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Old 12-25-2008, 07:51 AM   #1
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Hitch Set Screw, or is the winter just getting too long?

I've been mulling over an idea about some hitch set screws to eliminate movement between the hitch insert and the hitch receiver. It seems with all the newer receivers and hitches there is excessive clearance between the receiver and the hitch insert, both side to side, and up and down. The end result of this clearance is reduced sway control because all of the anti sway apparatus works against the hitch insert moving in the hitch receiver. With that established, I was thinking a set screw from the side, and another from the bottom would lock the hitch insert into the hitch receiver eleminating all movement between the two, and thereby improving the anti-sway characteristics of the hitch. From what I have researched, the anti-sway function is at the insert to receiver junction on all hitches from the Reese dual cam, to the friction type, all the way up to the Hensly type.

I had invisioned a 3/8" bolt in a tapped hole in the receiver, high grade of course, with a nut also welded to the side of the receiver to improve the strength in the area of the hole. The bolt could be long enough to have an additional nut on it to use as a lock nut to eleminate it from working loose in operation.

What say you?
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Old 12-25-2008, 08:24 AM   #2
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I run the cursor over the portal page thread title to get a preview ... and told myself, "He's got to have a GM." Yup, they install a mighty oversized OEM hitch receiver POS. The original is still holding up on my '06 Sierra. Keep inspecting the truck side of your hitch -- they've been identified as prone to cracks. If you or I get there, I'm sure we'll be happier with an aftermarket setup. I doubt the receiver is sturdy enough to tap into for set screws. People have reported hitch pins elongating the hole in the receiver.

Don't look on this as necessarily being only a 3/4 ton problem. I crawl under and inspect this 3-4 times a season and always a week before trips I absolutely have to follow through on. It's a bother but all is okay so far...
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...ems-31857.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...les-34603.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...are-44039.html
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Old 12-25-2008, 08:50 AM   #3
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What about buying some of those disposable nylon wedges at the hardware store and driving them into the gap as needed?
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Old 12-25-2008, 09:01 AM   #4
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bob and steve,

i'm happy with my "loose" reciever, back in the late 80's and early 90's gm made the reciever to much tighter tolerances.

i remember having to chain my hitch to an immovable object and repeatedly driving the truck forward to break it free. and since i have/had 3 different size balls to deal with it got quite annoying.

alot of this has to do with living in the rust belt, but i prefer being able to just slide in the hitch. under load with spring bars it is not going to move anyway.

if the rattling annoys you, i believe reese makes a anti rattle hitch pin.

john
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Old 12-25-2008, 09:04 AM   #5
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Bob,

I've read all of the reports of hitch cracks, and weld cracks, neither of which I have experienced. I have about 14,000 miles towing with the vehicle and hitch, and have noticed no degridation in the hitch. However, from day one it has had what I consider excessive play, or wiggle room, between the hitch receiver and the hitch insert.

It is this wiggle room, which translates into reduced sway control, that I am trying to address with the set screws.
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Old 12-25-2008, 09:06 AM   #6
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something like this.

Tow Ready Silent Hitch Pin with Lock 63232

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Old 12-25-2008, 11:06 AM   #7
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John,

That devise is simply a hitch pin that will not rattle. While I'm sure it has it's merrits, what I'm talking about is a system that utilizes two set screws, or bolts to be more accurate, that will physically lock the hitch insert into the hitch receiver and allow no movement what so ever. But yet, when you desire to remove the hitch, simply loosen the two set bolts, and the hitch slides apart just as it did before.

The objective is not only to have no rattle, but to have NO movement between the hitch parts which should, in my opinion, improve the anti-sway caracteristics of any hitch system.
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Old 12-25-2008, 11:19 AM   #8
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Won't Work On Solid Bar Hitch

Quote:
Originally Posted by john hd View Post

I have one of these and they are great, except they will not work on my equalizer hitch because it has a solid 2"x 2" draw bar. The Anti Rattle block and spring are designed to slide up in a hollow 2"x 2" square tube used on lighter weight draw bars.

The one I have works fantastic when towing my boat, or utility trailers.

Merry Christmas All,

Kevin
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Old 12-25-2008, 03:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
The objective is not only to have no rattle, but to have NO movement between the hitch parts which should, in my opinion, improve the anti-sway caracteristics of any hitch system.
It sure moves a lot when I engage the WD bars. I've heard of people who had an AirRide hitch between the receiver and WD stinger. Now they saw a lot of flex.

On the set screw idea I'd really think the leverage could rip out any threads you could tap in the receiver. And what size holes would weaken the designed strength? (marginal as it might be)

What about welding a couple beads on each side of the stinger, measuring carefully and grinding to make your stinger bigger? Just thinking aloud here...
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Old 12-25-2008, 04:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
John,


The objective is not only to have no rattle, but to have NO movement between the hitch parts which should, in my opinion, improve the anti-sway caracteristics of any hitch system.

If the hitch receiver box is stout I would think your idea would work. If it were me I would drill a slightly oversized holes in the hitch and then weld nuts over the hole. The logic is that the cross-sectional area of the nut is probably greater than then receiver box tube wall thickness. Thus giving you me more thread contact.

Just food for thought...

Let us know how you proceed...And take pictures...
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Old 12-25-2008, 05:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin245 View Post
If the hitch receiver box is stout I would think your idea would work. If it were me I would drill a slightly oversized holes in the hitch and then weld nuts over the hole. The logic is that the cross-sectional area of the nut is probably greater than then receiver box tube wall thickness. Thus giving you me more thread contact.

Just food for thought...

Let us know how you proceed...And take pictures...
Kevin, that is exactly how I had envisioned doing it. First drill the hole, thread the hole, then screw a bolt into the hole with a nut on it, and then weld the nut to the hitch receiver.

Since the WD bars lift the rear of the hitch, I would put the first set screw/bolt on the bottom of the receiver just in front of where the hitch goes in. That would stop any up/down movement of the hitch in the receiver.

Then my plan is to put the second set screw/bolt on the side of the receiver about half way in, and that bolt would eliminate all side to side movement, and improve the anti-sway function of the hitch.

Unless I'm missing something, the only down side would be needing a wrench to install the hitch in the receiver, but I already need a 9/16 socket to install my flaps to the hitch anyway, so I'll just use 3/8" bolts so the same socket will do both jobs.

I'm currently recovering from back surgery and am on restricted duty, but as soon as I'm able, I'll be proceeding with the project, and let everyone know how it works.
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Old 12-25-2008, 08:29 PM   #12
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While your idea should work just fine I think I would weld beads on the draw bar then file down for best fit.

It will take up any slack and you would not have to worry about the bolt working loose or messing with it every time you hook up.

Garry
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Old 12-25-2008, 08:47 PM   #13
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I wouldn't weld any beads on the drawbar unless you have reason to believe the drawbar is undersized. I think it's more likely the receiver socket is oversized.

If you start adding metal to the drawbar, it won't fit in a proper receiver.

Measure both, and fix the one thats not right. If the receiver is oversized, put some brass shim stock in to take up the slack.
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Old 12-26-2008, 10:18 AM   #14
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Reese Had A Better Idea?

I've got a hitch pin that is in the shape of a "J" . (I think Reese made it.) The long end of the "J" goes through the hitch box and draw bar. Where you have a protruding end where a cotter pin usually goes, this pin is threaded and takes a nut - this nut is tightened with a special little wrench supplied with the pin. Thghtening the nut tries to pull the pin through the hitch box and draw bar, but it can't because of the "J" shape. In stead, doing this pulls the short end of the "J" into a small (3/8" ?) hole in the side of the receiver box and this side-loads the draw bar, keeping it movement-free and thus rattle-free. The long end of the "J" also has a lock that fits over the end, so that once the nut's drawn up tight, the nut cannot work itself off, and no one can remove the nut and pull the pin (at least no one without a hacksaw or a long pipe and some determination!).

This thing works like a charm, but a.) only fits 2" receiver and not the larger one on my new GMC and b.) has to have an additional hole drilled in the side of the receiver box for the short end of the "J" - the additional hole is standard on at least some Reese hitches.

If I could figure out how to post a picture on here, I'd see if I could find it and take a picture and post it ...
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