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Towing a TR3 with a dolly

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bhardysmith Brian Smith
Meridian, Mississippi [MS], USA   USA
I have to move my TR3 about 300 miles. I've just had shoulder surgery and I'm having great difficulty removing the driveshaft. How bad would it be to tow it in neutral?
This is happening Sunday.
Thanks
Brian Smith
Meridian MS

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TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
I don't know; but I wouldn't do it with my car. Why can't you disconnect the driveshaft?

FWIW, a TR3 will fit inside a U-haul box trailer. Not enough to close the doors completely, but enough to work if you tie the doors shut.

A U-haul "car carrier" is tricky, but can be done. The tires ride on the raised edges on the inside; the trick is making sure it gets steered perfectly onto the edges.

I bought a wrecked TR3A once. Don't know how far it was towed, but the gearbox was pretty badly damaged. The tiny bearing between input and output had overheated and ruined both shafts. I use the input shaft as a clutch alignment tool, it's not good for anything else. The bushings on the mainshaft were damaged too. (When towing with the wheels on the ground, the mainshaft turns but nothing else does. With the countershaft not turning, no oil gets thrown up to lube the mainshaft.)

One possibility is to overfill the gearbox with oil, so it's above the level of the mainshaft. That way, everything gets lubed. Haven't tried that myself, but I've read about it (on other cars). If you have the later gearbox with the tapped fill hole on the side; you could maybe use a "street ell" pipe fitting in the fill hole to raise the level.



Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

bobbylrowland bobby l
cochran, ga., USA   USA
Uhaul might stil make box trucks with loading ramps, I hauled an old barracuda from Texas in one. as luck would have it , tires were dry rotted so I drove a couple 10 penny nails in each tire.

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TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
In reply to # 1495397 by bobbylrowland Uhaul might stil make box trucks with loading ramps, I hauled an old barracuda from Texas in one. as luck would have it , tires were dry rotted so I drove a couple 10 penny nails in each tire.
I used a U-haul box truck as well, many years ago. But I found a commercial loading dock at both ends, and nailed 2x4s to the truck bed to keep the car from moving (along with straps and so on).

But I believe they have rules against that today. Last time I rented a box truck, they made me sign an agreement that forbid cars (among other things).



Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

bhardysmith Brian Smith
Meridian, Mississippi [MS], USA   USA
Maybe my question wasn't clear. I'm using the tow dolly because my mini van won't pull anything bigger. I recently had surgery on my shoulder and I am unable to loosen the bolts on the drive shaft. I probably can get the front disconnected but probably not the rear. The trans is a the style with a dipstick so I could over fill with oil. I know there are hazards with sulfur additives in some gear oils. Would straight 30w engine oil work?

TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
Motor oil would work fine for this purpose, but I would want to drain it afterwards and fill with GL4 for ordinary driving. Easier IMO to just use the right oil now, and only have to drain the excess afterwards.

Another alternative might be to load the car up and tow to a local shop that can remove the rear driveshaft connection for you. If you tie it up securely, there is no need to completely remove the shaft.

I've also been known to ignore manufacturer recommended tow capacities. Once towed a TR3 on an open trailer across country with a sedan that was rated only 1000 lbs. No problem at all (but it did burn twice as much fuel as usual). I had no trouble with overheating on that trip, but a subsequent trip with a larger box trailer did make the engine run hot (so keep an eye on that gauge).



Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

Pat.L Avatar
Pat.L Silver Member Patrick Ledford
New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, USA   USA
Back in my teens I started working for a garage that did towing and then the majority of cars were rear wheel drive. We had to pick the car up by the rear and leave the front wheels on the ground. if the steering wheel could not be locked straight we had a strap to tie the wheel to the seat bottom. You could do this principle with a tow dolly, back the TR3 onto the dolly and secure the front wheels so they remain straight. Now you are only turning the front wheel bearings.

A couple of other suggestions which are less work but more money.
Take out a AAA membership which gives you 200 miles free towing and you pay the last 100 miles. This should run you around two to three hundred dollars.

Buy a 6X12 open trailer with a ramp and then sell it after the move. I borrowed a buddy's 6X12 once to move a parts Tr3 and it worked fine. A single wheel trailer is rated at 2990 lbs and will not require trailer brakes. you would probably be pushing the load limit with the trailer and the TR

If they know you are hauling a car I do not think Uhaul will rent any thing but a dolly or car hauler.

Your safest way wold be to rent a 15 foot Uhaul truck with a car carrier and haul the TR that way. It is a tight fit on the car carrier but like Randall I have hauled my current project that way.

In reply to # 1495321 by bhardysmith I have to move my TR3 about 300 miles. I've just had shoulder surgery and I'm having great difficulty removing the driveshaft. How bad would it be to tow it in neutral?
This is happening Sunday.
Thanks
Brian Smith
Meridian MS



Patrick
1980 TR8 DHC TPVDV8AT209637
1957 TR-3 Under restoration TS20462LO
Western Pennsylvania Triumph Association
North Coast Triumph Association
TWOA

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Donbmw Donald Woodward
Monroe, La, USA   USA
I have used a car dolly twice. First was only 200 miles next was about 600 miles. Did not remove or disconnect the drive shaft. Have put many mile on since with no problems. The wheels base is not as wide for the dolly. Get it as close as you can. Tie down need to be extra tight and check offen. They will get loose.


Don

CJD john durant
Southlake, Texas, USA   USA
In reply to # 1495477 by Pat.L Back in my teens I started working for a garage that did towing and then the majority of cars were rear wheel drive. We had to pick the car up by the rear and leave the front wheels on the ground. if the steering wheel could not be locked straight we had a strap to tie the wheel to the seat bottom. You could do this principle with a tow dolly, back the TR3 onto the dolly and secure the front wheels so they remain straight. Now you are only turning the front wheel bearings.

A couple of other suggestions which are less work but more money.
Take out a AAA membership which gives you 200 miles free towing and you pay the last 100 miles. This should run you around two to three hundred dollars.

Buy a 6X12 open trailer with a ramp and then sell it after the move. I borrowed a buddy's 6X12 once to move a parts Tr3 and it worked fine. A single wheel trailer is rated at 2990 lbs and will not require trailer brakes. you would probably be pushing the load limit with the trailer and the TR

If they know you are hauling a car I do not think Uhaul will rent any thing but a dolly or car hauler.

Your safest way wold be to rent a 15 foot Uhaul truck with a car carrier and haul the TR that way. It is a tight fit on the car carrier but like Randall I have hauled my current project that way.

In reply to # 1495321 by bhardysmith I have to move my TR3 about 300 miles. I've just had shoulder surgery and I'm having great difficulty removing the driveshaft. How bad would it be to tow it in neutral?
This is happening Sunday.
Thanks
Brian Smith
Meridian MS

I like this idea the best. It's also the "most correct" idea.

Filling the tranny with oil should work for more than the recommended 40 miles, but 300 would be on the high side. The issue is that the mainshaft spins, but the oil does not circulate. So the same oil will be heating up the entire time. Remember the mainsahft has a bushing at every gear...so not all roller bearings.

Option 3 is the rear wheel dollies like tow trucks use. They frequently have to tow parked cars with parking brakes on and use the rear dollies frequently.



John
Southlake, TX

'55 TR2

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TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
In reply to # 1495477 by Pat.L Back in my teens I started working for a garage that did towing and then the majority of cars were rear wheel drive. We had to pick the car up by the rear and leave the front wheels on the ground. if the steering wheel could not be locked straight we had a strap to tie the wheel to the seat bottom. You could do this principle with a tow dolly, back the TR3 onto the dolly and secure the front wheels so they remain straight. Now you are only turning the front wheel bearings.
If you do that, I would be very careful and preferably limit speed to under 50 mph (I believe U-Haul specifies 55 as the limit with their dollies).

Some years ago I tried towing a Triumph Sports 6 (aka Vitesse) that way, and it started swaying violently at just slightly over 55. Good thing we were on a back road with no other cars in sight; as I took up the entire road getting it slowed down without flipping or going in the ditch. We double-checked everything was tight, added a second strap to the steering wheel; same thing happened again.



Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

2long Dan M
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA   USA
If you decide to tow it facing backwards with the front wheels on the ground, and you have wire wheels, there is a problem with the front wheel spinners undoing themselves. Ask me how I know.

Dan

Britnut Randy DeRuiter
Nacogdoches, Texas, USA   USA
I guess I'm more of a risk taker, but having the gearbox completely full in my mind reduces the risk a lot - no chance of anything drying up. I think you'll be fine keeping it connected and towing as planned. To be extra safe you could stop say at 50 mile increments and put your hand on the gearbox to feel if any heat is building up. I doubt it will.

bhardysmith Brian Smith
Meridian, Mississippi [MS], USA   USA
Well, here what I did:
Overfilled the gearbox with 40wt oil, used 2 quarts.
We will see, but the trans didn’t feel hot after about 175 miles of interstate driving.

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