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Towing A Subaru


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14 replies to this topic

#1 SubieTrav

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 01:10 PM

I have a 92 legacy AWD wagon 5mt with a tow hitch, do you think it would be safe to tow another Subaru for any distance that could be up to several hours. I was considering buying an Outback wagon with auto trans. that is located on the other side of the state.

Another question, not to mess up the transmissions on the cars to be towed, what is the safest way to tow an auto or manual AWD with wheels on on the ground. I already know my Legacy wouldn't be able to pull a car hauler with a car on it.

#2 grossgary

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:09 PM

you could tow with a dolly. i don't recommend it but it could happen, those steep interstate passes will be the tricky part, you'll probably be pulling 3rd gear. i've done it before and many others have as well. i would never consider this is a good idea but a one time thing and slow speeds done right it can be done. just realize it's very dangerous and margins are much tighter.

i towed a large trailer across colorado (and all the way out there and back east again for like two or three thousand miles) fully loaded with gear, 4 wheeler, a tent that ways a few hundred pounds, etc - so i was probably about the weight of another car. flat is easy, the grades are the hard part.

as to flat towing, i suppose you could do a tow bar....not sure how/if an automatic can be towed that way. maybe if you keep the car running and in park the whole time to keep fluids moving. i wouldn't do that, but i have done it for short trips....as to hours, doesn't sound like a good idea.

if it's an EJ25 that you're getting cheap make sure it's not overheating as they commonly do.

Edited by grossgary, 22 February 2012 - 02:11 PM.


#3 SubieTrav

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:26 PM

Thanks for the reply. I figure it would be about 4-5 hours towing, the car is a 96, so should be 2.2. He said the engine runs fine but the car moves very slow till it is up to normal temp. I,m thinking the trans is about done for. Junk yard trans swap and sell on craigs list.

#4 MilesFox

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 08:04 PM

a 5mt can be flat towed all 4 down. An AT should be towed on a trailer, all 4 up, as to nit burn out the trans. You can dolly an AT if you remove the rear part of the driveshaft.

The car not moving until warm is probably a bad inner pressure seal, as this is a common failure or symptom. Some trans tune or trans-x additive may help it.

#5 nipper

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 08:26 PM

And of course check your brakes. especially the rears to make sure they are all working.

#6 MilesFox

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 09:39 PM

Just don't make any abrupt maneuvers, brake before turning, make gradual transitions into brakings and lane changes.

If you are familiar with towing, you will know this. So thie leaves you to know the specifics of a subaru in tow.

If the tail wags the dog, or the car in tow wants to pusht he car towing, accelerate until you are in control and gradually brake.

Going down long hills, it is best to keep a little tug on the hitch, so if yu do not want to overrun with speed, slow down a bit before descending, and coast with a slight gas pedal to keep the load tight, and do it at a pace where you will reach top speed at the bottom of the hill form the speed you started from, so you can give a little pull with out exceeding a desired speed.

If the subaru had larger hubs and brakes, it would be more ideal for heavier towing since the gearing and the power curve are appropriate to pull a load.

Edited by MilesFox, 22 February 2012 - 09:43 PM.


#7 Rooster2

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:35 PM

If it were me, I think I would feel safer renting or borrowing a full size truck and flat bed trailer the 96 home with all four wheels off the ground on the flat bed, because it has an automatic transmission. A truck would have superior pulling power and good brakes.

I would also have a concern of a Subaru towing a Subaru, and how the state police would view this package going down the road. They could frown on this, and possibly write you a ticket for operating unsafe equipment as such. Worse still, the police could stop you from proceeding further, and call a tow truck to haul your towed Subaru off the highway at your expense. I would hate to see this happen to you, but it is something to consider.

Edited by Rooster2, 22 February 2012 - 10:37 PM.
added more info


#8 jp98

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:20 PM

Look at the hills that you are going to be going up and coming down. I presume that you are going to be running I-70 going home. Even trucks towing trailers behind them have problems at times if they are not prepared for it. I can't even imagine a Subaru towing a Subaru not having a problem going up Vail and Eisenhower and then descending down into Denver not having a problem.

The best way would be to find a friend that has a truck and trailer or go down to a U-Haul and rent a trailer or at least a car dolly for a day to tow with the truck. That would be a lot safer.

#9 nipper

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:23 PM

i like the rental thing too, especially if you can get a deal.

You would have to hook up some sort of brake lights on the tow car. A trailer would be better with a truck.

#10 LeolaPA

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:25 PM

if it were me, i think i would feel safer renting or borrowing a full size truck and flat bed trailer the 96 home with all four wheels off the ground on the flat bed, because it has an automatic transmission. A truck would have superior pulling power and good brakes.

I would also have a concern of a subaru towing a subaru, and how the state police would view this package going down the road. They could frown on this, and possibly write you a ticket for operating unsafe equipment as such. Worse still, the police could stop you from proceeding further, and call a tow truck to haul your towed subaru off the highway at your expense. I would hate to see this happen to you, but it is something to consider.


amen!

#11 nipper

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:26 PM

Look at the hills that you are going to be going up and coming down. I presume that you are going to be running I-70 going home. Even trucks towing trailers behind them have problems at times if they are not prepared for it. I can't even imagine a Subaru towing a Subaru not having a problem going up Vail and Eisenhower and then descending down into Denver not having a problem.


I know I70 there too and was thinking you wouldnt have enough power to safely do this without harming the tow car and going down if you had to stop may be interesting.

#12 nipper

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:27 PM

Take a freind and do a one way rental, safest bet. Freind can drive your car or you go with them in thiers.

#13 SubieTrav

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 12:00 AM

Thanks for all the good advice, I think I will look into renting a truck and flat bed. The car is down by Alamosa but I've never been to that part of the state so have no idea what the roads a like.

#14 nipper

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 12:15 AM

Google earth will tell you lots, like altitude and stuff

#15 jp98

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:31 AM

Going to Alamosa from Denver isn't going to be that bad but you do have La Veta Pass to go over with a lot of 2 lane highway. I would still try and find a truck and trailer for the job, or at least a truck and car dolly and drop the rear drive line.




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