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Old 08-13-2016, 06:25 PM   #15
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1966 24' Tradewind
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Farmer Dan, I have the steel shims I need to eliminate the gap between the bottom bolt and the frame. Then I need to tow it and see if the whole L bracket and clamp can slide straight back. If so, I will resort to the positive stops. I'll post the results of my test when completed. It may be a little while.

I grew up in Des Moines, then my family moved to Clarion where Dad was involved with Hagie Mfg. Then I moved to Ames for engineering college and stayed there to work for Sundstrand. Finally I found a better job in Spencer and we stayed there for 10 years.

Dad was from Lamona, Mom from Marshalltown. Dad was involved in agra business his whole career. Iowa is all about the ups and downs of farming. I worked in factories, but often dreamt of farming and being my own boss. It takes a million bucks or more just to get started. The return on investment is iffy at best.

David
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Old 08-14-2016, 05:47 PM   #16
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I was installing the shims to take up the clearance between the bottom bolt and the frame. I measure this clearance at 5/32" and maybe less with my new 1/2" grade 5 shoulder bolts.

Here is the amount of pivot that can happen with just 5/32" clearance. Backward pivot is shown in the first photo below, and forward pivot is shown in the second. It doesn't take much clearance for the L bracket clamp to really swing on the frame.

And the third photo shows the wear marks on the inside surfaces of the L bracket clamp pieces. You can see where the hitch L brackets are moving, likely during turns. There is a lot of back and forward forces on the L bracket since the spring bars rub hard on them. My bracket plates did not show any visible "bow" due to over tightening of the bolts. I see scuffed paint in the middle of the brackets, not just the ends.

However, this is one application the screams for a torque spec on the nuts. There is none in my installation instructions. The instructions say "fairly tight, but not too tight." What a spec!

I'll let you know of the shim idea eliminates this back and forward pivoting of the L bracket clamps. If not, I'll get the drill out and install positive stops.

David
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Old 08-14-2016, 06:12 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
I have an EZ Hitch which is very similar to an Equalizer. It has heavy weight distribution bars which bear down on a friction support that is bolted to the A frame.

This friction support slips and cocks as the clamp force is less than the force the bar puts on the friction pad. The friction support is just two pieces of steel clamped with two bolts to the A frame. The installation instructions are clear that you don't want to over tighten the bolts as it will bow the clamp pieces creating less clamp.

Maybe it is common for the friction supports to move on these types of hitches. Mine moves maybe 5 to 10 degrees from vertical.

Maybe some of you have figured out a way to keep it from moving.

David

Hi, go to the Equal-I-zer hitch thread and you will see how I fixed this problem on my hitch and my brackets never slipped again. Buy a piece of 1/2" copper tubing, cut four pieces 2"s long, buy a third set of nuts and bolts for the frame bracket. Now install the top bolt with the piece of copper tubing between the brackets. Install the second bolt as close to under the frame as possible. Install the third bolt in the lowest hole in the brackets; Install the third bolt with the piece of copper tubing between the brackets. Snug up all of the bolts and then tighten them. The copper tubing on the top bolt will help prevent the bending/bowing of the frame brackets. The copper tubing on the third bolt will hold the brackets out so when you tighten the second bolt, the brackets won't bend or bow.


On the Equal-I-zer hitch thread there are pictures of what I have done.
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Old 08-15-2016, 06:31 PM   #18
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Hi Robert. Thank you kindly for your reply. I have read the Equalizer hitch thread and the solutions to L bracket movement.

I understand the copper "bushings" cut to the width of the frame rail. (In my case, it's 1 1/2"). That would prevent any bowing of the L bracket clamp pieces. The clamp pieces are about 3/8" steel on my e2 hitch. My frame rail is 5" by 1 1/2" square channel. It's an old Airstream Trade Wind.

If I mistakenly cut the copper slightly shorter than the width of my frame rails, I may still get some bowing and thus less clamp force. And if I cut them too long, I might not even touch the frame rails. The whole hitch anti sway mechanism depends on the friction of the L bracket clamp being considerably greater than the friction of the L bracket pad to the loaded sway bars. Both my old Reese dual cam and my ProPride have spring bar supports that actually are designed to "pivot" during a turn. Sway control is not based on friction on these two hitches.

I have observed that the "pivot" does not happen if there is zero clearance between the top and bottom bolts in the clamp. My clearance is real close to 1/8". When I stick an 1/8" drill between the bolt and the frame, I can not pivot the clamp with the bolt nuts just finger tight. The photo below shows a 1 1/2" by 1/8" steel shim that I intend to install between the bottom bolt and the frame. The extra steel will give the frame a little reinforcement down there where the action is. I'll give it a try.

David
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Old 08-16-2016, 12:00 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
I understand the copper "bushings" cut to the width of the frame rail. (In my case, it's 1 1/2"). That would prevent any bowing of the L bracket clamp pieces. The clamp pieces are about 3/8" steel on my e2 hitch. My frame rail is 5" by 1 1/2" square channel. It's an old Airstream Trade Wind.

David
Hi, David; The second set of copper tubing that I made were about 1/16" too short, but still worked great. If you did cut them no more than 1/16" too long, they would still work because the copper tubing will compress slightly. Let us know how the steel shim works for you.
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Old 08-16-2016, 05:15 PM   #20
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Hi Robert. I think I could cut copper tubing to 1.5 inches +/- 1/16". I imagine you have copper "bushings" on both the upper bolt and the lower bolt. I have a couple of questions if I might.

1. What torque in foot pounds do you use when tightening the 1/2" bolts with the copper bushings in place?

2. What clearance do you have between the copper bushings and the frame rails on your trailer? I wonder if the copper bushing take up come of the clearance between the bolts and the frame, thus preventing any pivoting movement.

Thanks,

David
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:59 PM   #21
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I had the same problem and implemented this solution with some success.
I cut some rubber fuel line to put over the top and bottom clamp bolts between the brackets, similar to the copper tube solution. The fuel line just takes up the gap to the frame and keeps the bolts from marring the trailer frame. I aligned the clamps so the bars are at the right place and at the right angle to accommodate the bars. On my truck this was with the bottom of the L bracket sloped forward about 5 degrees. Then tightened up the clamps. I put some bearing grease on the l brackets where the bars ride to reduce the friction there. Then I check the clamp bolts are tight before every trip and at the end of every day I travel. This has significantly reduced but not completely eliminated the movement of the clamps on the frame.
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:56 PM   #22
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Hi Robert. I think I could cut copper tubing to 1.5 inches +/- 1/16". I imagine you have copper "bushings" on both the upper bolt and the lower bolt. I have a couple of questions if I might.

1. What torque in foot pounds do you use when tightening the 1/2" bolts with the copper bushings in place?

2. What clearance do you have between the copper bushings and the frame rails on your trailer? I wonder if the copper bushing take up come of the clearance between the bolts and the frame, thus preventing any pivoting movement.

Thanks,

David

Hi, David; I have the copper tubes on the top bolt and the bottom/third bolt. The top bolt/tube sits on the frame. There is some clearance between the second bolt and the bottom of my frame. I tightened all bolts with two boxed-end wrenches so I can only guess about 50 lbs. With the third bolt/tube holding the brackets apart, you can really crank down on the second bolt.
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Old 08-17-2016, 06:42 PM   #23
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You are right on the third bolt needing a bushing at the same width as the frame rail. I was playing around today. I installed my 1/8" steel shims between the bolt and the frame on the bottom, see photo. Then I tightened the bolts to at least 50 ft lbs. I noticed some bowing in the clamp plates with the bottom of them bowed in the most. So tomorrow I will cut a 1 1/2 long by 1/2" ID "bushing" and install it in the bottom hole. This ought to reduce the bowing I get from tightening the top and bottom frame clamp bolts.

The shim pretty much eliminated the clamp's ability to pivot fore and aft of vertical with the bolts just finger tight. This is due to the fact there is very little clearance between the bottom bolt and the frame. It's "jammed" tight in the vertical position. I'm hopeful the shim will significantly help keep my L bracket clamps in their correct position.

Thanks Robert for sharing your ideas here.

David
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Old 08-17-2016, 06:53 PM   #24
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Howdy Jim J from Austin. I wouldn't put any grease or lubricant on the L bracket pads that the spring bars ride on. These "equalizer" type hitches like mine rely on a stiff spring bar and lots of downward force on the L bracket bad. If the rear of the trailer starts to sway, the spring bars "saw" away on the L bracket pads and the high friction diminishes the sway.

The lube will make the hitch mechanism quieter. But it's supposed to squeak, squawk and grown while turning. It's one piece of metal pushing down hard on another piece of metal the the friction is what helps reduce sway. A little engine cleaner will cut the grease right off.

It is a good idea to check the L bracket clamp bolts frequently like you do. I installed lock nuts on mine hoping they will stay tight longer.

David
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Old 09-25-2016, 05:57 PM   #25
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Welded

Hi All

I had my EZ 2 hitch brackets welded to the frame. Placed 2 welds on one side of the outside brackets. Should be easy enough to remove with a 4 inch grinder if needed. Be sure to paint the bare metal.
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Old 09-26-2016, 06:48 PM   #26
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Problem solved. They ain't moving now.

Most of us dudes don't have welding skills or access to a welder. Welding is a whole technology in itself. That's why I tried to figure out how come the bracket clamps were moving and how to eliminate it. Taking up all the clearance between the bottom bolt and the frame prevents the brackets from "pivoting". It will not prevent them from moving straight back but I think that will take a lot more force than the friction sway can generate. We'll see.

David
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Old 09-27-2016, 09:07 AM   #27
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Done with that

They ain't moving now

Important

When welding on trailer be sure to disconnect battery cables. For that matter anytime you are welding on anything with a battery, disconnect battery cables. Sure you only have to disconnect one, but I do both, ain't taking any chances.

There is someone with welding skills in every town in the USA. I am of the mind that paying someone who knows what they are doing is money well spent. Vertical welding is a special skill. I paid the welder $35. Cheap considering, the time invoked. Explain what I wanted, clear shop floor, back trailer in shop, remove from TV, disconnect batteries, remove friction arms, grind paint, weld, reassemble hitch, attach to TV, shoot the breeze and pay the man. Total time from arrival at shop till leaving 1 hr 15 minutes.

Like most tasks the prep is 90% of the job. Notice in first picture that paint was ground away, from weld area.

Be sure to paint the welded area. They will rust faster than you can imagine
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Old 09-27-2016, 06:56 PM   #28
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There are a lot of good welders in Wisconsin. It is known for dairy farms, but it is a manufacturing powerhouse too.

Thanks for the tip on disconnecting the battery.

David
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