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Old 10-13-2015, 05:25 AM   #1
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1999 Jeep Wrangler TJ

I plan to start towing my 99 Wrangler TJ. It has a 5 speed manual transmission. Does it matter if the transmission is in neutral or does it need to be in a gear? I've heard that it does not matter, I've also heard that leaving it in neutral may cause damage to the transmission.
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Old 10-13-2015, 06:13 AM   #2
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In the 2003 Manual for towing behind a Motorhome.

1. Depress brake pedal.
2. Shift automatic transmission into N (Neutral) or depress
clutch pedal on manual transmission.
3. Shift transfer case lever into N (Neutral).
4. Start engine.
5. Shift automatic transmission into D (Drive) or manual
transmission into gear.
6. Release brake pedal and ensure that there is no vehicle
movement.
7. Shut the engine off and place the ignition key into the
unlocked OFF position.
8. Shift automatic transmission into P (Park).
9. Apply parking brake.
10. Attach vehicle to the tow vehicle with tow bar.
11. Release parking brake.

No preference to neural or in gear for a manual gearbox and it should not matter if the case is in neutral.
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Old 10-13-2015, 06:55 AM   #3
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In gear is generally considered better. This prevents the transmission and engine from turning. Same reason the auto is placed in park.
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Old 10-13-2015, 07:30 AM   #4
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Always put mine in gear after putting transfer case in neutral, no problems after 50,000 plus miles towing.
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Old 10-13-2015, 12:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tillerman View Post
I plan to start towing my 99 Wrangler TJ. It has a 5 speed manual transmission. Does it matter if the transmission is in neutral or does it need to be in a gear? I've heard that it does not matter, I've also heard that leaving it in neutral may cause damage to the transmission.
Tillerman,
It's pretty simple. Transfer case in neutral and, STICK TRANSMISSION, in GEAR. Most of the time, it's second gear. The primary reason is, there is what's called "sympathetic" turning of gears due to the drag of oil/resistance etc. between the input shaft of the transfer case and, the output shaft of the transmission. Even though there will be no actual turning of the input shaft to that transfer case (NP 231 for your case) there is influential capability.

Now, you don't have to worry about the engine being turned over if the transmission is left in 2nd. AIN'T HAPPENING!!! We towed our '99 TJ Sahara all over the western U.S. just like what I've stated and, it worked flawlessly.
Scott
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Old 10-13-2015, 06:19 PM   #6
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Thanks

Thanks for the replies. I will keep it in second gear while towing.
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Old 10-13-2015, 07:05 PM   #7
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Actually any forward gear is fine. As others have commented the transfer case in neutral (to disconnect from the axles) and manual in any gear (to keep stuff inside the transmission from turning when not properly lubricated). Ignition key one click to unlock the steering column so the front wheels will track in turns.

Jeeps are a lot of fun and excellent toads.
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Old 10-26-2015, 11:56 PM   #8
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Towing in 5th (on earlier models) or 6th in later models is where it should be. Towed a 1999 Wrangler, traded for new 2003, both with 5 speed manual transmissions and bought a 2012 JK Rubicon with 6 speed. Gave my 2003 TJ to my son earlier this year. Have towed the three different Jeeps with 4 different coaches well over 100k miles since 1999 with no problems whatsoever.
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Old 10-27-2015, 12:02 AM   #9
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By the way, the one click is not necessary on 2012 and later Jeeps because steering columns do not lock. Not sure what model year they stopped locking column.

Use the same Roadmaster Stowmaster tow bar on all three Jeeps since 1999. I bought a new Stowmaster this year and gave the old one to my son when I gave him the 2003 TJ. All three Jeeps have significant off road modifications including lift and oversize tires and other mods.
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