then it is wheel-lifted from the front. We do that now and then. The alternative is to flatbed it.

It's rarely a good idea to gamble a $2000 transmission against a <$100 tow bill.
 
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Old 07-22-08, 02:44 PM
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Used to be an ASE certified mechanic.
 
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Old 07-22-08, 04:09 PM
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The ONLY way to tow it with wheels on the ground is to remove both drive shafts.
Agreed......

To tow guy.......Even with the shafts removed...isnt there still a speed restriction?
 
  #6  
Old 07-22-08, 04:52 PM
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Don't know about dropping both shafts and flat towing, but just dropping the back shaft and front towing it is no problem. Not sure what the rv guys do if they have AWD. I DO know there are specialized adapters to remotely disconnect the shaft for flat towing behind motor homes, but I don't know if that can be done on an AWD or not by using two adapters.
 
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