can a 124 Spider be flat towed 2000+ miles?

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can a 124 Spider be flat towed 2000+ miles?

Postby ACR MAN » Thu May 22, 2008 1:20 pm

Here's the situation: I live in the Los Angeles area, and I have the opportunity to buy a 1971 124 Spider from an associate in the Detroit office of the company where I work. I have a Demco Kar Kaddy tow dolly which I was unable to bring with me when I moved from Minneapolis to LA in November of 2007. I have to be in Detroit on business for the first week of June, so I have planned to drive out and pick up my tow dolly along the way.

Can I tow the 124 Spider on the tow dolly roughly 2200 miles from Detroit to LA? I have examined the transmission service information in my factory 124 shop manual, and it appears that the counter shaft would not be turning unless the engine is running or a gear is engaged. I suspect that 2200 miles of turning only the main shaft would cause the destruction of the transmission due to a lack of proper lubrication. If that is the case, then I guess the driveshaft would have to come out. I can't use a trailer because the object of driving is to bring my tow dolly back with me to LA.

Ideas?
Greg Smith
- 1973 124 Spider (sold)
- 1976 Beta Coupe (sold)
- 1987 Yugo GV (sold)
- 1974 124 Spider (sold)
- 1973 124 Spider (sold)
- 1976 X1/9 (sold)

* Maybe another 124 Spider soon? *
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Postby Dwight V. » Thu May 22, 2008 2:08 pm

My personal opinion is it won't matter. The trans gears get 'splash' lubrication from the guts turning regardless, but if you want to be absolutely sure, you can simply remove the driveshaft. Four bolts at the back, two for the center support, and 3 (I think) for the donut at the front and it's off. Not a tough job.
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Postby ga.spyder » Thu May 22, 2008 2:53 pm

I am glad to see this post.I have been looking for a trailer ,and ran across a good deal on a dolly.I am kind of afraid of the dollys ,and hope someone who has used one will chime in.I know I saw some pix from FFO that showed one on a tow dolly.
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Postby Kevin1 » Thu May 22, 2008 3:19 pm

If you disconnect the driveshaft you'll be safe. If you don't want to remove the driveshaft is there any reason you couldn't tow it with the rear wheels on the dolly instead? I've seen tow trucks pulling vehicles from the rear before.
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Postby Denise » Thu May 22, 2008 3:26 pm

I towed a rusted out 72 parts car from Minnesota to NC and the engine and tranny are now in my good 72. I didn't take the driveshaft off and had no problems.
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Postby jewemorris » Thu May 22, 2008 9:51 pm

When I bought my car it came from Alabama, and the guy that towed it up for me only took the four bolts out of the drive shaft and taped and bungy corded the drive shaft under the car.. and he used a tow dolly and it made it to southern Wis. fine a with no extra miles on the OD.. Jerry
HI, I'm on my fourth Spider and loving every minute of it!
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tow

Postby ACR MAN » Thu May 22, 2008 11:34 pm

Kevin1 wrote:If you disconnect the driveshaft you'll be safe. If you don't want to remove the driveshaft is there any reason you couldn't tow it with the rear wheels on the dolly instead? I've seen tow trucks pulling vehicles from the rear before.


I could tow it backwards on the dolly, but then I would worry about locking the steering AND it would be really weird for traffic behind me! My most likely course of action is to try unbolting the driveshaft at the rear diff and see if I can secure it out of the way without fully removing it.
Greg Smith
- 1973 124 Spider (sold)
- 1976 Beta Coupe (sold)
- 1987 Yugo GV (sold)
- 1974 124 Spider (sold)
- 1973 124 Spider (sold)
- 1976 X1/9 (sold)

* Maybe another 124 Spider soon? *
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Postby ga.spyder » Fri May 23, 2008 10:50 am

I might re think buying a dolly instead of a trailer.If the driveshaft can be secured and just have to put 4 bolts back,thats not so bad.If the whole driveshaft assembly has to be removed every time you get to or leave an event thats way too much trouble.Its so nice just to back off the trailer!
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Postby allenlofland » Fri May 23, 2008 7:56 pm

I towed the Brown spider from Wichita to St. Pete Florida and then back again on a U-haul dolly....I disconneced the drive shaft for the trip down but got lazy and left it attached for the drive back,,,No problems. Basically I would think that if the car is drivable for that distance it should be towable. The trannie and differential will both lube properly.
I also might remind every one of a certain character amongst us that has towed ever fiat made and never worries about disconnecting anything hehe
including his brain sometimes :) :lol:
Allen & Lynette Lofland
Wichita Kansas
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Postby lanciapaul » Thu May 29, 2008 6:15 am

Greg,

I don't think you should have any issues towing a car with a manual transmission but as Dwight suggested, you could take off the prop-shaft if it really bothers you.

Let me know if you need anything while in Detroit.

paul dot valente at aam dot com

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epilogue

Postby ACR MAN » Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:54 pm

Here's how the story ends: After viewing pictures and getting more details on the car, I determined that it's more of a project than I have time to take on right now. So, I gave it a pass. I still drove from Los Angeles to Detroit anyway, and I will still be picking up my tow dolly in Minnesota on the way back. This way, I will be ready to bring home a suitable rust-free California car...

- Greg
Greg Smith
- 1973 124 Spider (sold)
- 1976 Beta Coupe (sold)
- 1987 Yugo GV (sold)
- 1974 124 Spider (sold)
- 1973 124 Spider (sold)
- 1976 X1/9 (sold)

* Maybe another 124 Spider soon? *
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Dolly tow

Postby davel » Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:45 pm

I checked with UHAul to rent a dolly. I need to tow a parts Spider about 350 miles, mostly on interstate highways. They told me the vehicle being towed had to be registered and insured. Also towing with a dolly is limited to 45 MPH.
Does anyone know if they were just trying to rent me a car carrier or if this is true. I am not sure the space between the Spider's rear wheels is wide enough to fit on one of their trailers.
1981 Spider 2000, 1981 Spider LE badge 277, 1980 Spider FI
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Postby racydave » Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:14 pm

I towed mine on a U-Haul backwards and fore 8) wards, but thats another story. We actually pushed a Lumina over a dolly ( stuck :roll: ) that was fun too!
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Postby kilrwail » Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:12 pm

I use U-Haul dollies and trailers often for my rally car. They always want the vehicle registration information for use with a dolly, since the dolly itself is not registered. As for the speed limit, their trailers are marked MAX 45 mph as well. I can assure you, they both go faster than that :D
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dolly towing

Postby davel » Thu Jun 12, 2008 6:05 am

Thanks Kilrwail
I wonder what the laws are that are related to dolly towing. I will call my insurance company and see if they can help. Not that I always follow the rules but I'm am curious
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