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post #1 of (permalink) Old 11-21-2002, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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Flat-Towing Finesse?

Hi all. I've never flat-towed my Zuk before, but I'm going to have to do it next weekend and I have some questions:
1) Should I remove the rear driveshaft completely, or just unbolt the pinion end and hang it up out of the way?
2) Tranny and t-case both go in neutral with front hubs unlocked, right?
3) Ignition key off (steering wheel locked), or in accessory position (steering wheel unlocked)?
4) Is there an easy way to connect the Zuk's stop & turn signals to the tow vehicle's wiring connector? (I remember reading a post about this a long time ago, but couldn't find it in a search.)
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 11-21-2002, 08:20 PM
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Re: Flat-Towing Finesse?

1. for the peace of mind take the extra 10 minutes and drop the whole shaft. its just 4 more bolts. this way you dont have to worry.
2. Yes both in neutral and hubs unlocked.
3. discnnect battery and turn key to "on" position to unlock the steering wheel
4. not really. what i did was used a piece of angle and flat stock to make a light setup that clamped to the hitch plate and had a long cord that wound all the way throught the bottom of the zuk and came out the front. i made it pluged at both ends so it stayed in the zuk.

i flat tow mine everywhere and my rig is totally homemade and solid. if you got any questions about flat towin feel free to PM me
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 11-21-2002, 08:21 PM
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Re: Flat-Towing Finesse?

You won't have much finesse if you lock the steering wheel. If you pull the rear shaft I think everything else should be fine. Whatcha flat towing for Ken????
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 11-21-2002, 11:14 PM
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Re: Flat-Towing Finesse?

I agree with everything freebird said, but I don't bother unhooking the battery. I also flat tow all the time, sometimes up to 400 miles each way, never a problem. I also prefer to remove the driveshaft so when I get to where I am going I can lock in the front end and move it to where it'll be easyest to put the shaft back in. If towing under 50 miles, just leave the shaft connected. My light assembly is simple, it's 2 Jeep lights mounted to a bar that attaches to the rear tire carrier.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 11-22-2002, 12:47 AM
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Re: Flat-Towing Finesse?

I've towed mine up to 200 miles each way without pulling the driveshaft. Over that I pull the shaft. Per the
owners manual "transmission in 2nd rear, tcase in neutral, hubs unlocked. Put the key in the ignition, turn it
on then off. Leave it in the off position without taking it out. The steering will remain unlocked.
Easiest way for lights is to use a light bar. Or if you want to use the Sami lights cut the wire between the
rear brake lights. One wire to running lights each turn signal wire of tow vehicle to appropriate side brake
light. With switch closed normal driving condition. Switch open, rear brake lights work like normal trailer
lights. The added plus is side marker lights are on when you turn on lights of tow vehicle
post #6 of (permalink) Old 11-22-2002, 06:31 AM
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Re: Flat-Towing Finesse?


I tow mine all the time with my Durango down to Uwharrie. I used to remove the driveshaft, but now I just leave it connected for the short trip (60 miles?). I don't go over 65 mph on 220 south.

What is your tow vehicle? Although the Sami is fairly light, I wouldn't use a tow vehicle under 4000 lbs. Accelerating is not the problem; it is stopping! The first time you tow it, I would go out on a country road and try some semi-emergency stops so you get the feel of the setup. I try to give vehicles around me a lot of room.

My Durango has a 4spd auto. In the city I don't use 4th (OD). This helps eliminate shifting and heat build up. Once on the highway, I will use 4th unless it is very hilly.

As far as the Sami, you have to put the key in ACC position so that the steering wheel is UNLOCKED. Hubs should be in free position. If you disconnect the driveshaft, it doesn't matter what your transfer case/transmission is in (unless your front hubs are locked!). If you leave it connected, put transfer case and transmission in Neutral. Some say to put transmission in 2nd gear, but I don't like the idea of this because if the transfer case somehow slipped out of Neutral your tranny would be engaged along with your engine (i.e., probably a lot of damage would occur to your tranny/engine). I read a post on an RV forum where this happened because a heavy object in the towed vehicle shifted and hit the transfer case lever!

As for the lights, I have a manual switch to change from factory wiring to tow wiring (I can give you details if you want). You can also splice into the stock wiring, but you should use some fairly high amp diodes to protect your tow vehicle's ECM. Another option is to just jerry rig some trailer lights on a metal bar or buy the magnetic light kit (available at your local Super Walmart).

post #7 of (permalink) Old 11-22-2002, 06:42 AM
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Re: Flat-Towing Finesse?


What everyone else said... especially the steering wheel turns freely and remove ENTIRE rear driveshaft for long trips stuff.

I especially like what freebird01 says about towing lights... Somehow I am always jacking up the wiring when I modify or fix trailer lights, so I went and bought magnetic mount tow lights, but now, I think I'll remount them on a length of steel that I can easily attach to my hitch system.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 11-22-2002, 07:11 AM
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Re: Flat-Towing Finesse?

I didn't know that one "Put the key in the ignition, turn it on then off.
Leave it in the off position without taking it out. The steering will remain unlocked."
As far as lights go, I like the magnetic ones, stick them on the back bunper.
And I will 2nd, 3rd, & 4th the braking issue, most people get in trouble when they are trying to stop.
Lots of people tow with rigs big enough to move the sami down the road.
But they have trouble stopping in time when someone pulls in front of you and stops.
You can say it will never happen to me (I used to).
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 11-22-2002, 08:13 AM
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Re: Flat-Towing Finesse?

Just curious, do you think those people flat towing with motorhomes remove the Sami's driveshaft?

I flat tow mine a lot also. I hear a lot of noise coming from the front diff. Never when driving it, only when towing. I guess, when it fails, I'll pull it and see what all the noise was about. [img]images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 11-22-2002, 08:43 AM
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Re: Flat-Towing Finesse?

Drive shaft out - no worries
Key on then off-leave key in
Diodes in rear lights- wire to trailer plug
Simple and works great and no extra lights...Good luck
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