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Old 06-26-2012, 05:00 PM   #1
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Older (60's to 70's VW Bug) toad

I've searched but have not been able to find an answer. If I tow an older VW Bug (60's - 70's) with the manual transmission are there any reasons it cannot be flat 4 towed? I don't think there is but I'm trying to avoid stepping in some slippery stuff in the near future.


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Old 06-26-2012, 06:15 PM   #2
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I towed a bug from Albuquerque to Dover DE in 1979 and didn't have any issues. I'm not 100% sure of the Bug's year but I think it was a '62(+-2). Used it for a number of years after without any trans issues. As I recall, you need to go slow making a sharp turn out of a driveway or the bug wheels get to swinging back and forth. I never had a problem with it, but I heard some stories.

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Old 06-26-2012, 08:30 PM   #3
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My gut feel is that there might be transmission lubrication issues, even with a 4-speed. Unfortunately, you can't put a driveshaft disconnect in, becuase the transmission is integrated with the engine.

Back in 1972, I flat towed a UK Ford Cortina from Hampton, VA, intending to take it 3200 miles to Seattle behind our Mercury Colony Park Wagon. Since it was a stick shift, I thought it would handle being towed.

Wrong! By the time we got to Bozeman, I had problems - recurring lock-ups of the rear wheels, with associated smoking tires. Eventually we left the car in the airport parking lot in Butte, and I went to retrieve it a couple of weeks later.

It turned out that, had I disconnected the driveshaft, it would have been fine. Unfortunately, the gearbox lube pump was driven by the input shaft, so if the engine wasn't running there was no lubrication to the transmission.

I'd be concerned that, on the rear-engined, air-cooled Bug, ther might be a hidden gotcha like the one that nailed me,
Frank Damp -Anacortes, WA,(DW- Eileen)
ex-pat Brits (1968) and now ex-RVers, as of 08 Dec 14.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:45 PM   #4
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Old Bugs are very towable.

I towed mine for years all over with my conversion van.

Myers (Manx) even offered a model called The Toad, had a built in towbar that telescoped in and out.
Don and Mary
'00 Bluebird Skoolie Conversion
Geo Tracker/Dodge Neon/Aprilia Scooter towed
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:50 PM   #5
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Very easy to tow and they've been being flat towed for years. I towed my '67 from California to Georgia without any issues.
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Old 07-29-2012, 01:41 AM   #6
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tow it and dont worry....
96 Dynasty 36' that does NOT wander, thanks to RuppParts.com and their superior "poly" suspension bushings
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:18 AM   #7
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I've rebuilt VW transaxles, and there is no pump. You'll be fine.
2004 32' National Sea Breeze 1311 Class A on a F-53 Chassis, CHF, TST TPMS, 5Star Tune.
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:03 AM   #8
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Seems to me that if anybody is concerned about lube flow in a true manual gearbox, then the easy thing to do would be to rig a means of holding the clutch down while under tow and leaving the box in 4th gear.

That way, if the box has a input shaft driven lube pump then it will get some drive and the clutch disk will move slowly.

With a hydraulic clutch car you would want to make sure it was fully disengaged and not over-driven. with a cable clutch you'd want to make sure it doesn't stretch until it starts to engage.

The clutch should spin slowly and eventually find a spot with virtually no contact, but that doesn't mean you couldn't set it on fire this way
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:53 AM   #9
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2004 32' National Sea Breeze 1311 Class A on a F-53 Chassis, CHF, TST TPMS, 5Star Tune.
If Dunner (RVM23) can't fix it, it ain't broke!
Cheap Handling Fix Poll. Click Here to vote?
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:05 AM   #10
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Frank, this is off topic but after my experience with a Cortina I believe you should have saved gas and time by leaving that d**n thing in Butte.
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:43 PM   #11
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I tow half a VW bug the other half (front) is motorcycle. Standard 4 speed manual transmission. Just put in in neutral and tow it where ever you want to go. It's a blast fronm the past!

Bob, Sandi & Marmaduke the Big Pug
SW OREGON 2004 Journey 39K, 330 Cat
If towing: a 2006 Mini Cooper or 1995 Wrangler
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