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Old 07-25-2019, 09:53 AM   #1
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Hensley bent strut bar assy

I started out to do some routine maintenance on my Hensley hitch today and noticed that the right side strut bar was bent and so was the pin at the back located on the frame rail. I don't recall any 180 degree turns left or right that would deliver such force as to bend the strut. I inspected the frame assy and the hitch assy for any collateral damage, none was found. I then thought to move the right strut into the left struts position to confirm that theory. It fit just fine. I also counted the threads and both sides were the same. So any Hensley hitch owners out there that have encountered this type of failure? I never heard any binding or twisting this year, I'M curious to hear from you. negative responses encouraged.
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Old 07-26-2019, 10:06 AM   #2
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I have not experienced this issue.
There must have been some scenario where you had bound it up in a turn and just don't remember it.

Did you have any sudden panic stops along the way?


I would double check the shear bolts and the torque specification of the u-bolts on the strut bar bracket to see if they are intact or any movement of the bracket. The bracket should have moved before the strut bar bent. This is to allow for an easy fix while on the road by repositioning the bracket, installing a new shear bolt and retorquing the u-bolts.
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Old 07-26-2019, 10:24 AM   #3
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Your pictures show the safety chains outside the bars. You donít drive that way do you? I have the ProPride and would guess itís similar in that regard. Thereís a paragraph in bold caps in the user manual telling us not to put the safety chains outside the bars. If youíve driven that way that could easily torque the bar to bend it like that.

Iím assuming you havenít done this but pointing it out because of the pic....
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Old 07-26-2019, 10:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
Your pictures show the safety chains outside the bars.

I glossed right over this.... - Good catch!
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Old 07-26-2019, 11:51 AM   #5
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Just a thought. Where is the pin which the handle slips over on the bent bar? Is it there and just not visible in the pic? If it broke off, the handle and nut slide/retainer could have riden back and allowed the front half of the strut to slide forward in a left turn. Then it could've bound while straightening out, causing a bend. Where was the slide mechanism when you discovered this bend?
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Old 07-26-2019, 11:53 AM   #6
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I see the end of the handle/latch is bowed as well.....hmmmm.
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Old 07-26-2019, 05:58 PM   #7
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I can't say what happened, but something bent that bar apart from "normal use"....

I'm thinking maybe there could be scenario where the safety chain could have done that.
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Old 07-27-2019, 09:51 AM   #8
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safety chains lay where they landed while removing struts. threaded rod and nut intack with same number of thread count as other side. chaines are in between spring bars. the jack assy and rail brackets never moved "no witness marks". the torque for the rail brackets U bolts are 45 foot pounds and their breakaway torque was 40 foot pounds.
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Old 07-27-2019, 09:58 AM   #9
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Where was the slide mechanism when you discovered this bend?

the slide was in its fixed position, closed and over the square locking nut.
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Old 07-27-2019, 10:22 AM   #10
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thank you you for your response

i believe i will check this off as an isolated incident. i inspect this hitch every year, remove everything and lubricate everything. funny story but true story about this binding concept you have. we left michigan early to beat a snow and ice storm 2 years ago. we usually stop in walton ky. but it was only 2 O'clock in the afternoon so we drove to the Ky Tn. border out ahead of the storm and pulled off to a flying j. the truck stop was packed with semis avoiding the same storm so we seen the walmart down the street and headed over to get a spot there. the road to there turned out to be the drive way into the beacon truck wash. Oh boy, yep you guessed it. wife did a fantastic job of getting us as jacked knifed as possible without hitting the AS with the cap of the truck and avoiding those huge boulders they landscape the driveway with. after wiggling back and forth about a 100 times we were finally turned around to leave the way we came. side note, truck wash was being repaired no way to go straight thur. So the next morning i inspected the hitch and no issues. thank you all again for chiming in. safe travels.
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Old 07-27-2019, 11:08 AM   #11
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Are you the original buyer of the haha?

I bent one while backing,(not paying attention), it was replaced under warranty. The bolts did not shear, the frame mount did not move, no damage to anything else on the haha. It happened on the road and put us down until the part arrived...I now carry a spare.

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Old 07-27-2019, 03:03 PM   #12
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Wink

We have been using the same Hensley Arrow since 2005. We have camped in the Airstream over 2,000 nights, and have towed it over 180,000 miles. Our Hensley Arrow has failed twice and the strut bar shear bolt broke and the bar slid back once.

On the two failures, the head seized after bearing failure. on the strut bar issue, I made too tight a turn and the strut bar bracket slid back on the yoke as it is supposed to before bending the strut bar.

All that I can think of is that you made a very tight backing turn and the shear bolt failed to brake and the bracket could not slide back, bending the strut bar. This is the only reason that I can come up with for bending a strut bar

I would call Hensley and speak to Aaron or one of the other tech guys and see what he thinks about your issue.

Brian
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