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Old 12-15-2012, 11:28 AM   #1
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1997 Suzuki Sidekick

I am looking at purchasing a 1997 Suzuki Sidekick, manual transmission and 2x4 drive. Getting very conflicting info if this vehicle can be flat towed. Is anyone flat towing the same 1997 vehicle or a 1997 Geo Tracker with manual transmission and two wheel drive?. Thanks
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:37 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fleetwood43 View Post
I am looking at purchasing a 1997 Suzuki Sidekick, manual transmission and 2x4 drive. Getting very conflicting info if this vehicle can be flat towed. Is anyone flat towing the same 1997 vehicle or a 1997 Geo Tracker with manual transmission and two wheel drive?. Thanks
Now have my third Suzuki. A '95, '97, and now an '01. I believe the only ones Tow-able are the 4WD models. Manual or Automatic doesn't matter, just different setup for towing.

H.
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:45 AM   #3
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We have a 96 GEO Tracker bought specifically to pull behind the RV.
It is 2 wheel drive with a manual transmission. For me, its an excellent
toad, easy to hook up, low cost of ownership and super light.
I would inspect/replace the transmission and differential fluids.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:01 PM   #4
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I would think a 1997 model would be the same mechanically as your 1996. Good suggestion on changing fluids! Do you just put the transmission in neutral and unlock the steering when you tow?
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Old 12-15-2012, 03:14 PM   #5
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We have a 96 GEO Tracker bought specifically to pull behind the RV.
It is 2 wheel drive with a manual transmission.
I stand corrected!


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Old 12-16-2012, 11:25 AM   #6
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I have a 1997 Geo Tracker 2WD with the manual 5-speed transmission. Just put in neutral and tow. Key in ignition, turned to unlock steering wheel. It tows nicely. It's in the owner's manual under recreational vehicle towing.

[I also tow a 1994 Geo Tracker 4WD automatic and a 1996 Suzuki X-90 4WD automatic. With those, you put the transmission in Park and the transfer case in Neutral. Front hubs to Free. The X-90 came with auto locking hubs, but these were easy and inexpensive to change to manual locking type.]

Good luck
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:56 PM   #7
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I asked the owner of the 1997 Suzuki that I am looking to purchase and he said the manual under recreational towing states no flat towing. Maybe Suzuki had issues with warranty concerns and Geo did not. I hope the vehicles are be the same mechanically.
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:33 PM   #8
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Yes, gearbox in neutral and key in to unlock steering wheel.
I have a light bar that slides into a receiver in the back, the taillight wiring bypasses the toad completely (LED taillights) and disconnect the battery while towing. No added braking system, Blue Ox 8k pound tow bar.
The car is a tin can but I really like it, fun and economical.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:15 AM   #9
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After 1996, some Suzuki Sidekicks were equipped with a 1.8 L engine instead of the 1.6 L. These are called Suzuki "Sport" Sidekicks. As far as I know, the transmissions are the same for the 1.6 and 1.8 engines.

I used to have a 1998 Suzuki X-90 2WD with manual transmission and that model could be towed, too. [All X-90 have the 1.6L engine.] This vehicle should be equivalent to the 2-door Sidekick 1.6L version. For first generation Trackers and Sidekicks, there is no difference in the engine transmissions between the 2-dr and 4-dr models (except for the Sport model as described above). The early 8-valve 1.6L engine is not pertinent to this discussion.

As I recall, the Geo Tracker and Suzuki X-90 manuals all described how to tow the vehicle by tow truck and how to recreational tow. There was a lot of caution about towing automatic/2WD and any 4WD with auto-locking hubs. So one has to read carefully to make sure the prohibitions pertain to the vehicle as equipped.

I looked at the factory maintenance manual and for the 1997 Tracker, the 5 speed manual transmission is RPO MM5 (a Suzuki transmission) . The 3 speed automatic is RPO M65 (a Hydra-Matic 3L30), the 4 speed is RPO M41 (an Aisin 03-72LE). RPO=regular production options, this should be on label in glove box.

I would suggest you view the owner's manual of the Sidekick. When you read the recreational towing section, be sure that the prohibitions are not for the vehicle as equipped. Sorry, my Trackers and X-90 are being used by relatives now and I can't review the manuals(!).

Good luck.
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