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Old 01-09-2013, 07:32 PM   #1
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Towable Grand Cherokee's 1999-2010

I'm confused. According to DW, not an unusual state of affairs.

Am trying to find a 1999-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee to tow behind the motor home with all four wheels on the ground. A couple of "guides" say, for example, that the 2004 Grand Cherokee is towable with all four wheels on the ground. Little distinction is offered between QuadraTrac and QuadraDrive.

Is there a straightforward way to screen 1999-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees for suitability in towing four-down? Or, while we're at it, 2005-1010 Grand Cherokees? I keep saying "four-down" because I am not going to use a dolly or trailer.

At the moment I'm looking at 1999-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees because they are lighter than later models and due to age generally less expensive. However, a 2005-2010 could work at the right price but the same problem arises in qualifying the drive train for four-down towing.

I looked in a 2005 Grand Cherokee Limited's owners' manual, and it said flat out that the vehicle needed to be towed on a trailer - i.e. all wheels off the ground. This particular specimen was equipped with QuadraDrive II.

A car dealer told me that with respect to 1999-2004 Grand Cherokees, it needed to have a 231, 242, or 249 transfer case to be towed four-down. What he did not know is how to determine which one an individual vehicle had by simply looking at the vehicle itself.

TIA
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:48 PM   #2
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The VIN contains all the information for that vehicle, any Dodge dealer should be able to look it up. Getting them to do it is another matter.. It's my understanding a manual-shift transfer case is required; DW's 95 Grand Cherokee Limited qualifies for 4 down. I think my cousins 2000 also qualified. That's my opinion.
Motor Home magazine towable vehicles search results links to 4-down towing. Hope it helps.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:54 PM   #3
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We used to tow a 2006 GC Limited .....flat. It had Quadra Drive II and electronic transfer case. Never a problem on RT to Nova Scotia. It had the Hemi engine.....it was fast. It would pass anything except a gas station.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:13 PM   #4
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Had a '97 GC with the QuadrTrak. Worked great towing four down. The GC HAS to have a transfer case with a true neutral in it.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:32 PM   #5
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Jeep have always traditionally listed "tow mode" in the vehicle hand book for each model.
It is most likely correct that a Manual transfer case with true Neutral is needed.
All my previous mid 90's Jeeps and my current 95 grand Cherokee can be towed 4 down.

I would think that a quick look through the hand book for the model/ year your looking to purchase will clear up the availablity of "tow mode" on that specific vehicle.

Happy travels
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
Had a '97 GC with the QuadrTrak. Worked great towing four down. The GC HAS to have a transfer case with a true neutral in it.

Mr. D is correct. Look for the ability to put the transfer case in neutral.

We have a '05 GC Limited with quadra drive II, you have to use a ball point pen to put the transfer case in neutral. The '05 and up don't have a steering wheel lock, pull the key and walk away. It's been towed around for over 40,000 miles.

Yesterday I just finished hard wiring the taillights and installed a US Gear Unified Tow Brake. I should have a install tread in the toad forum sometime next week.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
The VIN contains all the information for that vehicle, any Dodge dealer should be able to look it up. Getting them to do it is another matter..
Motor Home magazine towable vehicles search results links to 4-down towing. Hope it helps.
Thanks, Ray. I've looked in Motor Home Magazine's Dinghy Towing Guide and it just says that 2004 Grand Cherokees are towable. Also, as you point out, getting dealers to provide individual vehicle information is problematic unless you're actually in the process of putting together a deal on one of their cars. Can't say that I blame them

Quote:
Originally Posted by KIX View Post
We used to tow a 2006 GC Limited .....flat. It had Quadra Drive II and electronic transfer case. Never a problem on RT to Nova Scotia. It had the Hemi engine.....it was fast. It would pass anything except a gas station.
Thanks, Kix. That's useful. I see that it was a QuadraDrive II! I just passed on a 2005 with QuadraDrive II. I'm going to re-visit that one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
Had a '97 GC with the QuadrTrak. Worked great towing four down. The GC HAS to have a transfer case with a true neutral in it.
Thanks, Mr_D. How do I walk up to a 2004'ish Grand Cherokee and look at stickers or badges or operator consoles, etc., and tell if it has a "true neutral"? Just having a separate shift lever for the transfer case with an "N" position is not determinative. Some (most? all?) transfer cases with "electronic" shifters can be placed in "neutral" and be towed four-down. The question remains; are there some that cannot and how does one conclusively identify them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by honkytonkinn View Post
Jeep have always traditionally listed "tow mode" in the vehicle hand book for each model.
It is most likely correct that a Manual transfer case with true Neutral is needed. All my previous mid 90's Jeeps and my current 95 grand Cherokee can be towed 4 down. I would think that a quick look through the hand book for the model/ year your looking to purchase will clear up the availablity of "tow mode" on that specific vehicle.
Happy travels
Thanks, honkytonkinn. Jeep has series of models. The one I'm most interested in is the "WJ" or 1999 through 2004 model years. They sometimes made significant changes between the series. For example, the "WK" series, 2005 - 2010 model years, changed transmission options adding another variable to the "can-it-be-towed-four-down" question. In my original post, I recounted how I looked in the owner's manual of a 2005 model where it declared that it must be put on a trailer for towing.

Thanks to all who took time to respond.

What I think I've learned from reading a couple of Jeep forums is that all QuadraTrac II equipped Grand Cherokees can be towed four-down. QuadraDrive II may also be four-down towable but I have not yet confirmed that.

Some of the confusion comes from lack of context, poor definition of terms, imprecise language, etc., and that's just in the vehicle owners' manuals!! The 2005 manual that I looked at made the unqualified statement that the vehicle must be transported on a trailer or flatbed with no wheels on the ground. Turns out, I think, that they are directing that statement to tow-truck drivers who are preparing to tow disabled vehicles.

On the other hand WJ Jeeps.com expands the towing universe to include "Recreational Towing" with detailed instructions on how to put the transfer case in neutral for four-down towing.

In the end I'm probably over-thinking this but I'd like to have some confidence that the vehicle I purchase will be able to fulfill its intended role.

Thanks again,
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDR John View Post
We have a '05 GC Limited with quadra drive II, you have to use a ball point pen to put the transfer case in neutral. The '05 and up don't have a steering wheel lock, pull the key and walk away. It's been towed around for over 40,000 miles.

Yesterday I just finished hard wiring the taillights and installed a US Gear Unified Tow Brake. I should have a install tread in the toad forum sometime next week.
Thanks, John. I went back to look at the 2005 with QuadraDrive II and it did indeed have the "ballpoint pen neutral button". That is good to know. Am still going to have to pass on this one because we're leaving for Arizona on Monday AM and there are just too many moving parts to get it up and running as a toad before we leave. We're going to continue to tow the Wrangler until we get back.

When you say you hard-wired the taillights, do you mean that you installed separate bulbs in the fixtures that are energized directly by the coach's wiring?

Best,
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:30 AM   #9
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Nope, plug and play.

Click image for larger version

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Plugs in at the taillights, no splicing.

Ordered from here:Towed Connectors by Demco
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:59 PM   #10
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If you want something simple, and inexpensive to maintain, the absolute best Jeeps are the 4.0s of 04-prior. Nothing wrong with 05+, but they're a different beast all together. The 3.7 V6 was just "meh"...the older 4.0 had way more low end torque, and they go on average 300k without issue.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:57 PM   #11
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Thanks, Jon. Yes, I've been leaning toward a 2004. It's been getting harder to find one with low mileage though. People like their Jeeps and therefore drive them. My 2003 Wrangler has "only" 71,000, which, as it turns out around here, is low mileage.

Again, thanks for the information.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:17 PM   #12
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71k IS low mileage indeed....my TJ Wrangler has 300k
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