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 > 97 Geo Tracker 4x4 Auto trans flat tow: Tranny in park? Why?

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Jack Ashore

Colorado

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Posted: 10/19/15 03:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 1997 Geo Tracker 4x4 with an automatic transmission and manually locking hubs. All of my research has said that to flat tow this vehicle you put the transmission in Park, the 4x4 transfer case in netural, the key to the ACC position, make sure parking brake is off and away you go.

Putting the tranny in park didn't make any sense to me, but I'm not an automotive engineer so I went with it. I pulled forward a couple of feet and the back wheels were dragging! I shifted the tranny to neutral and it towed just find on my short test run.

BUT: I'm worried about screwing up the Geo transmission by flat towing it wrong. Can anyone shed any light on the proper transmission position, and if it is supposed to be Park, why do you think mine dragged?
Thanks,
Jack

enblethen

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Posted: 10/19/15 03:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Automatic transmission in "park" keeps the transmission output shaft from turning. If it spins bearing and bushing damage will happen. Automatic transmission hydraulic fluid pump is on the input shaft to lubricate the complete transmission.
Manual transmission is 2nd per manual does the same thing. Keeps output shaft from turning.


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WyoTraveler

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Posted: 10/19/15 04:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Suspect 4wd wasn't in neutral.

tapcep

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Posted: 10/19/15 04:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We own a 1996 Tracker and have towed it since it was brand new. You got it right...you put the transmission in Park, the 4x4 transfer case in neutral, the key in the ACC position, and make sure the parking brake is off.

Key to not hurting transmission is to make sure NOT to tow it further than 200 miles, our manual has this underlined. Stop around the 200 miles, put the transfer case back into gear, run through the gears in the transmission, we let it run for about 3 minutes. Turn it off, reset back to "tow mode" and you are good for another 200 miles of towing. Easy.

Enjoy!

D.E.Bishop

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Posted: 10/19/15 04:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 1995 Sidekick(yeah I
have a 2006 Vitara too)and I assume you have a manual stick for the transfer case and neutral isn't where I thought it was or should be, bet it was still engaged. We've got 10'sf thousands of towing miles on both of them and not problems. Follow the instructions and then before you hook up, start the engine and drop it into gear, if it moves back, your xfer case is not in neutral.


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Posted: 10/19/15 04:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On many manual shift transfer cases, I have found it helpful to shift transfer case into neutral and then roll the vehicle forward or backward a few feet with transmission in neutral to facilitate the actual gear change into neutral, and then shift transmission to park and confirm that the vehicle will roll in park.


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Jack Ashore

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Posted: 10/19/15 04:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK thanks for the explanations and suggestions! WyoTraveller and D.E.Bishop called it right, transfer case was not in neutral, it was in 4H best I can tell. I made the mistake of assuming it it wiggled side to side that was neutral. Nope! I can;t read the letters on the actual shift knob so I consulted the manual and figured out I needed to have the knob another notch forward to be in neutral.
Thanks again, will give it another tow try tomorrow.
Jack

mowermech

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Posted: 10/19/15 09:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When you put the transfer case in Neutral, start the engine and put the transmission in Drive or Reverse. If the vehicle tries to move, the transfer case is NOT in Neutral!
If the vehicle does NOT try to move, you know the transfer case IS, in fact, in Neutral.
DO NOT attempt to put the transmission in park until AFTER you shut the engine off! If you do, it will make a horrible noise and possibly break something! The transmission output shaft MUST NOT be rotating when the shift lever is put in the PARK position!


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rockhillmanor

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Posted: 10/20/15 07:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

I'm worried about screwing up the Geo transmission by flat towing it wrong. Can anyone shed any light on the proper transmission position, and if it is supposed to be Park, why do you think mine dragged?


LOCK OUT HUBS. (located on the axles on the wheel[emoticon])

Do you have ''automatic'' lock out hubs or ''manual'' lock out hubs.?

If you have auto you have to replace them with manual lock out hubs to tow four down.

You can NOT tow 4 down with automatic lock out hubs.

It's an easy swap to change, albeit I had an RV shop do the work.

And YES the trans shift lever has to be in PARK.


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Posted: 10/20/15 07:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All automatic transmissions have a device called the parking pawl, this is a small device that locks the output shaft and helps to immobilize the vehicle so that the parking brake can be applied, if you attempt to tow with the transmission in "park" the rear wheels are going to drag eventually this small lock will brake and then you will need to repair the transmission, that is why it is important to use the parking brake in an automatic.

The procedure for the Suzuki and (Chevrolet) Traker calls for the gear shift lever to be in second gear, transfer case lever between 4x and 4x low, no dash light illuminated for the transfer case, hand brake off and the ignition key the first detent from the off position, no dash lights on, key busser will sound with the door open.

navegator

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