1999 Explorer xlt 4x4 - towing it across the country, need advice. | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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1999 Explorer xlt 4x4 - towing it across the country, need advice.


New Member
November 1, 2006
Reaction score
City, State
Columbus Ohio
Year, Model & Trim Level
'99 XLS and '93 XLT
Hey all,

Here's the situation:

Moving to socal from Ohio in five days. We rented a u-haul and a dolly to tow my 99 explorer 4x4. I've been searching online and these forums and have seen that I can take the rear drive shaft off, but have seen comments like "that's ok for a short trip" and other comments that have me worried.

Basically my question is, can I use a tow dolly to tow my 4x4 explorer behind a rental truck for over a couple thousand miles? If so, what all steps must I take to make sure this is safe and won't ruin the truck?


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drop your driveshaft,, tie it up securelu so it cannot fall, tie it in such a way that the pressure is toward the rtransmission so it cannot slip out of the tailshaft,, there are no driveshaft driven oil pumps, havent been since 1956,,yur driveshaft spinning in that T case cant spin that many times that fast without without burning a bushing bearing or seal from lack of lubrication,, take a few minutes and make it safe to be drug around the world, good luck, be carefull, buck

^^Agree with Buckwill^^ Dropping your rear tailshaft will allow the rear wheels and differential to spin freely causing no problems further up the drive train. If you do not feel confident tying the drive shaft up out of the way for your several thousand mile trip, you can pull it out all together. If you decide to pull the drive shaft out of the transfer case drain the fluid out of it first so it doesnt leak out of the drive shaft hole.;) Oh, and good luck with your move.

if you drop the driveshaft, ziptie a sandqidge baggy around the tailshaft housiing if u can,, keeps dirt out, call me buck, y friends do,

Thanks guys!

Another question: should I be worried about the weight of the truck being too much for a dolly?

How about the fact of the front of the truck being lifted up a bit puts more weight on the back tires? Any concern?

Thanks! Just trying to avoid a mid-way disaster out in the middle of nowhere.

No problems there, just make sure the tires are inflated to their specifications for easier more stable towing.

allow plenty of room/time for stops/lane changes,, 55 all th way,, watch your wagging tail around those gass pumps, allw plenty of turn room, park away from cars so u dont have to try backing, just get it into your mind right away, u cant back watch as far ahead and to each side, never assume the other driver is watcing for you,good luck

Thanks guys, I really appreciate the assistance!

Now just to figure out what to unbolt and "stick up" out of the way. Anyone got a pic of what I'm looking for? Not so great with underside of trucks. Barely can fix engine stuff!


This is all I have handy, a picture of the rear drive-shaft partially removed:

First you need to get up on the dollies, then secure the vehicle. Then chock one of the rear wheels. Next, raise the other rear wheel so it just above the ground. Then get under there and using a paint pen, make an index mark on both ends of the drive-shaft where it attaches to the companion flanges. This so you can re-install the shaft just as it was before. Next, using some good penetrating oil, soak the bolts good, four in the front where it joins the transfer case, and four in the back where it joins the rear end. Put the transmission in NEUTRAL. Then, using a twelve point socket or wrench, loosen the bolts, rotating the shaft by turning the wheel that is raised to give you access to all bolts. Put the bolts & shaft in the back of the truck.

This is what the back end looks like, front is similar:

if u drop thhe driveshaft, take a kids crayon and make a mark on both parts so it goes back the same way.. easy way drop both ends and put the driveshft in your explorer then u wont have to worry about it falling out,, mine has a slip yokre on the trans and can slip out, if u have 4 wheel drive u will have flange like dr dooms shaft, keep the bolts inside also, i put my bolts back one time and all but one slung out,,with the flange setup, u wont have to worry bout cups falling off, just ite it up securely with good wire or chain, securely,, heres a pic, have fun let us know buck,, i have a pic on pictures file but cant get it in,,how do i do that

Once again, thank you gentlemen. Awesome pics and explanations. I greatly appreciate it!

if I where you I would do the remove entire drive shaft. **Be sure to mark where it came off though, otherwise you could have some serious drivline vibrations.*** But that is mentioned above... Also stated above is if you remove the whole thing you will lose your Transfercase fluid, but in most cases it is well over due for a change. So you can get kill 2 birds with one stone, get your ex across country, and change out the transfercase fluid. but it is up to you. if you tie it up though, like once again stated above, be sure to make some sort of pressure tword the transfer case, so you don't lose fluid, or even worse the drive shaft. you can never have too much safety.

good luck, and have a safe trip.