Jeep on the OBX Beach!Wolf's Motorhome Modifications

... and Other Stuff

Towing a Jeep



First Read the Page on Towing a Saturn

This page assumes you've chosen the "Towing a Saturn" tab and have read the information on that page.


Connected to the motorhomeThe "Tow Plate"

For about $50.00, you get a "tow plate".  The jeep tow plate isn't a plate.  It's two tow tabs and four large bolts.  You drill through your bumper and bolt them on.  It takes about half an hour.

Two U-Bolts similarly mounted provide a place to mount your cables.  I used stainless steel from the local marine supply store.



I used diodes and tapped into my lights.  I mounted a six pin male housing in the grill that allows me to attach the cable from the motorhome.


Towing Procedure

This locks the brake or clutch pedal in the up positionYou have to unlock the steering column.  Jeeps are great as you can then take the key out.  You place the transfer case in neutral and leave the transmission in neutral.  I also place a theft deterrent device in that locks the brake or clutch pedal in the up position (

You must then lock the front hubs.  For some time I searched for the reason Jeep said to tow in this manner.  Finally, I received this explanation:

Steve, no problem. Let's get the parts diagram out and I will walk you
through this. The bearings in question are the rear output bearings
which the output shaft to the rear drive shaft  rides on.  With the
trans in 2-hi, the rear output sliding gear locks on to main output gear
[ which is actually bolted on to the transmission output shaft ] thereby
linking the transmission output shaft to the T/C rear output shaft and
therefore transmitting power to the rear drive shaft. The trans main
output gear also spins the intermediate gear which in turn spins the
front output gear. Now this front output gear is not locked on to the
front output shaft. It spins freely on the smooth portion of the front
output shaft. And since this gear is riding in a pool of lube [
Remember, when you look under the Jeep at the t/c from the rear and how
it slopes toward the passenger side of the vehicle, creating a lube
"pool" .] it is throwing lube back up toward the rear output bearings.
Remember these gears are spinning rather fast on the shafts and throwing
copious quantities of lube. I think this is where you might be confused
on the lube issue. . Almost all automotive systems requiring lubrication
are splash lured, including some parts of the engine [ Cylinder walls].
.  In fact the only time this gear [ front output shaft gear]  comes in
to actual play is when the t/c is in 4-HI mode, when the front sliding
gear locks on to it.  Now, lets put the trans and t/c in neutral, like
you are going to tow it. When this happens, the main output gear on the
trans does not turn, therefore not turning the intermediate gear,
therefore not turning the front output shaft gear [which remember, spins
freely on the shaft until locked up by the front sliding gear when you
shift to 4-hi. ] and not throwing lube back up to the rear shaft and
bearings.  Now with the trans in neutral AND the t/c in neutral, the
only thing turning when towing is the rear output shaft and rear sliding
gear which are out of the lube pool. So what we do now is figure a way
to make a gear which is in the lube pool turn and that happens to be
that big front output sliding gear. And the only way to get that gear to
turn is to lock the hubs which transmits motion through the differential
and the front drive shaft to the front output shaft which the front
sliding gear rides on [ the shaft is splined where the sliding gear
rides ] therefore throwing lots of lube back up to the rear output
bearings. I can imagine one saying, " why not leave the trans in neutral
and the t/c in 2- Hi and get all kinds of lubrication for the transfer
case ??. Well, you would get lots of wonderful lubrication for the Dana
but unfortunately, if you look at a breakdown of your transmission, the
only thing that would be spinning is that big main shaft and the gears
that are on it, which, by the way,  are out of the transmission lube
pool. The cluster gear has to be turning in order to lube the
transmission and it doesn't do this with the trans in neutral and the
T/C engaged. So, basically what you have in that situation, is a well
lubricated transfer case and a burned up transmission, [ I can't give
the exact miles that it would tear up in, but it WILL burn up eventually
in that scenario.]  Can you get a hold of a factory manual ? Doesn't
matter what year as long as it has the Dana 20 in it. The manual has
drawings of the t/c as seen from underneath the vehicle, showing all
four gear positions. [ Just remember what I said about the front output
gear turning freely on the front output shaft, unless in 4-Hi That part
used to confuse me, I thought  the gear was locked on the shaft and from
looking at the drawings, I thought there was no way the t/c could work.
Didn't find out until I actually took one apart..] Hope I haven't
confused you, if you have any question, don't hesitate to write.
Kent (Kent Fowler,

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