Tow trouble

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  pmossberg 2 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #236109

    Anonymous

    Ok here goes.
    When i bought my MG like an idiot,I put it on a tow dolly, then promptly forgot it was in first gear when i took off! Duhhh!!
    I pulled it about 200ft before realizing i hadn’t taken it out of gear.
    Can anyone tell me what might have happened to the motor/trans if anything?
    She now runs Really rough..
    Yeah I know I’m stupid. It’s been a lllong time since I’ve had a standard..

    #267928

    pmossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    Here are a few thoughts to get the thread going!

    The way a stock VW is geared, first gear is only good up to
    about ten or fifteen miles an hour. If you went faster than that, you may have
    “over-reved” the engine. Not sure what that would mean with the
    engine not actually running.

    My other fear is engine may not have built up oil pressure. It may have been spinning with no protection.

    I did a quick search, and did not see any promising news.

    This one talks about a relatively long tow: http://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread.php?t=376254

    This one talks about towing forward while trans was in
    reverse. Much worse than what you did. 
    http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1994-01-06/topic/9401050129_1_warranty-tow-a-car-manual-transmission

    Paul Mossberg
    1982 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to http://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #267929

    Anonymous

    The problem is I definitely exceeded 10 mph! Probably even 35..
    I’m afraid it’s going to mean rebuild time. At least!
    Bummed cause I Just got it. Not to mention can’t afford it!!

    #267930

    Anonymous

    Anyone know where I can get a good rebuilt motor, or even a good running motor for not too much money???
    I’m in Kingman Az…

    #267931

    newkitman
    Participant

    @newkitman

    Cheapest I can think of is to Google VW shows in and around your area. Then go and see what’s there.

    Allen Caron
    VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
    "If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The Shack

    #267932

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    200 feet? 

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say you did not exceed 35 mph with a car in tow–in gear–in 200 feet….unless you were pulling it with a monster truck or maybe a top fuel dragster. 
    You weren’t doing that, were you?
    So the engine runs cruddy, does it? 
    But–IT RUNS.
    Start tuning her up.
    Check the oil. Got some? Excellent. Add a little if it’s low. We’ll change it later.
    I would pull off the valve covers and have a look at the springs and the rocker shafts. Is everything intact? Nothing falling out? Good! Put it back.
    Now set your timing as per the Muir book.
    Now adjust your carb, also as the Muir book recommends.
    See if you can’t get a little improvement. If all else fails, then consult your local craigslist, the samba site, etc. and see if you can get a good used 1600. I doubt you’ll need to…

    edsnova2016-04-25 21:14:00

    #267933

    pmossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    I’m sure the more mechanically inclined will chime in soon. Meanwhile…before you start shopping for an engine to rebuild, or for rebuild parts, let’s look a little closer at what you have.

    Do a compression check. That will give you some idea if there is internal damage.

    The normal range is 120 – 130. Good info on compression testing here:
    http://www.vw-resource.com/compression.html

    Pull the valve covers off and look for the obvious stuff… loose rockers, pushrods that have fallen out of place, the entire rocker arm assembly.

    Drain the oil. Any metal fragments?

    Report back here with any significant findings.

    Paul Mossberg
    1982 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to http://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #267934

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    Compression check. Good one. 

    I’d still see if I could get her running first though.
    This is a VW Bug. The only time a VW Bug got ruined in 200 feet was this. And even then–it was only the last 200 feet.

    edsnova2016-04-25 21:17:15

    #267935

    royal
    Participant

    @royal

    I agree with Ed that there is a chance that you may not have major significant damage.  (chance, major, significant Smile)  So, why not hope for the glass half full.  I would suggest that before running it, you change the oil and check it for metal with a magnet and visually in bright light.  Then post your findings.  If the old oil reveals nothing, then do a compression check and check your valve clearances.  Looking for slop in the stem, wobbly rockers, and do a good visual check for broken valve springs.  If it was in time before, and if the carburetor was adjusted correctly before, then I see no reason why they wouldn’t still be correct.  Also, I see no reason why you wouldn’t have had oil pressure during it’s escapade. It wouldn’t surprise me though if due to very high revs, some components (cylinder walls/ bearings/cam lobes) got very hot and possibly suffered some accelerated wear.  ….are you SURE that it is not running as well as before?  Hope for the best.  Run it – you’ve got nothing to lose.   If you have “before” compression pressures, include then with after results in your next post. 

    Good luck, (but these VW’s are truly quite hard to kill.)

    #267936

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    Even without ignition, the engine should have built up oil pressure. So, I’d think the damage is likely from “over-revving). The stock VW valve train is not designed to withstand high RPMs, so that’s where I’d start looking. Pop the valve covers off, and manually spin the engine over. You may have warped the push rods – IMO, the most likely damage. You may have popped a retaining clip on the rocker arm shafts.

    Luckily for you, the stock VW engine is low compression with considerable clearance between valves and pistons. If the engine had been run at any time recently, there was likely enough residual oil film to protect the internals until it build up pressure. There may be NO damage to pistons, cylinders, crank, rods and camshaft – only the top end.

    Bottom line – you might be able to repair it without even pulling the engine, much less replacing it…KentT2016-04-25 22:09:18

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #267937

    lrh
    Participant

    @lrh

    Don’t forget about gasoline running through the carburetor(s) if a mechanical fuel pump not electric. That would wash into the engine cylinders and oil since no burn is taking place. Could be the worst of it if didn’t actually over rev.
    (edit: I realize the float(s) should prevent that, no throttle opening, but even idle lets gas through).
    Yeah, a couple hundred feet doesn’t seem like a distance to gain a speed of more than 20 MPH unless either the distance was farther or the pull was abruptly quick. But if a look at the speedometer said 35 before stopping, well, it is what it is. Thing about that, I would expect the tires would’ve been screeching, if not the engine too, before getting that fast.
    May good luck be with you on this!

    LRH2016-04-26 00:15:04

    #267938

    Anonymous

    I said 200 ft But it was going up the on ramp to the freeway! That’s what concernes me most!
    I drove it to TNT Auto here in town. They have a good reputation so I’m hoping it is ok.?
    I guess I’ll just have to wait for their word on condition.
    It did run going down there but Really rough. Maybe just outta time or??
    It ran real good when I test drive it!

    #267939

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    My bet is on warped pushrods. Valves won’t open the way they should, so it would run rough and not produce much power…

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #267940

    Anonymous

    Ok, just came from shop. The guy I bought it from Lied his butt off! (Big surprise) huh.
    It’s not a new motor or trans like he said. The front transmission mount is hard mounted and held on with zip ties. The front seal is leaking. The exhaust is bent and not connecting to the heater box. There are multiple oil leaks.

    I did bend 1 or more push rods.
    Looking at about $1000 for repairs. Most of which are stuff this “Master mechanic” haha either messed up or out right jury rigged to sell it.
    Oh well yet another reason I should a listened to what pop told me years ago, Always Inspect Everything First!!
    At least when I get it back it’ll be done Right!!

    #267941

    pmossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    Not the greatest news. But at least you know what you are dealing with now.

    Good luck!
    And for what’s it’s worth, it’s interesting that this group of backyard mechanics successfully predicted the most likely damage…some bent pushrods. Nice job gang!

    Paul Mossberg
    1982 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to http://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

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