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Flat Tow failure

SuperDave150

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@Dirtrider @dgorsett Thank you both for chiming in on this. Maybe a wild goose chase but what else is there to do in the dead of winter when we’re not out enjoying our Broncos?

I bought our Bronco explicitly for flat towing (and off road capability) but haven‘t yet set it up for flat tow because we’re waiting on new motorhome. Nevertheless the analyst in me has really been pondering this issue. I keep thinking “Transfer Cases and Transmissions don’t just shift themselves without some kind of manipulation or force compelling them to do so. (Newton's first law of motion). So then, what is that force?“
The most logical explanation is that something is sending the TC shift motor a shift signal - or if the unit looses power/signal then it reverts back to default mode, which I’m now guessing is 2H.

@Dirtrider I’m now thinking that the charge line will be THE MOST CRITICAL component of the entire flat tow system. (Even more important than a strong drawbar system; if the drawbar fails & the Bronco goes crash then insurance will cover it. Not so with drivetrain failure.)
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dgorsett

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I towed a few weeks ago and I'll be towing in a few weeks and have added a charge line since these theories came to be.

Seriously, @Ford Motor Company has the means to test, verify and fix this issue if it is indeed a battery charge issue, but apparently have not.
 

Dirtrider

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@Dirtrider @dgorsett Thank you both for chiming in on this. Maybe a wild goose chase but what else is there to do in the dead of winter when we’re not out enjoying our Broncos?

I bought our Bronco explicitly for flat towing (and off road capability) but haven‘t yet set it up for flat tow because we’re waiting on new motorhome. Nevertheless the analyst in me has really been pondering this issue. I keep thinking “Transfer Cases and Transmissions don’t just shift themselves without some kind of manipulation or force compelling them to do so. (Newton's first law of motion). So then, what is that force?“
The most logical explanation is that something is sending the TC shift motor a shift signal - or if the unit looses power/signal then it reverts back to default mode, which I’m now guessing is 2H.

@Dirtrider I’m now thinking that the charge line will be THE MOST CRITICAL component of the entire flat tow system. (Even more important than a strong drawbar system; if the drawbar fails & the Bronco goes crash then insurance will cover it. Not so with drivetrain failure.)
I added the charge line because I could and with my previous TOAD I left the auxiliary braking system on at an overnight camping stop and ran the battery flat. And, it is difficult to jump the TOAD battery from the RV without 40+ foot jumper cables:) My RV has air brakes so the TOAD auxiliary braking system is completely air actuated but still has a very small draw unlike my previous TOAD braking system which was fully electric. Even so, it was an easy task to add the charger when setting up the Bronco for flat towing. I used the Brake Buddy charger ($30 from Brake Buddy) and it is a charger limited to 15A rather than a direct connection so that a flat TOAD battery won't have a high current draw over 14 gauge wire. Towed Vehicle Battery Charger | Brake Buddy®

I built a plate for the connections and a plate for the auxiliary braking system (with charger mounting point). I towed it 5,000+ miles this fall with no issues. I have the modular bumper and Roadmaster Nighthawk Tow Bar and was able to get Roadmaster adaptors to attach the tow bar directly to the Modular bumper. Much better (in my humble opinion) than using the Roadmaster mounts. The only issue I had was finding a place to connect the safety cables but from this forum I got a link to the front bumper LOD frame reinforcement LoD Offroad | LoD Offroad 2021+ Bronco BLACK OPS Front Bumper Frame Tie In Brackets that have a place to connect the safety cables. I haven't installed them yet but it will beat my makeshift connection to the Modular bumper that I used in the fall.
Ford Bronco Flat Tow failure 20230723_144724
Ford Bronco Flat Tow failure 20230731_173044


20230731_173159.jpg
 

dgorsett

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RVI charge set up
Ford Bronco Flat Tow failure 20231021_143744
 

Runyon

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You can now add me to the list. I too towed my bronco many many miles with no issue. I had one transmission already replaced and now in the shop with a transfer case and transmission shot.
No word yet on weather warranty is going to replace it or not. I actually took pictures of my Dash everytime i put it in tow mode and that time and date match up with my google maps activity. We will see.. I had a battery charger so I know mine did not go into sleep mode. I am extreamly cautious before I go. I had one earlier service where the tech said the Transfer case was stuck. This is a bad thing for Ford and they need to stop blaming users.
 

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gweberg29

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HOPE SOMEONE FINDS THIS HELPFUL - I WILL POST ON ALL THREADS BELOW - WORK IN PROGRESS

Flat Tow Transmission Failures – as of 02/22/23 – A work in progress – May have missed someone

Thread 1 – (06/03/22) Bronco won’t go back to drive after disengaging tow [2] – Checked 01/18/23

Thread 2 – (10/28/22) Neutral Tow / Transmission Problem [12] – Need to go back through – Long tread

Thread 3 – (07/09/23) Ford claims flat towing our 4 mo. old Bronco destroyed the transmission (not covering under warranty [14] – Need to go back through – Long tread

Thread 4 – (08/08/23) Flat tow won’t disengage [1] – Checked 01/18/23

Thread 5 – (08/16/23) Flat tow failure [3] – Checked 01/18/23

Thread 6 - (11/18/23) Flat tow failure (2) [1] – Checked 01/18/2

Thread 7 – (08/28/23) Bronco Raptor Transmission Troubles Anyone? [3] – Checked 01/18/23

----------------------------------------------------------

1) @Rgarrison58 – Thread 1 – 6/3/22 – Transmission Failure – Ford WILL cover

2) Issue @Bad Sas – Thread 2 – 10/28/22 – Transmission – No resolution posted

3) @Blue Bulldog – Thread 2 – 4/12/23 – Transmission failed – Ford will NOT cover - Suing

4) @GddyupGG – Thread 1/2 – 4/19/23 – Transmission failed – Ford will NOT cover – Insurance WILL cover

5) @G6Bronco – Thread 4/5/3 – (08/16/23) – Transmission failed – Ford will NOT cover – Hired attorneys

6) @Bukin67 – Thread 7 – (08/28/23 – Transmission failed – Ford will NOT cover

7) @aknavy – Thread 2 – (08/21/23) – Transmission failed – Ford DID cover

8) @Lisa Aiudi – Thread 3 – (09/09/23 – Transmission failure – Ford will NOT cover

9) @delynn.gibson – Thread 4 – (09/21/23) – Stuck in tow mode – Trase electric motor failed – Ford will cover

10) @Peter Cole – Thread 6 – (11/18/23) – Transmission, Tcase, Oil cooler failed, Ford will NOT cover
 

Dirtrider

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RVI charge set up
Ford Bronco Flat Tow failure 20231021_143744
I liked the RVI system with the readout but my previous TOAD used the Demco Stay-n-Play so I went with the Demco Air Force One on the Bronco since I bought a newer RV that has Air Brakes. The RVI system with the auxiliary braking and the tire pressure monitoring would be a great setup but I was also invested in the TST tire pressure monitors which have served me well. The RVI is a nice integrated system with display of tire pressure, TOAD charging and braking. If I were starting from scratch I'd probably go with the full RVI system but I didn't want to throw away what I already had.
 

Dirtrider

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HOPE SOMEONE FINDS THIS HELPFUL - I WILL POST ON ALL THREADS BELOW - WORK IN PROGRESS

Flat Tow Transmission Failures – as of 02/22/23 – A work in progress – May have missed someone

Thread 1 – (06/03/22) Bronco won’t go back to drive after disengaging tow [2] – Checked 01/18/23

Thread 2 – (10/28/22) Neutral Tow / Transmission Problem [12] – Need to go back through – Long tread

Thread 3 – (07/09/23) Ford claims flat towing our 4 mo. old Bronco destroyed the transmission (not covering under warranty [14] – Need to go back through – Long tread

Thread 4 – (08/08/23) Flat tow won’t disengage [1] – Checked 01/18/23

Thread 5 – (08/16/23) Flat tow failure [3] – Checked 01/18/23

Thread 6 - (11/18/23) Flat tow failure (2) [1] – Checked 01/18/2

Thread 7 – (08/28/23) Bronco Raptor Transmission Troubles Anyone? [3] – Checked 01/18/23

----------------------------------------------------------

1) @Rgarrison58 – Thread 1 – 6/3/22 – Transmission Failure – Ford WILL cover

2) Issue @Bad Sas – Thread 2 – 10/28/22 – Transmission – No resolution posted

3) @Blue Bulldog – Thread 2 – 4/12/23 – Transmission failed – Ford will NOT cover - Suing

4) @GddyupGG – Thread 1/2 – 4/19/23 – Transmission failed – Ford will NOT cover – Insurance WILL cover

5) @G6Bronco – Thread 4/5/3 – (08/16/23) – Transmission failed – Ford will NOT cover – Hired attorneys

6) @Bukin67 – Thread 7 – (08/28/23 – Transmission failed – Ford will NOT cover

7) @aknavy – Thread 2 – (08/21/23) – Transmission failed – Ford DID cover

8) @Lisa Aiudi – Thread 3 – (09/09/23 – Transmission failure – Ford will NOT cover

9) @delynn.gibson – Thread 4 – (09/21/23) – Stuck in tow mode – Trase electric motor failed – Ford will cover

10) @Peter Cole – Thread 6 – (11/18/23) – Transmission, Tcase, Oil cooler failed, Ford will NOT cover
Quick question: are these issues limited to the automatic transmission or are any with the manual transmission? I have the MT and towed over 5000 miles but wondering if there is anything to worry about with the MT. I've experienced on small 'brake failure' light glitch when coming out of flat tow mode but I'm not sure if it was a procedural error on my part (the first time I did it) or something else. It went away after shutting down and restarting.
 

dgorsett

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I liked the RVI system with the readout but my previous TOAD used the Demco Stay-n-Play so I went with the Demco Air Force One on the Bronco since I bought a newer RV that has Air Brakes. The RVI system with the auxiliary braking and the tire pressure monitoring would be a great setup but I was also invested in the TST tire pressure monitors which have served me well. The RVI is a nice integrated system with display of tire pressure, TOAD charging and braking. If I were starting from scratch I'd probably go with the full RVI system but I didn't want to throw away what I already had.
Yeah I have RVI brake and charger but no tpms and mine is old version 2 brake so no in cab battery monitor either. Like you I started with a system, RVI in my case, and stuck with it. A friend has the newer RVI and the tablet can be glitchy.
 

gweberg29

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Quick question: are these issues limited to the automatic transmission or are any with the manual transmission? I have the MT and towed over 5000 miles but wondering if there is anything to worry about with the MT. I've experienced on small 'brake failure' light glitch when coming out of flat tow mode but I'm not sure if it was a procedural error on my part (the first time I did it) or something else. It went away after shutting down and restarting.
All the ones that I found that had transmission issues from flat towing appear to all have automatic transmissions
 

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G6Bronco

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that has been my experience too.
 

73Corvetteman

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If it is related to the transfer case rein
@dgorsett I also thought about what you say regarding disconnecting the TC shift motor, but I’m not sure my wife would like it when I tell her it is her turn to crawl under the Bronco on 125 degree pavement. 😂
Seems wiring in a switch would be simple enough. One more thing to have to do when setting up to tow but sure would be less worry.
 

dgorsett

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If it is related to the transfer case rein

Seems wiring in a switch would be simple enough. One more thing to have to do when setting up to tow but sure would be less worry.
I suppose, but I'm sure the computer would flip out , throw errors and possibly shift to some fail safe mode.
 

Fordified1

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To add to this thread, ALL of the Bronco automatic transmission failures I’m aware of related to flat-tow, were equipped with the Advanced 4WD (4A on the selector) system. THAT is smoking gun evidence that could be used in court.
 
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We purchased our 2024 Bronco Badlands for the purpose of flat towing behind our motor home. I asked the Ford dealer salesman and service manager if there would be an issue with flat towing and they both said that if it says OK to flat tow on the instrument panel, then you're good. After reading about all of the blown transmissions due to flat towing and due to the lack of support from Ford regarding this flat tow issue, we decided to buy a car tailer. Because of the trailering weight issue we had to go with an aluminum trailer. There went 12k we weren't planning on spending. Thanks for nothing Ford.
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