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Old 07-13-2019, 11:21 AM #1
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Emergency towing of 5th gen TRD Pro

Long story short, truck threw a CEL/trac/terrain select light and went into limp mode this morning. Requested a flat bed tow truck to take it into the dealership but still had to deal with an emergency at work so I had to scramble to leave. Turns out a wheel lift truck came instead and they towed the 4runner with rear wheels off the ground. 4wd not engaged but the car was still in park (says dealer upon receipt of car) and they didn't use a dolly for the front wheels as per the manual.

This shouldn't damage the tranny, correct? I've towed several RWD cars like this in the past but was always told to keep it in neutral.
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Old 07-13-2019, 12:01 PM #2
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Your probably fine assuming it's a true part-time 4wd system. If it's a AWD/Full-time 4wd there it's likely problematic depending on the distance traveled.

In that towing configuration a part-time system will only operate the Front diff and half of the transfer case backwards meaning that the lube slingers aren't working to their optimum, but heat wouldn't likely be an issue unless it was being towed at highway speeds for a long period of time.

If it's a full-time system (like my 4th gen) you could do some pretty significant damage in pretty short order. I don't have a lot of hands-on knowledge with the 5th gens, but I have a fair amount of experience towing. Hopefully someone else can chime in with more specific info about the trans/transfer case configurations.

I would make sure to get as much documentation as possible and inspect all your fluids. You're probably fine, but better safe than sorry. Anyone that pulled up to a 4wd vehicle in a wheel lift truck and didn't immediately call for a flatbed doesn't know enough about drive-train configuration to be trusted.
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Old 07-13-2019, 12:07 PM #3
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Yes it's part time 4WD, it was absolutely in 2H the entire time.

It was about an 18 mile trip via the highway to the closest dealership, though...
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Old 07-13-2019, 02:02 PM #4
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Don't see why it would hurt anything as long as in 2WD as you said and not a full-time model.
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Old 07-13-2019, 02:13 PM #5
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Should be fine. That's no different than driving in 2hi. It's backwards, but the only gears spinning are diff spider gears and they're not directionally cut. They're the same either way. I wouldn't give it another thought.
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Old 07-13-2019, 03:41 PM #6
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I think your just being over protective. I'd be the same way though
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