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Old 03-23-2008, 09:00 PM   #1
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My Used Hensley

I bought a 4 year old Hensley hitch yesterday. At $1400, I think it was well worth the 400 mile round-trip drive. Now, here's the question....

As you can guess, the paint is flaked and the unit is rusting in a few areas. I understand that Hensley paint is cheap, and the previous owner, although meticulous with greasing and adjusting, didn't get the "2 coats of clearcoat" tip.

So, my question is, for you Hensley owners- do you recommend that I paint it before I install it? If so, what should I do to prep for painting?

Also, is there any good reason to pay for installation (other than laziness)? I believe that installing it myself will help me "become one" with the hitch, helping me to know more about what is keeping me safe back there.

Your thoughts and comments are appreciated.
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Old 03-23-2008, 09:04 PM   #2
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If you want to do the install yourself (understandable), try to find somebody knowledgable in HaHa's to "sit in" with you. They can assist if you get stuck.
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Old 03-23-2008, 09:22 PM   #3
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I agree with your idea to install yourself. You will be way ahead when it comes to adjustments as needed and the "where's and what-for's" of routine maintence. I am not that mechanically minded, but decided to do myself for these very reasons. Really glad I did!! I assume you got a manual with the unit. If not, you can download one. Also lots of great info already on the forum regarding installation tips, etc. If you plan to paint it, I definitely would do so before you install. Gook luck. I have never regretted my purchase of the HaHa.
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Old 03-23-2008, 09:25 PM   #4
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hi todd

here's a useful thread on this brand of gadget...

re-painting, installs, maintenance and so on, in text, prose, photos.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...ide-26279.html

read it a bit, then add your questions, answers and user tricks to the collective.

cheers
2air'
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddnich
So, my question is, for you Hensley owners- do you recommend that I paint it before I install it? If so, what should I do to prep for painting?
I would definitely recommend you paint BEFORE the install.

Remove as much of the old paint as you can and sand the rust spots. Prime and paint.
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:13 PM   #6
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Rich Lhur had his repainted about a year ago. He had his painted to match the tongue of the trailer. You might touch base with him for his thoughts on paint types.
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Old 03-24-2008, 01:31 PM   #7
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Cheap paint is an understatement. My Henley is a year old and is rusting on every part. I took it apart today to sand and prepare it for new paint. Their corporate color is the Orange and it starts fading the day it's exposed to sun. Good hitch but one of the worse paint jobs that I've seen on something that's made to be exposed to weather. The company should be ashamed of themselves for such low quality work. You'll get a better job if you paint it before install.
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Old 03-24-2008, 02:05 PM   #8
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There are several people on the forums who have painted their Hensley...myself included. Check out the thread 2airishuman references above. I used the Airstream Automotive (Dupont Metallic Gray (#360151-01) spray paint on mine so it matches my AS A-frame (which is actually Pewter Gray). It has been holding up well and looks much better.
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Old 03-24-2008, 02:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CA Streamer
There are several people on the forums who have painted their Hensley...myself included. Check out the thread 2airishuman references above. I used the Airstream Automotive (Dupont Metallic Gray (#360151-01) spray paint on mine so it matches my AS A-frame (which is actually Pewter Gray). It has been holding up well and looks much better.
Nice job Mongo, err Steve. Did you get the stickers from Hensley?
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Old 03-24-2008, 03:57 PM   #10
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Nice job Mongo, err Steve. Did you get the stickers from Hensley?
Vaughn, I masked the stickers off when I painted it. I believe Hensley will provide replacement stickers though...at least everything except the serial number sticker... if you want to remove them before you paint.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craftsman
Cheap paint is an understatement. My Henley is a year old and is rusting on every part. I took it apart today to sand and prepare it for new paint. Their corporate color is the Orange and it starts fading the day it's exposed to sun. Good hitch but one of the worse paint jobs that I've seen on something that's made to be exposed to weather. The company should be ashamed of themselves for such low quality work. You'll get a better job if you paint it before install.
Unfortunately, I heard this from customers for years. I just never could get the buy-in to fix the problem.

I have paid considerable attention to the paint process on the new ProPride 3P hitch because of this very complaint.

I've heard through the hitch vine that the orange company is now supposed to be doing something about their paint job. In fact, I think it was posted in a thread here too. I know that doesn't help you all here but it has been said that now they are doing something about it.
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Old 03-25-2008, 12:59 PM   #12
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I purchased new stickers so I can repaint my hitch this spring. I have a question for those who may know. Can the the hitch be disassebled where it hinges? Are these just dust caps that I see and will there be a spindle nut with bearings beneath the dust cap?
I plan on using a good epoxy type of paint with finish coat on top. I typically use Chassis Saver or Eastwood products. These seem to less hassle than the Por 15 products.
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Old 03-25-2008, 03:17 PM   #13
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After posting, it made me so mad that I called Hensley. Although aware of the problem, at this time, I didn't get the impression from my heated conversation that they were doing anything about it. After disassembling my hitch there wasn't one piece that didn't have rust on it. Some parts are powder coated and it just flakes off. Other parts are sprayed right over bare untreated , unprimed metal.The brackets that attach to the A-frame were the worse with heavy rust in the spaces created by the welds. Heavy machinery is painted to protect it from the elements. I know that they could do a better job. I was told if they got more calls like mine , maybe management would do something about it. I wish they'd put me in one of their videos.
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Old 03-25-2008, 03:52 PM   #14
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Gee Craftsman, would you put on some fake crying and talk about how safe you now feels? (alluding to the little old lady whose husband has obviously passed the safe driving age )
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