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Old 09-14-2019, 06:14 PM   #1
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320 ft/lbs torque for Equalizer hitch shank bolts?

We are camping in a state park in Pennsylvania and I noticed that the 3/4” washer for the upper shank bolt on my Equalizer hitch was split in half and barely still in place.

We got a replacement washer at Lowe’s but don’t have a torque wrench. The manual wants 320 ft/lbs of torque on the bolts and the biggest torque wrench on the shelf tops out at 250.

No service centers, RV dealers or truck centers are open tomorrow. The young man at the Walmart Service Center hit it with his 250 ft/lbs wrench figuring that would be better than what my son and I could do with our 1/2in drive socket and box wrench but

Any suggestions on how to get this thing torqued down properly so we can travel home tomorrow?

Thanks,
Walt
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Old 09-14-2019, 06:39 PM   #2
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That is a huge amount of torque. That’s probably why not many have them or sell them. Home Depot does have a 600lb wrench. If you are near a Lowes, maybe there would be a Home Depot. Hopefully they have one in stock.

PS. They are not cheap.
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Old 09-14-2019, 06:40 PM   #3
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1/2” breaker bar and almost put all your body weight on it assuming 180-220 lb adult. Make sure you are braced do not fall etc.

Also make sure the angle set bolt is nice and snug before final tightening.

I’ll check back in the am.

Get it as tight as you can with 1/2 breaker bar and then maybe get help at dealer shop or a good ol boy shop.

Most likely the Walmart effort got it tight enough to travel

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Old 09-14-2019, 06:58 PM   #4
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The last ball I put on called for 450 ft lbs. I turned my hitch shank sideways in the receiver, put a pipe on my stoutest breaker bar and sat on it. For a belt and suspenders approach, I put red loctite on the threads.
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Old 09-14-2019, 07:25 PM   #5
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1. 1/2” breaker bar with a 1 1/8 deep socket
2. Short piece of pipe if handy
3. Stand on it.
4. Miller time
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Old 09-14-2019, 07:45 PM   #6
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Isn’t it just math?

How about this - apparently having a torque wrench is a hole in my toolkit so I don’t have a terrible problem going back to Lowe’s tomorrow and picking up the 50-250 ft/lbs Craftsman torque wrench I had in my hands earlier this evening.

It seems to me then that I just need to figure out the length of pipe I also need that would get a 250lb wrench to reach 320? The Craftsman is 27.3 inches so if I got a 3’ piece of pipe with it, what’s the math that tells me the setting on the wrench that gets it to 320?
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Old 09-14-2019, 07:59 PM   #7
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A pipe on the end of a 250 ft lb torque wrench will still click at 250. If you keep pushing, you will just end up damaging the wrench.
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Old 09-14-2019, 08:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by CRH View Post
A pipe on the end of a 250 ft lb torque wrench will still click at 250. If you keep pushing, you will just end up damaging the wrench.


Got it - thanks.

We’ll have to look for a shop in the morning. Maybe we have to drive up into NYS to find one open on a Sunday
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Old 09-15-2019, 03:20 AM   #9
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Just get the nut as tight as you can. Not many shops will have a torque wrench that goes that high, and even fewer stores sell them. If you really, rally want one, Snap-On sells them for $890, and it will probably be a special order.
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Old 09-15-2019, 04:40 AM   #10
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I agree with Terry, tighten it as tight as you can and drive home. Check along the way.

You can measure torque approximately without a torque wrench.
350 ft lbs means - 350 lbs of force measured 1' from the center of the nut being tightened.
If you use the pipe to extend the wrench handle that increase the leverage, so less force is needed to accomplish the proper torque.
If you use a 2' handle extension 175 lbs of force is needed. (350/2)
If you use a 3' handle extension 116.67 lbs of force is needed (350/3)
and so on...….

ps:
What I do is insert the hitch into the tow vehicle, turning the hitch so that the ball is turned toward the passengers side. I use an adjustable wrench, pipe wrench, or socket (whatever is available) on the nut then stand on the wrench handle and put my full body weight downward on the wrench handle.
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Old 09-15-2019, 06:15 AM   #11
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Personally I would just buy a 3/4 inch breaker bar and a socket and a piece of pipe for an extension and have at it. (actually that is what I have done for my Reese hitch). I am pretty sure I could get it around 320 with someone to help pull. To me that is not a nut that needs an exact torque. It just needs to be fully tight.
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Old 09-15-2019, 06:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
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A pipe on the end of a 250 ft lb torque wrench will still click at 250. If you keep pushing, you will just end up damaging the wrench.
Yes, but once you break the 250 lb. torque wrench, it becomes a breaker bar that I take everywhere. opps!

I bought another 350lb. torque wrench and they both sit in the bed of my truck.
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Old 09-15-2019, 08:16 AM   #13
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Thank you all for helping me clarify my situation and come up with a plan

First, there have been a couple of references to the hitch ball - although I believe the general nature of the advice is applicable I just want to make clear that we are working on the bolts that secure the hitch head assembly to the shank - I am including two pictures I should have included last night

I see that I am not going to be able to purchase a torque wrench capable of320 ft/lbs this morning, nor am I going to find a shop that may have one that is open on a Sunday out here in this part of Pennsylvania.

Bill M and others confirmed to me the “math” solution that I was seeking last night, and I think we’ll head over to Lowe’s or Home Depot and pick up a 1/2” breaker bar and length of pipe that will transfer my 155lbs onto the bolt and be on our way. We’ll stop a number of times on the way home to check and tighten, and I’ll take it to my local guy for a once-over after we get home. Who knows - maybe a super duper torque wrench will show up under the tree this December?

Thank you all again for the help. I knew the Forum would come through.

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Old 09-15-2019, 08:25 AM   #14
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I bought a really nice one on eBay. It even has a torque multiplier, a place to put a 3/8 handle so that you can brace the main handle and turn the 3/8 drive handle. It has a gear drive that increases the torque.
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Old 09-15-2019, 08:25 AM   #15
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One last thing!

Before you go to all the trouble of retightening the bolts you may as well pickup a wire brush and a can of Rustoleum paint to "freshen" up that rusty puller.
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Old 09-15-2019, 08:33 AM   #16
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I doubled up on my 3/4” flat washers when I ran my equalizer.

Just use a 1/2” breaker bar as others have noted and you’ll be fine. I’ve disassembled/ remounted the hitch head to the shank at least a half dozen times never a problem with this approach.
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Old 09-15-2019, 08:34 AM   #17
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One last thing!



Before you go to all the trouble of retightening the bolts you may as well pickup a wire brush and a can of Rustoleum paint to "freshen" up that rusty puller.


Yes, the photos show things that the eyes overlook ! That’s on the list as well, and we’ll grease the life out of it, too.
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Old 09-15-2019, 08:45 AM   #18
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320 ft/lbs torque for Equalizer hitch shank bolts?

Walt,

Yes, I understood I own an equalizer also and have worked on a few tightening things up on units at local rally’s.

I’m saying unusual for a washer to crack but I’ve never tried to bend a Class 8 washer which is frequently the yellow gold color of your bolt.

Using a 1/2” breaker bar and a cheater pipe will get you on the road after replacing the washer.

Here’s a secondary concern but one I have seen on equal-I-zer hitch to shank figment. You might get the bolts good and tight but still have a gap between hitch head and shank.

If so the bolts are not truly clamping the hitch head to shank. Bolts are clamps not load pins in this instance.

There was just a thread showing broken head bolt and extreme undercutting of the unbroken bolt from being loose and taking a beating.

Also your stinger is showing a good amount of wear from stinger to receiver loose fitment. It’s moving up down left right. Not a concern today but a future can it be improved situation. I made full length stainless steel shims for mine covering 3 sides and it really has not allowed that movement.

I’ve seen a stinger to receiver wear on a 1 ton with a 34’ that the owner installed a hitch clamp on. Sure when you’re trying to move it it doesn’t move but the trailer shook it like a rag doll in the receiver.

Using the force at a known distance technique for tightening will do you very well.

Don’t forget to check the angle set bolt.

Safe travels

Gary
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:40 AM   #19
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If anyone needs a 'new' Equal-i-zer WD hitch rated for 10,000 lbs, let me know. I have one I don't need.
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:52 AM   #20
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Maybe the washer split because the bolt was tightened to 320lbs.! Are you sure it says that much? That is a lot.
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