Tow Bar Pin holes

Submitted: Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 22:13
ThreadID: 122408 Views:3475 Replies:6 FollowUps:1
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Like everthing, tow bars are only as good as the weakest link.

On my F250 we have a Ford 3500 kg tow bar and a Hayman Reece solid shank tow hitch. I have noticed that where the pin goes through the tow bar that the hole is getting elongated and burred due to movement of the solid shank tow hitch while the BT is connected.

I have noticed that some of the new tow bars fitted to late model vehicle have an extra plate welded on each side of the tow bar so that the contact area of the pin on the sides of the tow hitch is much greater. I am thinking of getting extra plates welded to the sides of my tow bar to give it extra strength.

Have others experienced similar problems with the pin hole in the tow bar? If so what have yopu done to rectify the fault?

Brian
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Reply By: Turist - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 23:47

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 23:47
Brian I had exactly the same problem. Fortunately the fix is not difficult.

I cut 2 of 50mm lengths from a piece of 50 x 10 flat bar.
Drill a hole to take the pin in the centre of each 50 x 50 square. (Can't remember the drill size)
You will need a high tensile bolt same dia. as pin, 100 mm long plus nut to suit.

I dropped the tow bar for the next stage, not difficult on an F250.

Put the hitch in to the tow bar as if you were towing.
Use the bolt through the pin holes to clamp the drilled steel sections on each side of the tow bar receiver.
Weld steel to tow bar.

By placing the coupling into the hitch and then bolting the plates into position ensures correct alignment.

Now cut the HT bolt to required length, drill a hole in it to accept an "R" clip and use bolt as original pin will be too short.

I did this prior to the last trip, 22,500 Kl, and no sign of wear on either bolt or tow bar holes.
Better than original as there is more bearing surface for pin/bolt.

Regards
Bob
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AnswerID: 567730

Reply By: Bushtracker - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 04:45

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 04:45
Hello Brian,
I second that (Turists recommendations...)
We finally have good ball mounts, that are solid, and so do not wear on the hollow tubing walls... That leaves the next weakest link, the side walls of the Receiver itself...
Plates on the sides, spread out the load, lessen the wear....

Best Regards.... Ranger...
AnswerID: 567731

Reply By: Tellem Bugrem - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 16:50

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 16:50
DAMN!!

I just bought a new locking pin and it ain't long enough for that. Don't suppose the manufacturers make longer ones either. So, if this modification is necessary, how does one prevent theft of the whole tow hitch. It's most unlikely that someone is going to knock it off like I've heard of with other hitches, but you never know.

Suppose you could leave the hitch locked in the van while you are away.

Cheers.............Rob
AnswerID: 567732

Follow Up By: Turist - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 18:06

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 18:06
UNDAMN!!

Another K.I.S.S. solution.

Instead of using an "R" clip to secure the bolt/pin I drilled a 6 mm hole and used a small padlock.
Not infallible but will slow 'em down.

Another solution I considered that would be very secure is to use a straight shanked padlock with the padlock shank the same dia as the hitch pin.
You sometimes see this type of lock used on commercial sliding securiy doors.
Weld a stop on the end of the shank, pass it through the hitch and click the lock into place.

Regards
Bob
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Reply By: Tellem Bugrem - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 22:21

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 22:21
Undamn!!

The pin is 5/8" diameter and is still the weakest point in the connection between vehicle and van, assuming you have the 3/4'' horizontal bolt on the AT35. The vertical pin is 3/4". So, perhaps the pin under discussion should also be 3/4"
Then, if you drill a hole to suit a 3/4" pin in your vehicle receiver and the solid 50mm shank, then you can use a tractor pin (available at tractor sales places or rural supply shops). These are 180mm long high tensile (will clear 6") and are 3/4" diameter with a collar and swivel pull handle on one end, a tapered nose (For ease of pushing through holes) and a hole big enough to take a standard high tensile shafted padlock at the other end. If you don't want to lock it, you can use a lynch pin available at the same place.

I still have the 1/2" longer HT bolt in the AT35, and the holes in the receiver have no signs of elongating after 25000km of travel towing the BT. So at the moment, I'm not changing anything, but will add the inspection to my pre-trip checklist.

Cheers..............Rob
AnswerID: 567733

Reply By: Spirit Gypsys - Saturday, Jan 21, 2006 at 21:58

Saturday, Jan 21, 2006 at 21:58
Come in a bit late , but- This appliys to any of these box tube type hitches,
I had a 3mm wall thicknes tube welded inside the holes of the male section and 2 3mm "washers" welded on the outsides of the female section.
This still leaves room for a conventional locking pin and it'll never elongate the holes now.
Dead simple and done on the vehicle for about $60- at any engineering shop.
AnswerID: 567734

Reply By: Noosa Fox - Sunday, Feb 05, 2006 at 23:58

Sunday, Feb 05, 2006 at 23:58
Thanks for the advice Bob. Last week while we were at Conrad's place we took the towbar off and took it around to an engineering works that Conrad uses.

They really did an excellent job strengthening the hitch receiver. The holes in my received were badly worn, so they drilled a much larger hole in the receiver, then turned up a bush that would fit that drilled hole. The bush fits into the receiver then becomes wider where it is welded to the outside of the receiver. The hole that goes through the bushes are about 20ml and the bush has about 15 ml of bearing surface on both sides so the longer pin that they supplied is a tight fit and it is unlikely that we will have any further wear problems.

The solid HR hitch is also slightly smaller in size than the Ford receiver, so the engineers cut the rear section off the HR hitch and welded a larger square section to it so that now the hitch is the same size as the receiver, and this also prevents any movement between the two.

Brian
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AnswerID: 567735

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