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Old 11-11-2014, 03:05 PM   #1
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Towing a Jeep CJ7 Question

Here's my problem. I found a nice 1985 cj7 with automatic transmission on CL and it is already equipped with a roardmaster stow master tow bar. The current owner told me that the previous owner towed it behind his MH but he personally knows nothing about how to do so properly. I will have to pull it about 400 miles to get it home. Some web sites say it can't be towed, others say I have go drop the drive lines, others say just put the transfer case in neutral and tranny in park.

Does anybody actually pull such a setup and can advise me? If I have to go to a bunch of work just to use this as my toad, I will pass it up and stick to my current Ford Fusion. I just wanted a fun little toy to use to run around in when traveling.

Thanks. Bob
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Old 11-11-2014, 06:17 PM   #2
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If it has a Dana 300 transfer case, you can't flat tow without pulling the rear shaft. It's a lubrication issue. On my 76' I had a Auto and the Quadra Trac transfer case and I could flat tow without pulling the DS...but that is a completely different transfer case and was only available from 76-79.

If the transfer case was clocked, I believe it can be towed without pulling the DS because it allows gear oil to reach the bearings but that is not a quick solution.

Do you know what TC you have?
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Old 11-11-2014, 06:22 PM   #3
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No, it's still 400 miles away and I was hoping to go get it this weekend. I will email the seller and see if he knows which tc it has. If not, is there something I can have him look at to tell? I guess I thought that with such a high end tow bar installed it must have been towed a lot. Seems liking dropping the rear DL would be a pain.
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Old 11-11-2014, 06:24 PM   #4
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If a jeep is what you want, get a newer version. The TJ's can be flat towed with either trans (man or auto) and has proven to be a great toad over the years, also easy to hook up to be towed.
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Old 11-11-2014, 06:26 PM   #5
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The '85 very likely has the D300 TC, limited to 200 miles without doing a DS disconnect. I disconnect the DS at the rear, tape the U-Joint, pull a sock over it and bungee it to the muffler. Make sure your front hubs are unlocked and you are not in 4WD or you are in a world of trouble with the front wheels turning the driveshaft now bungied to the muffler. Only did that once, and only went 10 feet. Learned my lesson. As part of my checklist, I reach under and make sure I can freely spin the front DS. Have towed mine over 25k miles that way. 10 minutes to do the DS thing after you have done it a few times. Having a suspension lift makes it easier to roll under on your back. 5/16" socket with a short extension needed to remove the 4 bolts. Retighten to 15 ft-lbs.

InfinityJim's advice on the TJ is good, their coil springs are a bonus over the leafs on the CJ.
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Old 11-11-2014, 06:35 PM   #6
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This link might help...

The Dana Spicer Model 300 Transfer Case - Novak Conversions

Depending on how bad you want this CJ, there are ways around it....Check to see if it has rear locking hubs (this is a popular conversion) or a clocked TC...you gain more ground clearance with this option.
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Old 11-11-2014, 07:07 PM   #7
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flaresadog: My 1984 CJ7 was an automatic with the D300 before I changed everything and according to the owners manual that came with the Jeep you are OK to tow as long as every 200 miles you start the engine and put the transmission in gear. See photo of page from my 1984 owners manual.
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kketterling View Post
flaresadog: My 1984 CJ7 was an automatic with the D300 before I changed everything and according to the owners manual that came with the Jeep you are OK to tow as long as every 200 miles you start the engine and put the transmission in gear. See photo of page from my 1984 owners manual.
Bingo!!!!!
This is the appropriate answer for any CJ that's got the 300 transfer case in it. OP, no, you don't have to disconnect any drive shafts. But, as the answer above states, you NEED to re-start your CJ about, every 200 plus miles while towing it. The model 300 transfer case is a good one but, it was not designed for flat towing of any vehicle it was installed in. And, it was installed in more than just CJ jeeps.

During my Jeeping career, we had approximately 20 CJ owners that would leave the San Diego area and head to Moab UT for the Easter Jeep Safari. We'd do that for several years. Eventually many of us moved on to YJ jeeps and finally TJ jeeps. I got out of it before it was time to move to the JK jeeps.

But, we all would stop at certain fuel stops for the motor homes and, while we were fueling the coaches, we'd all mosey on back and start up the CJs and let them run for a few minutes. By using that method, none of us EVER had any issues with that model transfer case.

Now, here's another tid bit of info pertaining to CJs, they're rapidly loosing time on factory smog parts. If you live in a county/state/area that is strict on following smog rules, finding smog parts for the 258 CU. IN. engine that's in that thing, is almost impossible. The CJ, while a pretty good, fun type Jeep, is seriously outdated in terms of parts, aftermarket parts, smog parts, engine parts, and more.

It's younger brother, the YJ (from '87 to '95) has much of the same design but, in the '91 and later models, changed to what's called the model 231 Transfer case. It's an aluminum, chain driven one. But, the major improvement over the cast iron 300 is, it has a very thin, rotary vein, oil pump right inside the rear out put shaft housing. So, when towing, the "turning" rear drive shaft, spins that pump and, lubricates the guts of that transfer case.

The later TJ models, also use that transfer case. Now, the "Rubicon" models, use what's called the 241 OR version. It's also a good transfer case but, is geared a bit different than other stock T/Cs of Jeeps use. But, it has the same pump in the rear so, it too can be flat towed without issues.

So, while you may get that CJ for a real reasonable price, think about the future in terms of parts etc. I had three CJs in my time and, had a good time with them but, that was decades ago when parts were unlimited. Good luck.
Scott
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:46 AM   #9
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Sorry Flaresadog...my bad. I stand corrected . I was under the impression it couldn't be towed at all...so you could get it home with only one stop!
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Old 11-12-2014, 12:04 PM   #10
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Thanks to all. You all have great insights and between you I think I have a great picture of the limitations and procedures. Now I just have to figure out if I want to find a newer TJ and then expend the money to set up the tow bar, etc. As you're probably aware, most of these CJ and TJs have been rode hard and put away wet! ( guess that's not PC, huh?)
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Old 11-12-2014, 02:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flaresadog View Post
Thanks to all. You all have great insights and between you I think I have a great picture of the limitations and procedures. Now I just have to figure out if I want to find a newer TJ and then expend the money to set up the tow bar, etc. As you're probably aware, most of these CJ and TJs have been rode hard and put away wet! ( guess that's not PC, huh?)
flaresadog,
Some of your statement is correct about how hard some of Jeeps out there have been "used and abused". But, there's a zillion of them, especially the TJ and JK models that have NEVER SEEN DIRT or, any form of off roading. I know of three Rubicons that have been built, lifted and very well equipped for off roading but, not one of them has ever come close to leaving the pavement and, never will.

For some odd reason, many people buy Jeeps (Wrangler style, as in CJ, YJ, TJ and JK) as daily drivers and such. They have no intention of EVER taking them off road. This holds true especially for the non-modified Jeeps.

Now, there's all kinds of schools of thoughts here. If you're planning on light to moderate off roading, a bone stock Jeep can get you into some pretty neat areas. And of course, the more intense you get in terms of off roading, i.e. harsher trails, more difficult obstacles, and more, the more capable your Jeep has to be, in order to handle what you're throwing at it.

So, this is when you need to evaluate and decide, just what you intend to do with your new jeep and, to what limits. This may help you in determining just what to look for in a potential Jeep. No one EVER recoups all the money they've put into a Jeep, in terms of setting it up for quality off roading. EVERYBODY looses money. So what does all this mean to you? Simple. The loose, you WIN if you purchase a fairly nice, well built, nicely setup Jeep. This way, you don't have to put much money into it to go and have some quality fun off roading.

All that you need to do is, set it up for towing, if it hasn't already been done before you purchased it.
Scott
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Old 11-14-2014, 03:51 PM   #12
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I've been towing my cj7 with a d300 since 1981. The 300 can be modified by welding teeth to the shifting collars as they rotate with the rear drive shaft, circulating the gear oil . What happens is nothing with any teeth rotates so the oil doesn't move around to cool. So the rear bearing on the t-case overheats and then seizes up, but you must take the case apart to do this.
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