XR4Ti Archived Tech Articles

    The XR4Ti vs. The UHaul Tow Dolly - a record of my experience towing my "racer" XR4Ti on a tow dolly (front axle support only).

Post Date:    Tue, 05 Jun 2001
Subject:      The XR4Ti vs. The UHaul Tow Dolly - Carlisle 2001
List:         merkurowners@merkurowners.org

This isn't my write-up for the event.  This is a note regarding the towing 
of an XR on a tow dolly.  I wasn't able to get the fullsize trailer I had 
last year to bring my race XR to the event this year.  I opted to bring 
the racer on a tow dolly rented from UHaul.

First of all, my racer, with it's -40mm lowering springs and Rapido 
intercooler doesn't fit onto the tow dolly without some assistance.  Too 
bad I didn't find this out *until I had put it on* the tow dolly.  I 
snapped the lowest piece on the bumper just left of center.  As I found out 
when putting the XR back on the dolly after the event, I also broke the 
bolts out of the left side mount of the Rapido IC as well, preventing me 
from getting on the tow dolly at all.  The solution to that was putting a 
couple wooden boards on the ramps of the dolly to give it the extra height 
it needed.

I was also asked about the driveshaft in the car, and whether I had removed 
it.  I chose not to, figuring that it was like driving the car in neutral.  
Well, not exactly.  When I test drove the car after it was finally removed 
from the dolly to make sure everything was a-okay, I discovered a humming 
noise coming from the tranny while coasting with the motor off, whether I 
was in gear or not.  I had to do it with the motor off to hear it.  After 
all, as those at the autocross know, I only have a 3" downpipe for my 

FWIW, I have a T-5, and yes, I made sure it was in neutral.

So that's my write-up.  If you are towing the XR via tow dolly, disconnect 
your driveshaft and make sure all parts of the car are going to clear the 
dolly when you drive onto it.


Additional Information:

There was a debate started by the post as to which trannies could and
couldn't be used for towing.  See the Merkur Owners Group archives at
http://www.merkurowners.org for the complete thread.  I still believe that
any XR (or Scorpio) should either be driven to where it needs to be, or
hauled on a trailer.  I'll never tow dolly again.

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Published by Chris Anglin.