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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm flat towing my 76 cj-5 close to 2oo miles this week-end,andI know that there are some problems with the dana 300.But what about my dana 20?I dont want to burn anything up on my way to a jeep jamboree!
Thanks.

Ben


 
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Ben: I flat tow mine (D20) about 600 miles roundtrip on a regular basis (1-2 times a month). I leave front hubs unlocked, tranny in neutral, t/c in 2H or neutral and disconnect the rear shaft at the axle and tie it it up to the frame. Kind of a pain to disconnect th rear shaft sometimes, BUT it gives you a whole lot of piece of mind.
Shain

 
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Shain, once or twice a month 600 miles roundtrip? Any reason you haven't purchased a trailer by now? Without a doubt, a trailer is THE way to go if you plan to tow on anything approaching a regular basis. Just really curious.

TEX

/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif Got Mud?
G.U.M.B.O. Mud Racing
 
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Tex: Ya, I've got a tandem axle flat bed that I use some. The main reason I'm flat towing right now has more to do with my tow vehicle than anything else. My 91 Chevy 4x4 has been giving me fits all summer. In the Texas heat, 100 plus seemingly every day, my truck wants to run real hot (240). This is especially true towing. The jeep loaded on the trailer just seems to exacerbate that problem. Flat towing seems to be less weight and less strain on my tired, overheating truck. BTW, as far as the truck's overheating goes this summer the tranny was rebuilt, new Modine radiator (exceeding fact. specs), new 190 thermostat, external tranny cooler, repeatedly cleaned rad fins, good fan clutch, accurate reading on the sending unit. I'm running out of ideas. The GOOD news is I'm gonna retire the pickup here in the next few weeks for a new Ford Super Duty Powerstroke. Then I'll be back on the trailer every trip.
Shain

 
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I've been flat-towing Jeeps for 37 years, now. I guess I just don't know any better. My typical tow is 500 miles, one-way. With the Dana 20, or the Dana 300, I just make sure the TC is full. I actually park it on a slope, and slightly over-fill. I have never disconnected a driveshaft, and so far, my luck is holding, for not hurting anything. My current CJ, which has a 300, and I've had it for about 11 years, has been towed many more miles than it has been driven. I would bet that if I was hurting anything, it would have 'shown' by now.
My .02 Best wishes.

bob
 

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Re: flat on a trailer

I was thinking about constructing the "ideal" Jeep trailer after I towed our CJ about 200 miles on a u-haul auto transporter that weighed a ton (literally, 1980 lbs). My thought is to use only one axle with good sized rubber and 11" brakes, have the Jeep crawl up and over the axle hump, and have as few pounds of steel in it as is humanly possible. If you really scheme on it, you can get down to the basics....light weight...low...single axle (rolls easier)...easy to store....people who don't have Jeeps won't ask to borrow it to move a small bulldozer. /wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif

CJDave
 
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Re: flat on a trailer

Shain, if you figure out your overheating problem, let me know. I have a similar problem in my '90 Z71, although not as severe as yours. And yeah, I've done the radiator switch too. I'm thinking maybe I have some sort of cooling block in my heads as the original owner of this truck had the gunkiest coolent I'd ever seen. I had an injector going out & that was causing the motor to run a little lean. Fixed that & it helped. My tow vehicle is not a daily driver, so fuel mileage isn't a concern. So, I'm skipping the diesel route & retiring mine next year in favor of a 2001 Sierra - either with the Vortec 6000, or the 8100 (assuming they really put it in there).

As to the lightweight trailer idea that CJDave mentioned, I once towed a CJ7 on a 12-foot, single-axle trailer with a surge brake. I don't care for surge brakes since they don't work in reverse, but the Jeep DID fit on the trailer - barely. Loading was an adventure as it was a tilt-job with the entire floor over the wheels. You had to winch up the front of the floor, then drive all the way up to the front, then back off the winch. It worked, but I'd still prefer a twin-axle trailer (gives ya 4-wheel brakes if you opt for 'em, for one thing). I'd go 14-feet for a 7 or 12-feet for a 5 or flatfender. Then, only put boards under the tires if you want to save some weight. Also, you don't need to make it any wider than it has to be. This will keep the weight down & keep your friend's "bulldozers" off of it.

Personally, I prefer my wide, 16-footer as I have a lot of extra uses for it besides towing my Toy. And mine with a wrap-around tongue, 6-ply 235/75's, 4-wheel brakes, 6' 9" floor width, treated lumber, & heavy ramps, weighs 1,400 lbs. But, if you want a specific-duty trailer, you could certainly cut out a lot of extra weight.

TEX

TEX

/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif Got Mud?
G.U.M.B.O. Mud Racing
 

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Re: flat on a trailer

/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif Ditto on the surge brakes, Tex. In all the time I have been towing; and I probably have more miles in front of trailers than some folks have empty; I have never really cared for surge brakes. EVERY NOW AND THEN they work. I have always used electric (or air of course) on my stuff. In the old days we had vacuum (non-brakes) which was a joke /wwwthreads_images/icons/laugh.gif. I thought about using a single axle to keep the weight down and get less loss from scuffing. I've had some tandems that pulled like a dream, but I was careful in lining up the axles. I was thinking of a no-ramp jump-on trailer that you just get next to a curb or a dip in the street (after all it's a Jeep) and hop on. The main frame IS the deck...two individual tracks only...and the triangle design (looking from the side) makes it strong and Jeep-specific. I could not BELIEVE how much the u-haul I rented weighed! Right at a ton! That, plus the CJ was a load for my 4.0 ZJ to crank up some of these steep grades./wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif

CJDave
 
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Re: flat on a trailer

Tex:
Back on the Chevy tow vehicle issue, the bottom line I've reached is that the radiator just doesn't have the capacity to cool that truck with a load behind it in the Texas heat. I've talked to a lot of guys about this and tried everything I can think of. I've been told by more than one Chevy house and radiator shop that the problem is the size of the radiator (wish I knewthat before the new rad purchase). Seems there is a larger factory radiator used on some of the 90s suburbans, like the 3/4 tons, 454s or dual a/c burbs, to make sure they stayed cool. That would be my next approach at the wrecking yard. I don't know which one for sure, and don't know why the h*ll they didn't put that bigger radiator in the Z71s, especially one with tow package, 3.73 LS rear. You can buy one new but I think they run around $500 and there may be some minor bracketry issues.
Shain
 

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Re: flat towing & cooling?

/wwwthreads_images/icons/shocked.gif having been the owner of a string of 3/4 ton GM pickups and Suburbans, I am shocked at how tough it is for you guys to get cooling. What has happened??? I haven't had a new GM in years, but the older stuff with the desert pkg were totally able to cool anywhere I drove them here in the **** state. It gets 110-115 max. in Bakersfield and Fresno CA, and no problem, even with a hvy trailer. I believe that the radiators were four row jobbies....and they WORKED! I am really shocked /wwwthreads_images/icons/shocked.gif and dismayed/wwwthreads_images/icons/frown.gif at this GM slippage!

CJDave
 
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Re: flat towing & cooling?

Yeah, you should see how thin my new rad is. And the thing is, it mounts in these little cups that are built in a way that a much thicker radiator could be installed - NO PROBLEM. I couldn't get the guy at the parts store to dig through the 1-ton stuff to see if one would mount up the same way (and I was in a hurry), but I have a friend with a '97 3/4 ton Chevy (still with a 350) and he tows a trailer that's around 7,500 with the A/C on & I can't run mine despite yanking just over 5K. /wwwthreads_images/icons/frown.gif Really disappointing. Buddy of mine had one built for his '87 for not much more than what I paid for my replacement. He runs super cool, too.

TEX

/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif Got Mud?
G.U.M.B.O. Mud Racing
 
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Re: flat towing & cooling?

I've been reading this 'cooling' thread, with interest. I've got the same cooling problem, and I've been trying everything but the new radiator. Specifically, the truck is a 69 C-20, with the 350. I've had it since new, and recently I've had the radiator cleaned, changed the water pump and t-stat a couple of times, and I've added the 'bleeder'-lines that pick up at the rear of the heads, through the intake manifold, and feed to the inlet of the radiator. I've been dragging my feet on the new radiator, because, according to my local parts source and radiator shop, the core that I already have is the biggest available, and the one originally intended for the factory-installed 396 (it's a 4-row). I have been told that if I ask for a 454 radiator to fit my truck, it will come as the same one I already have. When towing, it runs hot... over 220, just on the level, and easily passing 250 on a grade. I've also melted a couple of exhaust manifolds pushing it on long grades. It sure seems that I need more radiator, but I also wonder if there is anything else. The melted manifolds could indicate other problems. I've checked timing many times, and it seems that it is ok. I've got a HEI on it, but I am thinking of going back to the points, to see if there is any effect. It seems to be running richer than when it was new. It used to burn the tail pipes to light grey, but now all I see is black. Mileage has been consistently lousey... around 8-to-9 towing, and an easy 12 empty. Any new thoughts?

bob
 

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Re: flat towing & cooling?

/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif BBKNS, One thing that may be revealing is to actually measure the temp of the coolant IN THE RADIATOR. Is the coolant going through the system too fast? Is air a problem? I can tell you that I never had a 350 that would not cool. SOMETHING is not right there. I didn't eve know that the top end of the temp gauge even worked since I never went there.
Lessee, water flow, speed, air flow, pump rotation, impeller condition, pump speed, thermostat throat (area), correct thermostat, radiator coating, fan clutch, fan shroud, number of fan blades. Those are the things that affect cooling/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif

CJDave
 
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Re: flat towing & cooling?

CJD, thanks for your thoughts. It seems like I've been over all the stuff you mentioned, but I'm persistent, and I'll keep trying. I keep throwing $ at it, and I hope one of these 'fixes' will work. I am leaving Fri, and I will be towing up the Central Valley through the area you mentioned. It's pretty hot today, and I drove it today... I can see that I will be really sweatin' it on Fri. I'm planning on pulling the engine down again, after I get back. It's time for heads, anyway, and I might as well look at the rest of it, again. Wish me luck... Worst case... I might tow it home with the CJ. (Ha!)

bob
 
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