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Old 05-10-2004, 02:50 PM   #1
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Equalizer Hitch noise...

Greetings.

A question for all of you Equilizer hitch owners:

I've noticed that there is a lot of creaking, metal sounds coming from the back of the van. When I heard it for the first time, I was with a service tech guy and he said that is normal hitch sound, and promised that I wasn't pulling the back axel off the V-Dub.

These sounds seem to be much more noticeable at low speed, and turning.

The Equilizer instructions say to use axel grease where the arms connect to the big knuckle thing and to also aplly grease where the bars go through the loops on the A-frame. Also, there is a note about lubing the ball as well.

Will this help if I just lube the crap out of this thing. I know I'll end up with a hell of mess. Gloves will be in order.

Please thrill me with your genius-ness!!!

Joanthan
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Old 05-10-2004, 03:33 PM   #2
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Yep the sound is normal. I used to have a Reese dual-cam prior to my Equal-i-zer and it creaked, popped, and moaned in low speed manuvers.

I've been told that Equal-i-zer has been trying out teflon coated L brakets. You might give them a call and see if they are available. Personally I won't grease mine. I'll deal with the noise. You can grease the top and bottom surfaces of the recepticle that the bar slides into. Also remember to watch the torque setting for the bolts which hold the recepticle. 45 lbs. is the recommendation. They come from the factory over torqued at 60 lbs. but loosen up quickly.

Jack
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Old 05-10-2004, 03:48 PM   #3
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I have a trunnion style hitch, but it seems fairly simular and it was creaking also. What I found was that the tension chains (for your's the tension brackets) were not perpendicular to the frame. Once I moved the clamps, the creaking went away.

I don't know if this'll help, but it's an idea anyway.
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Old 05-10-2004, 04:21 PM   #4
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Crazylev,

I notice that mine makes less noise now than when it was very new. I think that as it is used, it will quiet down some but not completely. Either that or I have lost my hearing!

Dennis
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Old 05-10-2004, 04:42 PM   #5
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Any load leveling hitch will make noise when turning enough to push the spring bars around. Since this is usually a pretty good turn, the speed is usually slow. At slow speeds, you often have less other noise to drown hitch noises out, too.

For the Equal-i-zer you can lubricate it as specified in the owner's manual and that usually takes care of the noise. Most is from the spring bars sliding over the L brackets which is why the teflon L brackets idea came up as an alternative to lubrication.

The Reese and EAZ type spring bars use chains for tension and these will rub on the bracket and make noise. You should lubricate the part of the spring bars that goes into the trailer ball mount socket to help with wear as well as noise there.

The Reese Dual-Cam mechanism also has lubrication instructions which should be followed to reduce noise and wear.
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Old 05-10-2004, 07:48 PM   #6
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Thank you all for your responses.

Jack: I did call Equilizer today and they are now beta testing the new L brackets. There are available now for $30.00. Which the fellow on the phone said was a pretty good deal.

He did add that the brackets have only been tested for less than a year, so they don't know how they will stand the test of time.

In the mean time, it sounds like wheel bearing grease here and there, and hope that they do "break in" like Cosmotini has aluded.

Jonathan
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Old 05-11-2004, 08:41 AM   #7
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You really should grease the bars where they contact the L brackets, above the bar sockets where they rub the bottom of the trunion casting, and the ball - per the Equal-i-zer instructions. Without grease you will get both noise and excess wear. Each time I hitch up I use WD-40 and paper towels to clean off the old grease and dirt, and apply some fresh grease. Only a small amount of grease is needed at each spot.

Perhaps Teflon anti-friction pad material could be attached to existing weight distribution bars, or to the L brackets, to eliminate the need for grease in those spots.

I have not been able to find a socket that will fit the ball nut, but be thin-walled enough to clear the trunion casting. Anyone have a source for this? I have jammed a wrench between the nut and the trunion to hold the nut, then used a large open end wrench to turn the ball to tighten it. I can't determine the torque setting this way - and am probably not tight enough. I have had the ball loosen up several times, partly due to my inability to torque it properly, and partly due to the lack of machined surfaces where the ball and nut contact the casting. The rough surface has paint and casting debris that appear to crush over time, loosening a previously tight ball.
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Old 05-11-2004, 08:54 AM   #8
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Dan.

When I saw the set-up for the ball attaching to the trunion thing, I just couldn't believe that Equilizer did not come up with something better to be able to tighten the nut for the ball. The guys at the service place had the right size bit, but it couldn't slide over the nut thing!!! As you said, who knows if you could ever tell if it is tightened apropriately.

I am not sure how they finally got it attached, as I think that was one of those times I was off throwing up somewhere!!!

Jonathan
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Old 05-11-2004, 09:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmac
I have not been able to find a socket that will fit the ball nut, but be thin-walled enough to clear the trunion casting.
I found one at the local Tru Value hardware store. It was a standard 3/4 drive socket. I thought it rather tight but the friend with the impact wrench was able to use it to tighten the ball nut.
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Old 05-11-2004, 11:00 AM   #10
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I asked my dealer and was told that he ground his socket down to fit the opening.

I will preface the greasing issue with the fact that many folks do not clean the areas they grease. What you end up is picking up more grime and stuff that sticks to the grease, thus countering what you are attempting to do in the first place.

If you are going to grease it, keep it clean, otherwise you probably are better going greaseless.

Jack
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:29 PM   #11
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Equal-i-zer nylon pads

Scaring your fellow RV'ers and passers-by to death as your Equal-i-zer hitch pops and groans?

Friction & noise-reducing nylon pads (Sway Bracket Jacket) are available directly from Equal-i-zer and come as a pair for $19.95. I have been pleased with the first set I ordered, and have just ordered a second pair to replace them after towing approx 10K miles using them. I tow a 2009 23' Int'l Signature Series CCD (700lb hitch weight) with a 2005 4.7L V8 Dodge Dakota Crew Cab 4x4.

Here is the link to review and purchase the pads:
Equal-i-zer Hitch Store: Sway Bracket Jacket (pair)

"Silence is golden ..." (and easier on everyone's nerves too ...)

Happy Camping! John Lincoln
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Old 05-04-2009, 03:32 PM   #12
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I, too, have been using the nylon pads for the last 8,000 or so miles. They worked great for the first 6,000 but are now worn to the point they are about useless. I will order another pair.

Also, using some WD-40 helps a lot. However, this is pretty much to reduce noise and some wear. If the noise doesn't bother you, some light greasing is all that's required every few thousand miles.

John
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Old 05-04-2009, 04:03 PM   #13
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We helped test the "Bracket Jackets" for Equal-I-zer and have used them since we got the Bambi in Mar 07. At first they broke too easily, but Equal-I-zer" modified the design (as a result of the testing) and now they are holding up just fine. We like them a lot. They easy to use, add no time to your hitch-up time...and are well with it.
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:06 PM   #14
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I don't have much to add that hasn't already been said. When we purchased our AS, the dealer told us to expect the NOISE and to get used to it. We grease and spray regularly and as we go into our second year of 'streaming, we find it so much quieter than it had been before. I don't expect it to completely go away but it is so much better now. It certainly isn't bothersome to us or to anyone else.....any more.
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