I need to move a disabled Crown Vic about 75 miles. The engine does
not run. Can this safely be done with the towed car in neutral without
certain bearings in the transmission being damaged? Thanks again in
No, you cannot flat tow this car (nor any car with an automatic) since the
only fluid pump is driven off the engine. If you remove the driveshaft
(being careful to cover the output of the trans to keep dirt out, you will
First choice - simplest and easiest overall - would be to rent or
borrow a tow dolly, so you can put the back wheels on the dolly
platform and not turn them while towing.
I wouldn't take the tail-shaft out of the transmission - unbolt the
U-joint from the front and rear yokes, they usually make provisions
for taking it apart. Be sure to tape the bearing caps in position on
the yoke, if one comes off you'll have a gazillion loose needle
bearings trying to make their escape.
And no matter how you take it apart, make sure to paint alignment
marks on the U-joint knuckles at both ends, and make an index mark
where the slip-splines in the driveshaft meet in case it comes apart
there, so you can get it put back together in the same position. On
certain cars, you will throw the driveshaft balance all out of whack
if you put it back together out of phase.
DO NOT try taking the big nut out of the yoke on the rear axle -
that nut sets the preload for the pinion bearings and the pinion gear,
and you'll make a big mess if you touch that.
--<< Bruce >>--
Your reply brought a question to mind. I know a RWD vehicle can't be flat
the drive wheels down, but what about a FWD such as a Taurus? I've never tried
even considered it. I always tow with the non powered wheels down. I never
considered FWD though.
Same deal with the FWDs. Tom... without a rear fluid pump (IIRC, the old
cast iron Powerglides were about the last to have a rear pump), there is
nothing to circulate fluid to cool and lubricate bearings and bushings.
While most FWD cars have the third member and trans sharing fluid, the
"splash " isn't a sure way of getting lube to where it needs to go.... FWD
transmissions aren't much different from RWD transmissions other than the
location or arrangement of the various members.
FWIW, even those automatics equipped with a rear fluid pump had some
caveates to consider when flat towing... though these cars could be push
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