babychadwick

Towing a Zeyphr on a dolley

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How far are you going to tow it?

Has it been towed that way and you want to know what to check for damage?

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My first thoughts would be are the tires good?   Has the car been sitting for ages or does it run?Check the oil in the differential. Might also check rear wheel bearings to make sure they have grease.   The other concern is the small roller bearing located in the rear of the transmission input shaft.  When your towing the driveline will be turning but the transmission input will not.  That bearing will be getting a workout and since the cluster gear will not be turning there will be no oil being thrown up to lube this bearing. I've seen guys tow for long distance before using a dolly and they would pull over and start the engine to spin the transmission for a few minutes.  If the car has no engine make sure the transmission has oil in it , put the transmission in high gear and tow it all day.  If it has an engine but doesn't run it might be risky to do any long distance towing.   

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That is the kind of information I am looking for.  If this does happen I would be a first time Zephyr owner.  I still do not have much information on the car but do know there is "something" wrong with the engine.  Would overfilling the transmission be a bad idea to help everything maintain oil?

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Because you don't know the condition of the car, and need to tow it a long distance, I strongly recommend that you rent a trailer and tow it home that way. Just as a quick check post the pickup location and your home location on U-Haul's web site. If the pickup location doesn't have a trailer available have them search for nearby trailers.

 

If you decide to use a dolly, I would lock the front wheels and tow it with the back wheels on the dolly. Be very careful with this arrangement as the weight is not evenly distributed. If the car starts to sway, slow down until it is stable and then don't exceed the stable speed.

 

Overfilling the transmission would not be any better than having the correct level. Because you do not know the condition of the differential and transmission, a long tow is a crap shoot.

 

You could also check out brokers for transporting cars. Some of them are good choices if you do not have a specific deadline to pick up the car.

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4 hours ago, babychadwick said:

Franklin if either of those options were available I would have not asked the question.

You could rent a truck and trailer if you don't own them. It might be cheaper than damaging your Zephyr. If you tow it backwards I would suggest you reverse the tow-in to tow-out so it will have a chance to track in reverse. If you can't transport it correctly I think you should use a car hauling company.

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Posted (edited)

Sounds like this car has  probably been sitting for a while. If so, tires are going to be a big issue. If a tire comes apart it's likely to do major damage to a fender and who knows what else.    Since your going long distance I would either try to get a trailer or hire a transport to move the car for me. There's a lot of unknowns here.  

Edited by Ken/Alabama (see edit history)

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Wouldn't it be nice if money were not a problem.  Renting a trailer would cost around $1200.  I assumed I would be putting new tires on it.  The car should be in very good condition minus an engine problem that could be as simple (I doubt it) as a blown head gasket.  In short I am a single dad taking care of a 4 year old full time and trying to keep this car in the family as well as other items that may be sold at the estate sale that I would like to see passed down to my son.  I don't mind driving 55-60 top speed towing but am wondering if it is a viable option and if not why.

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So how many miles will it need to go? Who is charging $1200 to rent a trailer for a couple of days? You should be able to do better than that depending where you pick it up and drop it off.

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You may be limited to towing at 40-45 MPH depending upon the load balance with a dolly. I just checked U-Haul for their one way rates from the Chicago area to Portland OR. The car hauler is $628 and the dolly is $313. If you waited to buy new tires, you could easily afford the car hauler. You can check prices on their website. There are other one way companies that may be less expensive.

 

There are so many things that can go wrong when transporting a car, that I would opt for the safest way. If you have not trailered a car before, make sure that you have an experienced friend along. Your 4 year old needs a father much more than he needs Great-Grandpa's car.

 

Check moving companies in the area where the car is located. You can get some very low prices from them if they need to fill a truck. My son had a quote from the Phoenix area loading dock to a Chicago area loading dock to transport a 96 Mark VII for $300. There would be extra charges if the car was not loaded and unloaded at a loading dock.

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Posted (edited)

This ......

 

Sounds like an accident waiting to happen.

 

If the OP doesn’t have the money to transport a vehicle over a distance.

 

Let it stay where it is.

 

 

Jim

Edited by Trulyvintage (see edit history)

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The entire point of this topic was to determine the viability of towing a Lincoln long distances with a dolly.  Not to find the best way to transport a car or the skill level involved for those seeking to hijack the thread.  In reality cost should be irrelevant as should the actual distance unless there is a difference between 10 or 100 or 1000 miles.  For that reason I left the mileage out.  Over the last 3 years I have averaged 1000-2000 miles towing thru everything from rain, smoke, hail, sand storms, ice, and fog.  I started towing in the sierras with a '64 ford truck.  The learning curve can be pretty steep with no power anything and a trailer in the mountains especially for someone who just started to drive.

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I would translate the answers you were given as a NO don't do it. 10 miles is a lot different than 1000, worn parts break, things seize, & accidents can happen. A weekly rate for a trailer returned to the same location, usually is much cheaper than dropping it in a different location. What answer are you wanting?

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Seems to me some pretty harsh comments. Do the best you can, with whatever your comfortable with, and if an issue arises deal with it and keep going.

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Do some checking in your area for deals of hauling vehicles, there are a lot of empty trucks that can be used most places.  The liability you incur doing this sort of thing yourself without proper equipment or insurance is asking for a big legal problem should something go wrong.  You can rent containers...the 20 foot kind and then find a trucker who will put it on his trailer and take it wherever you want.  Not much is very cheap these days, but there are deals and considerate people who will help given the opportunity and making known your situation.  Good Luck!

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Babychadwick, you asked for opinions and advice and got some. You provided very little information and wanted some sort of an answer, everyone that read your post had a different idea of what you wanted. To get the advice that you need, you need to supply information on all of the variables and more will pop up as people provide opinions and advice.

 

If you want to know if a Zephyr can be towed on a dolly the answer is "it  depends". The distance you are going to tow it, the experience of the driver of the tow vehicle, the condition of the towed vehicle, the condition of the roads and on and on.

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When trailering a T it is very clear that there are things that may or may not be done.  I would like to thank Ken for the information regarding the transmission and Tom for the advice on towing backwards.  Dave, I am slightly insulted as the nearest AACA "club" is a considerable drive, I have friends in many clubs being a 3rd generation t guy.  Vintage your response is exactly what I would expect on someone representing an auto transport company.  Jak I appreciate your understanding.  Franklin that was good advice regarding the tow in when a vehicle is reversed.

 

There was no reason to ask the "best way" or "safest way" to transport a '38 Lincoln Zephyr from the CA bay area to the FL keys as the answer is simply "have it moved."  There are many other considerations that have been involved in the decision making process to say the least.  Had I not opted to explore this train of thought I could not have eliminated it as an option.  For those concerned for the safety of the car I will be towing home on a tandem trailer (purchased as opposed to a rental due to one way rental prices) that has passed my safety inspection.  The word I have received regarding the car from well known individuals is that there was water in the oil so if the heads are aluminum that will be my first approach of the problem.  The car is going to a good home in a safe manner.

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Well...great!  We found the answers now and here's hoping the car gets safely to it's intended destination to continue it's legacy, whatever that might be!   Good luck and good night!

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Buying your trailer as opposed to wasting money on renting was a good choice. you can resell it and recoup most of your cost or you might find it is real handy to keep around.

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I am glad that you found a good solution to your problem, good luck with your project.

 

If you had posted some of the things about your experience in the first post, you might not have received as much irrelevant information. I always assume that I am corresponding with a novice, unless there is information that lets me know the experience level of the person.

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