Flat towing

Tiny
JORGE HERNANDEZ2
  • MEMBER
  • 2008 MAZDA CX7
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 130,000 MILES
I want to flat tow my CX9 with my RV. Now I have heard and read that Mazda's cannot be flat towed according to manual. But I have also read and heard that it is possible to flat tow by removing the drive shafts. Is that true?
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Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 AT 8:23 PM

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Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
If it is front wheel drive only you can put it on a tow dolly. All wheel drive has to be towed on a trailer.

Could you flat tow it by removing both front drive axles?
Probably, but you need to carry replacement hub seals, replacement axle nuts, a torque wrench, jack and jack stands, pry bars, misc. Tools plus some type of dummy shaft to install in the trans-axle to keep the fluid in and dirt out and another to install in the hub end to keep the bearings from pulling apart. Include a spare ABS sensor as well as it is easy to damage those during the process.
Plus take about two hours or so to remove or re-install the axles every time you want to tow the car.

Removal is simple, jack up the car. Secure on stands. Remove the tire. Break the axle nut loose. Use a heavy hammer to break the axle splines free of the hub. Next remove the lower ball joint pinch bolt from the steering knuckle and lever the lower A-arm down to free the ball joint stud. Remove the nut from the tie rod end and use a couple heavy hammers to break that stud free of the knuckle. Remove it. Now remove the brake caliper from it's mount and use a hanger to secure it out of the way. Pull the strut assembly out while pushing the axle snout through the hub to free it. The outer end is now free. Slide under the car and use a pry bar to pop the inner axle joint free from the transmission. Install the plug or whatever fluid retention device you need to keep the fluid in. Install the outer shaft into the hub and torque it down, Then reinstall the ball joint to the knuckle, torque the pinch bolt down. Install the brake caliper and the tie rod end, Reinstall the wheel and tire and repeat the process on the other side.

Reinstall is about the same except you need to torque the new axle nut down, and may need to replace the inner hub seal as it may get damaged as you remove the outer axle stub.

Now you can tow or drive the vehicle, assuming you didn't hurt an ABS sensor, tear a CV boot or loose one of the retainer rings into the trans-axle.
The above process is somewhat generic as well, just outlining the common method of removing an axle.

Personally I would buy a tow dolly.
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Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 AT 9:06 PM

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