One more towing question - Nissan : Datsun ZCar forum :Nissan Z Forum: 240Z to 370Z
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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One more towing question

Need to move my 78 280z from TX to GA. Not all, but most old posts about towing a manual transmission Z were ok with flat towing or dolly towing without disconnecting drive shaft. Hope thats still the case. Looking at getting a tow bar and flat towing but was not clear if I could fasten bar to the bumper shock flange or if I need to remove the bumper shock and attach some other way. Would appreciate any feedback.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-22-2019, 03:58 AM
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https://www.zcar.com/forum/10-70-83-...-question.html
Hope this helps. Took about 2 minutes to search on the 70-83 home forum page.
Check local state laws.

zippityzda
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-22-2019, 11:54 PM
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I'm only supportive of one approach: get a trailer that carries the entire vehicle. I've trailered vehicles 1000+ miles that way with absolutely no problems. It takes a class III hitch because of the total weight. It would be worth renting a pickup if that's what it takes.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Teupilot View Post
Need to move my 78 280z from TX to GA. Not all, but most old posts about towing a manual transmission Z were ok with flat towing or dolly towing without disconnecting drive shaft. Hope thats still the case. Looking at getting a tow bar and flat towing but was not clear if I could fasten bar to the bumper shock flange or if I need to remove the bumper shock and attach some other way. Would appreciate any feedback.
By all means tow it flat, as long as it's on a trailer. If someone tells you to tow it on the ground that far they don't know squat about transmissions. I'll explain why you don't tow it with the back tires on the ground for very long unless you remove the driveshaft. Most manufacturers say 20 miles is about max for towing on the ground. I've seen people tow these cars for almost 100 miles with tires down without problems but you're taking a chance even at that distance. When the transmission is in neutral, and the rear tires rotate, only the output shaft in the transmission spins. That will eventually dry out the bearings on the input and output shaft. Both the main bearings and eventually the gear bearings and even the gears as well. The input shaft HAS to spin to turn the counter shaft by design. Only the engine can do that function. When the counter shaft spins it throws oil upstairs to the main shafts thereby lubricating the upper half. Both upper shafts are above the oil level and they depend on the counter shaft to transfer lubrication.
Now read this twice, make sure you understand it completely, then ask yourself if it's ok to tow a car for long distances with the rear tires on the ground.
Stay away from dollies, they're for front wheel drive cars only. I've seen people put the cars on the dolly backwards and that works fine until you get up over 50 mph. Then the tow dolly turns into a whip and it can and will throw you into a spin unless you're driving a 15,000 lb tow truck possibly. I had a customer that didn't listen to me. He went and towed his z to me years ago with a dolly and the car was backwards. He was about an hour late so I knew he had problems. He was using a chevy half ton truck. He got on the freeway and eventually was able to get up to 60, then the dolly started whipping back and forth and he ended up doing a pair of 360's all the way across a crowded 4 lane freeway and ended up facing south bound in the north bound lane Fortunately he barely clipped 1 car causing very minimal damage. It probably did more damage to his shorts than to his tow vehicle. The z somehow escaped without a scratch. He towed it the rest of the way to my shop keeping it under 50 mph all the way.
Have a safe move. Z man of Washington
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 02:45 PM
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Why risk it?

It only takes about half an hour to remove the driveshaft. Four bolts where it connects to the differential, and it slips out the end of the transmission.

Removing the transmission itself for repairs takes much, much longer.

Watch your weight or someone might steal it
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-26-2019, 12:04 AM
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That's a fair piece...

It's your decision of course, but I suggest you weigh the cost/benefit carefully.

There are a bazillion things that can happen to a wheels-down towed car. Pulling a trailer can be tricky, but towing a car can be downright scary.

If you trailer, you don't have to deal with bodging up your car hooking up a tow hitch (or the damage if you don't get it right), or disassembling your baby, hoping to avoid carnage (gonna toss that driveshaft in the passenger seat?). Or better still, the Big Fun of sudden storms, the flash terror of dodging a crater, a 50lb hunk of semi tire retread, armadillos, or just maneovering in small-city traffic (remember, a trailer responds to the helm much better than 4 wheels that only want to run straight).

Now, who knows; you might really be a very lucky fellow and have no issues watching your prize in the rear view as it follows ridges and ruts in the road, doing that slo-mo wander back and forth, and hoping the trace of its trajectory doesn't go parabolic. In which case, the modest cost of the rentals will outweigh the possible disaster, and I say more power to you.

Me, I've never won big in Vegas and I've always used a trailer.

Seven, come Eleven... Let us know how it works out.



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Keep 'em flying...

S.J.Szabo
-------------------------






Last edited by ensys; 10-26-2019 at 12:10 AM.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-26-2019, 10:04 PM
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As I said earlier, for any significant distance, I will only use a trailer that holds the entire vehicle. A dolly or any method with 2 wheels on the ground would not be acceptable.

BTW, when you pull the driveshaft, in most cars the gear oil will all leak out the opening. Not sure the 78 Z will, but don't be surprised if it happens.
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