Tow Bar help ?:


Precision Fit
Oct 23, 2009
Citrus Heights & Tahoe
First Name
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1954
Have not towed with tow bar before. Want to tow PU frame to car wash for power wash.
Have disconnected steering.. Craig' s list tow bar w/no instructions...
Seems like I've read contradictory information front wheels "locked" straight or allowed to be wander?
Thanks :
When I used to tow my Cruiser, before I had a trailer, I found that adding some air to the front tires and loosely tying the steering wheel to the roll cage allowed me to go around a corner without the wheels ending up pointing the wrong way or not returning to center. I also found that as I increased tire size the problem got worse. That is my only experience with a towbar. I really don't know what a bare frame will do.
I was planning on towing my frame down to the carwash soon too. When I got my CJ5 it had a tow bar on it and that was how I brought it home. Did have to tie the steering wheel down with the wheels as close to straight as possible. My Ross box will be out before I tow it down to the car wash as well. I was planning on doing something to hold the tierod in place for the movement.
Bottom line is the steering on the vehicle being towed must be secured in the straight position.
Homewood4, you can't really tie up the wheel. It has to turn or you will end up dragging the front end around. When you stop allow yourself enough room to start out straight, then ease in to turn. If not your wheels will turn the opposite way if you start out turning. I was in the towing business for over 10 years and only tied up wheel as last resort. You must have proper inflation in tires to make it turn properly. Large tires can make a big difference. Try it without tieing and if it don't work tie it up. If it has no weight on it, it could bounce and give problems. Leave engine in and wash it also. Look at RV's towing cars with a tow bar to see how many tie up steering wheel. Talk to places like uhaul who sell these hitches and they should be able to give you the best pointers. Chuck
I have towed my Cj2a numerous time with the towbar that came attached to it. Never tied the wheel, never had a problem. I do try to make wide gentle turns to give the rig a chance to follow. Let us know what you decide to do and how you make out. Good luck at the car wash as well, hopefully no surprises under all the gunk.
With 38" swampers on tieing the wheel was my only option, with 31" tires it tracked straight and true, no need to tie it. It was tied loosely which allowed the wheels to turn but not all the way. Not saying it's the right way, just what worked for me, it was a roadside get me through fix.
You mentioned it's just the frame...right?....hook it up to that Big RED Power wagon and drag it to the car will follow you as long as the tow bar is attached tight and you use safety some adventure!
I am not discounting anything that has been said in these posts, but I can tell you from experience, towing a Willys truck OR wagon is a PITA. Regular jeeps seem to follow along without too much trouble, so I will say for the record that is nothing like towing the truck or wagon. On the trucks and wagons those front tires just DO NOT want to return to center after turning. I don't care how wide you take the corner...they won't come back. I've towed with stock tire sizes, 33's and 36's. It's the same outcome. I've even tried varying the angle of the tow bar to take load off the front and put load on. It just don't matter. Out of ideas I always end up locking the tires in the straight forward position and dragging around the corners. It sucks, but it works. Here is my last thought. You're only taking the frame right? I'm betting you will put different tires on it later. I say just lock em and go for it. It will survive.
Brother Aqua....I like your style! Brother Homewood how did it work out???
Well, been flat on my back sick this holiday "furlough" week so have only been able to work on the project in my head....
After reading comments have abandoned the tow bar idea all together. Scraped, cleaned and degreased in the garage sufficiently enough all that is left is pretty much dust and tight spots. Thought the carwash would save my neighbors from the noise but feel ok to power wash in driveway w/o contaminating creeks.

Thanks for all the input...looks like differing ideas with differing results.
Happy New Year
Happy New Year. Hope you're feeling better. Easyoff oven cleaner works great after the scraping for the home cleaning. That's probably what I'll do. I hope I get mine in the garage this weekend. Chuck
A little late as you solved the problem. But for the record, I just towed a wagon frame w/o engine and there wasn't enought weight to make the steering track. But my steeriing was stiff so just I just pointed it straight and drug the front around the few corners. I have also towed a frame with the engine in it and it worked well.
rcshook696 said:
Happy New Year. Hope you're feeling better. Easyoff oven cleaner works great after the scraping for the home cleaning. That's probably what I'll do. I hope I get mine in the garage this weekend. Chuck

May be common knowldge already but I used degreaser called OIL EATER this weekend. non-toxic and just melted the oil and grease off, still a took a little scraping to remove the 56 years of u joint grease from frame... really pleased. $10/gallon used 1/1 with water. Also pre-wash sprayed my greasy shirt/pants ....worked equally well....may wear them to church next week now...

Available online from Costco, but I purchased locally at Kragen/O'Reillys (Checker Schucks...whatever it's called in your neck of the woods)