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Old 07-24-2016, 06:57 PM   #1
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Friction Anti Sway Bar Supports Slip

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
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Old 08-10-2016, 05:49 PM   #2
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Well, this isn't the most popular topic on Air Forums! But I know someone out there knows how to fix this problem.

My e2 hitch by Progress Mfg, Inc has a problem. It is similar to an Equalizer hitch. The weight distributing spring bars rub on the L brackets as they are designed to do, but the L brackets move. They won't stay clamped to the frame.

I see there is a lot of load on the L brackets during a turning maneuver. My installation instructions caution against over tightening the L bracket clamps so as not to bow them.

The hitch is mounted to my 66 Trade Wind. We tow it with a 09 Grand Cherokee. I have the hitch head angle and spring bars set to roughly level the Jeep. The tongue weight is estimated at 450 lbs and the trailer at 4500.

I wonder if anyone else has solved this problem and can help me out.

David
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Old 08-10-2016, 05:59 PM   #3
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I've never seen an Eaz lift hitch that attaches like that. Must be knew? They always have separate sway controls. Do you maybe have a different brand like anE2. I referring to post one.
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Old 08-10-2016, 06:57 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reply. I wanted to post some photos but my supporting membership expired. Surprise! So now I'm back in good standing.

Here are some photos of my e2 hitch L brackets.

This his how the bracket moves after a 30 mile tow:



Here are wear marks on the L bracket "friction pad". It has displaced metal. I have observed that when the hitch assembly is in a sharp turn, the square spring bars rotate and do not lay flat on the friction pad. I think this accounts for the wear marks.

David
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Old 08-10-2016, 07:12 PM   #5
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Here is a website describing the e2 hitch sold by Fastway.

http://www.fastwaytrailer.com/e2-hitch

The friction sway control L brackets are simply "sandwiched" on the sides of the frame rails and clamped with two bolts. The instruction say not to get too tight to bow the side pieces, and I can understand that.

My old Trade Wind A-frame is a 5" by 1 1/2" boxed channel. The top bolt rides on the frame member, the bottom bolt has clearance between it and the frame member. This clearance allows the L bracket to pivot. Maybe if I could find the right sized bushing to take up this clearance, the L bracket couldn't rotate.

David
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Old 08-11-2016, 05:48 AM   #6
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It appears the bolts used to attach the WD brackets to the aframe are too close together. Looks like you could separate them one hole. Also, putting a dimple in the frame where the bolt goes against will stabilize it. I assume the bolts are semipolnted in contact with the frame. You can also drill the frame and use through bolts to stabilize it. Do this only after you are sure the brackets are where you want them. A spot weld would also work. I've seen it done each way, your choice. Maybe someone else will have a better idea. Good luck.
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Old 08-11-2016, 07:34 AM   #7
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I too have an EQ2 WD hitch. I paid $100 for a hitch that was only used twice, truly like new.

My biggest grip is the bend in the WD bar support arms. The 90 degree bend in the metal is just too sharp. The sharpness of the bend destroys the integrity of the metal itself. I had one support arm fail on a Sunday 2000 miles from home. Found a friend of a friend who was able to do a temporary repair. He only had a stick type welder and the wrong welding rod, but I was able to make it home with his repair. Once home I had a local pro welder work on the brackets. He ground V shaped reliefs in both sides of the bend and then welded the reliefs. After welding, the inside was ground back to the 90 degree configuration. The outside of the bend was built up sightly with weld as a reinforcement. I believe that this is much stronger than the factory bends. I have not yet traveled with this mod, so therefore I reserve the right to be wrong.

And yes my brackets moved also. I intend to have the brackets tack welded to trailer frame next. If and when I upgrade the hitch the tack welds are easy enough to grind off. Drilling the frame is okay if this style hitch is the last you will ever use. Me, I am on the lookout for an upgrade at a great price.

There are a lot forces at work when the hitch is in action. While the clamp design is cheap to make it is just that.
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Old 08-11-2016, 06:03 PM   #8
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I should have removed the L brackets from the frame clamp for the photo. The two nuts shown in the photo hold the L bracket to the clamp. There are several "height" adjustments available by moving the L bracket up or down. The exploded view of this hitch is shown in the website link I provided.

There are two larger bolts that actually hold the sandwich clamp to the frame. They are not visible in my photo. The top bolt rests on the top of the frame. The bottom bolt is about 1/2" below the bottom of the frame. This bottom bolt clearance allows the clamp to pivot like a pendulum about 20 degrees clockwise or counterclockwise. I can actually hit it with a hammer (about the impact of driving a #4 finishing nail) and pivot the clamp after I tighten the bolts.

I think if I did not have any clearance of the bottom bolt to the frame, the clamp could not pivot. I may look for a thick walled bushing that would slip over the bolt and take up some of this 1/2" clearance. Or I may look into some metal "shim stock" that I could put between the clamp bolts and the frame to take up the clearance. If the L bracket was tight top to bottom between the frame rail, it could not pivot.

The first photo shows the top clamp bolt resting tight on the frame rail, and the second photo shows the clearance (about 3/8") between the bolt and the bottom frame rail.

I have also thought about drilling the frame and installing bolts or roll pins to act as a "stop" or "stay" preventing the clamp from moving. Tack welds are another option which I could grind flush if I changed hitches. Tack welds don't require holes.

My clamps are located the specified 30" from the front of the coupler. The hitch distributes the tongue weight just fine, and sway control is evident. It ain't a ProPride, but it is better than nothing.

Thanks for the feedback on a broken L bracket. Mine are also bent very sharp with little bend radius. That will cause high stresses and possibly a fracture like you experienced. I'll inspect mine for cracks.

These combination WD and friction sway control spring arms really "saw" back and forth on the L bracket while making turns. And when you turn, the spring bars do not stay aligned to the L bracket; they get cockeyed, and they actually rotate axially. It is no wonder the L bracket clamps pivot.

This pivot movement concerns me as the hitch was designed with the L bracket friction pad being in square contact with the spring bar. The wear marks I see on the L bracket can't be normal.

I'm interested in anyone else who has had trouble with the L bracket frame clamps moving on them.

David
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Old 08-11-2016, 06:37 PM   #9
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I don't know

Are you sure that the clamp brackets are supposed to pivot?

I think that the clamps are meant to fit a range of frame heights. The way I see it they should not move. Thus keeping the fiction surfaces square to each other.
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Old 08-11-2016, 07:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
The top bolt rests on the top of the frame. The bottom bolt is about 1/2" below the bottom of the frame. This bottom bolt clearance allows the clamp to pivot like a pendulum about 20 degrees clockwise or counterclockwise. I can actually hit it with a hammer (about the impact of driving a #4 finishing nail) and pivot the clamp after I tighten the bolts.

I think if I did not have any clearance of the bottom bolt to the frame, the clamp could not pivot. I may look for a thick walled bushing that would slip over the bolt and take up some of this 1/2" clearance. Or I may look into some metal "shim stock" that I could put between the clamp bolts and the frame to take up the clearance. If the L bracket was tight top to bottom between the frame rail, it could not pivot.

I have also thought about drilling the frame and installing bolts or roll pins to act as a "stop" or "stay" preventing the clamp from moving. Tack welds are another option which I could grind flush if I changed hitches. Tack welds don't require holes.

My clamps are located the specified 30" from the front of the coupler. The hitch distributes the tongue weight just fine, and sway control is evident. It ain't a ProPride, but it is better than nothing.

David
You have pretty much figured out the problem and the solution. The fact that there is a gap between the bottom bracket bolt and frame is what allows the pivot. The only thing trying to stop the pivot is the friction between the side plates and frame, and that will not be enough.
You can try to get a bushing or some shim material on there to eliminate as much of the gap as possible, which should stop the pivot, at least the majority of it.
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Old 08-12-2016, 05:27 AM   #11
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Agree with post ten. Seems like a bushing could be used. Maybe a bunche of washers and lock washers like what is used on the hitch ball?
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Old 08-12-2016, 07:33 AM   #12
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David, I did what you are describing to both my Equalizer 600# and 1,000# hitches. I put a SS Tek self drilling, top and bottom of the hitch frame, on the rear edge of the "L" bracket. On the "Equalizer Hitch Thread" posts #17 and #50 is the description with some pics on #50.

Dan
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Old 08-12-2016, 06:59 PM   #13
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Thank you kindly farmer dan. I grew up and lived in Iowa for 40 years before moving to Minnesota, and now finally Colorado. I have a lot of respect for you agro businessmen. There is lots of risks and you can't set the price of your products.

I'm going to try to "box in" the L bracket clamps taking away any "pivot" clearance between the bottom bolt and the frame. I'll try that first. Then I'll try installing "positive stops" on the rear sides of the L bracket clamps like you did.

I see the Equalizer hitch folks have also had problems with the L bracket clamps moving. And like you, they have developed solutions.

David
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Old 08-12-2016, 08:13 PM   #14
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David, thank you for the respect compliment!!! It is quite an adjustment to go from years of $2.50-$3.00 / bu corn prices and then have a few years of $6.00-$8.00 / bu and now back in the $3.00 / bu range again. Glad I retired at the end of '09! But my son and brother-in-law are still running the family farm - so I am certainly not out of the loop yet! I am very busy at harvest time driving semis or tractor / auger wagon to help out. Where in IA were you?

Dan
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