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Old 04-22-2016, 10:00 AM   #1
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Blue Ox

Heads up for Blue Ox users.
Recently returned from a 2500 mile journey. Got home and discovered the U-bolts on the bars both deformed. As a preventative measure I went ahead and changed the U-bolts out. No way of nowing the cause but I did spend a lot of miles on rough Florida roads under going their continuing reconstruction. Better safe than sorry.
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Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
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Old 04-22-2016, 10:57 AM   #2
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Suppose I should add, nothing dramatic or life threatening involved. Anything man made has a tendency to failure sometime in its life span.
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Old 04-22-2016, 11:05 AM   #3
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Heads up for Blue Ox users.
Recently returned from a 2500 mile journey. Got home and discovered the U-bolts on the bars both deformed. As a preventative measure I went ahead and changed the U-bolts out. No way of nowing the cause but I did spend a lot of miles on rough Florida roads under going their continuing reconstruction. Better safe than sorry.
I have same problem with one side U-bolt a little bent. When pulling out of space or driving over a speed bump, if there is a "dip" in the ground, or a "bump", one side (or both sides) can catch on the low point on the bars. I am now always "very careful" when in this type situation. Don't think the equalizer has this issue, but could be wrong. My F150 hookup sits pretty low the way it is set up level when loaded with AS.
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Old 04-22-2016, 11:19 AM   #4
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I have same problem with one side U-bolt a little bent. When pulling out of space or driving over a speed bump, if there is a "dip" in the ground, or a "bump", one side (or both sides) can catch on the low point on the bars. I am now always "very careful" when in this type situation. Don't think the equalizer has this issue, but could be wrong. My F150 hookup sits pretty low the way it is set up level when loaded with AS.
That could be what caused the deformed U-bolts. I did bottom out a couple of times on the trip both front and rear of the trailer. When I put on the new bolts I trimmed the excess length flush to the lock nuts.
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Old 04-22-2016, 11:41 AM   #5
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That could be what caused the deformed U-bolts. I did bottom out a couple of times on the trip both front and rear of the trailer. When I put on the new bolts I trimmed the excess length flush to the lock nuts.
Don't forget Blue Ox says to put red threadlocker on all threads. Those U-bolts are not something I would want coming loose and falling off while towing.
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Old 04-22-2016, 03:09 PM   #6
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picture ?

Chief, could you post of a picture of the damaged u-bolt ? I'm having a hard time visualizing this. I have close to 30K miles towing with mine, and the u-bolts are only showing signs of wear at the point they hang from the chain.
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Old 04-22-2016, 03:50 PM   #7
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Chief, could you post of a picture of the damaged u-bolt ? I'm having a hard time visualizing this. I have close to 30K miles towing with mine, and the u-bolts are only showing signs of wear at the point they hang from the chain.
Sorry, already tossed them. Really nothing impressive to take pictures of. Just bent, one slightly to the side and the other towards the rear of the bar. I probably could of gone years and never had a real issue. As I said it was preventative maintenance. Just something to keep an eye on.
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Old 04-22-2016, 09:55 PM   #8
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AW - were the threaded ends below bar bent or was the U-section above bar bent? Did the replacements come from Blue Ox or a hardware source? Any specific specification?

Thanks for posting the information. We all benefit from the sharing of our experience.

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Old 04-22-2016, 10:32 PM   #9
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AW - were the threaded ends below bar bent or was the U-section above bar bent? Did the replacements come from Blue Ox or a hardware source? Any specific specification?

Thanks for posting the information. We all benefit from the sharing of our experience.

Pat
Bent both top and bottom.

Replacements were Marine Stainless from Lowe's. Took the old one in and matched it as close as possible.

Used the stainless because they had no galvanized U-bolts anywhere close. Theoretically should be stronger than the originals. Will of course keep a close eye on them.
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Old 04-22-2016, 11:39 PM   #10
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AW - Thanks. SST sounds like a good upgrade.

Travel safe. Pat
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Old 04-23-2016, 09:42 AM   #11
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Found the old links. You can see how they are deformed. It looked worse when they were on the bars. I had to pound them out to remove. That actually straightened them out a bit. New link is a bit longer so might have to take up one more link when hooking up.

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Old 04-23-2016, 11:36 AM   #12
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Don't forget Blue Ox says to put red threadlocker on all threads. Those U-bolts are not something I would want coming loose and falling off while towing.

Good information, it's now on my to do list. Thanks


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Old 04-23-2016, 12:09 PM   #13
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Good information, it's now on my to do list. Thanks


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I used nylon insert lock nuts. Guess I need to pull them off and use a dab of threadlock or not.
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Old 04-23-2016, 12:23 PM   #14
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U-bolts

Chief,
Thanks for the followup. As a point of reference, I put a dab of grease on the u-bolt/first link contact point occasionally too. Don't know if it really helps or not....maybe it just makes me feel like I'm doing something worthwhile. I put a dab of grease on the hitch ball too.
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