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Old 12-06-2012, 06:26 PM   #1
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Anyone flat towing FJ Cruiser 4x4 Auto Trans?

Greetings from Lake Conroe, Texas! Am hoping to find someone who is or has flat towed a Toyota FJ Cruiser 4x4 with an automatic transmission. I recently bought a 2013 model and am now unable to definitively ascertain whether or not the front wheels of the 4x4 model with auto transmission free-spin when the transfer case in 2High with the engine off.

I would like to install a rear driveshaft disconnect, then be able to flat tow
it. A friend and I both have searched the web high and low, and talked to
Toyota, but have no definite answer. The number of contradictory answers is
amazing. I even called six local transmission repair shops. Four said the
front wheels free spin in 2High and two said they do not... THANK YOU for any
suggestions, Jeff.

1997 Eagle
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:37 AM   #2
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Right in the manual it says not to tow 4 down. I suspect that if you did and there was damage, Toyota would void the warranty. I wanted to buy one but after finding this out, I went with the Jeep JK 4 door wrangler.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:46 AM   #3
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You cannot tow a FJ Cruiser 4-down. I bought my FJ in 2007, and my MH in 2012...now I wish I had bought a Jeep, because now I have to sell the FJ in order to purchase a Towed vehicle...probably a Wrangler.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:52 AM   #4
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I have truly exhausted researching the web on this issue and cannot find out WHY Toyota says no FJ Cruiser flat towing. What is interesting though is how many folks actually do flat tow them after disconnecting only the rear driveshaft - and NONE have reported any problems. Yesterday, I marked the front driveshaft with a paint pen and after driving several miles observed that it did not move. Not even a mechanic at my selling dealer was able to tell me WHY... Guess I will be another who drops only the rear driveshaft... I think I will also disconnect the battery each time too as a preventative to keep any of the drive train components from actuating, even though it would be towed with the ignition off...
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jd956jd956 View Post
I have truly exhausted researching the web on this issue and cannot find out WHY Toyota says no FJ Cruiser flat towing. What is interesting though is how many folks actually do flat tow them after disconnecting only the rear driveshaft - and NONE have reported any problems. Yesterday, I marked the front driveshaft with a paint pen and after driving several miles observed that it did not move. Not even a mechanic at my selling dealer was able to tell me WHY... Guess I will be another who drops only the rear driveshaft... I think I will also disconnect the battery each time too as a preventative to keep any of the drive train components from actuating, even though it would be towed with the ignition off...
Sounds like you'll do it regardless of any info you get. I've seen them behind motorhomes as well. Toyota is being safe by saying not to tow 4 down. The liabilities aren't worth the trouble to Toyota.
Here's the deal. Toyota says not to period. Should it be under warranty and you have, let's say a tranny problem, unrelated to your towing. Toyota will politely tell you to pound sand. You towed, we told you not to, warranty void, done.
Have you found a Toyota FJ forum that could have the answer you are looking for?
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:03 PM   #6
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Hi Rick and thank you for your replies. I have actually run out of new online sources to study, but i am still trying. I have been searching forums and google for days on end. My goal is to find out Toyota's "WHY". And, cannot even get it from them. No one, even their own mechanics at the dealer or regional level can provide the "why". Some have suggested Toyota simply does not want to get into the debating game of who or what caused a warranty claim when a vehicle is flat towed. Could simply too much room for operator error prior to putting the rv in drive and heading down the road. Lots of speculation, no definitive answer...
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:03 AM   #7
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I was lucky enough to find a 2007 Toyota tacoma 4 dr that someone had already put all the equipment necessary to tow 4 wheels down. Haven't towed it yet and now wife doesn't know if we should. She was even looking at FJ cruisers to possibly replace her Lexus RX330 that would cost to much to flat tow.




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Old 05-07-2017, 05:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jd956jd956 View Post
Greetings from Lake Conroe, Texas! Am hoping to find someone who is or has flat towed a Toyota FJ Cruiser 4x4 with an automatic transmission. I recently bought a 2013 model and am now unable to definitively ascertain whether or not the front wheels of the 4x4 model with auto transmission free-spin when the transfer case in 2High with the engine off.

I would like to install a rear driveshaft disconnect, then be able to flat tow
it. A friend and I both have searched the web high and low, and talked to
Toyota, but have no definite answer. The number of contradictory answers is
amazing. I even called six local transmission repair shops. Four said the
front wheels free spin in 2High and two said they do not... THANK YOU for any
suggestions, Jeff.

1997 Eagle
wanted to see how it's working with the FJ cruiser as a toad, I recently purchased a 2012 auto and your information is exactly what I need. It would be great to discuss this with someone who has been successful.

Thanks,

Regis
2001 Newmar Mountainaire
1998 Honda CR-V (sold)
2012 FJ Cruiser TTE
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Old 05-11-2017, 10:07 AM   #9
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I am towing a 2007 Lexus LX470 (same as land cruiser). Put the transfer case in neutral, transmission in Park, leave the key in the ignition to avoid steering wheel from locking and go. There are many more on here doing the same thing. The real key to this issue is if it is 4x4 with a manually shifted transfer case. So an FJCruiser, 4Runner Trail Edition, should all be the same.
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Old 05-11-2017, 02:49 PM   #10
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I am towing a 2007 Lexus LX470 (same as land cruiser). Put the transfer case in neutral, transmission in Park, leave the key in the ignition to avoid steering wheel from locking and go. There are many more on here doing the same thing. The real key to this issue is if it is 4x4 with a manually shifted transfer case. So an FJCruiser, 4Runner Trail Edition, should all be the same.
RVNewbie55, thanks for responding I plan on installing the blue ox baseplate this sat, hopefully it goes smoothly so I can do a short test around the area. Most of the findings from the internet centered around the lexux lx470 as you described.

Once again thanks,

Regis
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Old 05-11-2017, 04:25 PM   #11
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Toyota's "why" is actually pretty simple. They don't put a neutral position on their newer transfer cases and flat towing therefore requires vehicle modification (a driveshaft disconnect). If the OP has verified that the front wheels free spin in 2Hi, which I would expect, then he's good to go once he adds his driveshaft disconnect.

It's not a question of whether or not it's possible, just a questions of what modifications and equipment does it take to do it safely.

I'd guess (but OP should verify) that his FJ will work exactly like my 2017 Tacoma 4x4, which tows quite nicely, despite what my manual says.
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Old 05-11-2017, 07:43 PM   #12
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RVNewbie55, thanks for responding I plan on installing the blue ox baseplate this sat, hopefully it goes smoothly so I can do a short test around the area. Most of the findings from the internet centered around the lexux lx470 as you described.

Once again thanks,

Regis
No problem. We are currently in northern Idaho. Have over 1,000 miles towing it and no problems. On mine, at least, you shut off the engine and leave the key in and the column does not lock. Now here's the weird part. If you pull the key out and then remember to put it back in the column does not unlock. You have to restart it and then shut it back off...
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Old 05-11-2017, 07:48 PM   #13
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Moonshine94...just curious...is yours an auto or manual trans.?
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Old 05-12-2017, 05:35 AM   #14
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No problem. We are currently in northern Idaho. Have over 1,000 miles towing it and no problems. On mine, at least, you shut off the engine and leave the key in and the column does not lock. Now here's the weird part. If you pull the key out and then remember to put it back in the column does not unlock. You have to restart it and then shut it back off...
RVNewbie55, quick question, did you make any modifications to your driveshaft?

Thanks
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