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apowers

so.... prove it

I personally believe it can be because it looks like a typical manual trany with a neutral gear.... BUT I admit I don't know squat about a Getrag trany so there may be some pump I am not aware of that lube the diff or something...

Book says no more then 30 mile at slow speeds...or something like this...

I you found empirical info you should post all your data not just some declaration about a subject we have been discussing about for 8 months now
 

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The smart doesn't have a steering column lock. The Brits say that you have to lash the steering wheel (dead straight ahead!) for any flat towing. I would imaging that flat towing with the front end free could be dicey if one front wheel had appreciably more drag due to under inflation and if the smart was short on wheel caster.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
straight from SMART

THIS CAME STRAIGHT from SMART....



"As for flat towing – the smart can be flat towed. "


Regards,

Joe



Joe O'Deven

General Manager After Sales

smart USA




apowers

so.... prove it

I personally believe it can be because it looks like a typical manual trany with a neutral gear.... BUT I admit I don't know squat about a Getrag trany so there may be some pump I am not aware of that lube the diff or something...

Book says no more then 30 mile at slow speeds...or something like this...

I you found empirical info you should post all your data not just some declaration about a subject we have been discussing about for 8 months now
 

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towable flat per Smart

Last week I asked a Smart USA rep about flat towing and she said the manual is being written to reflect that it indeed, can be flat towed. Just put it in neutral and go.
Many Canadians are towing their Smarts for the past few years.
We've flat towed a 4x4 car for years and it doesn't require anything be done to the steering wheel.
I'm hopeful that the hitch points will be a 2nd tow hook spot on the left corner like the existing one on the right corner.

Hamp
 

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I have been reading this ridiculous go-around for some time and it is stupid.

BTW: you only tie/lash the front wheels when towing from the rear. The 'trail' (Caster) of the front wheel alignment takes care of steering with a towbar only, not a rope.

Think for a moment, WHY no Flat towing. Don't just come back with 'Automatic transmission'. We used to Flat tow automatics. what changed?
Tha Manf's, in their infinate wisdom, decided to eliminate the rear pump (driven by the driveshaft). You could Flat tow cars with rear pumps.You can Flat tow a car with an automatic trans today if...... It 's done with a aux. pump and a 1qt reservior. Dumps 1qt of ATF when you turn the engine off, pump returns 1qt back when engine is started. Motor homers do it all the time.

Now, GET THIS: The inside of the Smart transmission is a STD transmission. You can Flat tow a STD tranmission.

The interrogative I pose is: Not why prove it's OK to Flat tow, prove to me WHY I shouldn't flat tow with this transmission ? DON"T give me speculation, give me facts

Prove to me that after removing the, external electric. shifting mechanism you have anything but a STD trans.

BTW: I am an engineer

Donald LaFavor
 

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Prove to me that after removing the, external electric. shifting mechanism you have anything but a STD trans.

BTW: I am an engineer

Donald LaFavor

This is only possible if you know for sure you are, in fact, safely removing/disabling the mechanism...

Turn on key
Press foot brake
Release parking brake
Shift to Neutral

Then what?

Turn off key? Will it even cut off in neutral? Will it count the miles towed?
Will you be able to remove key?
Is there a way ensure it stays in neutral?

I'm just playing "devil's advocate" here, obviously, but still, these questions come to mind...

I agree with you concerning the steering...Tires will most likely follow the path of least resistance...:D
 

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I have been reading this ridiculous go-around for some time and it is stupid.

BTW: you only tie/lash the front wheels when towing from the rear. The 'trail' (Caster) of the front wheel alignment takes care of steering with a towbar only, not a rope.

Think for a moment, WHY no Flat towing. Don't just come back with 'Automatic transmission'. We used to Flat tow automatics. what changed?
Tha Manf's, in their infinate wisdom, decided to eliminate the rear pump (driven by the driveshaft). You could Flat tow cars with rear pumps.You can Flat tow a car with an automatic trans today if...... It 's done with a aux. pump and a 1qt reservior. Dumps 1qt of ATF when you turn the engine off, pump returns 1qt back when engine is started. Motor homers do it all the time.

Now, GET THIS: The inside of the Smart transmission is a STD transmission. You can Flat tow a STD tranmission.

The interrogative I pose is: Not why prove it's OK to Flat tow, prove to me WHY I shouldn't flat tow with this transmission ? DON"T give me speculation, give me facts

Prove to me that after removing the, external electric. shifting mechanism you have anything but a STD trans.





BTW: I am an engineer

Donald LaFavor

Donald,

You are assuming, of course, that the clutch on this goofy "manumatic" remains disengaged when the engine is shut off. Part of the consideration also must be whether the lubrication occurs with a passive oil bath as did on traditional manual transmissions, or whether it relies on pressurized oil fed from an input shaft driven oil pump. I have not yet seen the parts explosion on this tranny yet, so I would feel uncomfortable assuming that it is the same basic lubrication system as on a Muncie or Borg Warner. The configuration of the Getrag in my MINI in no way resembles that of the a "traditional" tranny. For example, the input and output shafts are parrallel to, but do not line up with one another. There is no gear with a 1:1 ratio, rendering the concept of overdrive irrelevant. MINI strongly recommends against towing cars with manual trannies with the front wheels on the ground (fwd) for more than a very short distance to get the car to a safe location, citing potential lubrication failure. (Towing AT cars for any distance with the front wheels on the ground is prohibited).

I don't know if any of this is relevant to the Smart, but probably worth getting the "official" word from Smart on this issue.

Lance (also an M.E.)
 

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These issues are exactly why I am a tad snotty when we are told it can, or can not be flat towed... it all depends only on one issue in my mind.... how is the getrag lubricated?

The issue about neutral and clutch is fairly simple... we know already that when motor is OFF the clutch is engaged..not released...

The thoughts above about how you leave the car in neutral are relevant...

The "P" position really places the transmission in reverse gear at shut down to prevent roll away theft ..... a Smart Trained tech claims they taught there is a tranly lock "pawl" in the "P" position... I am suspicious of this claim and have a Missouri show me attitude...

None of the gen 1 or 2 had this "Pawl" in the getrag 6 speed... seems to me an unnecessary complication... ON the other hand...I can see why a "Pawl" would be necessary for the CDI diesel version to prevent bump start so perhaps they just have it in all Smart 5spd getrag tranies...

My gut and historical fact tells me the 5speed getrag is splash lubed like any other manual tranny... I have seen the Lil Buggers in Europe tag along all 4 on the ground behind RVs....

However this in itself is not proof... there are many companies that have decouplers for drive axles on other popular tow behind RV cars...so I can not say all the Smart cars I saw behind RVs were not mechanically altered or adapted for flat towing... BUT I know I have seen more then 5 fortwos behind RVs at autobahn speeds (80kph ~50mph)

I can hear the wheels in some of your heads wondering why not just tow it behind up on a dolly or trailer... and true this is the best way to save wear and tear on the "dinghy" (term for a flat towed car behind a RV)

For many RV owners this is a viable option...BUT there are a lot of RVs out there that are limited in total Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (GCVWR) for these adding the 1200~2400pounds of a car trailer and the weight of the car exceeds the specs and can cause serious consequences with states that pull over and weigh the RVers... hint 36,001 pounds can place some vehicle + trailer combinations into a commercial vehicle category ( in some states) the fines can be substantial and cumulative
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Flat Tow update

Ok, so our treainer was here, and as of TODAY...The flat tow option isn't going to work...The manual is wrong, and SMART is working on a solution!!!

Sorry Guys! :)
 

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Ok, so our treainer was here, and as of TODAY...The flat tow option isn't going to work...The manual is wrong, and SMART is working on a solution!!!

Sorry Guys! :)

Just to add to the confusion, the SeattlesmartCenter head of maintenance told me today that the car CAN be towed on all four wheels, in neutral. However, so far I don't believe there's a towbar anyone's come up with.
 

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Here we go again !
This tranny (451) is basically the same as the 450 (Main difference is linkage).

The 450 may be flat towed from here to kingdom come.

Think of what are the actual reasons a car can't be flat towed .

all cars can be flat towed UNLESS it has an automatic transmission WITHOUT A REAR PUMP and even these cars can be flat towed an attachment to compensate for the lack of a rear pump.

I guarantee it
 
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