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Towing questions


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11 replies to this topic

#1 subyfreak

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 10:50 PM

I have the chance to get a 96 Outback Wagon with a auto trans and a healthy rod knock for free. The problem is I live 400 miles away and only have limited funds right now. Is the driveshaft in this car a 2 piece unit and if it is can I remove the rear section and put it on a dolly? (Yes I did a search on here first:rolleyes:) The car doing the pulling will be my 01 H6 outback but first I need a hitch for it. Anybody know of decent aftermarket hitches for the 01 Outback wagon? I will be heading down to the area in April so I have some time to find one. The plan is to put a EJ22 in it. What years are a plug and play swap? Sorry for all of the questions I just want to be sure. Thanks for any help on this.

#2 johnceggleston

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 08:35 AM

yes, remove the rear section and tow on a dolly.

but if you rent the dolly from uhaul, they won't rent to you if you tell them what you a towing, the outback isn't big enough. please be VERY, VERY careful towing. if you have never done this before here's a hint, you can only back up in a straight line and even then it can be tricky, so watch where you park. plan your exit before you pull in.

lots of places sell hitches, google is your friend.

95 is the best, direct swap, non-interferrence.
96 works, but you need the front exhaust "y pipe" from the 2.2L car, non-interferrence.
97 & 98 will work but they are interferrence, ( no big deal, just do the belt, and everything else, change now and again in 100k miles) i don't remember about the 'y pipe'.

#3 Rooster2

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 10:48 AM

I would be reluctant to use a Leggie Outback to tow another Outback for 400 miles. That is asking a lot for a car that is not designed to tow much at all. It will be hard on your tow car's trany. Yea, I guess you could make it work, but if you try it, drive rather slowly, like max of 60 mph. Your tow Leggie doesn't have the brakes to stop two cars traveling fast.

It would be a lot better to tow with something like a full size American truck.... something with a big motor, and full frame under it.

Good luck on what you decide to do.

#4 Gloyale

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 11:39 AM

It may have the funky mini CV joint type center, which IIRC don't unbolt at the center.

If it does, just unbolt the rear flange and use bailing wire to sling it up to the belly of the car. there is a Exhaust hanger right near there that works good for an anchorpoint.

#5 PAezb

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 12:02 PM

I've always been statisfied with my purchases at etrailer.com:

http://www.etrailer....k Wagon&ob=&so=


Keep in mind the total tow weight and tongue weight - with emphasis on the later. I'd be leary to tow that much weight without a secondary brake system to assist (i.e. trailer brakes - requiring the installation of a brake controller in the vehicle). Renting or borrowing a truck for this single purpose may be the way to go.

Edited by PAezb, 28 February 2009 - 12:11 PM.


#6 Sundance

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 01:35 PM

Others have been more polite......... but towing the
car with an Outback is INSANE!!!!:eek::eek:

Find a buddy with a pickup and pay him/her a couple
hundred (what a hitch would cost) for gas and time.

A hitch may be rated for 3500# but it's connected to
a uni-body, not a frame.

Edited by Sundance, 28 February 2009 - 01:38 PM.


#7 bratman18

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 02:01 PM

I had a friend who hooked up a 2 axle car trailer to his 86 GL EA82 wagon, and then loaded up a Brat and drove it approximately 50 miles. It did just fine, except for hills, he was glad to have lo range:lol:

#8 bulwnkl

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 04:10 PM

I've always been statisfied with my purchases at etrailer.com

With one notable exception, so have I.

I'd be leary to tow that much weight without a secondary brake system to assist (i.e. trailer brakes - requiring the installation of a brake controller in the vehicle).


This is the main thing, IMO; brakes. I'd not be concerned about the weight given appropriate care/caution. The brakes are going to be the weak point though. Do the U-Haul dollies have "surge" brakes in them? That's essentially a brake master cylinder built into the tongue. When you slow down, the trailer tries to keep going, which 'collapses' or shortens the hitch tongue just a bit. This applies the trailer's built-in hydraulic brakes. The harder you brake, the harder the trailer's brakes apply themselves.

To me, this is the best kind of trailer brake system for nearly anything. Only trouble is backing, especially up hills. The brakes will apply and screw it all up unless you put a little plate in the tongue to prevent the hitch collapsing and applying the brakes.

Anyway, if the U-Haul dollies have this system, them you're covered for brakes and I'd do it in an instant.

#9 johnceggleston

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 04:18 PM

Do the U-Haul dollies have "surge" brakes in them? That's essentially a brake master cylinder built into the tongue.


the dollies i have rented did not, the car carrier i rented did.

#10 subaru360

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 07:03 PM

You could do it. You'll be be way beyond the rated towing capacity of the Outback doing the towing. It will probably make it, but it will be a white knuckle ride all the way. It won't stop well at all. If you need to stop short, it probably won't and you will hit something. The rear driveshaft on the the outback being towed needs to be unbolted and wired up out of the way. You'd need a towbar or a tow dolly. If you do it my suggestion is to do it in the middle of the night with hardly any traffic and in clear weather.

As for the engines the 95 2.2 auto engine is a bolt and plug in, and the 96-98 2.2 auto engines bolt and plug in, but you need the matching single port y pipe.

#11 subyfreak

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 11:58 PM

Thanks for the advice. I have towed many cars with cars before with out problems and know stopping is the major issue here. Also I have to cross the Mackinac Bridge lol. My main concern was with the drive shaft being able to just unbolt it from the rear diff so I can dolly it. I will be doing this at night time to avoid most traffic and half of my trip will be across the upper peninsula of Michigan so traffic and big cities are not a problem just deer/bear/elk. I will let you guys know how it all turns out.

#12 abog

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 01:05 PM

One of the biggest mistakes people make when towing, is safety. Just because a vehicle has the ability to do something doesn't mean that it is safe to do. Overloading a vehicle is just asking for trouble. Please be safe, for yourself and the other people on the road with you.




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