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I have a 79 F150 4WD with a 351M (Just rebuilt) and a C6 transmission. I am being transferred from California to Montana and I plan on towing my 1970 Mustang behind it. What are the advantages to the drive up tow's where all four wheels are off the ground? I understand they are very heavy, am I better off renting a Car dolly and dragging my Mustang up? I will be going at the end of June should I invest in a transmission cooler? What do you guys think? Please let me know I don't want to hurt the truck nor the Mustang.... Thanks
The tranny cooler is a deffinate yes. Heat is an auto trannys worst enemy. As for methode of tow, I prefer a trailer over a dolly. They usually pull better, and are safer for the vehicle in tow. Plus the addition of trailer brakes, which is a real plus.
Thanks Nathan, I do have the trailer brakes already installed so I guess I will be ok once I add the cooler. I was worried about the extra weight of the trailer over the dolly but I will give it a try and just take it easy.
I have a 400, and had no problems towing a 6000 lb trailer/car being towed combo. This included hills and flatland (although I would call it the mountains, I live in North Carolina, so to you they would be hills)
Truck is a 4-speed though. When I went to u-haul for the car trailer, the woman behind the counter asked the mechanic to look at my truck to make sure it could tow a car trailer. He was standing right next to her, turned his head and looked at my truck, and said, "Yep, its OK." The woman said, "no I mean check and see if its too high." Them made me go buy a 10" drop hitch. I should have stayed with the 6" drop I had originally bought, because with the weight of the car, the 6" would have been perfect.
Problem with dolly for that distance is the rear of the car being towed hangs very low, and will likely be damaged over a bump. Plus you have to disconect the driveshaft.
78 F-150 4x4 400 4 on floor
86 Nissan 300ZX
Also rember that you can not back up with a dolly. For around town they are fine but I would not want to go a long distance with a dolly. The U-haul trailer breaks work by the weight of the trailer pushing on your tow rig they are not the style breaks that are on most personal trailers, they are called surge breaks.
I had never heard that you can't back up with a dolly. Is that like you cant as it is difficult or is that YOU CANT as in you will screw something up if you do?? I thought all you had to do was disconnect the drive shaft? I installed the tranny cooler this weekend and have about 30 days left to make up my mind before the big trip. Thanks for the help.
With the dolly you have two pivit points, it is possable to back up but very difficult and you need a person to spot for you. What happens is when backing, the dolly will go one way and the front of the car will pivit the other way causting the tow to jack-knife (the finder of the dolly to meet with the door of the car).
When I worked at a rental yard people would back up and cave in the doors of the car with the finders regulary and then after they beat up their car we would have to charge them $80. for each finder on the dolly that was tore up.
U-Haul has a good free handout on the dolly and full trailer, you might be able to get it on line or most all the local U-Hauls have them free.
DO NOT USE A TOW DOLLY!!!! I have used then, but only for around town in an emergency, trans in neutral (for RWD); any longer will burn up the car's trans. Not recommended for long drives! Get a trailer - the extra weight far "outweighs" safety as far as brakes, control, wear, etc.
I have done towing of mustangs with my '88 F150, 300cid&C6 with cooler; I got the 77 with a 400 for more grunt. Last run with the '88 was from NY to NC - no problems as long as you install a nice fat radiator to go along with that trans cooler. (I collect & restore 69/70 stangs; I understand the obsession!)
The Uhaul trailers are nice, usually in good operating order, and have the drop down fender to get in the door of your trailered car(I assume your car can move under its own power?... I had had to winch in a few!) but the surge brakes are really useless IMHO. (No wars here - let me explain)
I really suggest you find a car trailer with electric brakes to either purchase or run one way & resell it there. You WILL notice the difference in stopping than no brakes. Get a good brake controller like a Tekonsha - decelleration activated instead a silly timer based unit. It applies the brakes as hard as you do; not an on/off operation! Way cool.
Oh - an no matter what you do, bring a spare tire for the trailer !!! Buy one if you have to, it will be worth it. (I will never tow again without a spare!)
Just my $.02
Proud owner of a '77 F150 SuperCab & '69 Mustangs.
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