Towing a Suzuki Samurai

mhiscox

Expedition Leader
Does the flat towing bar steer the front wheels? I've always wondered that
Kind of. You leave the steering wheel unlocked, so that the front wheels can move as they need to. It's not so much that the wheels are steered as they are dragged along the path of least resistance.
 

zukrider

Explorer
hello gents, i mean no offense, but yer all wrong. when towing a sami on all four or on a 2 wheel dolly, unlock the hubs, trans in neutral, transfer in regular 2hi. no stop and start, no worries. i have flat towed 4 different sami's, along with my friends 10 or so others. it is the only way to do it unless you use a trailer.

happy towing and even better days of dirt

joe
 

REasley

Adventurer
Parts are not hard to come by. Many mechanical parts are still available from Suzuki. There are also many online sources for aftermarket parts. You will also still find many companies building performance parts and and introducing new items all the time.
 

strange

Observer
hello gents, i mean no offense, but yer all wrong. when towing a sami on all four or on a 2 wheel dolly, unlock the hubs, trans in neutral, transfer in regular 2hi. no stop and start, no worries. i have flat towed 4 different sami's, along with my friends 10 or so others. it is the only way to do it unless you use a trailer.

happy towing and even better days of dirt

joe
Actually...we aren't. With the tcase in gear and the tranny in neutral while being towed creates a problem. Because the rear out put of the transmission is spinning from the tcase being in gear. But the transmission is not being lubed because the rest of the transmission is not spinning becuase its in neutral.
Thats why you put the transmission in gear (it wont spin) And the tcase in neutral. No mechanical connection between The tcase and transmission that way, only a very slight force is applied from transfer case to transmission because the viscosity of the fluid is acting on the gears trying to move them. But that force is very nominal (but is enough to actually move my car when its cold out haha)

And ive heard second gear is good because if something did happen and somehow the tcase got knocked into gear, second gear is a good compromise between not grenading something like if it was in first, and would be more noticeable than 3rd or 4th to the pulling vehicle
(just heard that, not sure if thats the actual reason)

does the way you described work short distance? yes, theres residual lube in the bearing, would it work across country without starting the engine up and letting it pump lube?....absolutely not

and ontop of all of that, thats the way that suzuki, the manufacturer of the vehicle says its how to be done.....
 

chet

island Explorer
You can get a rear driveline disconnect from some towing vendors or trailtough sells one more robust.

The problem with putting the tcase in neutral to tow is it ties the front and rear driveshafts together and spins the front diff as well. I have seen on several occassions where the front diff has gotten warm enough to spit diff oil out the breather. My family has towed a samurai for years for hunting and we always towed tranny in neutral and tcase in 2hi. Never a problem.

In my sammy now though I will remove the rear driveshaft on longer hauls and just lock the hubs in to move the sammy around until I got where I needed to put the shaft back in.
 

REasley

Adventurer
The drive line disconnects cost around $400. At $160-180 twin sticks are a cheaper and more useful fix. Twin sticks give you a true neutral, something that the Samurai transfer case does not have (the gears are always turning). They also give you a low range two wheel drive. Which is great if you run lockers up front and need to make a sharp turn.

The twin sticks operate the two shift rods in the transfer case independently. Instead of a single 2wd/4wd, high/low lever, you have one lever for 2wd/4wd and one for high/low. When you center the levers the transfer case is in neutral.
 

REasley

Adventurer
Not too hard. However some welding and bending is required. It's been a while since I did mine. As I recall the the transfer case has to come out. You have to remove the detent ball between the two shift shafts. I think there are now at least 3 or 4 different companies producing them. Go to http://www.zukikrawlers.com
 

Mrknowitall

Adventurer
As far as steering, it shouldn't be a problem, because the sammy is so light, but IF YOU HAVE ONE THATS SHACKLE LIFTED, the caster will be all wonky. ON my gen1 4R, I had to yank out the shims on my front lift springs. Before that, the steering would sometimes TURN THE OTHER WAY!!! Made the sidewalls of my skinny swampers do some odd things.
Having to start the truck to lube everything is really only an issue for massive interstate days. Otherwise, you'll be at least stopping every few hundred miles anyway.
 

jbwilli

New member
hello gents, i mean no offense, but yer all wrong. when towing a sami on all four or on a 2 wheel dolly, unlock the hubs, trans in neutral, transfer in regular 2hi. no stop and start, no worries. i have flat towed 4 different sami's, along with my friends 10 or so others. it is the only way to do it unless you use a trailer.

happy towing and even better days of dirt

joe
(I realize this is an old post, and many may never see it, but I had to comment). Not so fast! I agree both the Owners manual flat tow instructions and yours will work!

Owners manual method has transmission in 2nd gear and transfer case in neutral. When flat towed the rear driveshaft rotates the transfer case internal rear output shaft (shaft ONLY). No gears are engaged! No gears in transfer case or transmission rotate. The caveat is, due to no gears turning, there is no gear oil splash inside the transfer case (create by gears turning). The only lubrication to the rotating rear output shaft and its' support bearings is via the shallow gear oil depth they are partially submersed into. As a result, Suzuki recommends the vehicle make a stop every 200 miles, push in clutch, crank engine, release clutch (still in 2nd gear) and slightly rev for a minute. This will cause the transmission to rotate its' output shaft and the attached short driveshaft to the transfer case, which is attached to the input gear shaft. The input gear shaft has an integral gear which is meshed into a gear on the central shaft which is meshed into a gear on output shaft. ALL 3 gears rotate and create a large gear oil splash through the transfer case, thus cooling and lubricating all internal components! After 1 minute, simply turn off the ignition and return ignition back to ACC to free up steering wheel lock and proceed to next 200 mile stop thereafter.

Your method has the transmission in neutral and the transfer case in 2H. When flat towed, the rear driveshaft rotates the transfer case internal rear output shaft, the gear engaged on it (2H), the gear meshed with it on the central shaft and the gear meshed with it located on the transfer case input shaft. All three gears rotate and create the same gear oil splash as describe above. In addition, the transfer case is connected to the transmission output shaft via the short driveshaft. There is no need to make stop to lubricate the transfer case internals.
The caveat here is all three gears in gear oil and two of the three driveshafts are rotating all the time!

Both of the methods will work. Which one is best is up to the user. I prefer the mfg method. I do wonder how your method effects mpg while under tow? A good test would be to stop at top of a long grade and with engine off, allow vehicle to roll free down the hill from start point to end point and make note of speed and time to make the trip. Do it twice, once in each of the two gear settings. I predict the results may change your mind! I do appreciate your input and now understand how it works and for short tows may be the best!
 

ThundahBeagle

Well-known member
I'm wondering about towing a Samurai behind a expo motorhome. Looking for something smaller and lighter than my CRV, as well as something that will get me farther out into the boonies (in the U.S. only).

Is it possible to tow one with all four wheels on the ground, or best to use a tow dolly? What is the proper procedure?

Thanks,

Vic
Just put it up on the roof and strap it down good
 

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