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VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old February 15th, 2019, 15:18   #16
Genesis
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Niceville, FL
Fuel Economy: 53/48/42
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The issue is the gearbox -- automatics have their fluid pump driven by the INPUT SHAFT from the engine, and thus have zero lubrication when the engine is not running. They WILL be severely damaged or destroyed by towing them "drive wheels down" over any material distance.

I don't know if it's practical to provide a pressurized fluid feed by other means as I don't know the fluid path (e.g. is it " filter -> pump -> cooler -> gearbox -> sump" or "filter -> pump -> gearbox -> cooler -> sump"?) It may not matter as even in the latter case if the pump has no bypass and is just a straight positive-displacement pump you won't get flow through the required things to prevent it from burning up.

My usual answer when someone asks me this question is "buy a stick."

They just don't design ATXes to be towed 4-down.
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Old February 15th, 2019, 16:18   #17
ibnzbass
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Thank you, that is great info. I had not thought about the existing pump possibly preventing flow if I were to add an aux circulation pump, and I'll definitely consider looking around for a manual.
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Old February 18th, 2019, 11:51   #18
casioqv
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I think you'd want a manual swap, plus a 2" lift and a skid plate... a big RV will often need to go over obstacles in the roadway that you would need to avoid in a stock VW, and you won't be able to feel or hear if it is scraping or hits something. There's a good reason you see Jeep wranglers for an RV dinghy 90% of the time.
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Old February 18th, 2019, 11:55   #19
Nero Morg
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You know I've been genuinely curious if you can tow a mkiv manual being something. Will the trans bearings get enough lube?
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Old February 18th, 2019, 12:07   #20
Genesis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nero Morg View Post
You know I've been genuinely curious if you can tow a mkiv manual being something. Will the trans bearings get enough lube?
No problem at all.

Quote:
I think you'd want a manual swap, plus a 2" lift and a skid plate... a big RV will often need to go over obstacles in the roadway that you would need to avoid in a stock VW, and you won't be able to feel or hear if it is scraping or hits something. There's a good reason you see Jeep wranglers for an RV dinghy 90% of the time.
THAT is a serious consideration.

On my last long trip about three weeks ago I was in heavy precip when the truck in front of me ran over (intentionally, I believe) what I'm pretty sure was a folding table in the road. It was ejected back at my vehicle, on the pavement, at a high rate of speed.

I had no way to dodge it -- while there WAS time traction was compromised by conditions and I had traffic on both sides of me. Attempting to go around it risked losing control, so I did the best I could, knowing I was going to run it over.

Some part of it caught my lower bumper cover on the right side. The damage was confined to a stove-in foglight and fairly-severe scratching of the plastic cover, plus a small divot out of the bottom (where you can't see it.) The foglight mounting was undamaged and I was able to put it back where it belonged.

That was in my Mazda; the VW would have likely fared less-well, as it sits lower (by a fair bit) than the "6" does. IF I was towing that and it had hung up and been dragged instead of bouncing off the damage could have been quite-severe.

At minimum I would make sure I have behind-me camera capability towing 4-down that can see the vehicle being towed especially around the front clip and wheel areas back to the rear wheels, as otherwise you could go a hell of a long way before realizing that your car is basically being destroyed as it's dragged down the road.
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