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Towing

Please use your own discretion regarding the technical tips published on this website. The Illini Mets, MOCNA, the Webmaster, the source of the tip, or Lycos/Tripod do not claim that any of these tips will suit your particular vehicle or situation. Always use proper safety equipment when working on your Met.

Towing a Metropolitan

By John Riley, as emailed to IlliniMets member Jim Hall

We don't recommend tow bars but a bar from any of the vendors advertising in the Gazette would be just fine. There are two kinds, one solid and one that folds, your choice. The thing you need to be aware of is the Met steering may not return to center after a turn. I am including the procedure to solve this.

What you need to do to make the Met steering return when towing is to loosen the steering shaft adjustment screw. But first you need to be sure there is nothing binding up in the steering. To check this, jack up the front of the car until the front wheels are just off the ground, and move the steering wheel back and forth from lock to lock. It should be very free and easy to turn. If the steering is not very free you will have to determine what is binding and make those repairs before proceeding. The adjustment is a slotted screw with a 5/8 locknut located on top of the steering box under the support bracket on the drivers side of the engine compartment. You will need a small pocket screwdriver and a 5/8 open-end box end wrench. The most important thing to do before you start is to put a dab of white paint on the most accessible end of the screw slot, and an alignment paint mark on the top of the steering box so you will be able to return the adjustment screw to the original location. Loosen the lock nut and turn the adjustment screw exactly 1 full turn counter clockwise using the small screw driver flat to get under the support bracket, then tighten the lock nut. This allows enough play in the steering to keep it from binding when returning to center.

After towing and before driving, re-adjust the steering shaft by loosening the lock nut and turning the screw clockwise exactly 1 turn to line up your paint marks, and re-tighten the lock nut. Be sure the adjustment screw doesn't move when tightening the lock nut. If for some reason you want to check the shaft adjustment this would be a good time. The procedure for this is to jack up the front of the car so the front wheels are just off the ground, Then turn the steering wheel back and forth to be sure it turns freely and there are no bushings that are binding up in the steering. If the steering is nice and free first turn the wheel to the straight-ahead position, then move it turn either way. You are now ready to start the adjustment. Loosen the lock nut and turn the adjustment screw clockwise until it is snug. Now turn the steering wheel back and forth through the center and you should feel a bind as it passes the center point. Turn the wheel back turn and loosen the adjustment screw in very small increments checking each time by repeating the process of turning the wheel back and forth over center until no bind is felt. This is a very fine adjustment; you won't move the screw much. Tighten the lock nut and be sure the adjustment screw doesn't move in the process.

The Met Tech Team

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