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Old 06-27-2004, 06:47 PM   #1
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
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VW Golf III as Toad

We are in Toad-Mode and have been considering all possibilities that will work with the 345. I've been considering selling my VW for an older Saturn but recently a very good friend, who is also my "mechanical mentor", suggested we just use our 94 VW Golf III (manual trans) as a TOAD.

He said that since the trans/diff were a combined unit that placing it in neutral with the key in the on position (to unlock the steering column) it should tow four down just fine. It would turn the diff but not the trans. With no pump it should "splash" enough lubicant to keep things turning. (his theory)

Caveat - the VW owners manual is a little vague on towing a manual but it very clear about not towing automatics.

I trust his opinion on this as he's owned/rebuilt several VW's and is/was a professional mechanic for years. However, I'll confirm his theories with my local VW shop tomorrow.

I have to admit that I like the idea since I already own it (bought it new in 94) and know it very well (vs a used Saturn). It's been paid for forever and even though it's 400#'s over the limit on the AS many other members have been towing Saturns at 2300# - 2400#'s with (or without) brake buddies with no harmful side effects. (Dry weight is about 2400#s.)

So...I'll be doing some homework on this on my own but I thought I would ask - has anyone ever towed a VW Golf/Jetta?
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Old 06-27-2004, 07:38 PM   #2
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I thought you could pretty much flat tow any manual trans car/truck...am I wrong?
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Old 06-27-2004, 08:29 PM   #3
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MYRVADVANTAGE,

If your '94 Golf III is the same as a 93-02 Cabrio VW, then Blue OX part #3818 is the baseplate for you. If Blue OX can't help you www.aemfg.com, then maybe Roadmaster can.
Most any stick shift can be towed. Whether they are 4X4( place in transfer case neutral, no miles added) or 2X4 ( will add miles, unless you use some sort of driveline disconnect). ALL-WHEEL drives may require a tranny lube pump. More manufacturers won't own up to the fact that one of their products is towable, since they don't want to warranty it.
We bought an '03 Beetle stick TDI to tow, but didn't since a schnauzer and husky wouldn't fit in Bug's backseat, even folded down. So, we tow something a little more accommodating for dogs, bikes, gensets, lawn chairs, grey tank, etc.
If you go to www.fmca.com and search out their dinghy guide, its list many toweds.
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Old 06-27-2004, 09:28 PM   #4
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Alan - thought so too but with a front wheel drive I want to be sure.

Coloradobus - thanks for the info on Blue Ox. The chassis for the Golf III Cabrio are the same...not sure about the bumper plastic. I'm calling Blue Ox in the AM. My only concern about the VW was that it's a manual front wheel drive and I wasn't sure about the transaxle/differential setup. I've heard that some transaxles have a seperate tranmission and differential which cannot be flat towed.

Looks like this might work
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Old 06-27-2004, 09:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALANSD
I thought you could pretty much flat tow any manual trans car/truck...am I wrong?
Close, Alan, as long as there is fluid covering the parts that move while the trans is in neutral and the engine is not running. Most fit that description, (Eagle Talons and the like being the exception rather than the rule) because some of them are full time 4x4, and can not be towed more than a couple of hundred feet without damage.
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