Anyone Ever Haul a GXP Automatic With A Tow Dolly? - Pontiac Solstice Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-17-2018, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone Ever Haul a GXP Automatic With A Tow Dolly?

I am looking at buying an 08 GXP automatic that is 1200 miles away. I'd like to tow-dolly the thing home with my Jeep Liberty. That means the drive wheels are down with the automatic transmission in neutral. The alternative is front wheels down and steering wheel locked. The fellow at our local U-Haul said they do not recommend either way, but he doesn't know why. I wonder if anyone on the forum here has done it successfully without consequences.

The alternative is to drive the GXP home but then I have to drag another person into it. I could fly there, but I have an unrelated side-trip on the way down so flying down is out.

Is there a place to download a 2008 Solstice GXP manual? Maybe in there it says something about tow-dolly-ing.

An automobile trailer and Solstice together is heavy. Though my Jeep Liberty is rated for 5000 pounds, the heavy tongue weight is concerning and GCWR is limiting.

I seek your knowledge on this.

Ron..... without a Solstice but working on it.

Ron

Last edited by rjgramps; 01-17-2018 at 07:50 PM.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-17-2018, 07:32 PM
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I don't think I'd want to tow anything bigger than a garden tractor on a tiny trailer with a Liberty. That short wheel base would make things more than interesting in my opinion.

Do you tow anything at all with the Liberty now?

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-17-2018, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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I did a web search and found a 2008 owner's manual in pdf. On page 4-29 there is a short paragraph about recreational towing, stated as follows....

Recreational Vehicle Towing
Notice: Dolly towing or dinghy towing your vehicle
may cause damage because of reduced ground
clearance. Always put your vehicle on a flatbed truck.

People are towing their base Solstice because Blue Ox sells them. CLICK HERE to see it.

I bring it up because of the matter of "Reduced Ground Clearance". Since I am using a tow dolly one time using interstate highways and such, I won't be doing crazy hills and rain gutters. If I tow and watch the roads, I think I will do fine.

I'd sure like to hear from someone who has done it or at least looked deeply into it.

Ron

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-17-2018, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think I'd want to tow anything bigger than a garden tractor on a tiny trailer with a Liberty. That short wheel base would make things more than interesting in my opinion.

Do you tow anything at all with the Liberty now?
I do not tow now.

A tow dolly would have minimal tongue weight so I am not worried about the handling. As you say, a trailer is something different, concerning.

Ron
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-17-2018, 07:48 PM
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I know with older cars it was not recommended to tow an automatic trans equipped car with the drive wheel on the road & selector in N due to the drive shaft turning the tail shaft, and the transmission pump being driven by the not turning input shaft could result in wear or failure of any internal parts that do rotate when the driveshaft is turn not getting proper lubrication. Normally you would remove the drive shaft, but that is not that easy to do on a Kappa. I would suggest renting or borrowing a more capable tow vehicle & trailer.

I don't know if the same holds true for modern automatic's but it seems like a risk I would not want to take.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-17-2018, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cammerjeff View Post
I don't know if the same holds true for modern automatic's but it seems like a risk I would not want to take.
Yep, I am leaning in that direction. I think I am going to have to drive out there with someone and drive the Solstice following them back home.

Ron
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-17-2018, 09:19 PM
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Tongue weight is not the problem, it is the braking under emergency situations. The liberty is a very small vehicle. It is capable of towing the car, max is 5000 pounds. The Solstice weighs 2900. I am quite certain the only way you could tow it is with the rear wheels on the dolly, and the nose of the Solstice would be very close to the pavement. What ever you decide good luck.

There are very few of the Kappa cars running around with a clean nose and that is at a level setting, the rear wheels 12 inches higher, would most likely be problematic. Take someone with you and enjoy driving it home is the best idea, especially with your side trip. Again good luck.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 04:49 AM
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the Solstice is already a low car with very little clearance.

Now you put it on an angle with a dolly, and the end of the car will be even lower.
This sounds like a bad idea.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 04:52 AM
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that "blue ox" thing must be for drag strip cars or something.
A normal street car would not have those prongs sticking out of the grill........


Sir William's Fleet
Mean 2007 NA 2007 Solstice ordered on 8/24/06 - Picked up on 12/12/06 - Totaled on 6/12/10
Mean 2008 GXP Acquired 6/21/10 with 1275 miles on it - Summer Solstice !
Deep 2009 NA Coupe Acquired 11/2/13 with 1040 miles on it
Mean 2009 GXP Coupe Acquired 8/27/16 with 9100 miles on it
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by ron.dittmer View Post
Yep, I am leaning in that direction. I think I am going to have to drive out there with someone and drive the Solstice following them back home.
No, you'd be doing that wrong. THEY should be following YOU back home!

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 06:34 AM
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The blue ox base plate and pins are made so you can tow it behind a motorhome 4 wheels down. You would have to have a manual transmission car or a lube pump installed on the automatic transmission if that is what you have. You could rent a car that could be dropped off at your destination.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
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that "blue ox" thing must be for drag strip cars or something.
A normal street car would not have those prongs sticking out of the grill........

When any vehicle is setup for 4-wheel-down towing, it will have two protrusions of one kind or another. They are removable with a turn & pull out feature leaving behind the holes in the grille. I would assume the pair of pins pictured on the yellow Solstice works the same way but were not removed when taking the picture for the sake of education.

I tow my Jeep Liberty with all wheels on the pavement, all the time with a motorhome. Years ago I towed a 2000 MR2 Spyder the same way.

You buy a specific structure made for the vehicle called a tow bar bracket. It resembles a rear hitch without the receiver, instead with two mounting points for a tow bar. Those two pins are attached to the bracket behind the bumper cover.

Here are some pictures of my two tow vehicles, past and present being towed. I cannot do the same with the Solstice I am buying because it is an automatic and also because it is a GXP. Apparently the tow bar bracket can't be mounted on a GXP because the turbo introduces a unique interference.


This picture was taken before I added a riser to level the tow bar to eliminate "bucking"


The riser attached to the motorhome is required for the Liberty, but was not required to tow the MR2.


I decided I will be driving the Solstice home. I am forgetting about towing it. Between the automatic transmission and low ground clearance, it's not worth the risk. Add the cost to rent a tow dolly ($265) or a trailer ($530) adds salt to the wound.

Thanks for your comments and input.

Ron

Last edited by rjgramps; 01-18-2018 at 06:57 AM.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by WEEZER888 View Post
The blue ox base plate and pins are made so you can tow it behind a motorhome 4 wheels down. You would have to have a manual transmission car or a lube pump installed on the automatic transmission if that is what you have.
I agree with you, but I won't be towing my Solstice GXP in any fashion. I made my final decision late last night. I'll drive the car home. Thanks for your input. Interesting thought about the auto trans fluid pump. The Solstice GXP I am buying does have an auto-trans.

Ron
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