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Old 05-04-2009, 10:10 PM   #15
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I don't lubricate either end of the bar as friction is what makes it work at the L brackets and at the other end, I just forget to do it. Besides, grease attracts dirt and dirty grease means wear too. The noise is music to us because it means it is doing what it is supposed to. We do get some funny looks sometimes, but who cares?

The top bolt on the hitch head wasn't tight enough—it takes a 1 1/8 socket, so I tightened it. They didn't give me all the washers and I may need another one eventually when I get around to going through all the adjustments. I got the washers tight when I tightened that bolt, but though I know the truck is level, not sure about the trailer as I never seem to get a perfectly level campsite. It looked good the other day on what seemed like a level parking place at a rest stop. I think until you set it up yourself, it's hard to really understand how to adjust it. The instructions on the company website are more thorough than I got from the company (the Airstream dealer didn't give me the instructions either).

Various parts will wear off the paint and periodically, they need to have the rust removed and repainted. I haven't done the bars since it seems fruitless, but will get around to that someday.

The aluminum L parts bend backwards under stress and the company told me that's normal and they will not break. I was told the washers will loosen over time. I think they compress. There's an adjusting nut underneath the hitch head to take up the slack when the washers get loose. They also told me regular washers will get crushed and either to get the ones they use or some other kind that is especially hard, though I can't remember what kind. Get the Equalizer ones from a dealer.

I use wheel bearing grease on the ball and clean it off and renew every couple of days when we unhitch. Since I generally leave the hitch head on when we drive around town, it quickly picks up dirt.

I seem to buy clothes that have some substance that attracts grease to them no matter how careful I am and have no solution to that problem. My hands also attract grease, so maybe the grease on my clothes is trying to get to my skin.

Gene
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:03 AM   #16
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Simple solution...

Here's our solution to the noise problem that works 90% of the time: rubber bands of the kind that women use to tie their hair in ponytails.

I find that the noise when cornering at low speed is the result of binding of the L-brackets (the solid, square brackets that hold the weight-distribution bars in place) against the weight-distribution bars. When the L-brackets are bent over they get jammed and make noise as the weight-distribution bars pinch against them. So, the simple solution is to hold the L-bracket upright so that there is more play and movement. Do this by looping the rubber bands over the ends of the cotter pin and then over the supporting bracket. This has the effect of holding the L-brackets more loosely in the upright position. The extra flexibility is all that is needed to eliminate the squealing.

Sorry, I don't have a picture handy that shows the arrangement, but I hope the explanation makes enough sense. Try it, you'll like it. A packet of those rubber bands that will last years costs about $1 at drug stores.
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:20 AM   #17
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But, if friction is what makes the Equalizer work, don't you want things to bind?

Gene
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:37 AM   #18
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Binding and sliding are different...

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But, if friction is what makes the Equalizer work, don't you want things to bind?

Gene
There is friction between the weight-distribution bars and the brackets on which they rest. What I'm talking about is keeping the L-shaped retainer pins that are held in place by cotter pins upright.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:34 AM   #19
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We're talking about the same pins or brackets—can't remember the exact name for them. As I see it, and maybe I'm wrong, these and the black L brackets provide the friction at the rear of the bars. Since there's some give on the aluminum L's (they bend to fit the particular towing combo), it seems they must be engineered to do what they do. The black L's also move a bit—rotating a little—and I believe they are supposed to do that too. So the two L's both move. If they didn't there would be considerably friction and I believe like an earthquake fault, tension would build and build until something snapped—either one of the L's would break or the bars would suddenly slide very fast and provide a shocking change and a bad ride. That's why I think these parts are supposed to move as they do with the aluminum L being the weakest part for a reason—so it can bend.

Equalizer sells a lubricant to put there to reduce noise and says it may reduce friction, but I can't understand why anyone would want to reduce the friction unless the noise makes them crazy.

It seems that over time the bars and the other parts will wear and get both a little smaller and smoother, thus reducing friction a little. The paint wears off fast and that reduces noise as well.

Even more mysterious to me is setting up the hitch head properly. I think someday I'll have to take the whole thing apart and start over. First I need to find somewhere that is actually level, something my property lacks. Then I'll have to go through the whole process. Tinkering with it only goes so far. The good thing is that it works fine and I never have any trouble towing.

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Old 05-05-2009, 11:28 AM   #20
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The aluminum L-brackets aren't there for friction...

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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
We're talking about the same pins or brackets—can't remember the exact name for them. As I see it, and maybe I'm wrong, these and the black L brackets provide the friction at the rear of the bars. Since there's some give on the aluminum L's (they bend to fit the particular towing combo), it seems they must be engineered to do what they do.
Gene
Gene,

The aluminum L-brackets simply keep the weight-distribution bars from sliding off the black L-brackets. They are just retainers, but they are also the principal, if not the sole, cause of the popping noise that people are trying to eliminate or mitigage. All the intended friction in the Equal-i-zer hitch is between the black L-brackets and the weight-distribution bars.
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:43 AM   #21
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Equalizer is a great product. Ive had our 23' out in 50 mph cross winds with 60 to 70 MPH gusts with hardly a side movement at all. First DO NOT UNTORQUE (new word) THE TIGHTNESS AT ANYTIME EVER. If it's set let it be. If it needs increase in torque do it, but do not undo it. Second (and this is just my way of managing the noise) on a long trip or when I expect hard cross winds or rain etc. I leave the rods dry and let maximum friction do the job. When the trip is short, I don't see any rough road conditions and the campground entry is daytime (so I don't disturb the natives) I use the teflon pads. Incidently I've had the teflon pads on it in high cross wind and they did fine even with less friction.
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:20 PM   #22
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I mainly notice the noise (creaking and growning) mostly when I back-up. I believe what causes it is when the "L" brackets become slighly loose. Mine have a square head bolt that presses on the trailer frame. I just tighten them up and the noise goes away. I don't use grease except on the ball and the hinge points where the bars go into the hitch. I don't have any nylon or teflon glides that let the bar ride freely on the "L" brackets.

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Old 05-06-2009, 01:49 AM   #23
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Repeat.

Hi, I posted this before somewhere, but I don't know where it's at. So I will tell it again. I took my hitch head apart, cleaned everything, and re-assembled it with Anti-seize. Torqued the pivot bolts at 45 lbs and I use teflon grease for the ball. I do not lube the "L" brackets and I don't use the plastic pads. My creaking and groaning are at a minimum. [about 90% gone] Gene please post pictures of your Equal-i-zer aluminum parts. My hitch is all steel.
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:49 AM   #24
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Yeah, I've been scratching my head, reading about 'aluminum' L brackets, also!...

If you are referring to the square stock, L shaped 'pins' (with a hairpin clip) that you drop into the frame brackets after placing the torsion bars...well, mine are cadmium plated steel - they may look 'aluminum' but they're not on my hitch.... aluminum pins would wear out in a big hurry, with all that rubbing back and forth!

Touch em' with a magnet if you think I'm kidding...
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Old 05-06-2009, 05:24 AM   #25
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Mexray, that explains why the aluminum-appearing L's haven't been destroyed. They don't act like aluminum, but they sure look like it. Calling them "pins" makes more sense since they function like "pins". Sorry if I'm confusing people, a reflection of my own confusion.

I couldn't find the instructions before we left on our trip and haven't bothered to print out new ones from the website because although we brought a printer along, it's a pain to set it up. The instructions that Equalizer sent me weren't the clearest I've ever seen and all the posts on this product seem to indicate a lot of us don't entirely understand it. Even so, it seems to work for everyone. I do recall something that the black L brackets move too—the bolt (Randy calls it the "head bolt") that goes through them to the tongue doesn't lock them in place and they pivot a bit on it. Is this the "pivot bolt" as Bob calls it? I believe I read the bolt doesn't get tightened so much to immobilize the black bracket.

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Old 05-06-2009, 10:18 PM   #26
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Hi, what I call the pivot bolts are the two on the head unit where the female ends for the spring bars attach. The square headed bolts for the "L" brackets can be tightened enough so as the "L" brackets don't move.
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Old 05-07-2009, 03:57 PM   #27
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Got it. I checked the bolts on the L brackets and one was loose, so this thread did help me think to check them.

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Old 05-10-2009, 08:03 PM   #28
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I find that I have to check those bolts every time I stop. Sometimes one or both are loose, sometimes not. I have yet to figure out what causes them to loosen.

John
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