bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/25/24 12:57 p.m.

I have been driving a company Grand Cherokee for the last couple years. My Land Rover LR3 has been collecting dust in the meantime so I am going to move it on. That will give me around a $6000 to $8,000 budget for something else. Since I have two kids who will be home for the summer from university and needing to drive to work, I thought I might buy something that would function as a commuter vehicle for one of them, but also double as a toad for the Wanderlodge. We previously pulled a Jeep Liberty and I had planned to put a hitch on the new Jeep but the lease is up in a year so there is no point. I am thinking something old and simple like a Beetle because decent mpg's, probably fun to drive (never driven one) and manny tranny for easy towing. What else should I consider? I thought about and rejected a first gen Ford Bronco II because I don't need a second SUV, and I have not completely rejected a YJ5 , but I am kind of aiming for a simple, rear wheel drive manual with a four cylinder. What rabbit holes should I travel down, and feel free to throw some examples at me. I would like a decent looking daily driver, and no big projects, and absolutely no rust. I am happy to fly and drive if something catches my eye any distance from me. 

Edited to say no convertibles because they are not really compatible with being towed and British Columbia 8 months out of 12.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
3/25/24 1:19 p.m.

Vitara/Tracker 4wd with transfer case neutral. 

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/25/24 1:39 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

Considered them briefly, but they do not push any buttons. There are a ton of them in BC and go pretty cheap. But you did remind me of a Lada Niva. They pop up every now and then and if I found a decent one I would have a look.  But they are pretty rare now and nice ones are out of my budget. Anyway I would end up fixing it constantly and looking for unobtainable parts. 

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/25/24 1:40 p.m.

How old could I go and still tow a 2 wheel drive manual at highway speeds? Perhaps I should go back a decade or two. 

Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos)
Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/25/24 2:02 p.m.

GTI? Yeah, not RWD, but they are pretty fun.
Mustang?
 

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/25/24 2:03 p.m.

VW GTI is a thought. 

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
3/25/24 2:48 p.m.

There must be a list somewhere of cars that can be safely flat towed, I'd find that first to determine what choices you have.

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/25/24 3:10 p.m.

In reply to stuart in mn :

There are lists of very sensible cars. But it seems as if it has a manual transmission and the front end behaves it should tow. 

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/25/24 3:28 p.m.
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to stuart in mn :

There are lists of very sensible cars. But it seems as if it has a manual transmission and the front end behaves it should tow. 

Not all. I know Ford does not recommend the Mustang be towed, even in the manual trim, without a drive shaft disconnect. I looked into that when I bought mine. 

 

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed UltraDork
3/25/24 7:19 p.m.

With out doing any research and thinking RWD, 4 cylinder and manual trans............ BMW 318i, Mercedes Benz 190E, Nissan/Datsun 240SX, RWD Corolla's/Cressida's, Datsun 210/510. I am sure there are a lot more I have missed. FWD would increase the choices dramatically. Older GTi, Beetle (as previously mentioned) or Scirroco would be awesome. All the cars I listed are likely to be either hammered/drifted/modded to pieces, rusty, used up or if in good shape.... expensive.  Good luck, I always like a good car search.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/25/24 9:47 p.m.
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) said:

How old could I go and still tow a 2 wheel drive manual at highway speeds? Perhaps I should go back a decade or two. 

Anything front wheel drive.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/26/24 6:48 a.m.
Toyman! said:
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to stuart in mn :

There are lists of very sensible cars. But it seems as if it has a manual transmission and the front end behaves it should tow. 

Not all. I know Ford does not recommend the Mustang be towed, even in the manual trim, without a drive shaft disconnect. I looked into that when I bought mine. 

 

It's generally a bad idea to flat tow a rear drive car with the driveshaft connected because the input shaft and countershaft have to be turning for the fluid to splash around inside.  Without the input shaft turning, the output shaft is spinning at highway speeds in the now-stationary driven gears with no lubrication except what was wetting the surfaces.  And most driven gears ride on the output shaft on bushings, not needle bearings.

Anything with a transaxle will have the gearset turning any time the axles are turning, so splash lube is retained.

I am 90% sure that Honda S2000 transmissions are built "backwards" with the gearsets attached to the driveshaft, and the input shaft having no gears on it, like a front drive transmission, which is kind of the sensible way to do it from a shifting feel and acceleration standpoint...

No Time
No Time UltraDork
3/26/24 8:32 a.m.

I'm not sure which of these could be flat towed, but there's some interesting vehicles on this site and similar dealerships:

Imports

Imports 2

buzzboy
buzzboy UltraDork
3/26/24 9:22 a.m.

ACVW transmissions allow for towing in neutral. A hot little Beetle or Ghia would be fun

No Time
No Time UltraDork
3/26/24 8:17 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

That's interesting, and something I hadn't thought about. It definitely makes sense based on the rwd manual transmissions I've had apart. 

Antihero
Antihero GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
3/26/24 10:38 p.m.

Dodge Rampage, and I believe there's a list about a super clean one here

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/27/24 10:54 a.m.
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/27/24 10:56 a.m.

General rule of thumb is that if you have a manual or an auto with 4wd that lets you select a neutral option in the transfer case, you're good to tow it flat.

Rons
Rons GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/30/24 7:52 p.m.

This thread has been percolating in my mind as I wondered what do the truck delivery guys do? I know Colorados are popular (by observation). Today I was in Coombs and had the opportunity to talk to a fellow who delivers trucks. They have two solutions first is if it's a short haul on the Island (Duncan to Ladysmith) the toad is idling on the trip so no problem. Second a driveline disconnect Performance Driveline in Bakersfield Cal has the Remco unit. Think mechanical clutch cable operated from the driver's seat. the Remco bolts to the diff and throw in a custom driveshaft - Bob's your uncle.

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
5/30/24 10:09 p.m.

If you want something really old...

If it's got a Hydramatic (no, not a Turbo-hydramatic), it can be towed in neutral. They have a second pump on the output shaft.

Purple Frog
Purple Frog GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/31/24 9:09 a.m.

In our Motorhome days we really enjoyed the Grand Vitara.  Towed easy.   Had all the modern comforts... heated seats and such.  Yet when we got to Moab we had a serious 4WD vehicle that would even climb in four wheel locked low range.

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
5/31/24 1:29 p.m.

I see this thread came back to life. To be honest I am having trouble parting with my Land Rover. I parked my 2022 Grand Cherokee and started driving it again and I felt no inclination to go back to the Jeep. I find it amusing how some of the features in the Jeep they stole from the 16-year-older Land Rover.

The one kid that needed a summer car is coaching a local swim team and he is biking there every day, and our trip to the Yukon in the fossil has been put on hold because my nephew is getting married plunk in the middle of the time we had planned to go so I have done nothing at this point. Right now a bug is still high on the list but if I go there I have some interesting variations I can consider such as a Thing, or a Type 3. I also know a very low mileage first gen Ford Ranger 4x4 that is kind of speaking to me. It needs a transmission but I could have it for next to nothing and it would make a fun run to the dump weekend driver.

golfduke
golfduke Dork
5/31/24 1:33 p.m.

speaking of, how's the Wanderlodge?  Pretty much all buttoned up? 

 

I have to admit- a wanderlodge towing a beetle/Thing would be so freaking cool, haha. 

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
5/31/24 1:51 p.m.
golfduke said:

speaking of, how's the Wanderlodge?  Pretty much all buttoned up? 

 

I have to admit- a wanderlodge towing a beetle/Thing would be so freaking cool, haha. 

Well since I'm an idiot I ripped it all apart again. I had a lot of things I was not particularly happy with so I am going through and cleaning up a lot of small details. I replaced the charge air cooler, ran all new plastic airlines from front to back to eliminate all of the copper to plastic unions I used, replaced a leaking treadle valve, and cleaned up a bunch of wiring. Right now I have the dash ripped apart again because I want to build a new one. This will be the fourth attempt. I have abandoned my desire for a wood dash because I just cannot make it work with our humidity. I have learned the hard way why cars do not come with wood anymore. I hit on the idea of using wood grain formica laminated to galvanized steel, so I am going to give that a go. It looks kind of woody at least. 

I am also still messing with my air clutch. It is kind of lurchy still. I made a sort of a slipper clutch using a pair of screen door closers which fix the problem to some extent. I can lift off in third or fourth gear and the clutch slips a bit and off it goes, but it takes a very careful clutch foot to maneuver at low speed. Backing into a campsite for example is a little nerve-wracking. I just received two hydraulic screen door cylinders that close a lot more slowly than the ones I had so I think they should fix it once and for all, but I won't know until I get it out of the shop to test. 

After I get the dash put together hopefully this weekend I need to figure out why my Jake brake has no stopping power. There is very little troubleshooting available online Beyond confirming the solenoids working and checking the lash. Both of those check out so I am left with an oil supply issue I guess.

I am going to give it a power injection when I'm done. I have two options. I can take it into Cummins where they will bump it up to the RV 500 horsepower rating for $550. That is quite reasonable actually. My other option though, and the one I'm probably going to take cuz I'm an idiot is to take it to a remote tuner for Pittsburgh Power where they will bump it up to 650 horsepower for $1,800. 

I mean I've come this far so how can I leave 150 horsepower on the table right?

Edited to add that I also pull the power steering box off and sent it in for a rebuild. It was getting pretty sloppy after 43 years.

golfduke
golfduke Dork
6/3/24 8:55 a.m.

Haha, sounds like you need to update that thread then, just saying!  :)

 

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