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Discussion Starter #1
I thought I had made a thread on this a while ago, or saw a thread someone else made, but for the life of me I just can't locate it.

The questions is: is it OK to tow a spyder using a dolly that only lifts the front wheels? As far as I can figure, it shouldn't hurt. The CV boots will wear, as will whatever tires are on the rear, but I cant see anything else wrong with it.

Am I missing something?
 

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I've towed a few aw11's and an sw20 with a Dolly without a problem. If you fear messing up the trans or other parts tow it backwards. Leave the wheel unlocked it'll pull straight. It'll be fine if the car isn't lowered or have a lip.
 

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The owner's manual doesn't recommend it--and neither do companies that you would rent the dolly from. The handling while towing that thing backwards would be squirrelly at best. Any way to use a car trailer instead? (those things are nice but they do weigh about 1800 lbs.) U-haul, told me they would only rent me a tow dolly if I was going to "disconnect the driveshaft" on my MR2 Spyder and tow it from the front. Of course, I got a good laugh from that:) I should have played dumb and asked them to show me which part to disconnect:)
 

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I'm not sure if this towing the Spyder is something temporary or what.
The reason that I'm questioning it is because the Spyder is OK to tow 4 wheels down, behind an RV for example, and there are kits on the market to do this.

Holler if you need more info, as I have mine already fitted for towing 4 wheels down.

Harryco.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm not sure if this towing the Spyder is something temporary or what.
The reason that I'm questioning it is because the Spyder is OK to tow 4 wheels down, behind an RV for example, and there are kits on the market to do this.

Holler if you need more info, as I have mine already fitted for towing 4 wheels down.

Harryco.
It will be infrequent towing, but occurring regularly, i.e. every month or two. I'll give you a PM but feel free to post a reply to this thread so others can benefit.
 

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None of this is fact, so take it for what it's worth.....

I believe the issue with towing using a dolly (or 4-wheel towing even) has to do with the transmission having to turn at speed while the engine isn't running, and therefore the trans oil is not circulating the way it should. Seems to me the simple answer to that would be to overfill the trans with gear oil (up to the top) before towing, draw it down to the proper fill level after.....
 

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In reply to many queries, take a look at what is stated by Toyota. (Below.)

In addition...there is also a long thread in the Spyderchat search area about this subject.
I believe the thread is dated 07/15/2009, and titled " Best way to transportyour Spyder"

Spyders are already being towed 4 wheels down without any damage being reported.
Decide for yourself.

....................................

Expert: Toyotapro replied 1125 days and 10 hours ago.
Hello and thank you for using just answer. There have been alot of questions in later years about flat towing vehicles behind Rv's. I work at a Toyota dealer as a ASE and Toyota Certified Technician and we have constant ongoing training through University Of Toyota, they have released a chart labeled Towing guide for flat towing vehicles, there are several cars that this is NOT safe to do so. On the 2005 Mr2 with manual trans and SMT it is listed as safe to flat tow. THe only recomendation they have is to leave the key in the "acc" position to allow front wheel movement in turns. Let me know if you have further concerns on this. Most customers that flat tow their vehicles also run a power feed to the car so that the battery does not die during long trips.

Expert Type ASE Certified Technician
Pos. Feedback: 99.3 %
Accepts: 6125
Answered: 7/8/2008

Experience: ASE Certified, 10+ years experience, Lexus and Toyota Certified

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Customer replied 1125 days and 7 hours ago.
Just a clarification; you say manual and SMT are safe to tow. Does this mean either-or? Mine is a regular manual trans.


Expert: Toyotapro replied 1125 days and 7 hours ago.

Yes, the grid from Toyota states SMT and manual transmission are treated the same when in tow, this is not an aftermarket guide, it is in print right from Toyota, we keep it on a bulletin board in the customer waiting lounge.
 

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In reply to many queries, take a look at what is stated by Toyota. (Below.)

In addition...there is also a long thread in the Spyderchat search area about this subject.
I believe the thread is dated 07/15/2009, and titled " Best way to transportyour Spyder"

Spyders are already being towed 4 wheels down without any damage being reported.
Decide for yourself.
Or you can look at Toyota's own words when they say "... We recommend using a towing
dolly under the rear wheels. "
(page 141 from the 2000 owners manual).

But then they go on to say, basically, 'otherwise, make sure the car is in neutral and the parking brake is disengaged.' Reading between the lines a bit, that means they say it is fine.
 

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Mike V says " But then they go on to say, basically, 'otherwise, make sure the car is in neutral and the parking brake is disengaged.' Reading between the lines a bit, that means they say it is fine."
I note that was from the 2000 owner's manual.

I disagree that they say that "Reading between the lines a bit, means they say it is fine."
In addition to that, Toyota said in 2006 that you also have to turn the ingnition key to unlock the steering.
That is correct, but apparently was not mentioned in the owner's manual that you quoted from. The latest info from Toyota has the updated info, as mentioned by the certified Toyota tech, who quoted the Toyota reply in his Email response.

There are many Spyders with correct towing systems installed , which allows towing 4 wheels down, including mine which has recently been completed on my SMT. I will be taking a 5,000 mile trip towing my SMT, beginning in a few weeks, and expect similar results that have been experienced by other owners, and documented in the SpyderChat group, as already mentioned.

Harryco.
 

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I could be wrong, but I really don't think they want you to have the steering free when towing with a dolly.
 

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This is just a follow up from Harryco, as I posted earlier that I was about to take a 5,000 mile trip with my Spyder (2003 SMT) being towed 4 wheels down.

The trip is now completed with us covering about 5,000 miles towing, and an additional 1,500 or so miles driving the SMT Spyder. There was nothing to report as far as concerns were, and everything was easy going, as reported by ealier reports of towing 4 wheels down, but they were with MT Spyders. The SMT has proven to me that it is also great to tow 4 wheels down, or 'flat tow' as some call it.

Enjoy the ride.

Harry.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for bumping this and bringing it to my attention. I suppose I should report my findings.



Getting the car on and off the dolly is difficult due to the car's lowered stance. We ended up having to place some wooden planks down in front of the ramps to lift the car before it engaged the ramp so that the fender overhangs would clear some snags on the dolly. Even using this method, the front would not clear, so the car had to be backed on. If I ever lower the Spyder any more then this method will cease to work. I am currently brainstorming a work-around for that. Also, the front lip comes pretty close to the ground, maybe an inch an half or so. When my Spyder is dressed in full racing aero, I imagine I will have to remove the front bumper and any lip it may have. Or, find a way to tow it forward

Once we got the car on we decided to test this setup while leaving the steering wheel free. While going strait the spyder seemed to track strait, but once we pulled a few sharp maneuvers (into a empty gas station) we realized that the wheel would turn all the way to lock, and freeze in that position, resulting in the car being dragged while the front tires chirped and skipped.

Luckily we brought some tie downs. We centered the steering wheel and tied down both sides. I connect the tie downs to the seat brackets. We pulled it down pretty tight, giving the wheel virtually no play at all, then went on our way after testing a few tight maneuvers. The car responded beautifully.

On the highway we reached speeds of 65 mph, over off camber roads, bumpy roads, hills, etc, and the car tracked behind my truck wonderfully. It was a completely drama free operation once the wheel was tightened down.

So, there you go. You can tow a Spyder on a dolly backwards, just make sure to tie that wheel down good.
 

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Thanks for bumping this and bringing it to my attention. I suppose I should report my findings.



Getting the car on and off the dolly is difficult due to the car's lowered stance. We ended up having to place some wooden planks down in front of the ramps to lift the car before it engaged the ramp so that the fender overhangs would clear some snags on the dolly. Even using this method, the front would not clear, so the car had to be backed on. If I ever lower the Spyder any more then this method will cease to work. I am currently brainstorming a work-around for that. Also, the front lip comes pretty close to the ground, maybe an inch an half or so. When my Spyder is dressed in full racing aero, I imagine I will have to remove the front bumper and any lip it may have. Or, find a way to tow it forward

Once we got the car on we decided to test this setup while leaving the steering wheel free. While going strait the spyder seemed to track strait, but once we pulled a few sharp maneuvers (into a empty gas station) we realized that the wheel would turn all the way to lock, and freeze in that position, resulting in the car being dragged while the front tires chirped and skipped.

Luckily we brought some tie downs. We centered the steering wheel and tied down both sides. I connect the tie downs to the seat brackets. We pulled it down pretty tight, giving the wheel virtually no play at all, then went on our way after testing a few tight maneuvers. The car responded beautifully.

On the highway we reached speeds of 65 mph, over off camber roads, bumpy roads, hills, etc, and the car tracked behind my truck wonderfully. It was a completely drama free operation once the wheel was tightened down.

So, there you go. You can tow a Spyder on a dolly backwards, just make sure to tie that wheel down good.
Thank you immensly for taking the time to post this feedback. I am in the middle of purchasing a dolly for some long haul towing on my 2003 SMT and I refuse to tow it forwards, so this helped me a lot in my decision.

One question; how low is your spyder? Specifically the front lip? Mine is on coilovers and stock wheels, front lip is EXACTLY 6" of clearance.

I am purchasing an American Dolly tow dollly which is supposed to be the best for lowered cars. I will be towing iwth my 08 tundra so I will post some pics/feedback once I have devised my towing system.

As an aside for folks above; I have personaly experience with a RWD car being towed rear wheels down or "flat". For reasons above the tranny fluid does NOT circulate the right way, plus its at an angle, and it can damage the tranny.

My good friend once towed a '97 supra approx 1000 miles and after about 6 mos he started having tranny problems, ended up having to replace the tranny. another 6 mos later and he had to replace his rear diff (its a driveline type car). There was no other explaination than damage suffered during towing.

THere has to be a reason that UHaul and those with liability won't let you do it, and the original owners manual cautioned against it. Due to the fact that a tranny is $2000 and labor is $500-$700, I will gladly spend $800 on a dolly and hedge my bet when towing.
 

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As an aside for folks above; I have personaly experience with a RWD car being towed rear wheels down or "flat". For reasons above the tranny fluid does NOT circulate the right way, plus its at an angle, and it can damage the tranny.

My good friend once towed a '97 supra approx 1000 miles and after about 6 mos he started having tranny problems, ended up having to replace the tranny. another 6 mos later and he had to replace his rear diff (its a driveline type car). There was no other explaination than damage suffered during towing.

THere has to be a reason that UHaul and those with liability won't let you do it, and the original owners manual cautioned against it. Due to the fact that a tranny is $2000 and labor is $500-$700, I will gladly spend $800 on a dolly and hedge my bet when towing.
I believe this is a generalization to the safe side, like it happens many times in the world. There is a Service Bulletin - Toyota "Dinghy" Towing Guide (released on March 17, 2000). It has a table:

Dinghy Towable?

Year | Model | MT | A/T
...
2000 | MR2 Spyder | Yes | N/A
...
1994 | Supra | Not Towable
-
1999 |

This explains why Supra broke down, but there have been no such reports on MR2.
 
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