Towing 4 wheels down - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-03-2010, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Towing 4 wheels down

Can anyone enlighten my on towing a Manual trans either 4 wheels down or on a tow dolly. I saw one being towed on a dolly last week and then I saw another towed behind a motor home.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-03-2010, 05:46 PM
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shouldn't be towed 4 wheels down. It needs to be on a dolly/flatbed.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-03-2010, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by gdawrx View Post
shouldn't be towed 4 wheels down. It needs to be on a dolly/flatbed.
Towing a Subaru behind a motorhome or a tow truck
The following is from Subaru Helpline Update, Feb 99
updated November 2009 re automatic
There has been a change to the policy regarding towing of Subaru vehicles behind motorhomes. The following applies to 1990 through present model year Legacy (Including Outback), 1993 through present year Impreza (incl. Outback Sport), and 1992 through present year SVX. (Note: should also include 1998 through present year Forester. Joe)

The factory hitch is 1.25" a 2" hitch can be installed aftermarket

Manual Transmission:
All Wheel Drive vehicles can be towed with all four wheels on the ground or with all four wheels off the ground on a trailer but towing an AWD vehicle must never be attempted with only two wheels on the ground or two wheels on a dolly.

STI, to tow: DCCD must be in manual mode, with the DCCD control dial set to the furthest rearward position (rolled toward rear seat).

Front Wheel Drive vehicles can be towed with all four wheels on the ground in neutral or with the two front wheels off the ground.

Automatic Transmission

November 2009. Automatic transmission and CVT vehicles can be towed with all wheels on the ground in an emergency for very short distance (under 31 miles) and at very slow speed (under 20mph).

AWD automatic 4 and 5 speed vehicles should not be towed with any wheels on the ground. The vehicle can only be towed on a trailer with all 4 wheels off the ground and the transmission in park.

Note: always inspect and check your car: radiator, coolant, all hoses, all fluids, brakes, towing equipment, lights etc
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-03-2010, 07:10 PM
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you're right. sorry bout the bad 411.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-03-2010, 07:34 PM
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what i meant by a dolly, btw, is front wheels lifted up, and rear wheels on a dolly, so not to touch the ground.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-03-2010, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by what huh View Post
There has been a change to the policy regarding towing of Subaru vehicles behind motorhomes.
...
Manual Transmission:
All Wheel Drive vehicles can be towed with all four wheels on the ground
This is news!

However,
Quote:
... but towing an AWD vehicle must never be attempted ... with two wheels on a dolly.
This part is confusing. I'm sure they did not intend to exclude towing with two wheels up in the air and the other two on a dolly. As far as the Subaru is concerned, that should be nothing different from being on a flatbed. Nothing is turning.

2003 XS Premium MT >200k miles! ● 2005 Impreza 2.5 RS MT ● Robin-Subaru Powered Generator
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-04-2010, 04:03 AM
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...but towing an AWD vehicle must never be attempted with only two wheels on the ground or two wheels on a dolly.
I believe Subaru means to not do this:



A better statement might have been something like: "...with two wheels on the ground and two wheels on a dolly."

HTH,
Jim / crewzer

P.S. I have copies of Forester owner manuals going back to MY2004. Section 9 in all includes instructions for "Towing with all wheels on the ground."

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Last edited by crewzer; 05-04-2010 at 04:15 AM.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-04-2010, 04:55 AM
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I have copies of Forester owner manuals going back to MY2004. Section 9 in all includes instructions for "Towing with all wheels on the ground."
Ah, yes. 2003 as well. Complete with picture. MT only (or AT slowly, and for short distances). But it's still good news.

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Last edited by bbottomley; 05-09-2010 at 06:16 PM.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-09-2010, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Towing 4 wheels down

I found an article in motorhome magazine that list the forester and outback manual transmission vehicles as being Towable four wheels down with out any modification. Also checked with remco towing (Makers of towing products and trannie cooler pumps, they too list the manual trannies as being towable. Found a guy in my motorhome club who has been towing a forester 5spd MT for years.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-09-2010, 06:23 PM
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I've reworded a bit of what I wrote earlier to reduce ambiguity.

2003 XS Premium MT >200k miles! ● 2005 Impreza 2.5 RS MT ● Robin-Subaru Powered Generator
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 12:01 PM
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So if the Manual states that you can tow with all 4 wheels on the ground, is it a safe bet it can be done without causing damge? I may need to tow my SFL about 6 miles
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 12:19 PM
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YES. All four on or all four off, no in between if it's MT. Can't be done safely for long distances with an AT.

RV'ers do it all the time. My 02 fozzie has spent a good deal of its previous life behind an RV as it has a permanent tow bar attachment as well as taillight connections in the front bumper.

You will need to keep the steering unlocked tho. . . which means leaving a key in the ignition. To do that, put the key in, turn to ON, turn the key back to off BUT DON'T REMOVE IT! The steering lock will not engage until the key is physically pulled from the lock. That way the front wheels can track with the tow vehicle but you won't run the battery down from having it in ACC or ON the whole way.

The question I have is: does the ODO still clock the miles when the key is off?
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 12:34 PM
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Unless something is already broken I expect you'd be alright.
The transmission needs to be in neutral though, obviously...

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 12:38 PM
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Great! I will double check my manual to be on the safe side. Would it hurt if you "fused" it for a 2WD when towing?
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Car Year: 1998
Car Model: Forester
Transmission: 5 speed manual

Great! I will double check my manual to be on the safe side. Would it hurt if you "fused" it for a 2WD when towing?
The FWD fuse procedure only applies to 2013 Foresters and older (back to ??) that are equipped with the 4EAT auto trans. The center diff in the manual transmission Forester is a viscous-coupled unit and has no electrical circuits.

HTH,
Jim / crewzer

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