Towing a '93 Pathfinder

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Old 10-27-09, 04:06 AM
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Towing a '93 Pathfinder

Received a message from a member that I'm going to convert to a post:

"Hello Mr. Tow Guy was told you were the one to talk to. I have a 1993 Nissan Pathfinder I would like to tow it behind a RV. Is this possible? Please let me know if it is and what I need to do to do it right. Thanks"
 
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Old 10-27-09, 04:24 AM
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You didn't say 2 wheel drive or 4, so I'll give you what's in the Bible on both. Also you didn't state whether all four wheels would be on the ground or using a tow dolly.

I'll give it to you with all four wheels on ground:

RWD:

Automatic - 20mph/20 miles
Manual - 50 mph/50 miles



4WD: [Transmission in (N) Neutral, Transfer case in "2H", Hubs in "FREE"]

Automatic - 20 mph/20 miles
Manual - 50 mph/500 miles

For the RWD, if the rear wheels are on a dolly (towed backwards), unlimited. Also, the drive shaft can be disconnected at the differential and the shaft strapped up out of the way for unlimited towing.

For the 4WD, same limits apply as for all wheels on the ground regardless. You could disconnect drive shaft on this one too, but much more involved becasue of the four wheel drive.

There are devices on the market that can be installed in the drive line for quick-disconnect of the drive shaft to avoid having to crawl underneath with a wrench every time you want to drive the vehicle. Examples:

Remco's Drive Shaft Coupling | Remco Towing (this one says rear wheel drive only)

It's a pretty pricey option. The tow dolly is the ultimate solution for the 2WD (towed backwards), although that's probably as pricey as the shaft disconnect.

Additionally, if replacing the Pathfinder is an option, there are vehicles that can be towed without preparation.
 
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Old 11-01-09, 03:36 PM
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Thanks for the info. Just food for thought. What is to happen if I tow it with out pulling the drive line?

By the way it is 4WD.
 
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Old 11-01-09, 03:52 PM
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Does bad things to the tranny and/or transfer case because of eventual lack of lubrication. When the engine's not running, the fluids aren't being circulated (to include cooling). For short-haul jobs if I'm towing something with the drive wheels on the ground, for instance a front wheel drive car with a flat rear tire (and no spare) I just start the engine and let it idle while towing. Not recommended for long haul since there's no way to monitor what's going on, i.e. if a radiator hose was to go south you could arrive at destination with a fried hunk of steel where the engine used to be.

Four wheel drive Pathfinder is probably not a good candidate for trailing an RV unless you put it on a trailer (all four wheels), but I'm not an RV'er so there may be ways around the issue that an RV expert would know.
 
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Old 11-01-09, 08:07 PM
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The other day a dealer came up to buy a old Chevrolet Tracker off a neighbor of mine and it was 4 wheel drive and had automatic hubs.

He put the transfer case and the standard shift transmission in neutral and when he went to tow it, one rear wheel spun clockwise and the other spun counter clockwise and the whole vehicle dragged along the ground.

I believe that it was posi traction and that the driveshaft couldn't spin even when in neutral - because the engine wasn't running and so he had to borrow some of my tools because he was too cheap to pay to let the woman with him drive it home because he didn't want to pay for the gasoline for two vehicles.

After he took the driveshaft off, it still didn't want to tow all that easy - but he paid for it and so it was none of my concern.

Some vehicles you will do more damage then good towing them with a dolly. At the same time, the front wheel bearings are only strong enough in some vehicles to hold up the front end of the vehicle and if you tow it by the rear wheels, the front wheel bearings could fail from the extra weight on them and because they are not designed to run backwards 60 mph.
 
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