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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 June 25th, 2010, 05:38   #16
scurvy
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Originally Posted by jasonTDI View Post
You just need to keep a sign in the car that says "is it in gear?" I did a complete trans and engine replacement for a bus company that left one in 1st......all it took was a few hundred yards.....$11.9K......EVERYTHING was destroyed. I MEAN EVERYTHING.....wiring, radiator, inj pump, turbo, alternator......I still have the remnants.....

Wow... just... wow. For $12k replacement cost, somebody oughta fabricate up a 'The Club'-style shifter lock to keep it from being moved out of neutral, or just disconnect the linkages at the transmission after it's been verified in neutral. Just have to realign the shifter linkage when you want to use it, takes all of 3 minutes.
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Old June 25th, 2010, 05:45   #17
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Originally Posted by scurvy View Post

Wow... just... wow. For $12k replacement cost, somebody oughta fabricate up a 'The Club'-style shifter lock to keep it from being moved out of neutral, or just disconnect the linkages at the transmission after it's been verified in neutral. Just have to realign the shifter linkage when you want to use it, takes all of 3 minutes.

Yeah...I've heard nightmarish tales of this same problem with a few people that my parents camp with. Moral of the story, you only forget to put it in neutral once
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Old June 25th, 2010, 09:45   #18
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Still hoping for recommendations on a tow bar setup for my MkIV Jetta.
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Old June 27th, 2010, 09:50   #19
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I have a Blue Ox Alladin (Aluminum) tow bar and it works great for flat towing. The base plate is just as JasonTDI stated behind the bumper cover and the removable pins come out the bottom vents. When setting it up try to have the tow bar as horizontal as possible (drop down receiver) if you need to. Best of luck.

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Old June 27th, 2010, 13:36   #20
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What's the advantages/disadvantages of flat towing over a car carrier trailer?
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Old June 27th, 2010, 14:24   #21
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What's the advantages/disadvantages of flat towing over a car carrier trailer?
Advantage.....less weight/length to pull. Being overweight/length can result in a fine as CDL rules may kick in.

Disadvantage.....the wheel bearings, CV joints, and transaxle rack up miles that are not reflected in the odometer.
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Old June 27th, 2010, 15:33   #22
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Carpe: Would love to see some pix of your setup, especially how the car looks with-without tow bar attached. Thanks!


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I have a Blue Ox Alladin (Aluminum) tow bar and it works great for flat towing. The base plate is just as JasonTDI stated behind the bumper cover and the removable pins come out the bottom vents. When setting it up try to have the tow bar as horizontal as possible (drop down receiver) if you need to. Best of luck.

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Old June 27th, 2010, 18:14   #23
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Default advantage/disadvantage of a flat tow

In addition to the weight and lenght factors, we find that the tow bar is much easier to store at the destination relative to a trailer. The bar simply folds and stores on the bus without removal from the receiver. A trailer would have to be unhooked from the bus then hooked up to the jeep and then maneuvered into a storage spot IF we could find one. We could never manuever the trailer with a 45 foot bus in the space available.

The advantage of a trailer is you can backup, save rotational wear on moving parts of the dingy, and deal with mechanical failure easier.

We cannot backup flat towing because the steering caster of the dingy is set up for the steer axle to default straight ahead, even though it will turn when needed. If you backup, the steering caster will cause the dingy to turn and skid the tires (high stress) when you want them to be straight. You can see the amount of castor built into the steering geometry of a car by looking at its front wheels. The more the wheels lean over when turned, like a road grader, the more castor they have and the stronger the tendency for them to track straight. BMW has historically had some of the most castor of all brands, but they have never made anything that can be flat towed. It is not enough to have a neutral position in the transfer case, which BMW does not have, but there also must be lubrication on the moving parts (bearings) in the trasfer case. The most common dingy seems to be the Grand Cherokee, but the wrangler is popular too. There is a company that makes quick connects for drive shafts that allow many cars to be flat towed.
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Old June 27th, 2010, 18:26   #24
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In addition to the weight and lenght factors, we find that the tow bar is much easier to store at the destination relative to a trailer. The bar simply folds and stores on the bus without removal from the receiver. A trailer would have to be unhooked from the bus then hooked up to the jeep and then maneuvered into a storage spot IF we could find one. We could never manuever the trailer with a 45 foot bus in the space available.
Good point!! I've never towed a car somewhere, so I've never dealt with the nitty-gritty.
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Old June 27th, 2010, 18:27   #25
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I am using a Blue OX base plate a tow bar system. Works real well, just do not try to back up!!!
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Old October 30th, 2010, 06:57   #26
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Disadvantage.....the wheel bearings, CV joints, and transaxle rack up miles that are not reflected in the odometer.
I hadn't thought of that since I've never towed a car. I am considering buying a Mk 4 TDI that has been flat towed behind an RV. Anything I should look at myself during my inspection related to being towed? The car has about 100,000 driven miles, but I don't know how many towed miles it has.
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Old October 30th, 2010, 13:02   #27
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Well, just like the stated above. You will need to make sure the oil is changed in the Tranny as it has more miles on it. Granted not stressful miles but miles none the less. Look for chipping of the paint on the front end if you are satisfied with it as it will likely be really pitted. Same with the windshield which affects driving close to dark the most (trust me I live in a state that gets pitted a lot and it is hard to see). Also you will likely need a suspension refresh as the shocks will have more miles on them along with the bushings. I wouldn't be afraid of it though as the interior and engine will have the 100K miles and the rest can be fixed replace and would need to with time anyways.
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Old October 30th, 2010, 13:30   #28
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Thanks.
I can relate to pitted windshields as I live in the desert. I've got one car now that I'm hoping a big rock finishes the windshield off so I have to get it replaced!
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Old February 8th, 2018, 19:07   #29
calimacaw
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Where did you find the plate and tow bar? How do you keep the steering wheel from locking over long trips?
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Old February 9th, 2018, 06:50   #30
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Where did you find the plate and tow bar? How do you keep the steering wheel from locking over long trips?
You have to leave a key in the ignition...it dosn't need to be left in the "on" position just don't remove or steering will lock.
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