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Old 09-09-2012, 04:08 PM   #1
graeagle1
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Default Towing A Model A

I am planning to tow my Model A from Northern CA to Phoenix AZ using a tow dolly. My question is, would it be better to tow it backwards with the steering wheel secured so the drive trainis not in motiion? I have heard that with the drive shaft moving the output shaft of the transmission could go without lubrication since the cluster gear is not turning. ny suggestions.
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Old 09-09-2012, 04:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

I'd use a flatbed trailer. U-Haul, if necessary.
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

Ditto on the trailer!
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

Trailer would be best, but with all vehicles old and new, you should never tow them on the drive wheels.
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

There have been a few threads from a few years ago. Others have done it. I have successfully towed my 29 CCPU more than 600 miles one day on a tow dolly. It has an F-150 trans.
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Old 09-09-2012, 06:34 PM   #6
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One guy a few years back towed with the drive wheels on the ground and forgot to take it out of gear. Put a rod through the block.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

flat trailer all the way uhaul is an option

it can be done but ditch the dolly

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Old 09-09-2012, 07:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

The $65 must be for 24 hours and returned to the same location. It cost me a few hundred "one way" from Everett, WA to Pendleton, OR
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:25 PM   #9
Richard in Anaheim CA
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

U-Haul trailers weigh more than a Model A so make sure you have a vehicle they approve of. U-Haul rented me a trailer to tow behind my Astrovan rated at 5000 lbs and the next time they wouldn't rent to me with that vehicle

The trailer with a Model A is just about 5000 so they are worried you will put an F250 or a vintage Cadillac on the trailer and go way over the rating.

Just for the record, there have been thousands of Model As towed cross country with four wheels down. Some stop and run the engine every couple of houirs and "drive" the A a few feet to insure lubing the cluster. Some overfill the transmission case and end up with an oil bath clutch. Some do nothing and have no problems.

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Old 09-09-2012, 08:42 PM   #10
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

Use a flat bed!
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:52 PM   #11
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

Back in the 60's I towed my model A on the wheels from Fort Bragg,Ca. to Sanford,Fl. I had made a tow bar that attached to the frame horns - without the bumper - I had big balloony tires on it. No trouble =ever at 75 mph across the desert. BUT! I'm the luckiest guy in the world! Gary
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:00 PM   #12
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

another vote for the uhaul auto trailer, I use them all the time, they're fantastic.

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Old 09-09-2012, 10:18 PM   #13
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

12 years ago when I bought my A I rented a trailer from U-Haul and they wouldn't let me pull it with my car. Ended up renting a truck from them. By the time it was all over it would have been cheaper to hire a roll-back tow truck, have him dead head to San Antonio and bring it to me in Houston. Consider the total cost.
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:04 PM   #14
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

I towed my 31 coupe from near Havre, MT to Tacoma, WA a year ago. I towed it with my 98 F-150 and a U-Haul trailer. Other than my half ton pickup sucking down the gas @ 9-11mpg (heavy load w/o overdrive) the trip was great. I was pulling at about 65mph the whole way, If I'd slowed it down a bit I might have had better milage. I've had my F150 since new and with 175K on the odometer and 13 years old it towed my 5,000+ pound payload (lots of spare wheels and parts in the bed) over 4 mountain passes and didn't burn (or leak) a drop of oil. The trailer ran me $305 dollars for the nearly 800 mile trip. Fuel? Well lets just say thank God it wasn't with this years prices.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulShinn View Post
As you can see from the picture, I like to add additional ratchet straps to the front and rear axles.
Agreed! I used extra ratchet straps also and was glad I did. A word of warning with the U-Haul trailer is that their front tire straps that are secured to the trailer have a tendancy to slip off the narrow, tall Model A wheels. Secure it well and check it often.




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Old 09-10-2012, 08:00 AM   #15
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

The trailer method is our choice. We are working on an article regarding towing the Model A for the next issue of the Model A Times. We have used all the methods mentioned over the past 50 years. While we haven't had the failures mentioned here we find in comforting to know the Model A is secure and safe on a trailer with out causing unnecessary wear and tear on the old part on a tow situation.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:07 AM   #16
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

In 1973 my brother towed a Model A from New Mexico to Maryland. The tow vehicle was a 1939 Rolls Royce. (Wish I had a picture of that).

At night, he would unhook the A and drive it around the motel parking lot to oil the transmission bearings. He was not trying to tow it 70 mph. '

If you have sealed bearings in the transmission, take the top off and fill it to the brim. That will keep the bearings good for the trip but I still wouldn't try to break any speed records.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:49 AM   #17
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

While trailer towing is best, I used to flat-tow my widebed every where I went. My theory is that the output shaft is turning, so the low/reverse sliding gear is turning and splashing oil throughout the trans. My A's have V8 transmissions in them.
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:59 AM   #18
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

Be aware -- U-Haul has restrictions on the tow vehicle. A Ford Explorer doesn't qualify! (even if they [U-Haul] are the ones that installed the hitch!)
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:47 PM   #19
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulShinn View Post
A U-Haul trailer perfect size for your Model A is only $65. Trailer it, you won't regret it.
not quite.
last year I got an online quote to from U Haul to pull a car hauler with a Toyota Tundra pickup carrying a Model A one way to the Cleveland area. it was almost $400.
cheaper to drive the Model A and spend a night in a motel.
tonight I checked again to confirm, it's $340.
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:53 PM   #20
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

Back in 67 I drove a 39 Dodge 3/4 ton 1,200 miles to look at a 28 Phaeton,liked what I saw and flat towed the car with a home made tow bar back home with no trouble at all.
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:06 AM   #21
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlG View Post
Be aware -- U-Haul has restrictions on the tow vehicle....
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardW View Post
12 years ago when I bought my A I rented a trailer from U-Haul and they wouldn't let me pull it with my car....

You can easily see if you're vehicle is a suitable tow vehicle using the U-Haul web site, they even have the entire Model A line available as "towed vehicle" choices!!

http://www.uhaul.com/Reservations/Eq....aspx?model=AT
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:40 PM   #22
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

I would be wary about towing with the jeep's short wheelbase (unless it's the larger wagon. Short wheel base (even an older K5 type blazer) can lead to sway problems and have seen them roll over. JMO
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:14 PM   #23
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

A lot depends on what Jeep you're using. My 07 Commander 4x4 is rated to tow 6,500#.
The Jeep weighs 4,800#.
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:00 PM   #24
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

Because the hitch is close to the rear axle on a Jeep (or my 1971 Scoout) I'd consider it a very good tow vehicle. That's the big advantage of a 5th wheel trailer, having the hitch right over the rear axle.
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:41 PM   #25
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

I flat towed a Model A chassis with a home made tow bar , from Minneapolis MN. to St. Cloud MN. Had no problems, but that was only 75 M.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:23 PM   #26
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Drive it! Thousands have been driven all over this country.
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:43 AM   #27
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

I have towed model A's and 32's on the ground all over the country.
The tow bars attached to the frame horns with the spreader bar left in.
Building tow bars was a very good sideline business for us in the 50's.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:51 AM   #28
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

Not knowing the condition of the vehicle, why not make some sandwiches & ice tea for the trip, drive the A to AZ & return by Greyhound?

That would appear to be a 1930's vintage common sense thought, if this is possible.
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:03 PM   #29
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Drive it ,the secret to life is enjoying the passing of time.
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:49 PM   #30
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Miller View Post
One guy a few years back towed with the drive wheels on the ground and forgot to take it out of gear. Put a rod through the block.
I must have the rod in question! It has a nice double-S bend in it. Found it in an engine builder's scrap pile.
Fearless
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:03 AM   #31
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Lightbulb Re: Towing A Model A

Quote:
Originally Posted by graeagle1 View Post
I am planning to tow my Model A from Northern CA to Phoenix AZ using a tow dolly. My question is, would it be better to tow it backwards with the steering wheel secured so the drive trainis not in motiion? I have heard that with the drive shaft moving the output shaft of the transmission could go without lubrication since the cluster gear is not turning. ny suggestions.
Using a tow dolly on a 1000 mile plus trip ?

Show your Model A some respect ....


Potential damage to the Model A because you
more than likely will be towing it at speeds higher
than it was intended to drive ....

Potential damage to the Model A because your
tow dolly fails ....

Get your hands on a trailer and trailer it


Jim
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Old 09-21-2012, 05:45 AM   #32
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

Tow barred a Model A coupe from Branford, CT to Detroit. When my uncle drove he went too fast, Dad kept cussing him out telling him to take it easy (I was like 16 at the time). We towed it with a 72 Buick Estate wagon. Big F'n car with a 455 and my uncle was cruisin up to and over 80 for a couple dozen miles. Once we got off for fuel or whatever, I could hear something funny. It was a front wheel bearing and we caught it all in time and did a midnight fix at a truck stop. Dad drove the rest of the way, never topping 70MPH (the speed limit back then). No other issues...
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:14 AM   #33
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

A related question... I am about to tow an A from Michigan to Florida on a trailer. Do you suppose it would be better with a fitted car cover on it or off? I'd like to prevent bugs and stone chips but am concerned that the cover flapping might harm the finish. Thanks.
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:47 AM   #34
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

Absolutely do not put a car cover on it it will rub down to the metal. Make sur your tow vehicle has a large full width low hanging deflector and you might check into the towed vehicle shields that lay flat in front around the tow bar area.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:02 AM   #35
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

Thanks for the info Gene. I will be renting a truck and trailer so we'll have to see how it comes. Maybe they offer to rent shields or deflectors as an option.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:06 AM   #36
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

Quote:
Originally Posted by TampaTech View Post
A related question... I am about to tow an A from Michigan to Florida on a trailer. Do you suppose it would be better with a fitted car cover on it or off? I'd like to prevent bugs and stone chips but am concerned that the cover flapping might harm the finish. Thanks.
I've seen people who have saran wrapped their cars for towing.... and it's always a good prank at a tour.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:46 PM   #37
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

Love bugs are out in Florida right now. They will etch your paint-job if left on too long. I have an enclosed trailer, but I spray the front of my truck and the trailer with PAM cooking spray. DO NOT spray it on your tow vehicle's windshield. I use GLASS PLUS and a squeegee/scrubber to remove the bugs from the windshield at fuel stops. It dissolves the bugs. The PAM & bugs will wash off easily when you get where you're going. Stone chips are another problem... full-width mud flap on the tow vehicle maybe?

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Old 09-21-2012, 02:01 PM   #38
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

I'm a bit scared with people saying they towed, or want to tow a 5000lb trailer (combined load) with an Astrovan or a Ford explorer.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I wouldn't think an Explorer should tow more than maybe 3500lbs and I would assume far less for an Astrovan.
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:18 PM   #39
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

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I'm a bit scared with people saying they towed, or want to tow a 5000lb trailer (combined load) with an Astrovan or a Ford explorer.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I wouldn't think an Explorer should tow more than maybe 3500lbs and I would assume far less for an Astrovan.
U-Haul won't rent you anything that you intend on pulling with an Explorer. Astrovan, no problem. Go figure!
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:20 PM   #40
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U-Haul won't rent you anything that you intend on pulling with an Explorer. Astrovan, no problem. Go figure!

Weird
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:38 PM   #41
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

They have a "hit" list of OK vehicles to tow with or to be towed, supposedly weight and size driven.
I've hauled a few Geo Metros that look a lot like Buicks or Cadillacs.
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Old 09-21-2012, 03:56 PM   #42
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Lightbulb Re: Towing A Model A

Quote:
Originally Posted by TampaTech View Post
Thanks for the info Gene. I will be renting a truck and trailer so we'll have to see how it comes. Maybe they offer to rent shields or deflectors as an option.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TampaTech View Post
A related question... I am about to tow an A from Michigan to Florida on a trailer. Do you suppose it would be better with a fitted car cover on it or off? I'd like to prevent bugs and stone chips but am concerned that the cover flapping might harm the finish. Thanks.
By the time you rent a truck & trailer to travel from Michigan
to Florida ...

Considering all the costs - it is cheaper to have someone
haul it for you in an enclosed trailer.

Never trailer a car you car about with a car cover on it,
it will rub the paint off ...



Jim
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:02 PM   #43
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

My problem with using a trailer is that my vehicle is only rated to tow 3500 pounds. Amodel A and trailer would exceed that. That is why I chose the dolly.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:19 PM   #44
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they rent pickups to tow the trailer also.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:27 PM   #45
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Hehe graeagle1, now they have you renting a truck to tow the trailer they want you to rent.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:33 PM   #46
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There's been some interesting comments about towing. I was wondering how heavy the trailer is that will cause the combined A and trailer to exceed 5000lb. My own tandem is only 1500lb so with an A on top, would only be around 3300-3500lb. I don't own a heavy truck, f-250 size, but have towed my A, a 29 tudor, on my trailer behind a common old family sedan with no problems. The sedan was a 95 Falcon, 4.0 ltr inline six and auto. Would easily sit on the highway limit without swaying, or get slowed down by hills. I've also towed a heavy mid seventies Falcon on it, without problems, and not just around the corner either, Melbourne to Canberra and return. If the cars is loaded correctly, you can go up to 1.5 times tow vehicle weight, but that is the key point, loaded correctly. I've seen some vehicles so far away from correct, I was surprised they could even steer the combination.
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:23 AM   #47
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

Quote:
Originally Posted by graeagle1 View Post
My problem with using a trailer is that my vehicle is only rated to tow 3500 pounds. Amodel A and trailer would exceed that. That is why I chose the dolly.
My supercab F-150 is rated for 6,600 pounds for towing. While it handled it beautifully it did suck down the gas like nobodys business. I also maintain my pickup pretty religiously and havn't neglected to flush the transmission fluid as directed and also do the job after a big long haul like that. 180K later it hasn't let me down (knocks on wood)

I wouldn't want to do it with anything smaller than a half ton pickup and would opt to have all 4 wheels off the ground. If you're that close to max weight for towing, or have a smaller vehicle that trailer might drive you, rather than the other way around. Experience in driving with a trailer and manuvering / parking is also a consideration. The load would also put some serious wear and tear on the drivetrain. If this is the case I think trulyvintage is right on the mark. It would be cheaper and easier to hire someone to do the job. Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:30 AM   #48
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

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I was wondering how heavy the trailer is that will cause the combined A and trailer to exceed 5000lb.
the U-Haul trailers are heavy as a lead anchor. over-engineered to minimize their litigation potential I suppose. Used one to carry a Roadster once, the load on the engine (E-150 6 cylinder) felt the same with or without the car on the trailer.......
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:55 AM   #49
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Default Re: Towing A Model A

I have used a U Haul 14 ft cube van so your car is out of the weather and you drive the van and The A inside it wouked out cheaper and safer than a traler worked well for me Gord. B
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