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towing a car backwards q:


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Old 01-12-2013, 02:58 AM   #11
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I wouldn't say the straight six 300 was a crappy motor, look at the mileage they put on, they are just about indestructible. May not be the best gas mileage or power but their dependability is second to none.
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:16 AM   #12
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The modern cars with the electronic speedos (even if they have a needle they are still electronically driven) will show the speed regardless of whether you are going in forward or reverse, but the odometer will not go backwards- it will continue to advance! The Hall effect sensor on the transmission cannot tell which direction it is going.

Older ones, as far back as 1940, operate off of a magnetic drive, so running them backwards puts no strain on anything. I have a couple of 1940's Jeeps and I have taken apart the speedometers trying to get them to stop "pulsing", so I have had them apart and seen how they work. As far as I know all of the earliest speedos used this magnetic drive so you should be good to go.

What year car are we talking about?
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blucoondawg View Post
I wouldn't say the straight six 300 was a crappy motor, look at the mileage they put on, they are just about indestructible. May not be the best gas mileage or power but their dependability is second to none.
I would have to agree with this. I have never scraped an F 150 with a 300 that had a bad motor. I've scaped 2 with bad transmissions, and 1 with a bad frame, but the motors were put into other trucks which had over 275,000 miles on them. My '92 just hit 215,000 and it runs like it is brand new. Granted, I'm on clutch #3, and have had to replace both gas tanks, most of the brake lines, The wiper motor, the starter (twice), and the front seat (don't ask. I'm still having nightmares!), but it still runs and handles like it was new.

I will admit that I work the truck harder than a teenager with a rental car. I tow and haul with it constantly, (it's rare that it leaves the driveway empty), but I am a maintenance freak and I have the reciepts to prove it. It would not suprise me if the truck is still going at 300k, I have a friend with one that just hit 385k. I don't give him good odds on 400k, but that is due to it's lack of floorboards. Gotta love life in the rust belt.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:52 AM   #14
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I wouldnt worry so much about the speedo but your transmission.

nearly all automativ transmission cars will need you to disconnect the driveshaft even if you put the car in neutral.

otherwise the Tranny will spin w/o getting lubrication from the ATF pump (which is on only when the engine is on)
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:03 PM   #15
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Once you get the car on the towing rack take the battery cable off the battery if you are concerned. Given that cars are towed backwards every day I seriously doubt it's going to harm the speedometer
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:53 PM   #16
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im going to tow a 76 c-10 backwards.
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:12 PM   #17
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With a 76 C-10 unless it is a K series (4 x 4) then towing it backwards will not be a problem since it is rear wheel drive. As someone else said towing a newer car will eat up a transmission due to lack of fluid flow on most vehicles.
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikingdad View Post

Older ones, as far back as 1940, operate off of a magnetic drive, so running them backwards puts no strain on anything. I have a couple of 1940's Jeeps and I have taken apart the speedometers trying to get them to stop "pulsing", so I have had them apart and seen how they work. As far as I know all of the earliest speedos used this magnetic drive so you should be good to go.

What year car are we talking about?
Viking is correct. Before computers and such the speedometer consisted of the speedometer cable from the transmission turning a magnetic disc in the speedometer head. A metal cup mounted in bearings, with the indicator needle attached and a hairspring to provide resistance to the spinning disc was mounted over the magnetic disc. The faster the disc rotated, the further clockwise the disc…and needle were deflected.

There was also a small worm gear inside the head coupled directly to the cable that turned the odometer gear.
That said, yes..driving in reverse would decrease the odometer reading. But since the coupling to the speedometer isn't mechanical, it's not going to damage anything in reverse.

I would figure a '76 has this type of speedometer.

I would be more concerned about the stress on the differential gears from driving the driveshaft…and the output bearing in the transmission. IMO, when the driving force is coming from the wheels the wear patterns of all the drive components are disturbed. I would probably drop the driveshaft for extended towing.
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:20 PM   #19
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see below.
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:20 PM   #20
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so, lets turn it around and tow it nose first on a classic bumper tow bar instead.
im pulling a 1/2 ton truck with all 4 on the road with a 3/4 ton truck with a 2" ball. any hidden woes?
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