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Old 03-29-2016, 12:02 PM   #1
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Towing 5-spd S-10 or Sonoma 4-down?

I asked this question some months ago and got no useful replies. Owner's manual says NO--insufficient lubrication to the transmission. Having rebuilt many manual transmissions in my life, I doubted that. Looking inside the V-6 S-10/Sonoma trans, all the gears on the mainshaft have double-row needle bearings for the times when the mainshaft is not turning (vehicle stopped) and the clutch input gear is rotating the cluster gear. The rotation of the cluster gear, whether or not the vehicle is moving, is the mechanism all manual transmissions that I've seen use to distribute the lube.

Also, the forward nose of the mainshaft rides in needle bearings in the input (clutch) gear.

The needle bearings require very minimal lubrication to operate.

Thinking the "no tow" statement from GM might just be CYA, I decided to try towing my old 2001 Sonoma. At worst, I'd have to rebuild the trans.

Result? After 2,000 miles there have been no indications of problems. One caveat--I seldom drive more than 150 miles without stopping. Each time, I would start the toad engine and let it run a few seconds to splash some lube around inside the trans.

Am I advising you to disregard GM's warning? Definitely not. Just giving you the report of my own PERSONAL experience, not something I read on the Internet. I will leave for Alaska in about four weeks, and plan to use the Sonoma as my toad. That will be in excess of 10,000 miles for me. I'll report back after the trip--including if I'm proven WRONG.

No PAP posts, please.
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Old 03-29-2016, 02:04 PM   #2
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subscribed, I would like to know how that goes.

Best of luck and happy trails!

P.S. what's a PAP post?
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Old 03-30-2016, 08:07 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by August West View Post
subscribed, I would like to know how that goes.

Best of luck and happy trails!

P.S. what's a PAP post?
Will do! Thanks!

PAP-- "Pontificating Apocalypse Predictor" --knee-jerk response from someone with little or no technical expertise or personal experience, parroting what they have read on the Internet with pompous authority, predicting failure, bodily injury, property loss, other calamity or even death, from whatever you are proposing to do or not do. Most commonly coming from those who make hundreds, or thousands, of posts per year, few of which are of help to anyone.
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Old 03-30-2016, 12:07 PM   #4
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PAP-- "Pontificating Apocalypse Predictor" --knee-jerk response from someone with little or no technical expertise or personal experience, parroting what they have read on the Internet with pompous authority, predicting failure, bodily injury, property loss, other calamity or even death, from whatever you are proposing to do or not do. Most commonly coming from those who make hundreds, or thousands, of posts per year, few of which are of help to anyone.[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the explanation!
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Old 03-30-2016, 02:38 PM   #5
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AMEN ----- I agree regarding the PAP posters.

Anyway - I've seen several manual trannys that said NO to flat tow. I'd love to take one apart and see why the restriction. I do agree with your analysis, quite often its the lawyers who make the restrictions, not the engineers. The problem is, you and I will never know what data supports many restrictions.

My favorite is a recent thread about maximum tow speed. The Manufacture says 65mph. I say 65 -70 should be no problem, just keep an eye on things (which you should be doing at ANY speed). the PAPs say that everything is OK at 65, but the world will end and innocent people will die if you do 66.

Yah, Whatever.

Keep us posted on your findings.
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