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MG MGB Technical - towing with tow dolly

I will be towing my B with the front wheels off the ground and the driveshaft removed.

I know that if the front wheels are on the ground then the steering has to be locked to keep them from turning.

Do I have to lock the steering if the rear wheels are on the ground?
Steven 67GT

Steven. No. I towed my 68GT from California to Arizona using a tow dolly with no problems. Just make sure the dolly can be set up sufficiently narrow to allow the front wheels to be fully on the two tracks.

Les Bengtson

the prop shaft only needs to removed from autos
R Walker

The primary reason drive shafts are removed is that when you drive the transmission from the back wheels, in vehicles where the output shaft is above the input shaft is that the rear bearings do not get oil. This bearing is normally oiled by oil thrown up from the spinning input shaft

Short distances normally are not an issue, but as easy as it is to disconnect the drive shaft, I would consider it for any distance.

Bruce Cunha

Thanks for the input.

It's equipped with an o/d transmission so I want to be very careful with it.

It is easy enough to remove the drive (prop) shaft so it will be removed before towing.
Steven 67GT

Opinions vary on disconnecting the drive shaft with a standard box, but with an overdrive I thought it was mandatory.

C R Huff

This crops up from time to time. Reputedly the MGB gearbox has a splash feed and channels to lubricate the rear half, but it is so easy to disconnect the prop-shaft you might as well and be done with it. The OD is a red-herring as unless there is a fault in it such that the input shaft is no longer driving the output shaft, then when towing the output shaft will always be driving the input shaft, which is what operates the pump, which generates the oil flow for lubrication as well as OD operation.
PaulH Solihull

Everything went well with the towing.

Les: With 185/70 tires they just barely made it on the tracks with no overhang. It really took precision care to line up the tires to the tracks. I believe that if the tires were any wider it would not have worked.
Steven 67GT

Going back to the very first question.

There are TWO types of tow dollys.

The first, and most common type has, in effect, a tray the front wheels sit in and that tray has a pivot in the middle. This is what you would get at UHaul. This type does not need the streering tied down.

On the second type of tow dolly, the tow dolly wheels are on steering knuckles and are tied together with a tie bar. As the tow dolly goes around a corner the wheels turn. On this type, the car's steering MUST be locked. If you don't, the tow dolly won't steer and the car's wheels will turn. It gets messy and is hard on the car.

As usual, this is one of those things I learned the hard way.

Lann Mauck

I have always removed the prop shaft when towing.
For the sake of the little effort it takes, it's always better to be "safe than sorry"
I dollied a '72 B from Ocean Springs, Mississippi to Toronto Ontario Canada, and never even new there was a car in tow.
JR Ross

"never even new there was a car in tow"

Didn't you notice there was something on the back when you got in the front? ...
PaulH Solihull

Lann: I used the type of dolly that had the tray for the front wheels. You are correct, the steering wheel did not need to be tied down. The car tracked very well behind the Jeep Cherokee used to tow it.

Paul: Every time I looked in the rear view mirror while towing mine I thought to myself, hey there's a pretty cool car tailgating me.

Steven 67GT

The OD pump will work fine if the car is towed with the shaft in place but the laygear and mainshaft gears will be locked, only the hubs will be rotating and there will be insufficient lubrication at the front end of the box for anything other than a short tow - 5 miles max.
Chris at Octarine Services

This thread was discussed between 04/11/2010 and 19/11/2010

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