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So how do you tow a Spitfire?


AndyCrews
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..or any other rear wheel drive car for that matter?

 

When my Spitfire was recovered earlier in the week, the AA patrolman consulted his control centre who said that it had to be done as a rear wheel lift because it had a oil pumped gearbox?? New one on me. When I ran Herald they just got pulled along if required.  Also said that they wouldn't recover a car with wire wheels this way because of the risk of the wheels coming loose.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Andy

 

 

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Just attach tow rope and pull it. They are wrong gearbox isn't pumped at all. Probably not a good idea to tow it 500 miles, but 10 will do no harm. Maybe they are confused with the TR7 5 speed box which does have an oil pump, or rather the 'puter has been given incorrect data when set up.

 

Wire wheel thing sounds sort of fair. The spinners are put on so they tighten with going forward, so I guess could  (notice could) get loose if towed a fair distance backwards. But I see their point, and credit to them for actually knowing that. Not something I would have thought of!

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When I had the shame of being recovered from a show at Arley Hall due to a clutch hydraulics failure, the (very helpful) AA guy took one look at the car and the shiny bits under the bonnet and said it was obviously a cherished vehicle and he was not working on it, or towing it, and hoisted it on to his low loader for the trip home. Very efficient it was too, even if it did give the neighbours a laugh at my expense.

 

I have to admit, I had never considered the risks of wires coming off if towed backwards.

 

Regards

 

Steve C

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The problems of towing any manual gearbox thats pumped or splash lubricated is when driving the gears are rotating on the main shaft and all area, s get oiled, if you tow for a long distance in neutral

the gears are stationary and the shaft is rotated inside the gears hence no splash and the shaft is well above the oil level so after a good bit of rotation its now run dry and you seize the box up

example on our trucks (with pumped lube)there was a tap in the clutchline, you could drop the clutch and close the tap engage a gear so when towed the box rotates and spins as the clutch disc is free .

 

This is why you see spectacle lifts tow front wheel drives with wheels off the deck or rear diffs like bmw or trucks suspened at the rear or the propshaft is taken off

 

So if you want to tow the spit as clive says , ut if its a good few miles , drop the cluch and engage a gear from time to time to get the splash working

pete

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No thoughts on the lh threaded spinners other than we in uk had lh threaded wheel nuts on n/s of trucks and many eupeans had rh threads all round

 

as being towed the loads are from wheel downstream rather than transmision upstream I doubt they would have any tendany to slacken as they are not taking any real torque but its an intersting thought

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Andy

 

Under no  circumstances should you tow a wire wheel equipped car from the rear.

It's not an old wives tale about the spinners loosening and the wheels eventually falling off. If you look at a standard spinner the ears are offset from each other. There's  a good reason for this-as the wheel rotates forward the spinner ears ensure that the point on the edge of the spinner  that "hits" the hub moves backwards on each rotation-effectively tightening it. This is the real genius of the Rudge Design. To see this work, take a key ring and rotate it slowly one way around your finger. You will notice that on each rotation the point on your finger that the ring hits moves back in the opposite direction. So you can see how the spinners will eventually loosen if rotated in the wrong direction.

There have been instances, allegedly, of cars having there spinners fitted so that the tightening direction is opposite to forward motion with predictably disasterous results.

You should actually loosen and then tighten the eared spinners every month or so to avoid them overtightening.

 

Cheers

 

Alan

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