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Towing and Driveshafts

Subject: Towing and Driveshafts
From: (James Fischer)
Date: Sat, 24 Feb 1996 11:19:01 -0500
    Lew Palmer said:

>Concerning towing-

>When you tow with a dolly, it is tempting to tow with the rear wheels up
>on the dolly- and circumvent having to play with the transmission.  THIS
>IS NOT A GOOD IDEA.  I tried this a couple of months ago, and nearly
>killed myself, as I fishtailed out of control on a major highway.  

    I concurr with the above, and add:

    It is NOT required to REMOVE the driveshaft, but it is 
    VERY VERY important to allow the differential to turn without
    turning the driveshaft (and hence the tranny/clutch).

    How does one do this?  Get out the jackstands, and read on.

    One unbolts the driveshaft from the differential, and wires/clamps
    the driveshaft to the body of the car to keep it from flopping about
    in transit.  The round plate at the front of the differential 
    is held to the matching round plate on the end of the driveshaft
    by 4 bolts. (your actual number of bolts may vary, but 4 is the
    number you SHOULD have...)

    I have done this on both Midgets and TDs, using nothing more than
    a wrench and a about 4 feet of some antenna guy-wire that was 
    lying about.  The use of strong (multi-stranded) wire is suggested,
    which can be had at any store that sells TV antennas, and most 
    hardware stores.  
    My suggested test is to attach the wire, and then do a chin-up 
    from your prone position on the floor using the wire as your 
    chin-up bar.  If it can't hold your weight, I would not trust 
    it to hold the driveshaft on a long trip. 

    This takes about 15 mins total, if one has a pair of 1/2" open
    end wrenches, which speeds the process quite a bit.

    Marking the "matching" points on both plates before dissassembly
    is suggested by many books, for reasons I cannot fathom.  It 
    seems that one is well advised to put them back in the same 
    relative positions.  I don't see how it could matter, but I
    refuse to tempt the gods...

    As an aside, once the bolts are removed, the plates may not
    come apart, due to rust built up between them.  It is OK to
    use a RUBBER hammer and flail away at the plate edges.  It 
    is bad form to use try to use a hammer and chisel to pry them 
    apart, as I have seen many so-called "pros" do on US cars.
    The use of a metal hammer may upset the balance on the drive
    shaft (or perhaps bend it if you are very strong.

    The rust builds up in a circular grove on one plate, and a
    matching circular bump on the other.  Sanding and then
    painting both surfaces with zinc oxide paint (Navy Paint) 
    will stop this once and for all.  No one will ever see the 
    paint but you.

       No software will ever be able to compress information to the 
       extent a human female does when she merely raises an eyebrow.
 james fischer             

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