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Old 10-21-2011, 05:48 PM   #1
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Movement at hitch head to shank

Recently purchased 2005 as 25" it came with a reese hitch. I have movement at upper and lower bolts that mount hitch head to shank. Have not yet removed head from shank to measure bolt diameters and diameter of mounting holes. It appears that holes are larger than bolt by 1/32 to 1/16 of a inch. Also there is movement between inside of head and outside of shank. Is movement at bolts OK, and is side movement normal? What is corrective action if not? Can I step up bolt and holes to next standard size grade 8 bolt? Can side to side movement be shimmed? What are the maximum difference for pin at hitch (TV) to shank? All nuts are tight and appears to be no sign of recent work.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:09 PM   #2
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Pictures would help. What generation of Reese? Generally, no movement between head and shank is acceptable. How it is prevented, depends on generation and design. I wonder if you have a mismatched head and shank, or missing locking mechanisms....or badly under-torqued. Really...pictures of your setup, please.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:14 PM   #3
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I will point out the obvious here, you should be asking Reese.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:42 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forums!

By all means ask Reese, but having put one of these together not too long ago, I think I can answer your question. The bolts that hold the head to the shank are big Grade 8 bolts (3/4" if I remember correctly) and they are supposed to be torqued to a very high torque--400 ft-lb if I remember correctly. (I bit the bullet and bought a torque wrench big enough to do it. It's 4 feet long.)

The bolts are not a particularly tight fit in the holes but when the bolts are torqued up like they need to be there is no play whatsoever.

Since there is play in yours you probably need to take it apart and see what fretting may have occurred on the surfaces. As a minimum replace the nuts, lockwashers, and bolts and torque to the proper torque.
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:33 AM   #5
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"The bolts are not a particularly tight fit in the holes but when the bolts are torqued up like they need to be there is no play whatsoever."


Shayne,

TRU TRU TRU...no play at all.

With our Reese,(first AS), I had to change heads, it took a 1/2" impact at 175psi to even start to get them tight, 3/4" breaker bar with a 3' extension to finish the job.

I have found with the newer receivers that the opening seems to be at least 1/16 to 1/8" larger than the stinger bar, keeps them from seizing because of rust I guess. Not really a problem with the heavy AS tongue weight, but I did shim the boat stinger to keep it quiet over bumps.

Bob
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Old 10-22-2011, 09:12 AM   #6
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Below is a link to bolt head markings, verify you have the correct bolts.
Bolt Depot - Bolt Grade Markings and Strength Chart
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:12 PM   #7
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Per Reese, the bolts that secure the ball mount to the hitch bar are Grade 8, 3/4" and are to be torqued to 300 ft lb. If a big torque wrench is not available, torque to 150 ft lb and then tighten 1/4 turn beyond that. Be sure the grooved square washers are fully seated in the mating surfaces on the ball mount and not cross threaded. The ball mount should be tight on the hitch bar.

Yes, the newer receivers have an ample opening to allow easy hitch bar insertion. Some like to shim the gap if if theirs rattles, some have put beads of weld along the hitch bar then ground them even so the bar would fit snugly. The play in the bar to receiver is normal and the remedy is a personal preference. Be sure the pull pin or lock you secure the bar with is good quality and the proper sized for the hole.
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YankeeDoodle View Post
Per Reese, the bolts that secure the ball mount to the hitch bar are Grade 8, 3/4" and are to be torqued to 300 ft lb.
Yes, let me correct my post from last night. I looked at the installation instructions and see that the 3/4" grade 8 bolts are to be torqued to 300 ft lb and the 1 1/4" hitch ball nut is torqued to 450 ft-lb. You do want a big wrench.
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:52 PM   #9
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My Equalizer is different, but torquing the bolts still requires a gorilla or a long breaker bar to do. One hole is to adjust it and has a lot of play as a result. I used a 150 lb. torque wrench and then used a breaker bar to tighten it more with a regular wrench. I didn't know to turn it a quarter inch more, so I may have tightened it to a gazillion lbs. Hasn't moved since.

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Old 10-24-2011, 09:11 PM   #10
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Would like to thank everyone that responded to my question. The result is I did talk to a reese tech rep prior to submitting my forum, did not get the specifications I was looking for. Went to a reese dealer who let me measure the I.D. holes on a shank p/n 54970 (same as the one I have) and a head my head of which I do not know the manufacture only has nunbers 7110 1103 YD. Using a inside micrometer no holes on shank measured the same between .01 to .06 difference. On head only the lower passenger and driver side is holes, and they did not measure the same .03 difference. Before going to dealer I disassembled my head from shank and found that my holes were about the same as new parts with some holes slighty larger by .007. Not that much comparing size of new part holes. I did find that when I remove both bolts that they were not torqued to proper torque (300 foot pounds) I set torque wrench to 250 foot pounds and nuts turned with out reaching it. I also found that the length of both bolts were too short, appox 1/2 ich of threads were inside of hitch head flange prior to serrated block. Those theads were worn .030, at dealer I increased bolt length 1 inch, since Grade 8 bolts of this diameter have 2 inch length theads I shorten bolt length 3/4 inch which resulted in 3 threads showing after proper torque. I aslo installed a .030 4130 steel shim between head and shank prior to installing bolts. To complete work I coated cut of portionof bolt with cold galvanized to prevent rust. Head to shank is tight. Thanks to all for great input.
Shayne50
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