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Ford Ranger: Can I flat-tow the Australian model?

You can flat tow the American Ford Ranger 4x4 auto. What do you have to change to tow an Australian model?

I have some not-so-good news for you, David. The US-spec Ranger has a driveline that allows the transfer-case to be placed in neutral-2WD. Australian Rangers don’t. And it’s really that simple.

Flat-towing an Aussie Ranger would mean that the automatic transmission would be spinning internally without lubrication. That’s because the oil pump that lubricates the transmission only operates when the car’s engine is running.

Modern four-wheel-drive tech has all but eliminated the neutral position in the transfer-case, so the vast majority of vehicles are in the same boat. Technically, you could flat-tow a vehicle with a manual transmission (because the gearbox is splash-lubricated, not pump-lubricated) but my contacts at Ford tell me that you’d void your new-car warranty in the process in the Ranger’s case.

So what are your flat-towing options? Something like a Jeep Wrangler or Suzuki Jimny might be okay (but I’d check with the manufacturer first) or find something older with an old-school transfer-case set-up that allows for a neutral position.