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Old 12-17-2008, 09:39 PM   #1
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Hitch ball rating

Was cleaning up the hitch ball today to regrease and noticed some minor spalling. So, I figured I'd run right out and buy a new hitch ball. Then noticed that the existing hitch ball is marked for 6000#. This is not swell as my Sovereign is rated 8600# max (although I've never had it near that).

Anyway, get to the store and discover the 10000 pound hitch balls have a shaft diameter greater than the hole in the hitch body.

So, is there a source for some depleted uranium/tungsten/titanium 10000 hitch ball that will fit or should I take the whole thing to a machine shop and get the hole bored out??

Thanks,

mike
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:44 PM   #2
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Was cleaning up the hitch ball today to regrease and noticed some minor spalling. So, I figured I'd run right out and buy a new hitch ball. Then noticed that the existing hitch ball is marked for 6000#. This is not swell as my Sovereign is rated 8600# max (although I've never had it near that).

Anyway, get to the store and discover the 10000 pound hitch balls have a shaft diameter greater than the hole in the hitch body.

So, is there a source for some depleted uranium/tungsten/titanium 10000 hitch ball that will fit or should I take the whole thing to a machine shop and get the hole bored out??

Thanks,

mike
Enlarge the hole.

Andy
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:07 PM   #3
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Enlarge the hole.
Might that lessen the hitch bar rating? I don't know at all (danger of sticking my foot in it), but were 10,000# ball shanks even available back in the day of some older WD setups?

I just checked an old V5 Shelton hitch bar in my garage (year unknown). It has the larger diameter ball shank.

Anybody know how this evolved and when?
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:40 PM   #4
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Ball shank size

Reese ball mounts for over 30 years, all had 1 1/4 inch holes for the ball.

They also provided tight fitting shims, for smaller sized balls.

Andy
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:30 AM   #5
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I have a two man dril the has an RPM of about 3 and a drill bit that is sized for that shank. I have drilled out two holes on two different hiyches. Let me yell you when it gets to the bottom and the bit catches, it takes everything thing we have to hang on. However when it is done you will feel better about the added capacity.

Goood luck.

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Old 12-18-2008, 08:43 AM   #6
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I'd be reluctant to drill out a hitch head for a larger 1.25" ball shank.

If the hitch head has a 1" hole in it, it was designed around a 6000# hitch ball. How would you know if the rest of the assembly is able to handle the higher stress of a 10,000# load?

On the other hand, if it was designed for a 10,000# load, I wouldn't hesitate to use a lower rated 1" hitch ball with a bushing, like Andy says above.
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:48 AM   #7
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The largest 2" ball you can get is a 7500# If it is a 2 5/8 I would get a new hitch that will take the larger diameter shank. Drilling is a option but thats some tough work. Cutting torch would work, But would destroy the metal strength.
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:54 AM   #8
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My hitch is stamped with the rating and class.

If one uses a 10,000 rated ball on a 6,000 load is there an issue?

The hole that the shank goes into, needs to be a precise fit. Not sure a torch would offer that kind of fit.

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Old 12-18-2008, 10:14 AM   #9
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I don't think there is any problem using a 10,000# rated ball for a 6000# load. I think the issue is if you have a 6000# rated ball pulling a 7800# load.

. . . and if you need to drill out a 6000# rated hitchhead to handle a 10,000# ball, I don't think you are automatically uprating the whole hitch assembly to 10,000#.
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Old 12-18-2008, 10:42 AM   #10
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This topic made me curious so I started checking to see if 2-5/16" balls with 1" shank rated for 10,000 lbs even exist. Sure enough, the first website I went to had one. See: TRAILER HITCH BALLS- 2 5/16" - KMT Trailer Parts

The Stainless Steel appeals to me. See also: http://www.amazon.com/Brinks-3005-04.../dp/B000LS5TQQ

And there must be many more. With hardened steel, it should be possible to make a 1" shank with much more strength than the 10,000 pound rated being sought here!
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:09 PM   #11
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Thanks Bob - I don't know how I missed those sites... Now all I have is a simple switch out.

Also thanks to all else who helped. This forum is golden!

mike
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Old 12-19-2008, 08:37 AM   #12
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I believe the man has a possible 8600# load with a 6000# rated ball. Getting a 10,000# ball with a 1" shank is a fix. The next move would be a 10,000# rated ball with a 1.25" shank. All of these balls would be a 2 5/16 dial.

I would hope the hitch and hitch head have a rating to take the existing load since he has been towing it with the underated ball. The ball alone does not make the tow rating. And that was not what I was inferring by going to a larger rated ball in my first post. However I personally feel better when the proper equipment for the job is being used in my tow set up rather than underated components.

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Old 12-19-2008, 11:14 AM   #13
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I agree.

I think it's a weakness in the tow hitch rating system that the hitch receiver has a rating, the ball has a rating, the coupler has a rating, but the only component that doesn't have a stamped rating is the drawbar and ballmount.

Without any way to know the drawbar rating, I would use the diameter of the ball shank opening as a guide. Generally and historically, Class III have 1" holes and and Class IV hitches have 1.25" holes.

I'm not writing a rule here, just stating my personal opinion. We don't even know what kind of drawbar Mike is using, or even if it is a WD hitch.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:15 PM   #14
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I think in this instance, the ball is the least likely item of the hitch system to fail! The math suggests the ball is much stronger than the rating and much stronger than is needed. A 1" shank has a cross sectional area of .785 sq. inches. Most common structural steel has a modulus of elasticity of 36ksi or 36,000 pounds per square inch, therefore:
.785 x 36,000= 28,260 pounds or 2.8 times the rating for a 10,000 lb. rated ball with a 1" shank. Keep in mind, this is with basic common structural steel.

As I mentioned in a earlier post, if it is high strength steel which has a modulus of elasticity of at least 50,000 lbs./ sq. inch, then the ball would be at least 3.92 times the strength of it's rated capacity.

This knowledge does raise the question, how often do hitches fail? And, when they do fail, what item in the assembly is the usual cause for the failure? I'll go out on a limb and bet the receiver hitch mounted to the truck is usually the weakest link! I say this because it seems the vertical end plates which extend upwards to attach to the truck frame lack enough stiffening due to the need to provide space for the spare tire. In other words, the end plates could have excessive flex which would eventually lead to failure of the attaching welds and then the hitch itself.
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