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Old 04-22-2016, 09:58 AM   #1
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Just Wondering

A thought accrue(as scary as that my be) to me to other day while repacking the wheel bearings on my tow Dolly.
I have a VW Jetta automatic (wife is disable and cannot drive a manual anymore) which we tow on the dolly.

Any way I was wondering why someone has not come up with locking/unlocking hubs for a FWD with an automatic transmission? that could be added on. I know there are many 4x4 vehicles with lockable front hubs, and i saw there is a company that makes drive shaft disconnects for trucks.

That way i could just unlock the hubs and flat the car without the PITA
on the dolly, and still be able to keep a car i really like.

I'm sure there must be a reason, stress?

sure would like to hear some thoughts.
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Old 04-22-2016, 04:49 PM   #2
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Do you have a Transfer Case. I tow a Jeep 4x4 w/o a dolly.
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Old 04-22-2016, 05:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdavidsmi View Post
A thought accrue(as scary as that my be) to me to other day while repacking the wheel bearings on my tow Dolly.
I have a VW Jetta automatic (wife is disable and cannot drive a manual anymore) which we tow on the dolly.

Any way I was wondering why someone has not come up with locking/unlocking hubs for a FWD with an automatic transmission? that could be added on. I know there are many 4x4 vehicles with lockable front hubs, and i saw there is a company that makes drive shaft disconnects for trucks.

That way i could just unlock the hubs and flat the car without the PITA
on the dolly, and still be able to keep a car i really like.

I'm sure there must be a reason, stress?

sure would like to hear some thoughts.
David,
Well, back a few decades ago when a bunch of us were towing "CJ" model jeeps, we knew about the potential damage to the particular transfer case that was used in those model jeeps when flat towing them. So, we all came up with this brilliant idea to install "Front axle" style locking/un locking hubs on the rear of our Jeeps so that, just like you're thinking, we could un-lock them and, along with the front hubs un-locked, we'd have no axles turning at all when flat towing.

But, it wasn't long before that idea was scrapped. The main reason was, all those Jeeps were daily drivers. And, even though the hubs installed on the rear were of good quality, "Warn" hubs, they would disintegrate after some street time use. They were not and, are not designed for the constant torque that is demanded of them in a constant, daily, pavement type environment.

Part time use in limited slippage, off road use, and in front axle drive conditions, they'll last considerably longer. But, it's PART TIME USE, not used as a daily driving system.

The mechanism involved in being able to select a "Free spooling" vs a total lockup for "Driving" is small and not all that strong. The stop and go, pavement, parking lots, turning on pavement, up and down hill torque while turning and may other drive type situations was just to taxing on even the best of those hubs. We destroyed them all.

So, designing one for your VW (or any other non-flat-towable car or truck) so that it is TOTALLY DEPENDABLE for thousands and thousands of pavement type driving miles, just for the convenience of "un-locking" them for flat towing, is just too cost prohibitive.
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Old 04-22-2016, 06:09 PM   #4
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Research and get a vehicle with auto trans that can be flat towed. After shifting gears on my Ranger for 10+ years, I purchased a Honda CRX with auto trans. If you get one of these, make sure it is 2014 or older.
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Old 04-23-2016, 01:47 PM   #5
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Fire up

That is about what i was thinking, The stress from the daily drive would just tear it apart.

I'm sure it could be designed to withstand the wear and tear but then few of us could afford to have the mod.

been looking at a CR-V but have not been able to convince the DW that we need a different car right now. So until that date i will just deal with the dolly.

Looking at a couple of nice long trips this Summer and a lot of weekends to the TN state Parks, still have 5 to go until we have visited them all.

In June a Missions Trip to MO and then on to CO to visit with son and family then in Aug to Boston, youngest son is graduating from Seminary.
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:18 AM   #6
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It sounds like a good idea but the main problem is the cost of manufacturing and marketing for such a limited market. Check out other vehicles with automatics that can be flat towed.
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Old 05-04-2016, 02:42 AM   #7
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Sounds to me like you need to broaden you likes of other cars. Most of the GM SUV's can be flat towed, (you must look in manual for verification), The 4X4 Grand Jeep Cherokee and 4X4 Jeep Cherokee can be flat towed with the proper transfer case in them, The 4X4 Ram line can be flat towed, the Ford CMax can be flat towed. There are others out there but you will have to get out of those VW's because they CAN'T be towed flat, period. It's time to get Made in AMERICA (sort of)
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:06 PM   #8
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Well...FWIW. I have a 2010 Jetta Sportwagen. Now I can flat-tow as I have the 6-speed manual. But, before you go making mods on your auto-version, you might want to read my review:

Anybody Towing a Late Model VW TDI 6-speed Manual Transmission?

The VW's seem to have some quirks in the steering when flat-towing setting off the wobble situation. Mine has now done it twice over the past 1000 miles (I'm still learning). But I've read same reports on the sedan and the Passat. Nowhere near as bad as the new Cherokees are having since they are so unpredictable, but it's still something I'm getting concerned about.
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