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MG TD TF 1500 - Flat Towing

Back in the day I flat towed my race car with the

driveshaft removed. Is this still necessary with todays

gearlube? How about running the engine every 100 miles.

tom scott

We've had no problem towing our TDs (on dolly) with driveshaft rolling, as long as this discussion is limited to stick transmission.

Automatics, usually NO.

Running the engine won't change anything.

I was always under the impression that towing any rear wheel car with the driveshaft in place and the car in neutral was not good because the primary drive off the engine is the shaft that slings the oil around. With the output shaft turning by itself, no oil gets to the rear bearings.

Towing it backwards on a dolly with the steering wheel tied may be safer.
Bruce Cunha

Not if it has wire wheels.
MG LaVerne

Unless you have a heavy tow truck, towing a vehicle on the front wheels can put you in the ditch in a heartbeat.

WIth a manual trans, there are enough gears slinging lube.

With an automatic, the engine/torque converter run the hydraulic pump inside the trans. Without that pump, there's no circulation and it will be spinning dry. Older cars had a pump on the output shaft also, so they could be towed with the rear wheels hooked up, although they wanted towing limited to like 50 miles. I have some early 80s Mercedes that are OK, and not long ago, I had to tow a '60 Chevy without dropping the driveshaft for a deceased friend.

Reader Discussion From the moss motors website. Essentially says disconnect the drive shaft. Regards, Tom
tm peterson

The first question would be "how far"?
If going a few miles I don't think you would have a problem. If going a few hundred miles I think I would drop the shaft, or look for another option.

Second question would be "what condition" is a recent driver? ...or has been sitting for 20 years?

Third question: Where in Ohio?
I am about 30miles east of Columbus and have access to a flatbed we could use if you are close!

Hint: If going the dolly route make sure you measure it first! Our narrow wheel base does not always work with a dolly. From someone that bought a dolly, then had to re-build it because it was too wide to use! I don't have that dolly any longer.
David Sheward 55 TF1500 # 7427

Too late to edit my own post..if you google this question, opinions on both sides of this..guys posting they tore up their gearboxes and others stating they do it all the time..of course the problem is you don't know the specifics about the tow distances or the condition of the gearboxes prior to the tow..or if guys are making stuff up to push an opinion ...oops, I forgot, everything you read on the internet is true..we do know the lowest gears in the gearbox, the cluster gear, are not rotating and the output shaft will be. Regards, Tom
tm peterson

I would not do it unless the tow was short. With the car in neutral and the gearbox being driven with the rear wheels the only gear that is moving is the 1st gear. The cluster, 2nd, 3rd and the gear on the 1st motion shaft are stationary. With the exception of the cluster the other gears have the mainshaft spinning under them hence will need lubrication. I suppose if there was enough gear lube in the gearbox then the 1st gear could act as an oil thrower and possibly toss enough oil around to lubricate the ball races as well as the needle bearings under 2nd and 3rd and at the end of the 1st motion shaft.
Hugh Pite
H.D. Pite

Running the engine with the gearbox in neutral every so often may be OK since in this case the cluster is spinning. The cluster is stationary when the rear wheels are driving the gearbox and the engine is not turning. Under normal operation the cluster is the lubricator for the gearbox and slings oil all along its length.
Hugh Pite
H.D. Pite

Thanks guys. I will be towing my well used td about 1200

miles. I'll disconnect the driveshaft so there is no

chance of damage to the gearbox.

Dave, I'm 75 miles south of Cleveland; Thanks for the

offer but I think I have it under control. Tom
tom scott

Been following this with interest since my sister has a fine trailer packaged P/U and I'm not much more than a 150 miler in the TD. My solution, since this is not an every weekend thing, is Hertz/Penske/Budget.


J K Chapin

Towbar mounts very nicely onto the front bumper back bar. Car tracks very well behind a piece of Detroit Iron. If you choose to remove the drive shaft be certain to secure it so that it can't flop down in front and lose the oil. Bud

Bud Krueger

I've flat towed Morris Minors with propshaft connected and never had any issues.

John Quilter (TD8986)

And my MGTD behind a U Haul van on a dolly only because I had no tow bar. Again no issues in towing.

John Quilter (TD8986)

This thread was discussed on 04/06/2014

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