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Flat tow an 1986 E350 camper?

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Old 11-05-2018, 05:27 PM
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Flat tow an 1986 E350 camper?

Guy Im buying the above mentioned vehicle from wants to flat tow it some 400 miles to me. Anything he needs to do so as not to ruin the transmission or rear end?
 
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Old 11-05-2018, 06:57 PM
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Im guessing the answer is to disconnect the rear driveline from the diff. Which will be done.
 
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:15 PM
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Nothing to worry about with the rear end. Trans may be another story. Most transmissions are lubed by the input shaft turning, and I think autos would almost certainly fall into that. So disconnecting the rear driveshaft from the rear end (or removing it completely) is at least the safest thing to do, and probably necessary.

And you didn't ask (and it sounds like you aren't the one doing it) but flat towing an E-350 camper sounds sketchy to me. That's a lot of weight to be towing, probably without brakes (brakes can be added, but most people don't bother). And flat towed vehicles don't steer effortlessly, so they can tend to push the towing vehicle around, with a heavy towed vehicle being able to push a lot harder.
 
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:26 PM
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does it run? If so why not just take a greyhound over and pick it up if only 400 miles? Also will depend on what he is towing with. I had an 89 f250 SC and it was heavy with the 350 engine and manual trans. If nothing else rent a small car to go get, thats what we did when we bought our rv, only cost like about $65 or so. Plus does it have towbar to hook up?
 
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Old 11-05-2018, 10:45 PM
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The guy was going to bring it down on his 14,000 lbs trailer but said he was going to tow it instead. That hed rig up a tow bar. From what I gather, he hauls stuff for a living.

Most of the back will have been removed too.

Hes also stated it has a bad fuel pump, may be bad fuel too.
Hes towing it the 400 miles for $1k, including the price of the vehicle. Which Ill only pay if it makes it down in good condition.
 
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Old 11-06-2018, 05:05 AM
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I can't speak with any certainty about what transmission is in an '86 E350 but I'd NOT allow it flat-towed to me for more than a few city blocks. I've been advised several times by respected rebuilder its just not a good idea, can and does cause internal damage.

Removing the driveshaft is relatively easy so I'd insist upon that. Its far easier than replacing the transmission.
 
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by JWA View Post
I can't speak with any certainty about what transmission is in an '86 E350...
... C6 ...

 
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Old 11-07-2018, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by NumberDummy View Post
... C6 ...
Thank ya Sir!

I kinda thought that was the case but didn't want to ***/u/me.
 
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Old 11-07-2018, 01:58 PM
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Is it OK to pull the axles out of the rear end and tow or does that cause axle lube issues?
 
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Old 11-07-2018, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by jbwheels View Post
Is it OK to pull the axles out of the rear end and tow or does that cause axle lube issues?
For the effort its easier to pull the driveshaft.
 
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Old 11-07-2018, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jbwheels View Post
Is it OK to pull the axles out of the rear end and tow or does that cause axle lube issues?
If you pull the axles you leave the outer end of the hub open so you'd need to seal that up. Another way of saying that is:

Originally Posted by ford390gashog View Post
For the effort its easier to pull the driveshaft.
And I'm not sure about lube issues, but I wouldn't want to bet on it being OK. Normally the ring gear slings lube around. Without it turning I'd be at least a little concerned that the wheel bearings wouldn't get as much fresh lube as normal, which might be an issue. And pulling a driveshaft is easy. 4 bolts, tape the bearing caps on so they don't fall off and tie it up so it doesn't drag.
 
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Old 11-07-2018, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Nothing Special View Post
If you pull the axles you leave the outer end of the hub open so you'd need to seal that up. Another way of saying that is:



And I'm not sure about lube issues, but I wouldn't want to bet on it being OK. Normally the ring gear slings lube around. Without it turning I'd be at least a little concerned that the wheel bearings wouldn't get as much fresh lube as normal, which might be an issue. And pulling a driveshaft is easy. 4 bolts, tape the bearing caps on so they don't fall off and tie it up so it doesn't drag.
No issue, if the wheels are rolling everything inside is also spinning.

 
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Old 11-07-2018, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Sam I Am View Post
No issue, if the wheels are rolling everything inside is also spinning.
If you pull the axles on a full floater, nothing inside is moving. The wheel bearings would be the sole concern for lubrication. You would have to cap the ends of the axles to keep debris out, and oil in. Without the internals spinning, I would limit towing like that. Pulling the driveshaft is the way to go.

 
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:16 PM
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Pretty convoluted thread.
Looked to me like the discussion was about flat towing with the driveshaft pulled and rear axle assembly intact. In which case, everything inside would still be spinning and lubrication would not be an issue. It doesn't make any sense to me to take the axles out just to tow it.

In my opinion, it is not a good investment.
Aside from the initial cost of the vehicle, it doesn't sound feasible to put $1000 (stated tow fee) into something that isn't ready to drive. And if it IS ready to drive, It should be well worth $1000 to go get it yourself.
 
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Old 11-09-2018, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Sam I Am View Post
Pretty convoluted thread.
Looked to me like the discussion was about flat towing with the driveshaft pulled and rear axle assembly intact. In which case, everything inside would still be spinning and lubrication would not be an issue. It doesn't make any sense to me to take the axles out just to tow it.

In my opinion, it is not a good investment.
Aside from the initial cost of the vehicle, it doesn't sound feasible to put $1000 (stated tow fee) into something that isn't ready to drive. And if it IS ready to drive, It should be well worth $1000 to go get it yourself.
Disconnect the driveshaft and tow away.
I think he is paying a TOTAL of $1,000 for the vehicle + delivery. Otherwise it doesn't make any sense.
 

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