Enlargement of towbar pin hole

Submitted: Saturday, Nov 03, 2007 at 17:26
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Hi,
I am presently having an altercation with Hayman Reece in regards to the enlargement of the hole in the 4500kg tow bar receiver box, that takes the steel pin that holds the WDH head in place. They are saying that they do not get complaints about this happening, but as I have said to them it would not happen on the black top, but when you are towing a 4,000+KG BT fully loaded over thousands of Kilometers of corrigated and stoney road, the forces are quite extreme. The steel walls of the box are not thick enough and the hole is starting to flog as well as grooves are being worn into the pin, I had this problem with my first BT on a 3500KG Trailboss bar and had an engineering shop weld a 5mm piece af steel on eitherside of the box with a hole in it the same size as the pin hole, this soved the problem as it increased the surface area coming in contact with the pin. I suggested this to them but they will not allow anything to be welded to the bar or it will void the warrenty, Has anyone had a simmilar problem, if so how did you solve it? I intend to pass on any feedback to Hayman Reece in the hope that they will make a modification to their Tow Bars.
Regards
Eric
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Reply By: Turist - Saturday, Nov 03, 2007 at 21:18

Saturday, Nov 03, 2007 at 21:18
If it is the type of wear that is in the attached photo then it is not an uncommon problem and Hayman Reese are well aware of it.
It has occurred with several of our members and they have rectified the problem by welding plates on the side of the receiver housing.

The photo here shows the wear on a H.R. towbar fitted to my Chevy.
This amount of wear occurred after only 4,000 K’s of towing.
I sent pics and a description to HR who of course told me that it had never happened before.
I was advised that the wear would go no further.
So I measured and documented the wear and found that it increased significantly after another 8,000 K.

I again contacted HR who attempted to absolve themselves of any liability.
So I suggested that the towbar was not suitable for the purpose and maybe I should start talking to some of the consumer bodies, I believed that the wall thickness was insufficient and that the steel was of a grade too soft for this job.
Maybe a product recall would be called for by the consumer authorities.

Next thing I was asked to present the vehicle to a local HR agent who removed the towbar.
I was given a strong impression that the towbar was to be replaced.
Instead the dealer, acting under instruction from HR, repaired the towbar by welding plates on the side of the hitch receiver.

This modification requires the use of a HR locking type pin as they are the only HR pin long enough for the additional width.
I found this pin to be totally useless for our type of towing, the lock fills with dust and becomes almost impossible to remove.
A grade 6 or 8 high tensile bolt makes a better alternative.

Yes, Hayman Reese do have a problem here, getting them to admit to it is almost impossible but I suggest that you keep pushing and do not let them fob you off as they tried to do to me.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Eric & Gail - Sunday, Nov 04, 2007 at 20:57

Sunday, Nov 04, 2007 at 20:57
Hi Bob,
Thanks for the reply, I was starting to think I was the only one having a problem, sounds like HR are like other companies I know, the problem never happens to anyone else. Diane in the Tech department said her manager John Duljas was going to ring me, I have been waiting since Wednesday, will ring him tomorrow, do you mind if I relate your experience to him and send your reply to him, if he is interested? The guys at Miami tow bars here on the Gold Coast are the agents who fitted the bar 3 months ago and they have tried to get approval from HR to do the mod like you hade done but was told it would Void the warrenty, do you still have warrenty on your bar? They have agreed to replce the bar but I want them to modify the new bar first, I will let you know how I go, how many other BT owners have had the problem?, I would like to quote him a number. I also have had a problem with the locking bolt they have on the bar to stop the head from rattling in the receiver box, I have never had one on any other bar in the past and the guys at Miami Tow Bars said to tighten it up and lock off the lock not, which I did but found I had to keep tightening it as the head kept rattling, this bolt goes through the receiver box at a 45 degree angle through one of the bottom corners of the box. When we got home last week from our Alice Springs, Chambers Pillar, Oodnadatta, Eyer Peninsula trip I could not undo this bolt to get the WDH Head out, ended up shearing off the head of the bolt, eventually got it out with some help from a 5lb hammer, I found that the end of the bolt inside the box was domed over from the constant downward forces from the shank it was bolted up against. This Diane from HR tells me that it should only be tightened up when you are not towing to stop the head from rattling, I told her she needed to tell their agents this as they new nothing about not locking it off when not towing. What has been your experience with this problem?
Regards
Eric
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Reply By: Black Cobra - Tuesday, Nov 06, 2007 at 08:31

Tuesday, Nov 06, 2007 at 08:31
Eric,

Just checked my hitch and the same the hole is worn, will be speaking with the fitters of the towbar tomorrow and see what happens. As to the bolt its not there and I think it never has been so will ask about that also.

Cheers,
Stewart
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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Wednesday, Nov 21, 2007 at 03:16

Wednesday, Nov 21, 2007 at 03:16
We had the same problem with ours, and took the vehicle to an engineering works where they enlarged the hole then using a lathe turned up a piece of metal so that it was a neat fit in this larger hole. The section that fitted into the hole was the same thickness as the wall of the square tubing. Once outside the tubing the diameter incresased by about 10mm and it is about 10mm thick. this was then welded to the square tubing.

I now have the same sized pin hole but instead of having 3 to 4 mm on each side of the square receiver tube to wear it has about 15mm on each side and this has prevented any further wear or enlarging the hole.

My thanks go to Conrad at Tornado Dust Devil for the idea of fitting a wider bearing area for the pin to secure to.

It would be a simple way for Hayman Reece to prevent the problem during manufacture.

Brian
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Follow Up By: Turist - Sunday, Nov 25, 2007 at 02:19

Sunday, Nov 25, 2007 at 02:19
Brian what are you using for a hitch pin now that your receiver is wider?

Bob
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Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Sunday, Nov 25, 2007 at 02:37

Sunday, Nov 25, 2007 at 02:37
Bob,

The engineering place that Conrad took me too, supplied a bolt that was the correct length and diameter which I believe is High Tensile. Just drilled a couple of holes in the end so that the securing pin could go in, and another one closer to the end that a pad lock could go through so that those people out Central Australia way that have been known to remove the securing pin while a vehicle is parked could not do anything that would allow the pin to work loose.

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Reply By: Black Cobra - Thursday, Nov 22, 2007 at 10:33

Thursday, Nov 22, 2007 at 10:33
After this post I took the vehicle to Wescott Towbars the people who fitted the 4500kg receiver and supplied the 1000kg WDH. Now thet were excellent and after explaining what was happening they could not agree more with the simple fix of this problem by making the receiver part thicker.

Upon closer examination we came to the same conclusion that the only side the holde was getting worn and becoming bigger was the side that the curved bit of the pin was was touching, not the straight part where the "R" clip was going through that is still perfectly round. Conculsion is the the curved bit of the pin if you look at it will be worn on the under side of the curve as to where it is being forced up against the square receiver going over corrigations.

There are three solutions as I see it.
1. Weld extra 5mm plates on each side so that there is more for the pin to bite but it will still wear oblong but with the thicker metal would not be much of a problem but this voids warranty.

2. If the hitch part was made of solid metal like other Hayman Reece hitch's thne this would solve the problem but apparently the 4500kg receiver and 1000kg WDH is the only one that is forged cast and is in the shape of an "I" as this comes from the USA and this shape gives the pin less to bite into.

3. Put a straight 8.8 High Tensile 5" bolt through with lock nuts on it and there will not be a problem with the curved bit of the pin like on the original wearing the hole out.

MY towbar guy agreed and we got onto the phone to "Di" who handles this warranty stuff for Hayman Reece. Explained the situation and the solutions but they did not want to know about it saying if you weld anthing to the towbar it voids warranty. Ok!

Was then asked will they replace my towbay when it becomes so worn as to become unsafe and the answer was NO! as it is being used for something it is not designed for, eg under their so called conditions that hitch is to be used with a 70mm ball and not a 50mm ball, funny that I was supplied with a 50mm ball when fitted. All the other types of hitches like the AT35 and VC coupling and ring are not there specified conditions, talk about bull bleep as this would not make any difference in the reciver wearing, so basically any way you went there is no warranty.

They did say however that I could use there fancy straight locking pin which funny enough is just a straight pin which would solve the problem like we said, and by the way they do not make a straight simple pin with two "R" clips.

Now funny enough the extra long lockable pin is only rated at 3500kg, so then the insurance company will have a ball with that.

Just today I have been to the all the bolt places and I can get a 8.8 High Tensile bolt that will be a lot stronger that the pin that Hayman Reece supply but righly so was told that insurance companies will write you off if they pick that in an accident.

There is another type of pin a Clevis Pin that is used in tractors which is the same as the pin supplied, basically a shear pin that just has a bolt head on it with an "R" clip that would do the job perfectly but I have to chase that one down and locate one.

I found a towbar guy that actually makes the pin the same as the Hayman Reece pins but with a slightly less of a bend but he can also make me one that is just straight with a hole in each end and a "R" clip through each end for about $15 and I think the problem would be solved.

Now we checked on the quality of these pins as to the grade of metal used and and it was only mild steel so in actual fact the high tensile bolt would be a lot stronger.

I went to the Hayman Reece agent here in the west and as usual they are only the agents and he gave me the email address of Hayman Reece to take the matter further, so now this may be the next step or I might just get the high tensile bolt or a straight pin made up.

It is the usual thing they want to sell the product but don't want to know you after.

To all of you that are having this trouble let me know and I will add the numbers to the email I will send Hayman Reece and see what their response is as all I was suggesting was to save them further problems down the road and a solution to the problem like we all have been doing

Cheers
Stewart
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Follow Up By: Bobrovin - Friday, Nov 23, 2007 at 03:54

Friday, Nov 23, 2007 at 03:54
Stewart
If the wear is only from the curved part of the pin why not just put a 5mm or so thick, snug fitting washer on the pin before you insert it. It will then act like a straight pin

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Reply By: Turist - Thursday, Nov 22, 2007 at 17:29

Thursday, Nov 22, 2007 at 17:29
I don't want to blow your theory away but here is another pic, this one from the right side of the towbar.
I always insert the hitch pin from left to right so the bent bit is always on the left.
The damage pictured here is from the side where the "R" clip goes.

I also found HR to be very uncooperative and almost threatening in their approach.
They also strongly warned me against welding plates on the side of the bar as "any welding will affect the towbar and void all warranty", and then they went and did it themselves.
But only after threats of bringing this matter to the attention of various regulating authorities.
Anyhow, keep fighting and here is another pic.
Bob



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Follow Up By: Black Cobra - Friday, Nov 23, 2007 at 09:53

Friday, Nov 23, 2007 at 09:53
Thanks for that Bob, if the hitch part was of solid steel construction like the smaller hitches and not the cast forged ones I don't think the problem would be there as there would be no movement.

Cheers
Stewart
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Follow Up By: Turist - Friday, Nov 23, 2007 at 18:33

Friday, Nov 23, 2007 at 18:33
It is obviously a design/quality issue Stewart and one that is easily rectified.

My concern is the attitude of H.R. who will not accept that there is a problem.

I would expect that any manufacturer who has a quality problem brought to their attention would take steps to investigate and rectify rather than attempt to blame it on the user as HR have been trying to do.
At least in my case that is what occurred. (Trailer too heavy, WD bars not adjusted correctly etc)
In fact they suggested that I "over adjust" the WD bars to prevent further wear.

I first contacted H.R. in February 2006 re this problem, it took until February 2007 & numerous phone calls and e-mails before they finally agreed to carry out the required and necessary strengthening modifications.

Maybe you will get better service than this, fingers crossed.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Black Cobra - Saturday, Nov 24, 2007 at 10:45

Saturday, Nov 24, 2007 at 10:45
Yes Bob is it not like a lot of other things once you have bought the product thye don't want to know you, such is the modern day life.

Did they give you written approval that they will still honour the warranty which is Lifetime so I have been told.

Would not mind copies of your correspondence in regards to this matter as it may short cut the process hopefully.

Cheers
Stewart
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Follow Up By: Turist - Saturday, Nov 24, 2007 at 19:59

Saturday, Nov 24, 2007 at 19:59
Member message gone to you Stewart.
Bob
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Reply By: Eric & Gail - Saturday, Nov 24, 2007 at 22:18

Saturday, Nov 24, 2007 at 22:18
Hi All,
I have certainly opened a can of worms with my first post on this subject, thanks all for your experiences, I am still battling away with H.R. I am dealing with one of the managers now, a John Duljas, if anyone else wants a contact, I think I have his ear as he is trying to get an answer from the engineers in regards to beefing up the side walls of the box receiver. I have been emailing him your responses so at least they can see it is not only happening to me as they have tried to say to all of us who have contacted them. I have also expressed concern that the steel plates that the shakles are attached to are not very thick, what are your thoughts on this, a chain is only as strong as the weakest link, and I have gone to a lot of trouble upgrading chain to a PIN LOCK system through Bartletts in VIC with a huge shakle that is rated over 4,500kg, the comparison of the shakle to the steel plate it is attached to is rediculous. Maybe if a few of us keep at them we may get change.
Regards
Eric
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Reply By: Luvntravln - Monday, Nov 26, 2007 at 15:22

Monday, Nov 26, 2007 at 15:22
Hi, lets add to the fun!

My 4500kg hitch receiver has the same wear and it is technically not a HR product! Although I believe it is an HR product it was purchased and installed at a Ford Dealer. Once I finally receive the magic GCM letter I will go to Ford with a warranty claim pertaining to the hitch receiver and see what they say about the ever widening hole.

Jay
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Follow Up By: NIK `N` OFF - Monday, Nov 26, 2007 at 21:01

Monday, Nov 26, 2007 at 21:01
We do not have the 4500kg rated tow bar, just the Ford 3500kg, This is not pin related but i was surprised at just how much movement there is in the hitch when it is fitted inside the bar. The pin holes do not appear to have widened. I tried a few other spare hitches and they all have the same amount of movement. I went to the local Towbar company and they had a look, told me it's normal and all are loose inside the hitch.

Cheers
Mick & Vickie

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Follow Up By: NIK `N` OFF - Tuesday, Nov 27, 2007 at 02:31

Tuesday, Nov 27, 2007 at 02:31
Interesting to note the top bolt that goes through the adjusting cams on my HR WD hitch is bent, all bolts were tight and i can't see why the bolt would bend when the cams give it strength and support, it's not as if all the tow weight is on the one bolt, the lower bolt is straight, weird.

$20 for a new bolt ....grrrrrr

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Mick & Vickie

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Reply By: NIK `N` OFF - Tuesday, Nov 27, 2007 at 04:47

Tuesday, Nov 27, 2007 at 04:47
Is this normal?

New & Old cam bolt compared

Site Link

wont allow me to add gallery pic, so if it doesnt work it can be seen under my pics, Hayman Reece Bolt.
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Mick & Vickie

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Follow Up By: Turist - Tuesday, Nov 27, 2007 at 07:41

Tuesday, Nov 27, 2007 at 07:41
$30.00!!!!
That plating must be 24 carat.

Bob
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Follow Up By: NIK `N` OFF - Tuesday, Nov 27, 2007 at 08:53

Tuesday, Nov 27, 2007 at 08:53
Was $20 Bob, are you in retail not a bad mark up LOL

I ordered it not knowing the price, felt obligated to then take it.
Cheers
Mick & Vickie

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Follow Up By: Kingy - Tuesday, Nov 27, 2007 at 23:05

Tuesday, Nov 27, 2007 at 23:05
My top bolt snapped last year when going through a dip with the WD bars on. We then spent an hour sifting through the mud to find the cams and had to leave the BT whilst I went searching for a station house to borrow a bolt.
As soon as I got to Mt Isa I bought 6 of each size bolt ( High Tensile) for about $200 and now also have a spare set of cams as well....
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Follow Up By: Bobrovin - Wednesday, Nov 28, 2007 at 04:08

Wednesday, Nov 28, 2007 at 04:08
Mick
Looking at the way the bolt is bent I would say it has not been done up tight enough and the bolt is taking all the weight instead of the friction between the surfaces. It may have to much clearance between the movable part (?) and the shank part for the bolt to properly clamp it. If you have a lot of clearance you may be able to shim the gap.
Hope this makes sense to you

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Follow Up By: NIK `N` OFF - Wednesday, Nov 28, 2007 at 06:23

Wednesday, Nov 28, 2007 at 06:23
Bob & Laurel, Kingy

the bolt was definately tight, i use a torque wrench on all the bolts, wheel nuts etc, I am inclined to think that if Kingy snapped his by not removing the WD bars then i probably bent the bolt by not doing the same at one set of wash outs we travelled through.

Thanks for the imput guys,

Cheers
Mick & Vickie

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Reply By: Willie - Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 23:46

Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 23:46
I am the latest BT user to find elongation of the pin hole in the HM bar . I have used the van only for a total of 5,000 klm so I am very surprised .

I will ask ARB about it , as I originally purchased it from them .

Does anybody have any further updates on their communications with HM ?

Willie .
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Follow Up By: Black Cobra - Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 07:28

Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 07:28
Willie,

Have and still am in communication with the HR Australian Manager just prior to Xmas and he said he would get back to me in the new year as he was going to rectify this problem.

Nothing heard as of yet but sent him another email as to an update yesterday so will see what happens.

Cheers
Stewart
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Reply By: Eric & Gail - Saturday, Jan 26, 2008 at 18:43

Saturday, Jan 26, 2008 at 18:43
Stewart are you dealing with the same manager I am, a John Duljas, I have not spoken to him since before Xmas but will be on his tail again when we get home from the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Each time i ring him he passes the buck to the Engineers who supposedly haven't got back to him about testing etc, sounds like the usual run a round. If a few of us keep up the pressure we may get there.
Willie why don't you give him a ring as well, they keep trying to tell us that it is only happening to you and no body else, his number is 0397973222 ext 209, he's not good at returning emails, in fact he has not returned one I have sent him.
Good luck
Eric
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Follow Up By: Black Cobra - Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 05:09

Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 05:09
Eric,

No I am dealing with a Stephen Steele so will give him a ring on Tuesday and see whats going on.

Cheers
Stewart
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