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Old 03-25-2005, 05:34 PM   #1
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I am new to this site. I am on a fixed LOW income and I want to get some feed back on my plan for towing a 1986 1.6 liter, FWD automatic 4 wheels down.

I notice that some manufactures say their auto may be towed 4 down if you stop every once in a while and run through the gears for 5 minutes or so. The 1986 Nova is really a Toyota Corolla with the NOVA name placed on it.

I am thinking of not buying the Remco Lube Pump and using things I have on hand and can buy cheaply. I will attach a remote temperature gauge (in door out door style) to the top of the Toad transmission, at a point that would get the hottest. I will use larger gauge wire on the temp probe (so the extra length doesn't cause electrical resistance problems with the readout in the motorhome dashboard of the thermometer). IF I USE MY HIGH AND LOW ALARM REFRIGERATOR THERMOMETER I CAN HEAR WHEN THE TEMPERATURE IS HIGH IN THE TOAD"S TRANS. I do not know how to do this but I will run wires back to the toad from the MH dash with a switch that will HOTWIRE START the Toad and a switch that will cut the engine. A couple of baby monitors will allow me to monitor the Toad's engine (when it is off and on). I will use the $26.00/liter ATF-5 to ensure if high temperature occurs the fluid will take it.

When the thermometer HI alarm goes off while driving I will hit the HOT WIRE START switch. When the thermometer LOW alarm sounds I will hit another switch and shut the Toad's engine down. And thus go merrily down the highway without Remco's expensive pump.

Any comments, critisims, suggestions?

David/Zetron
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Old 03-25-2005, 05:34 PM   #2
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I am new to this site. I am on a fixed LOW income and I want to get some feed back on my plan for towing a 1986 1.6 liter, FWD automatic 4 wheels down.

I notice that some manufactures say their auto may be towed 4 down if you stop every once in a while and run through the gears for 5 minutes or so. The 1986 Nova is really a Toyota Corolla with the NOVA name placed on it.

I am thinking of not buying the Remco Lube Pump and using things I have on hand and can buy cheaply. I will attach a remote temperature gauge (in door out door style) to the top of the Toad transmission, at a point that would get the hottest. I will use larger gauge wire on the temp probe (so the extra length doesn't cause electrical resistance problems with the readout in the motorhome dashboard of the thermometer). IF I USE MY HIGH AND LOW ALARM REFRIGERATOR THERMOMETER I CAN HEAR WHEN THE TEMPERATURE IS HIGH IN THE TOAD"S TRANS. I do not know how to do this but I will run wires back to the toad from the MH dash with a switch that will HOTWIRE START the Toad and a switch that will cut the engine. A couple of baby monitors will allow me to monitor the Toad's engine (when it is off and on). I will use the $26.00/liter ATF-5 to ensure if high temperature occurs the fluid will take it.

When the thermometer HI alarm goes off while driving I will hit the HOT WIRE START switch. When the thermometer LOW alarm sounds I will hit another switch and shut the Toad's engine down. And thus go merrily down the highway without Remco's expensive pump.

Any comments, critisims, suggestions?

David/Zetron
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Old 03-26-2005, 04:22 AM   #3
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Wellll, that certainly is a Rube Goldberg lash-up. I'm skeptical, but I suppose it might work.

First of all, NO Toyota drive train has ever been certified as towable by Toyota, so you definitely need some modification. However, we don't know if Toyota is just being conservative or whether they KNOW there will be a problem.

Second, tranny fluid heat is only 1/2 the problem. You also have to provide lubrication to the transmission internal parts and the torque converter. A good synthetic flid will hold up under the heat, but without circulation there still may be damage. The problem is you won't know. The "damage" is not an immediate failure but rather accelerated wear. You could tow all day and find that the car works fine when you arrive, but then the tranny fails 3 months later. Did the failure occur because of the towing or some other factor? Or did it fail 12 months sooner than it would have otherwise? It's a gamble.

Rather than your complicated lash-up, why not just leave the engine running? Fuel consumption at idle is tiny and the normal systems will work to keep things OK. I would still suggest stopping every 150-200 miles and putting the tranny in both drive and reverse for a minute each. That will circulate fluid to places it may not reach when idling in neutral.
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Old 03-26-2005, 04:53 AM   #4
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I will pretty much echo Gary's concerns. Previuosly we had a couple of motorhomes and towed both on a dolly and flat.

Rather than go round trying to rig up something that probably won't work, why not look for a used tow dolly. I believe your Nova is front wheel drive, so it will easily work with a dolly.

You profile shows a 96 Tioga class C. I don't know whether it is a Ford or Chevy chassis. In either case check the chassis manufacturers rating (owners manual) for towing. I think you will find that both require the towed load to have supplemental braking for loads over 1500#, which will include your dinghy. The motorhome brakes are not designed to to stop with an extra 2500# hitched to the back bumped without some assistance.

Just one more side note. Do you know why Chevy dropped the Nova name? In Spanish, "No va" means literaly that it will not go. A lot of Spanish speaking countries were having problems selling the name, so it was dropped...any way that was one report that was circulating.

Also glad you found IRV2. Lots of helpfl folks here.

Ken
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Old 03-26-2005, 11:13 AM   #5
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The cheapest solution would be to just tow with the engine running. No mods needed.
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Old 03-29-2005, 05:23 PM   #6
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Thank you all for all the information. I did not think I would hear someone support the idea of towing with the engine running.

I guess there is no law against it? And a 'baby monitor' or something else could tell me if the Nova engine died while towing.

I think I may just break down and buy the Remco Lube Pump. I could do most of the work myself, except for cutting a hole in the trans pan.

I have ordered the US Gear Unified Braking System and will install it myself.

My motorhome is 9600 pounds curb weight and rated at a combined gross weight of 15,500 pounds. The engine is a Ford 460, the chassie says '350' on the side of the hood.

I believe the 1986 Nova (I have removed the rear seats and other things) would weigh in at 2200 pounds.

With these weights, even at 15,500 pounds total I think I really don't need the Unified Tow Brake, but I bought it anyway.

Thinking about it... that little car might even be under 2000 pounds. It looks like a golf cart with such a narrow wheel base and you can easily push it by hand if you have to.

A bigger concern might be surviving being hit while driving the Nova not towing it.

David/Zetron
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Old 03-29-2005, 06:01 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I did not think I would hear someone support the idea of towing with the engine running. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Why not? You drive it with the engine running... don't you?
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Old 04-03-2005, 05:36 AM   #8
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If something went wrong you could end up with a blown engine when you reached your destination.
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Old 04-04-2005, 07:51 AM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> If something went wrong you could end up with a blown engine when you reached your destination. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's pretty much true of any towing scenario, isn't it? The more modifications are made, the more potential failure points.

Your idea of adding a tranny temp gauge is one way to detect incipient problems, but you will have to learn by trial and error what a "normal" temperature range is. It will vary according to the placement of the sending unit. And of course, since the fluid is not circulating, there may be palces in the tranny or torque converter that are much hotter than the gauge shows.
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Old 04-04-2005, 02:54 PM   #10
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What you say is true. I have taken these things into consideration. I cannot find a front wheel disconnect for this vehicle so it will be towing with the engine running and a baby monitor in the engine compartment to monitor things.

Maybe, if I have to; the lube pump.

David
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