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Old 08-17-2013, 10:52 AM   #1
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Anyone Experienced A Bent Shank Pin

I'm hitching up for a 4 week trip out west. I noticed my shank pin was quite bent. I'm concerned.

I have a new F350 Super Duty and a new ProPride hitch. I have towed about 3000 miles with this set up and like it. I have the 1400 lbs weight distribution bars cranked up 7" measured from the base of the BAL jacks. My fender well measurements and weight scale readings are reasonable.

The direction of the bend is verticle based on the way I position my shank pin. It is as if there is a huge upward force on the shank pin causing it to bend.

The F350s come with a Cat V hitch receiver and a sleeve reducing it from 2.5 inches down to the 2 inch Cat IV. The sleeve has a 11/16 by 7/8 oval hole in it meaning the 9/16 diameter shank pin does not touch the sleeve. So the weight distribution force is supported by the outer holes in the hitch receiver.

I don't like the oval hole in the Ford sleeve reducer. It creates a 2.5 inch distance between support areas for the shank pin. I wonder if anyone else has discovered this unusual wear?

David
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Old 08-17-2013, 12:42 PM   #2
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Here is a picture of the Ford receiver reducing sleeve. You can see the oversized oval hole.

The Propride shank is solid 2" square. When the bars are cranked to distribute the toung weight, the shank is pressing hard on the top inside of the receiver.

As we tow down the road, vertical bumps wiggle the receiver against the shank hard in the vertical plane.

I sure would hate to see if my safety chains work if this shank pin were to fracture.

One of my friends suggested a grade 8 bolt instead of a soft steel shank pin.

David
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Old 08-17-2013, 01:18 PM   #3
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Thye normal shank pin is 5/8 not 9/16 if I remember right.
I have never seen a bent pin before but what you have looks like something from the farm supply for a top link or something unless the end is bent and not showing in the photo.

I also have a 2.5 inch hitch receiver with the adapter.. I just went out and took it apart and the adapter hole is apparently made oversize and matches your dimensions.

Is it possible your hitch installer substitute a different pin?. Most the standard pins are too short for the 2.5 inch receiver.

I have always thought the pins were of fairly hard steel and should not bend.
I am using a locking pin and had to hunt for one long enough that would fit the bigger receiver. At this point I have not towed enough miles with the new truck to see if there will be any problems. I find the adapter is rather sloppy. Mine is a Ram but the hitch supplier could be the same.
I also noticed that Reese adapters were in Walmart but did not look at the construction
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Old 08-17-2013, 02:07 PM   #4
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It is possible that your pin was made of an inferior material. It is unfortunate that off shore pins are most likely on the market, and could be poorly spec'ed and made from the wrong metal.

I am only posing a possibility, I am not flag waving here. Both good and bad things are made in every country.

I would first change the pin. They are not expensive.
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Old 08-18-2013, 06:20 AM   #5
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Update:

Thanks to those who have given me advice. The bent shank pin is the one that came with my new F350. My photo does not show the part of the pin with a 45 degree angle on it that keeps the pin from sliding out of the receiver. The pin is a 5/8 diameter pin.

The bent pin is not "file hard". I can scratch the pin with my metal file. I purchased another pin from a tractor supply store and it too scratches with a file.

I also purchased a new sleeve reducer from the same tractor supply store. It has a 5/8 round hole instead of an oval hole. Now I have the 5/8 inch pin better supported with the steel of the new sleeve reducer and the receiver itself. It seems there will be less chance of the pin bending.

I will keep a close eye on the shank pin as we begin this trip.

A no sway hitch makes a pretty rigid connection between the truck and the trailer. The trailer won't sway, but it also has to absorb the vertical forces when the truck hits a bump and then the trailer hits the same bump. I think the shank pin was getting this hammering and bent because it had a 1/4 inch unsupported gap on each side due to the oval hole in the Ford receiver sleeve.

The no sway hitch threads have many comments about wear points on the hitches and couplers. Has anyone else seen bent shank pins?

David
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Here is a picture of the Ford receiver reducing sleeve. You can see the oversized oval hole.

The Propride shank is solid 2" square. When the bars are cranked to distribute the toung weight, the shank is pressing hard on the top inside of the receiver.

As we tow down the road, vertical bumps wiggle the receiver against the shank hard in the vertical plane.

I sure would hate to see if my safety chains work if this shank pin were to fracture.

One of my friends suggested a grade 8 bolt instead of a soft steel shank pin.

David
Dave,

Is the sleeve welded in? (prob not as you've supplied a pic)

We also use a class V with a welded sleeve. You could get a HD sleeve and and weld it.
Ours is from Reese and the holes are round.


We use a stainless pin similar to this...

Bob
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:55 AM   #7
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david, there is a post somewhere about using 45* ended pins. where the bend it, allows the pins to wobble. i think those elongated holes were once perfect circles that wallowed out. find a pin with a 90* end.
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:23 AM   #8
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http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...ver-54796.html
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:50 AM   #9
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Get one of these. SXT5 Premium 100% Stainless Steel 5/8" Key Receiver Lock 3-1/2" Span
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:17 PM   #10
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I think the trick here is to get round holes that support the loads evenly as possible and keep the pin in shear vs. bending stress. If the shank has a sloppy fit in the receiver, put some shims in place. Also use a pin that is made of high strength material if you can. Stainless Steel is very good at corrosion resistance but the fact it is SS doesn't guarantee it is high strength material.
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
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david, there is a post somewhere about using 45* ended pins. where the bend it, allows the pins to wobble. i think those elongated holes were once perfect circles that wallowed out. find a pin with a 90* end.
As mentioned in my previous post, my adapter also has elongated holes, and was made that way. Probably they thought a little extra slop would make it easier to get the pin through. I have towed less that 100 miles with mine and the paint isn't worn of the inside of the holes. I have no idea who the hitch supplier was for RAM but it sounds like Ford may be using the same one since we both have oversize , elongated holes. Maybe a Chevy owner with a class V hitch can add something here.

I did make a point of looking at the Reese adapter at WM today and it is made with round 5/8 holes. Priced just under $12.00

Interesting idea about the 45 degree end and wobble
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Old 08-18-2013, 02:18 PM   #12
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Barney: I have the exact pin! Pure magic! Had another so called stainless that rusted up in one season? This one going on three plus years and looks the same as the day that I bought it! Worth double the price...
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:45 PM   #13
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Thank you fellow Airstreamers for your insights.

I am currently running with a new sleeve with a round hole. I was too lazy tonight to unhitch and see if my new pin has any bend in it. It was straight this morning when I hitched up. Gee, my Propride pulls so nice! We had 15 mph cross winds in North Dakota today and my Airstream stayed right behind my Super Duty, even when the big old semi's blew past me at 75 mph on the upwind side.

My new reducer sleeve is not welded in, and it does have some slop, but much less than the Ford one. The new sleeve with the round hole was made with about 3/32 chamfer on the inside square corners. The Propride shank is square. So I had to do some filing to get the new sleeve to fit over the Propride shank. I trust Sean will forgive me! The new sleeve fits tight, but it does slip on. The new sleeve does rattle around in the Ford 2.5 inch receiver. I need to tighten that up a bit with shims; or have Robert weld it solid for me.

I have a stainless shank pin with me. The pin I am using today is a tractor hitch pin with a round head on one end and a cross hole on the other end. There is very little side to side play in this pin. I have given thought to a grade 5 or grade 8 bolt. But it would be a bunch unhandy to un-hitch.

I'll report in when I pull the pin and see if I have any bending visible.

David
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:14 AM   #14
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David - Sean recommended welding the sleeve in. I preferred not to use it and asked if he made a 2.5" version (which he does) and while quite substantial/heavy, it has worked perfectly (no bent pin, no egg-shaped holes. I'm assuming the welding of the sleeve provides a similar stability with the benefit of less weight.
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