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Towing a Car with Overdrive

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  • Towing a Car with Overdrive

    I need to move my '49 2R-5 from one storage location to another, and plan on towing it with a tow dolly - total distance would be around 12 miles. do I lock the overdrive out? (pull lever out). If I remember, the answer is yes, but I just can't recall![?]

    thanks for your advice in advance.

    Eric DeRosa

    '49 2R-5 (original Survivor)
    '63 R2 Lark (barely surviving)
    Eric DeRosa


    \'63 R2 Lark
    \'60 Lark Convertible

  • #2
    I would just put it into nuetral. Towed mine 600 miles that way once.

    '50 Champion, 1 family owner

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    • #3
      For only 12 miles, I'm sure it doesn't matter. For a tow of hundreds of miles, it would be better to remove the driveshaft, or at least disconnect it from the rear end, tape the bearing cups up well, and tie securely aside.

      Think about how the manual transmission gets lubricated: the cluster gear is down in the sump, and the mainshaft is mostly above the level of the oil. When you are towing in neutral, the cluster gear will not turn (if it's turning, so is the input shaft), so there is no means of splashing tranny oil up into the rear bearing. Now the outer drum of the over-running clutch part of the overdrive may be immersed in oil at the bottom, and sling some oil around, so that should take care of the bearing and clutch rollers.

      For the little trouble it is, I think it would be prudent to disconnect the driveshaft for a long tow on its own wheels, be it standard or automatic. Sure is a lot easier to spend 10 minutes at each end of the trip with a half-inch wrench in hand, than it would be to save the 10 minutes upon departure, and be faced with a transmission re & re at the other end!

      Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands
      Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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