Tip # 48, Receiver and Ball Mounts and the Rattle Rattle Worry Telltale Sign….

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 21, 2005 at 00:05
ThreadID: 122043 Views:4130 Replies:3 FollowUps:2
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FOR ALL THOSE IN PLANNING: The Tow hitch part that bolts on the tow vehicle is universally called the Receiver. The part that slides in is called the ball mount… Now for all of you that are getting your tow hitch set up, the Ball Mount part they give you from the Dealer, Toyota or Nissan or whatever, is often a hollow tube unit. When you are travelling on the corrugation of the Outback, the pin that holds in the Ball Mount in the Receiver, is only riding on that thin wall thickness of the hollow shaft of the ball mount, about 3mm on each side… This soon wears egg shaped and starts the rattle-rattle you hear on the corrugation…

The answer is to buy the Adjustable Height Head Unit Ball Mount part of the Weight Distribution Hitch. Mind you, read the Article, TIP # 46 and you might want the whole kit… But at least get the Head Unit part because of two things… First of all it is stronger, and the shank is solid 50mm steel that the pin rides on, not a hollow shank with 3mm walls… Secondly, it is adjustable to fine tune the height of the hook up… You really want to maintain the Bushtracker very slightly down in the front, a 50mm lower hitch height in the front of the van than the rear would be desirable. This hitch enables you to fine tune it, as you load it differently and it wears in a bit, plus the other positives of strength and wear.

You can buy it separately, or with the whole WDH kit. I would probably suggest the later for most, but make them price it as part and whole; so you will know what the rest will cost you if you decide to complete the whole WDH kit later

Happy Trails from da Ranger, still travelling with Quarter Horses...

And for you Horse Lovers, my two Daughters just took First and Second in Reining in two different Shows, and we are going to the Nationals!!

(Never mind there were only a few entries... We are no threat to the Interstate Champions, just having fun.. An excuse to travel with the horses and our Bushtracker, a match made in heaven..)
"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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Reply By: Panna Trackers - Tuesday, Jun 21, 2005 at 10:40

Tuesday, Jun 21, 2005 at 10:40
From those of us who have been reading everything that the forum has to offer about WDHs' and tow ball heights / weights, this is the sort of information that makes it easy to get started.
To have the confidence to go out and spend money to buy the right sort of hitch and to know that when you hook up, you will feel happy to tow the just aquired DREAM where you will.
Trevor & Lyndal
AnswerID: 566539

Reply By: Kiwi1 - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 02:42

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 02:42
Not wishing to split hairs, but won't a solid ball mount ride in a hollow hitch receiver, leaving the pin still riding on a small amount of metal?

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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 17:44

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 17:44
Hello Michael,
I can understand how you would think that, it would seem that way, but in the 1000 I have looked at, in practice it does not appear to work that way.

First of all with a hollow ball mount: The hitch receiver wall is thicker than the ball mount... Sometimes several times as thick... And that added friction freezes the pin in the receiver on most hitches.

Secondly on the hollow ones, the added friction on the pin since the pin is frozen by the receiver housing being thicker, means that it is the ball mount that moves on the pin more than the pin moving in the receiver... Hope this makes sense... In other words, the high friction of the sides of the receiver drags on the pin, so the pin does not rotate or move in the housing of the receiver as much. It appears that what actually happens starting with micro-movement, is "the ball mount actually moves on the frozen pin both up and down and laterally".. So the softer metal of the ball mount- thin walled shank -wears egg shaped on the corrugation in a short time...

While you are correct in the real long haul with some wear on the receiver, usually of the more than 1000 that I have looked at, the wear would come on the ball mount maybe 5 to 10 times more than on the receiver. In fact after many years a lot of receivers on the hitch show little or no wear at all.

On the solid shank it seems to pretty well stop almost all wear on both, locking it all up as if it limits some of the movement on the pin. It maybe is even laterally spreading the load, and it seems to lock the whole thing up to minimize wear and movement... The metal of the receiver might even be a higher temper as well as thicker, because most of the time the wear just does not seem show up there as fast.

Regards, stg...
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Reply By: Kiwi1 - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 19:48

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 19:48
Thanks Steven. I looked at mine (in the dark, LOL) before posting the query and there didn't seem to be a lot of difference between the wall thicknesses of the two components (both Hayman Reece) but the receiver has a collar that makes it harder to judge.

AnswerID: 566541

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 20:29

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 20:29
Hello Michael,
Don't know... Only judging from the ones I see, and the receiver just does not seem to wear like the ball mount, hence my previous comments.. You will go through a hollow ball mount about once a year if you travel a lot on the corrugation... Another thing, I have not mentioned in years, the weld on the hollow tubing cannot be as strong as the substantial weld on the solid shank... There were stories in the Bush of the Ball mount pad fracturing off the hollow shank now and then, (never seen one that I can think of).. Any way, the solid shank weld appears to be far more robust, and has a 100kg more ball weight rating probably because of....

Kind Regards, stg
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