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TDI 101 Got a simple/basic TDI question? Are you a newbie (new to the forums). Feel free to post your question here.

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Old September 20th, 2012, 20:20   #1
DieselDevotion
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Default Flat Towing a 5 Speed?

Hi everyone,
I did a quick search and didn't find what I was looking for. I have a 98 TDI Jetta with a 5 speed. Previous Owner already installed a homemade tow bar and mount. Is there anything I should know about flat towing my jetta?

I don't have an owners manual to referance if its recamended or not, and I'm not fimilar with these small car trannys. Is there a lube pump and if so which shaft does it run off of? If it on the output I'm fine but if its on the input can I just stick the car in gear and prop something between the seat and clutch pedal and keep it depressed?

I appreciate everyones help in advance,
Thanks Tom
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Old September 20th, 2012, 21:41   #2
Herm TDI
 
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I don't have an answer consering the lube pump for towing but I have been thinking about this issue for some time. I know of one A-4 TDI that suffered transmission damage resulted (allegedly ) from being flat-towed.
My thinking on this was to remove both drive shafts.
Using two outter CV joints (just the CV joint) to secure the wheel bearings.
In this manner the transmission would not have any loads put to it.

I will tell you with assurance that you do not want to even roll a VW without the outter CV joints installed or the wheel bearing will be ruined.
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Last edited by Herm TDI; September 20th, 2012 at 21:44.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 08:28   #3
DieselDevotion
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I'm pretty sure the tranny does not have any type of pump and is just splash lubricated but thought someone could tell me for sure if any drivetrain parts could be damaged.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 08:45   #4
DieselDevotion
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I'm taking the Jetta down to Arkansas next weekend to pick up a diesel jeep grand Cherokee and was hoping I can flat tow it back home. A friend of mine just bought a 2012 with a six speed and said his manual sttated he could flat tow his car but only for limited distances, he couldn't remember exactly but thought it was around 20 miles, and to limit speed to less than 30 miles per hour. Any body know why?
I wouldn't doubt if they say that just for liability reasons. The same guy told me his car is recamended not to tow anything and the same car in Europe has a 2,000 pound towing capacity. Again probably worried about US lawsuits if someone way overloads a car than cant get all that weight stopped and sues VW
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Old September 21st, 2012, 08:53   #5
d-man
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I could not say for certain, but there is a couple transmission gurus on the forum. You need to post post this question in a drive line section.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 11:36   #6
Ol'Rattler
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A 5 speed has no internal pump, just like any other manual transmission. Unless someone comes up with a factual reason not to flat tow with the engine off, I don't think it would damage anything.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 14:05   #7
Phantomofheat
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Flat towing a manual there should not be any problems flat towing an automatic not good.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 18:58   #8
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Just make sure it's in neutral and knock your socks off.
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 06:07   #9
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No issues, I have been in these transmissions and the big diff gear is what provides most of the oiling and that will be always spinning when the car is moving. Even the 5th gear area will probably get oil flow.
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Old September 29th, 2012, 12:05   #10
Ol'Rattler
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I think you are confused. The OP is referring to towing the car behind a motor home or truck.
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VCDS Hacks: DRL Disabled-Seatbelt Chime Disabled-Key fob Power Windows
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Old September 29th, 2012, 12:09   #11
vwdiesel101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol'Rattler View Post
I think you are confused. The OP is referring to towing the car behind a motor home or truck.
my bad sorry about that!
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Old September 29th, 2012, 12:10   #12
Ol'Rattler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselDevotion View Post
If it on the output I'm fine but if its on the input can I just stick the car in gear and prop something between the seat and clutch pedal and keep it depressed?
Almost missed that. No need to keep the clutch petal depressed. Just make absolutely sure the tranny is in neutral.
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DC stage 1 SMF Clutch
Draw-Tite hitch
Dash Tray
Blue tint aspherical mirrors
Euro Cupholder
Euro Light Switch
2nd grocery hook
VCDS Hacks: DRL Disabled-Seatbelt Chime Disabled-Key fob Power Windows
Adjusted Cam to Crank Timing
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Old September 29th, 2012, 12:30   #13
Ski in NC
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Tough call on this one. Differential ring gear, pinion gear and output shaft will all be rotating. The fwd gears will be still, output shaft and syncros spinning. Oil splash around those gears is normally from the gears themselves, so things like the bearings between gears and output shaft could dry out.

Guess flat towing one of these is doing a bit of an experiment. Others in the rv community will probably know how they hold up.

A good thing to do is each time you stop, crank the tdi engine and rev it a bit to splash the oil around.
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Old September 30th, 2012, 18:11   #14
MayorDJQ
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Why is this such a complex issue? The gears are simply submerged in oil. The fill plug is as least halfway up the side of the gearbox. As long ia it's full of oil, there should be no issue. There's no pump that supplies oil to the bearing or syncros when driving normally.

Someone must have a '98 owner's manual. Does it say not to flat tow a manual transmission? Does Bentley say not to flat-tow a manual?
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Old October 1st, 2012, 07:54   #15
benzdoctor
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I have a 98 Jetta TDI 5 speed, 225,000 miles. Have flat towed for 8 years behind Motor Home with no problems. Make sure it is in neutral and steering is unlocked.
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