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Old 08-12-2016, 03:18 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by Patandlinda View Post
Thanks for the report . Glad you got it solved . When we picked up our trailer Dennis who hooked us up said to not put grease on ball . I started out that way but saw marking on the ball . I bought some Reese ball grease ,Also have a cover . I always have been putting new clean grease on ball . 2 metal parts rubbing together in my mind need some lubrication . Pat
What's the answer? Grease the ball or not. In the past I greased all mine but haven't for years. I may start again. On our pickup trip friends went with us. After Suma, WA we traveled to Anacortes to camp a few nights there. Our friends were pulling a cargo trailer with an ungreased ball. The nut on the shank slipped, and the ball was loose and could not be loosened or tightened. We searched all over Anacortes and found an old time welder who fixed it permanently. He also admonished us for not using grease and referred to the "honing" effect where a softer metal can wear into a harder metal. He said a bit of grease is helpful in reducing that effect.

What is the downside of greasing the ball other than a slight mess?
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Old 08-12-2016, 03:23 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by blue_bullet View Post
What's the answer? Grease the ball or not. In the past I greased all mine but haven't for years. I may start again. On our pickup trip friends went with us. After Suma, WA we traveled to Anacortes to camp a few nights there. Our friends were pulling a cargo trailer with an ungreased ball. The nut on the shank slipped, and the ball was loose and could not be loosened or tightened. We searched all over Anacortes and found an old time welder who fixed it permanently. He also admonished us for not using grease and referred to the "honing" effect where a softer metal can wear into a harder metal. He said a bit of grease is helpful in reducing that effect.

What is the downside of greasing the ball other than a slight mess?
It is your decision but we are greasing ours with a cover when not hooked up . Dennis said dirt could get in grease and cause wear . I saw the wear without the grease . I always clean up the older grease and use fresh . Pat
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Old 08-12-2016, 03:51 PM   #73
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The latch kit was horrible; the bolt wasn't long enough and the pin wouldn't align with the outside holes and the inside ring on top of the coupler. It also fit so tight that the mechanic said it would start wearing out the coupler inside as the ball was way harder. Trouble was they had to grind off the staked end of the pin to remove the original latch and trying to put that back together wasn't an option.
That's strange - the repair kit should simply be the same parts as used in a new coupler, plus a bolt and nut. The parts should all fit fine, unless the coupler body has distorted or the design has changed.

If it were just the bolt, I would have bought the right bolt and moved on, but of course that wasn't the situation.

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Being that they didn't have one in a warehouse he told me to order one third-party which I did. Maybe that's why he didn't send the coupler?
That makes sense, but it is bizarre that they didn't have this common coupler in stock. Perhaps 2-5/16" balls have become so popular that the 2" is the oddball size?

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Although Atwood/Dometic is a huge company I did find working with them to be Ok once I had contact info rather than just an 800#. That happened by accident when I sent an inquiry on their website asking for a tracking number for the latch kit they sent.
When a company allows (or requires) responding staff to include direct contact information it can make the whole process of a non-standard request a lot more productive.

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To answer a question Brian posed earlier- each time the coupler opened the fins were still in the slots. and the tab was down. Am thinking there was just a lot of slop in there created over the last 25K or so miles towing.
Thanks Ross - that makes more sense than the yoke flipping up.

It is, however, an astonishing amount of wear for this type of coupler.

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Did learn a lot about couplers though with this and the one thing I will always do now before a trip is to R & R the grease in the coupler. Am thinking the original Andersen instructions of not using any grease is questionable in the use of a coupler as they need lubrication ...the ball is a harder metal and is likely to cause wear inside the coupler housing without any.
I would go further than that: not greasing between the Andersen No-Sway and the ball is brutal to the coupler. If the tug and trailer were only operated on a perfectly flat road, and never accelerated or braked or had any load shifted, then the coupler would not move relative the ball even around turns (since the ball rotates with the trailer); in that ideal world no lubrication is required. In the real world the coupler is rammed against the back of the ball with huge force, then pried up and down. I think that calls for lubrication.

I think Andersen has the opposite situation to Dometic: it is very small so service can be very personal, but they are also lacking in depth of resources, making some of their decisions and communications erratic and technically shaky.
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Old 08-12-2016, 03:54 PM   #74
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What is the downside of greasing the ball other than a slight mess?
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Originally Posted by Patandlinda View Post
Dennis said dirt could get in grease and cause wear . I saw the wear without the grease . I always clean up the older grease and use fresh .
I agree that holding abrasive dirt is the potential problem, and that fresh grease is the solution.
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Old 08-12-2016, 04:11 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
That's strange - the repair kit should simply be the same parts as used in a new coupler, plus a bolt and nut. The parts should all fit fine, unless the coupler body has distorted or the design has changed.

Thanks Russ - that makes more sense than the yoke flipping up.

I would go further than that: not greasing between the Andersen No-Sway and the ball is brutal to the coupler.... In the real world the coupler is rammed against the back of the ball with huge force, then pried up and down. I think that calls for lubrication.
The design for the kit is different; it is galvanized vs. painted and works with more than one Atwood coupler model. A longer bolt allowed for the lock nut to tighten sufficiently without impinging on the side of the yoke, but did not resolve the overall problem with poor fit.

Atwood's Maintenance advice in their Literature MPD 87984 says:

Lubricate ball socket and ball clamp with wheel bearing grease.
Clean and lubricate monthly.
2. Check towing hitch, ball and coupler for signs of wear before each
trip. Replace coupler if damaged or worn.
3. Lubricate moving or sliding parts monthly with S.A.E. 30 weight oil.
4. Should problems or questions arise, contact your dealer, the trailer
manufacturer or Atwood Service Department 574-264-2131.
5. For Warranty information contact Atwood before having any work
done 574-264-2131
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Old 08-12-2016, 04:39 PM   #76
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When not hitched up, I can rotate the ball with my bare hands. That said, there is no way I could undo the nut that holds it on without substantial tools, so I've done nothing about it.
Not sure if it should have a couple washers added or if it's better this way.
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Old 08-12-2016, 04:40 PM   #77
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Before I saw this thread I had made up my mind that I was going to grease the ball. I notice some wear and I think grease would help a lot. And I have to thoroughly agree about cleaning out the old grease and applying new. There is a trailer and hitch store not to far from here and I think I'll ask their opinion plus see if they have a special grease. Loren
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Old 08-12-2016, 05:13 PM   #78
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hitch ball

gbaglo, the ball should not move around .I would get a plumbers wrench and take it off and put a lock washer under the nut and tighten until it does not move . Maybe find out the torque setting and use it till tight Jim
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Old 08-12-2016, 06:16 PM   #79
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gbaglo, the ball should not move around .I would get a plumbers wrench and take it off and put a lock washer under the nut and tighten until it does not move . Maybe find out the torque setting and use it till tight Jim
I have a small assortment of ball hitches of different drops and all have a lock washer and are extremely tight. Loren
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Old 08-12-2016, 06:25 PM   #80
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I've used a dry PTFE spray with good results. The hookup and unhook goes smoother. Once the lubricant dries on the surface, it leaves a thin "teflon" coating. Dirt and dust don't stick to it, and it lasts for months. I hate the mess and dirt attraction of grease, and try to avoid it unless the application specifically requires it.
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