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Old 05-09-2015, 03:09 PM   #1
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Chevy S-10 / GMC Sonoma 5 spd--tow 4-down?

I would like to tow my 2001 GMC Sonoma pickup, 4.3 V6, 5-spd four down. It is a Chevy S-10 with different trim.

In the last 50 years, I've PERSONALLY rebuilt dozens of manual transmissions, three and four speed. Iíve never heard of any technical reason any RWD manual trans vehicle could not be towed four-down, nor have I ever seen evidence inside a transmission that would preclude towing.

I know when you tow, the mainshaft (connected to the driveshaft U-joint) is turning, so its nose is spinning in the needle bearings of the clutch (input) gear which is NOT turning. If the input gear is not turning the cluster gear is NOT turning. The cluster gear not turning means no oil is being splashed up on that needle bearing. But Iíve never heard of anyone having a problem with towing a manual transmission.

Some makers, like Ford, say not to tow a 5-spd Ranger above 55 MPH, but I think that may be a CYA thing. Honda does a similar thing with its 5-speed automatics--it does not endorse towing, but hundreds (if not thousands) of folks are towing CRV's, Pilots, Accords and Acuras with no problems. I've towed a 2002 Acura for over 5000 miles now. Remco at one time opined on their site they knew of no reason ANY manual trans RWD car could not be towed four-down.

So, my question is this--How many of you have towed a Chevy S-10 or GMC Sonoma 5-spd four-down?

Van W 2000 Dynasty 36, pulling one Harley
Southeastern NC
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:52 AM   #2
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Location: Powell River, B.C.
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I in-put your vehicle info into the Remco web site info center; and it comes back with ; MAY require drive shaft disconnect.

JMHO: Would I consider towing this vehicle 4 down , without a drive shaft disconnect. Yes. BUT, I can do my own manual trans overhauls if necessary.
Would I consider towing this vehicle on a dolly , without a disconnect ; NO, fluid angle in the trans with the front up, may be enough to cause problems.

99DSDP 3884, Freightliner, XC, CAT 3126B, 300 HP /ALLISON 3060
2000 Caravan toad, Remco & Blue Ox.
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Old 05-10-2015, 11:21 AM   #3
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I flat tow my 2004 S-10, but have a driveshaft disconnect installed. It's a automatic transmission, so I had too.
Tricia & Dennis Lockhart
2010 Ventana 4333
Spartan MM w/Cummins 360 ISC
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Old 05-14-2015, 09:15 PM   #4
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Not many responses?

It's really surprising to me that as popular as the S-10/GMC Sonoma pickups are, no one has responded that they have towed one that had a manual transmission four-down, without anything like a driveshaft disconnect.

I've looked at the design of the transmission of the Ford Ranger vs. the NV3500 Getrag that is in the 4.3 V6 Chevy S-10's and GMC Sonoma's. Perhaps someone can point out a (technical) flaw in my judgment, but it appears to me that the two transmissions are very similar in design. Ford advises that their trans is towable four-down with a 55 MPH speed limit.

Yes, I know that the S-10/GMC Sonoma pickups have Owners Manuals that advise NOT to tow four-down. So do the Honda/Acura Owners Manuals for many years of Accord, Civic, SRV, Pilot, etc. I'm a capitalist. I understand why they do that. But it's not based in technical correctness. And hundreds, if not thousands, of coach owners tow these vehicles. Would you advise those owners to IMMEDIATELY stop towing the vehicles they have towed for 20,000+ miles because the owners manual does not endorse it?

I'm not trying to be provocative. I'd just like to hear from folks towing these popular vehicles four-down. But I think I'll just have to tow mine, and give you a report. I've ordered the tow brackets and braking system. I'll let you know how it works out.
Van W 2000 Dynasty 36, pulling one Harley
Southeastern NC
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