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Old 04-11-2012, 10:43 PM   #1
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FJ 40 Landcruiser toad

Anyone out there have any actual experience flat towing an early (pre 1984) Landcruiser? I have found lots of theories on various blogs but no one that has actual experience.

Obviously, the front hubs need to be in neutral, but the real question is what position the transfer case selecter should be in---a lot of "common" wisdom on the net says put it in neutral and the trans in gear. But, when the transfer case is in neutral on these old vehicles it actually "joins" the front and rear drive shafts as a unit and the result is everything in the front and rear drive trains turns. The second most prevalent suggestion is to leave the transfer case in 2WH, and put the trans in neutral. This seems to be reasonable since the transfer case is normally lubed by splash and turning-gear mechanisms as the veh goes down the highway under it's own power. So, it would seem to be the same for when the rear wheels are turning the same gears?? The driveshaft disconnect people say that their old literature indicates no need for a disconnect, but they could not find anything on gear and transfer case selections.

Any insight would be appreciated.
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:28 AM   #2
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I don't have your answer - my son in law pulled one with an older gas powered RV and felt the need to disconnect it on steep hills and steep downgrades because of the weight of the vehicle. There is a site that might be able to answer your question. Old School FJ-40 - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:49 AM   #3
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I have a friend of mine and she is a Contract Nurse and flat tows her FJ behind her MH all over America. I can't get in touch with her because my phone froze up and I lost over 600 contacts. I would do a search on Toyota FJ owners forums on Google. Keep playing with search words and you will find the answer. I'll make a few calls and see if I can find something. Welcome to the forum.
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:10 PM   #4
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Thanks guys for the responses. I'll try the forum link as suggested and google some more. 336muffin, if you ever find your friends contact info please let me know.
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:28 PM   #5
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I know for a fact that the fj40 transfer case does not lock the front and outputs together when in neutral. I rebuilt the one in mine and it has a separate shift fork/dog clutch for the front output so I would for sure not put it in 4wd.

As for flat towing, since both outputs are below the centerline of the case I don't see how it would be an issue since sliding it in neutral decouples the rear output from the idler gear. I would put the tranny in gear just to keep it from spinning but I really don't see anything that would pose a problem. I've got one torn apart in my garage if you have any questions about it.

I have not flat towed mine but would without hesitation.
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:41 PM   #6
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Thanks Confusion for the info. A transmission guy told me that the front and rear are "one" when the transfer case is in neutral. I have crawled under and found that when it is in 2WHigh the front shaft can be hand turned by hand (totally free) but when I put it neutral the front shaft will not turn?? So, there is the current dilemna--I rebuilt this once a long time ago but can not recall exactly what turns when! Any additional thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 04-12-2012, 04:27 PM   #7
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GME3470 - I checked with my son in law and for what it's worth this is what he said:

I owned a 1974 FJ40, but never towed it. The FJ40 looks like a Jeep.
The one I have now, and have towed all over the place is a 1976 FJ55. But as far as the running gear, transmission, transfer case, hubs, etc., it's the same as the FJ40.
What I remember from years ago when I started towing it; my Toyota mechanic told me to put the transmission and transfer case in neutral, and unlock the hubs. I've towed it hundreds and hundreds of miles that way with no problems. I think the owners manual that came with the 1974 FJ40 said to do it that way too. Sorry I can't be more help.
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Old 04-12-2012, 04:57 PM   #8
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Bob, the FJ40 link you gave me is a pretty informative site for these old Landcruisers! So far, no one over there has a definitive answer either. I actually have the orginal owners and shop manuals but they are silent on the issue. Thanks again.
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Old 04-12-2012, 05:10 PM   #9
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Hi, we currently tow a 1997 Solid front axle Land cruiser 4 down.

I do NOT see why you couldn't do it. They say not to tow mine. It has high miles 192,000 and I've towed it over 10,000 miles. I figured I'd document my experience and so far its worked perfectly!

How to Flat tow your 80 series... safely.

Good luck! You couldn't pick a better rig.
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Old 04-12-2012, 05:21 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=nwcanopies;1142042]Hi, we currently tow a 1997 Solid front axle Land cruiser 4 down.

I do NOT see why you couldn't do it. They say not to tow mine. It has high miles 192,000 and I've towed it over 10,000 miles. I figured I'd document my experience and so far its worked perfectly!

How to Flat tow your 80 series... safely.

Good luck! You couldn't pick a better rig.[/QUOTE]



Ok, thanks for the info. Actually, I have had this since new but just recently decided to get rid of the 5th wheel and go the motorhome route so am kind of scrambling to get the best info. I appreciate all the responses and think I'm closing in on things!
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GME3470 View Post
Thanks Confusion for the info. A transmission guy told me that the front and rear are "one" when the transfer case is in neutral. I have crawled under and found that when it is in 2WHigh the front shaft can be hand turned by hand (totally free) but when I put it neutral the front shaft will not turn?? So, there is the current dilemna--I rebuilt this once a long time ago but can not recall exactly what turns when! Any additional thoughts would be appreciated.
You got me questioning myself. What year is your cruiser as their may be differences between the newer style split case versus the old solid case. On the solid case there is a shift fork on the front output housing that engages the front output shaft. I found a link with pics of a guy rebuilding his case. Post number 20 shows the front output shift linkage, shift fork, dog clutch and shaft while still in the housing. I don't see how the high-neutral-low shifter affects this but if you crawled underneath and couldn't move the front shaft while in neutral I can't argue with that. You didn't happen to lock the front hubs did you?

I have slightly modified my shift linkage so I can have 2wd low so it may be something in the factory linkage that is pulling the plunger that locks in the front axle.

Here is another good pic of the front output housing and the shaft/shift mechanism. The front output is at the top of the pic.

http://www.globalsoftware-inc.com/co...s/IMG_0531.jpg
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:50 AM   #12
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My cruiser is a 1972 with the original transfer case--one piece except for the "extension housing." Good question about the hubs being unlocked, but they were. When I was testing the positions affect on the front drive shaft a couple of my friends also checked their late model Chev trucks (late 1990s) and we found that the New Process cases do not lock the front drive shafts when the case is in neutral. However, my 2000 5spd Tacoma does the same thing as the Landcruiser. And, the factory suggests that when towing the Tacoma to leave the transfer case in 2wh---so although the Tacoma and Cruiser have different running gear, the factory suggestion has just clouded the whole thing for me.

I have heard about the mod to the linkage for 2wd low and I'll probably do that at some point.

Thanks much for the links---I'll look them over carefuly today.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:09 AM   #13
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Confusion, just finished looking at the first link and I think what happens in the transfer case is that to put it in neutral you have to go through the stock 4wd high gate which engages the front axle and it stays that way even though the shift handle is moved to the transfer case neutral positon. So, your idea to modify the linkage for 2wd neutral seems to be the fix. Do have a link on it?

Also, there were a lot of references to a tech discussion on that link site and here is a copy of a comment that was right on point:


Originally Posted by vk7ybi
So, why does it matter which end of the TC the drive is coming from? The same gears are turning in the same oil, and being towed the load on those parts has to be less than when engine driven.. I have never seen what the problem is..



w/ the t-case in neutral the input shaft, the idler shaft and output drive gears are not turning while the truck is moving like they would be if the case was in 2 or 4. The output shaft would just be spining at road speed whike the gears that ride on the shaft would be at a dead stop. You would probaby be better off flat towing w/ the t-case engaged and the trans in neutral because at that point everything would be spinning just like it would be if you were driving the veh.

And yes you can get to 2wd neutral if you remove the shifter gate for the t-case.

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Old 04-14-2012, 12:20 AM   #14
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That explains it. I haven't looked at the stock shift pattern for some time so I had forgotten about the pull back for 4wd, then to the right for neutral, then further right for 4wd low. The mod I did was simply removing the shift gate that is just below the shifter so I can go from 2high to neutral to 2low. I have a limited slip in the front and without power steering it is very difficult to steer when in 4wd at low range speeds so I like having 2wd low.

As for the pieces spinning, both the low speed and high speed gears ride on the output shaft and have bushings with grooves that allow for oil flow. When in high range the low speed output gear turns at roughly half the speed of the high speed gear which is coupled to the output shaft. The means that the majority of time in normal driving the low range gear is spinning at half the speed of the output shaft it is riding on so it would be like being towed at 30mph for its whole life. If I recall correctly, the low range and high range output gears have the exact same bushing so I can't imagine towing with the t-case in neutral would create enough wear to cause a problem. I replaced the bushings in the unknown mileage t-case I rebuilt but they really weren't in bad shape. I just have a habit of saying "while I've got it apart...". Since both the front and rear output shafts are always bathed in oil due to them being well below the fill plug I would flat tow with it in 2wd neutral. This will keep any of the gears from turning.

I've never had the transmission apart so I don't know if it is safe to be flat towed. I know it is one heavy cast iron beast so I would hate to have to pull/swap one again. Of course you can't (at least on my 79 with the under body fuel tank) pull the t/case without also pulling the tranny due to the crazy long output shaft on the tranny but that's info for a different thread on a different board).
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