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Old 06-11-2019, 09:12 PM   #111
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Quack quack.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:21 PM   #112
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Over the past few years every time I needed a certain size socket or wrench for an Escape nut/bolt I noted the size and wrote down on a note card the socket size and the application. Then I either located a spare in my “inventory” or bought a single socket. I hated robbing a complete set so I just made an Escape/ Highlander set that’s in my tool box I take camping. I have a 1/2 inch ratchet for the Anderson hitch but usually use a breaker bar for nut and bolt work with a three or six inch extension and of course my torque wrench that’s a 30 to 150 ft/lb wrench. ( But only for nut torque work). I don’t carry a cheater but have a few in the inventory and could add one. I’ve related previously that before I go out I usually lay under the Escape for a few minutes concentrating on possible failure points. Checking the hitch and all of its nuts and bolts gets attention every time. We went on a tool diet before the Osoyoos trip and dropped a few lbs. This allowed Rita and me to channel our inner Lucille Ball persona a la “The Long Trailer” and pick up an empty blue moon beer box of “pretty rocks” in Idaho and Montana. But what is vacation for if not for free momentos? YMMV
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:50 AM   #113
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Years ago I used to see a hole drilled through the nut and ball stem with a lock pin inserted. I like the idea of having a pin or maybe another nut to prevent loosening. In Johns situation, his hitch and ball was the weak point in his "chain" between his tow and trailer. Maybe wise to purchase those stingers with welded on balls if the right size can be found I think I'll double check mine in the future.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:44 AM   #114
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How about thread locker or spot weld the ball nut? If there are enough exposed threads you could also add a nyloc jam nut.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:53 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
so it doesn’t dent like Ford’s when you drop a losd of bricks from 20 ft in the air
Yup, keeps me awake at nights worrying about that.

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Old 06-12-2019, 10:06 AM   #116
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indeed, it stripped. i had felt some clunking earlier in the trip when the trailer bucked on bumpy roads and such, but visual inspection hadn't turned up anything. I've used that same tow bar+ball combination for probably 8000-10000 miles, between the casita+tacoma, and escape+f250 combinations. yes, it was a 6000 lb ball on a 12" long 2" drop Curt towbar.

next time I feel any clunking for sure I will be inspecting the tow ball nut much more closely. I note that a 1" shank 2" ball is supposed to be torqued to 455 ft lbs, and I have no freekin' idea how to get that much torque, pretty sure my 1/2" torque wrench only goes up to like 250 ft lbs. I think I put the tow ball on using a 1.5" 6-point impact socket on a 1/2" breaker bar, and every bit of grunt I could apply.



the hole in the tow bar is quite elongated, so I'm getting a new towbar AND ball, should be here tomorrow. I need a 12" towbar because the tailgate on the f250 superduty is extra tall, and with anything shorter, it hits the nose jack when hitched, plus the longer bar gives me a full stop turning radius without worrying about the truck bumper hitting the propane tanks


edit: PS, no idea what happened with the nut. when things came to a stop, the ball was still sitting clamped into the socket on the trailer. I suspect if I had not left the foot on the nose jack, the jack would have been destroyed dragging across the pavement. thank you for whomever taught me to always cross my safety chains, I see trailers all the time where they aren't crossed.
Looking at the photo, to me it looks like the nut simply came loose and wore the threads against the bar, The fact that the bar had an elongated hole would indicate the nut was loose for some time. Look at the threads on the bottom of the ball. They look relatively undamaged.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:06 AM   #117
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Drive that dodge here in Michigan. And it will be rusted out in 3 years.

How do I know? What do you think my last two truck were.

Love the hemi, hate the rust. Not again!

My in-laws are from Michigan. Not too many years ago in a discussion about winter driving conditions they told me with a certain amount of pride how they had never once in many decades ever needed anything but two-wheel drive and all-season tires, despite their quite wintry weather. I grew up driving in the Cascade mountains of the Pacific Northwest where two-wheel drive plus “all season” tires was asking for trouble, so scratched my head until I realized that duh, Michigan is flat. But to get back to what led my brain to this, Michigan may be flat, but they salt the bejeezus out of their roads. Result: They sell more cars because everything rusts out. Coincidence? I don’t think so. We were stationed in Germany years ago. The Germans are an exceptionally practical people. They don’t salt their roads, instead they require everyone to use true winter tires in the winter time. Result: Everyone is safer, because winter tires really work, and everyones’ cars last longer cause they don’t disintegrate from rust. Hmm. End of sidetrack, thank you for your attention
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:53 PM   #118
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Winter driving

Rusting vehicles are no doubt partially from a hard salt or brine being spread on the roadways. I have driven in states where they used cinders at one time or another. They are not fun either having the ability to chip paint and being very dirty, but are effective. However, another problem I see is road crews being instructed to set the plow skids so the cutting bit on the plow is not down hard on the pavement. I like to see sparks coming off the plow. However, this costs more money in plow maintenance and wears on the paving. But it also saves lives. And those saved lives will eventually buy more gasoline that pays for plowing, which since 1990 was funded in Illinois by a 19 cents per gallon gasoline tax. On July 1, 2019 the gas tax in Illinois will go to 38 cents a gallon. Ostensibly to pay for the plowing that saves lives and repairs roads and replaces worn out plow edges with steel made in America from factories that pay wages to people who buy gas. And the beat goes on. I need a beer and it’s after noon here,
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:05 PM   #119
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Looking at the photo, to me it looks like the nut simply came loose and wore the threads against the bar, The fact that the bar had an elongated hole would indicate the nut was loose for some time. Look at the threads on the bottom of the ball. They look relatively undamaged.
I first noticed the 'klunking' on bumps about 5 days into our 18 day road trip. After a visual inspection showed nothing obvious, I (wrongly) figured it had something to do with being tongue light (E21 tongue weight was about 400 lbs with a full tank of water, and bicycles on a rear rack). on the last couple days before this broke, the klunking seemed more frequent but the roads we were on were worse and additional visual inspections still showed nothing wrong. it broke on the evening of day 16 of the trip, near the end of the first long leg going home (Dead Horse Point to Moab down 191 to ? to 77 just before we hit I40).

this discussion is rather off topic on this thread, I do believe I'm going to post this all to a new thread as checking your tow ball is something all trailer folks should be aware of... It might take me a few hours to get around to it, as I have other stuff to do rigth now.
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:52 PM   #120
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oops, I made a mistake above, btw, 250 ft-lbs for a 1" shank, *NOT* 455. I dunno where I saw the 455 number, 450 ft-lbs is the correct number for a 1.25" shank ball, used for up to 17000 lb trailers. I'm hoping the maximum grunt I can apply to my 20" long breaker bar is adequate for 250 ft lbs. it was sufficient to completely flatten the lock washer, anyways, which e-trailer suggests is good enough.
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