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Old 04-20-2010, 08:35 PM   #1
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Towing a 1988 Jeep Wrangler

My wife and I are new Motorhome owners. We have a 1988 Jeep Wrangler that we would like to tow with our 34 ft Damon Daybreak. Ford chassis, 360 V10 gas engine, 5000# tow capacity. The jeep weighs @ 2800 lbs. My question is how do you tow a vehicle with a tow bar with all four wheels on the ground and not run up the odometer on the Jeep. We have learned a lot so far with much more to learn. There are tow bars, tow dollies, and of course a trailer which would have all four wheels of the Jeep off the ground but would add a lot of weight to tow. Which is the best way to do this? Thanks for any help you can give us. Gary and Sandy
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:26 PM   #2
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Welcome to the IRV2 forum Gary!

Most people tow with all 4 wheels on the ground. Usually least expensive option, least weight to tow and no trailer or dolly to store at home or at the campsite.

To answer your question, disconnect the rear driveshaft at it's rear end, wrap the bearing cups with electrical tape, slip a sock over the universal joint , then wrap a heavy black bungee around the sock and bungee it to the frame or muffler. Unlock the front hubs if you have them, and leave the key in the ignition so you can leave the steering wheel in the unlocked position. You will need a tow bar with connection points on the front of the Jeep. An inexpensive A frame tow bar by one of the bigger hitch manufacturers works fine, here is one I have been using for 15 years that includes the bumper connectors for under $150. Amazon.com: Valley 74510 Adjustable Tow Bar: Automotive I would stay away from the cheaper $40 models. I have tow shackles on the front of my springs, so I didn't need the bumper mounts.

You can spend another grand or more if you want to go with a telescoping model with a fancy base plate from Blue Ox or Roadmaster, but they are no safer than the simple A frame. With a helper, it is no problem to drive up to the ball hitch and drop the tow bar on it. It can be an issue getting it off if you are not able to stop the rig with the Jeep directly behind it. I use a hammer to pop the tow bar up if needed, no big deal.

Add safety chains or cables, lights and a braking device, (here is where the money is) and you are ready to tow 4 down. I use an $800 brake buddy.
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:31 PM   #3
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Go to www.hitchtrader.com and pick from many used tow bars, brake systems etc.
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:08 PM   #4
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Just reach to the left side of the transfercase, and unscrew the speedo cable. Takes 10 seconds.
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:33 PM   #5
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Just reach to the left side of the transfercase, and unscrew the speedo cable. Takes 10 seconds.
Does this work with the 03s also?
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Just reach to the left side of the transfercase, and unscrew the speedo cable. Takes 10 seconds
If you are running the Dana 300 transfer case, you are limited to 200 miles per the owners manual or else you risk burning up a bearing and possibly starting a car-b-que.
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Old 04-21-2010, 06:52 AM   #7
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An '88 Wrangler would probably have an NP 231, not a Dana 300. The NP231 is lubricated in neutral. You still could disconnect the speedo. The Wrangler should be TC in neutral, key in first click forward position.

btw, I bought the Warn full-floater/locking hub kit for the AMC 20 in my CJ-7. A few too many times of putting the driveshaft back in during a rainstorm allowed me to see the light. Also, the tow shackles are sweet!
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Old 04-22-2010, 05:18 PM   #8
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We used to tow our '88 Wrangler manual transmission - we would put the manual transfer case in N, the manual transmission in N, and left the steering wheel unlocked. It did not accumulate odometer miles while towing, and we had no engine or transmission problems caused by the towing. I can't speak to a similar vehicle with an automatic transmission or transfer case though.
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:02 PM   #9
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Does this work with the 03s also?
Your 03 has an electric speedometer. It doesn't register unless you have the ignition in the run position .
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:07 PM   #10
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Back in the 90's we had a toad with the 'old' style speedo / trans cable and it would accumulate milage. I was able to purchase a solenoid from Remco that screwed into the transmission and the speedo cable into it. It had a ground wire and a another wire I spliced into the towing harness. Powered by the motor home ignition it, in effect, disconnected the speedo cable when being towed.

Nothing is easier to set up for flat towing than a Jeep. I've pulled a '47, '60 and now the '07.
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ernieh View Post
Your 03 has an electric speedometer. It doesn't register unless you have the ignition in the run position .
I knew somebody would have an answer, thanks much.
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Nothing is easier to set up for flat towing than a Jeep. I've pulled a '47, '60 and now the '07.
Cept maybe a Scout!
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:22 AM   #13
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Hello Everyone

My question is how do you tow a vehicle with a tow bar with all four wheels on the ground and not run up the odometer on the Jeep. We have learned a lot so far with much more information to learn about jeep.
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:12 AM   #14
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Thank you so much for the answer. We are looking into all avenues for this and hopefully decide soon. It's looking now like the best way for now would be to not tow and have Enterprise or other car rental company bring us a car for a cew days. Will advise later ! Thanks again for great web-site and info. Gary and Sandy
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