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Author Topic: Towing a Lexus LX470?  (Read 2059 times)

mykee50

  • Posts: 3
Towing a Lexus LX470?
« on: May 28, 2010, 02:14:25 PM »
We are looking into this rig as a toad.  Does anybody have any experience with it?  Thanks, Mike, Issaquah, WA

Pierat

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  • Posts: 1854
Re: Towing a Lexus LX470?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2010, 03:26:36 PM »
You may not be able to tow it four down. Try Remco for info and mods.
We Have Hung Up The Keys!
Washington State

Jack Nichols

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  • Posts: 85
Re: Towing a Lexus LX470?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2010, 11:04:34 PM »
I did not see what year the LX is, but it is probably much like mine if it is a 1997 or earlier.  Later ones need to be checked to be sure the Low-Neutral-High transfer case lever actually moves gears in the transfer case, and not some esoteric electronic gizmo.  All bets are off if it does not have the lever-gear connection.

I tow a 1993 Land Cruiser, four down.  Toyota all but hung up on me when I asked them, several Land Cruiser mechanics said they would  do it, but not suggest I do in case of a problem, etc, etc.  Somehow I was reminded of Chicken Little.

Since I had the Cruiser, with about 225K miles, we are old friends, I could not see any reason why I should not tow it.  So, I decided to try it, and if I tore it up then I would get something that would work.  So far I have towed it from Fort Worth, to Phoenix, to Amarillo, to Oregon, to Phoenix, to Dallas and back to Amarillo, and it does fine.  Put the transfer case in neutral (solid old transfer case lever that actually moves gears, not electronics), turn the key on to unlock the steering wheel lock, then off and leave the key in the ignition lock to keep the steering wheel lock unlocked, install a Brake Buddy (or appropriate choice) to handle braking with a 5,600 pound rig, and you are good to go.

Unconventional things I have done, besides towing four down in the first place:  I do not use a base plate, but attach a heavy steel Blue Ox tow bar directly to the tow hooks on the front of my truck.  I saw a video where a Cruiser, full of water, was lifted completely out of the water by ONE of those, so they should be good for towing.  Saved about $180+ for an ugly baseplate.  I also ran a 12 volt power source for the Brake Buddy from the coach house batteries - no danger of running the toad battery down and losing braking.

I use synthetic oils in the drive train, and that may help keep it cool.  The transfer case is always cool to the touch when I check it.  I do start the engine and run the transmission through the gears at least once, and mostly twice a day when towing.  Can't hurt, though I doubt I need it to keep everything lubed.

Christo Slee (Toyota guru extraordinary) has developed a lube pump that addresses these concerns, but I see no need for it in my rig.  Remco is the recognized leader in lube pumps, etc, if you want to go that way.

That is my story, and I'm sticking to it. ;*)
"Before the internet, the village idiot stayed in his own village - or Washington"
"Be kinder than you have to be - most people are fighting some sort of demon in thier lives"

thatcrazyfamily

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  • Posts: 26
    • That Crazy Family
Re: Towing a Lexus LX470?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2010, 06:48:02 AM »
^ How did you fit the Blue Ox to the tow hooks?  I'm towing a Durango with a Blue Ox and haven't ordered the base plate.
Mattern Family
2006 Keystone Hornet 27B
1997 36s Fleetwood Bounder - Sold
www.matternfamily.com

Jack Nichols

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  • Posts: 85
Re: Towing a Lexus LX470?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2010, 12:39:02 PM »
Well, tow "hooks" may be a bit of a misnomer, as they are really tow "loops".  The loop part looks like about 3/8 hardened steel, welded onto a plate that is bolted to the frame horn ends. I do not know if the newer Lexus have them.

If the tow loops were not super strong, with nearly fifteen years of experience with the truck, I would not have done it that way.  I had a baseplate (since sold) that came with the tow bar, and after comparing loop size and base plate attachment, decided the loops were plenty strong. 

Of course the base plate was also well engineered, over engineered maybe, and plenty strong.  I doubt I would take this route in anything but my well known truck.  Not using the base plate gives Blue Ox an "out" on liability, if they want it, but I do not intend to sue anyone anyway.  If the tow bar breaks (HIGHLY unlikely) I will just fix it or replace it.  I doubt the subject of a base plate will come up.

A towed vehicle of this size DOES need auxilary braking, even behind my 40' diesel pusher.  I could probably get by without a braking system (illegaly most places), but in panic situation I want it under control.  Even more important, if it should break away (due to failure of the hitch, hitch frame, hitch ball, tow bar, or tow loops) AND pull loose from some monster safety cables it will have full brakes applied.  Not the best situation, but much better than an uncontrolled truck crashing through traffic.
"Before the internet, the village idiot stayed in his own village - or Washington"
"Be kinder than you have to be - most people are fighting some sort of demon in thier lives"

thatcrazyfamily

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  • Posts: 26
    • That Crazy Family
Re: Towing a Lexus LX470?
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2010, 07:23:23 AM »
Thank you for clarifying.  Aux braking...  Any links to an example of one?  I don't have tow bars on my Durango so I think I'm going to get the base plate.
Mattern Family
2006 Keystone Hornet 27B
1997 36s Fleetwood Bounder - Sold
www.matternfamily.com

Jack Nichols

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  • Posts: 85
Re: Towing a Lexus LX470?
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2010, 01:34:29 PM »
Funny you have a Durango, that is the base plate that came with my tow bar.  Sold it to a nice person on line here.

If you can find a used tow bar and/or baseplate, I would not be afraid of it.  Be sure you get some braces (did not come with mine) that you need, as they are often left on the vehicle the base plate was used on.  They are $80, so worth looking for.

I use a Brake Buddy (Goggle it for info) that works very well.  It is a self contained unit, with an air pump for pneumatic actuation of the towed vehicle brakes.  It is powerful enough to apply brakes without the power brake assist being used.  It plugs into a cigarette lighter for power.  Nothing is "installed", as it comes complete.  There is a used one on here, and I bought mine used also.  I recently had mine factory rebuilt (they will NOT sell you parts - insurance issues) for about $150, parts and labor, so it is like new.  There are other, easier to use braking systems out there, and you will probably learn about them if you ask.  I wanted one that I could use with several vehicles, and Brake Buddy is what I chose - happy with it.

Since Brake Buddy runs off of battery power, and the battery in my old truck was weak (since replaced) I ran a power wire off of my coach house battery to power it.  Probably not necessary, as others on here have observed.
"Before the internet, the village idiot stayed in his own village - or Washington"
"Be kinder than you have to be - most people are fighting some sort of demon in thier lives"

thatcrazyfamily

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  • Posts: 26
    • That Crazy Family
Re: Towing a Lexus LX470?
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2010, 08:17:42 PM »
^Thank you!  Sorry for semi-hijacking the thread.
Mattern Family
2006 Keystone Hornet 27B
1997 36s Fleetwood Bounder - Sold
www.matternfamily.com