Can towing with the rear driveshaft connected cause case or transmission failure?

Torisco

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If a M37 or M43 is towed for any distance at 50-55 MPH with the rear driveshaft connected to the differential, will there be cause for a transfer case or transmission problem?

After a M43 was towed that way it ended up with a growling noise in the transmission back of engine area. As if the gears were completely dry and knashing together.

Anyone experience this before or know about this towing problem when the rear driveshaft is left attached while towing?
 
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SteveKuhn

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I think that the variables are, '...any distance...' & '...50 - 55 mph...' Several of us have towed our '37s for 25 - 35 miles with no obvious ill effects, but the speed was 35 - 40 mph in each case. We also made sure all the fluids were right. Not saying I'd do it a lot but within that mileage and at that speed, it's probably OK connected. However, to be safe . . .

Steve
 

nattieleather

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With the drive shaft connected you were turning all the parts up through the transmission. I'm assuming that the transmission was in neutral? How about the transfer case was it in neutral also? If they both were then it shouldn't have caused any problems, but it if the transfer case was in gear then you may have caused a problem for the transmission. Have you checked your fluids to see if you didn't burn it up and to see if it showing you any other issues that may be going on?
Good luck with your truck.
 

Floridianson

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Yea I myself have towed with just the transfer on netrual but sometimes on a good haul I just drop the main drive shaft at the Diff. and tie the whole thing up to the frame but the drive shaft still in the Trans. The most inportant thing I feel is to check all three Diffs. for gear old and run run run.
 

MartinB

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M37s and M43s have full floating rear ends. Pull the rear axles and cover the hub to keep the gear oil from leaking out. Disconnect the front drive shaft and you should be able to tow it.
 

Torisco

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I want to thank all of you for your valuable advice. Fortunately I did not destry anything (I had the front hub locks off) but I left the rear wheel drive shaft up. The rear differential and xfet case lost half thier oil. I drained all and replaced with new fluid, including the transmission. I will NEVER again tow the vehicle any distance with the front or rear drive shafts connected and or functional.

It was a close call!

Thank you all for your help
 
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Floridianson

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The axle goes all the way through the hub and can be removed separate of the hub assembly.
Then I would still do like I said much easer to drop one end drive shaft tie it up than to pull axels and all the mess. Let alone Dirt or water if not done correct. I like cheap and easy just like my woman.
 
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vtdeucedriver

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Then I would still do like I said much easer to drop one end drive shaft tie it up than to pull axels and all the mess. Let alone Dirt or water if not done correct. I like cheap and easy just like my woman.
Much easier just to pull the rear shafts and front hubs (if stock). Then really no need to disconnect the shafts. Where ive had trucks sit for a recovery, Im not going under there.
 

Dalton

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With the drive shaft connected you were turning all the parts up through the transmission. I'm assuming that the transmission was in neutral? How about the transfer case was it in neutral also? If they both were then it shouldn't have caused any problems, but it if the transfer case was in gear then you may have caused a problem for the transmission.
Sorry if this is a stupid question, but how do you you put the transfer case in neutral? Do you mean just the front, or is there a way to put the front and back in neutral at the transfer case?
 

Torisco

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I was traveling between 53 and 56 MPH for approximately 40-50 miles. I really came close to damaging something. 75% of the oil boiled out oif the transfer case and 50% out of the rear differential. Luckily I carried 2 gallons of gear oil and 2 gallions of motor oil and a complete tool box in the towing vehicle.



Gee, gotta ask: How far and how fast?

Steve
 
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KaiserM109

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Much easier just to pull the rear shafts and front hubs (if stock). Then really no need to disconnect the shafts. Where ive had trucks sit for a recovery, Im not going under there.
Ditto. Most of that gear was not intended to run that fast. The differentials are also a consideration and pulling the axles and hubs will protect them. It's easy enough to cut a piece of wood or cardboard to close up the gaping hole, which you need to do to keep things clean.
 

nattieleather

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Sorry if this is a stupid question, but how do you you put the transfer case in neutral? Do you mean just the front, or is there a way to put the front and back in neutral at the transfer case?
Okay I was going from memory and it's been a very very long time since I was involved in towing an M37 and therefore I was off a little on the neutral thins... so you would need to put the transfer case in disengaged and high. I thought it had a neutral position, but upon looking it up I see it doesn't.

In reading the comments here it seems that pulling the axle shafts might be the easiest thing to do to make it 100% free wheeling. If I were to find myself towing the M37 multipal times a year I would make some hub covers to put over the open hubs while the axles were removed.
 

3dAngus

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The fastest, easiest, and safest way is to just rent a car hauler from UHaul and drive it up on the trailer with all four wheels off the ground. I've used a civilian cheap dual axle 16 foot flatbed trailer that are so plentiful. No mess, no fuss. Even bought a 12,000 pound winch from Harbor Freight for $299 on sale to winch it up there in case if breaks down. Now that was a super sale. Normally $499
My M-37 doesn't have any towbar lugs on the bumber for towing with like the deuce and other MV have.
 

Dalton

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I think someone once mentioned that one option is to rent a trailer desinged to carry a Bobcat. The claim was that they tend to be cheaper to rent than car carriers and are designed for the heavier load. I can't confirm these things, but it's something to look into.
 
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