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Old 04-09-2018, 05:15 PM   #1601
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Well, for starters, it looks like some possible shipping damage here. The bearing caps need replacing and you need to look for proper lubrication under those caps. You can get replacements from ProPride.

Would be good to have a few pictures of the other side of the head unit as well. There should be a couple more bearing caps there.

The good news is that they are absolutely rebuildable and parts are readily available. Get hold of Sean Woodruff at ProPride. He's the owner, provides super customer service, and will answer any of your questions. Get with him, and email him some pictures directly. He is on the forums, so you can PM him as well...

To directly answer the age question, yeah, it could easily be only six months old. Mine was a bit scuffed like the picture after our firs (6-weeks) trip. My bearing caps are not dented, however...
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Old 04-09-2018, 06:45 PM   #1602
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Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
Well, for starters, it looks like some possible shipping damage here. The bearing caps need replacing and you need to look for proper lubrication under those caps. You can get replacements from ProPride.

Would be good to have a few pictures of the other side of the head unit as well. There should be a couple more bearing caps there.

The good news is that they are absolutely rebuildable and parts are readily available. Get hold of Sean Woodruff at ProPride. He's the owner, provides super customer service, and will answer any of your questions. Get with him, and email him some pictures directly. He is on the forums, so you can PM him as well...

To directly answer the age question, yeah, it could easily be only six months old. Mine was a bit scuffed like the picture after our firs (6-weeks) trip. My bearing caps are not dented, however...
Ok, I'm still working away at un boxing this beast.
Thank you for your advice so far.

Is this a large dent, or bent area towards the rear of the head of the unit? I've never seen one in person, so it's hard to judge, but it doesn't seem to be original shaping...
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Old 04-09-2018, 08:07 PM   #1603
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The same thing happened to me, only worse. One of the bearings cups was missing, one was loose, and one grease seal had backed out of the bore. While yours is clearly not "like new" I don't see anything in these pictures that gives me cause for concern. The dented bearing caps, as long as they are still seated in their bores are not in themselves an issue. Look at the other end of those shafts and ensure that the grease seals are still seated. Turn the hitch over and check both ends of the other shafts.

Option 1: Give Sean a call and ask what he would charge to rebuild the head.
Option 2: Take the head out of the box and engage the "stinger" so you can mount the head in your hitch receiver. That makes a good service stand. Test the motion of the lower assembly to see that it moves freely. If it moves freely and smoothly, all the caps are bedded well, and the grease seals are flush with the top of the bores, you could stop here.
Option 3: For a complete overhaul, pop the caps off and inspect the bearings. Particularly the bottom bearings with caps will collect water and rust. I ended up taking mine completely apart. Pulling the bearings is a lot like pulling your axle bearings. I replaced all the bearings, races and seals and resurfaced the shafts with emery cloth. Go on Sean's website and order a set of upper and lower bearing caps. The bearings, races, and seals are standard trailer parts. Parts were around $150 and it took several days of my time working part time but I learned a lot about how the hitch went together and how it works.

cwf posted a good write-up with pictures about overhauling his Propride:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...de-151679.html
Post 19 describes my process.

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Old 04-11-2018, 05:00 PM   #1604
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Thank you, good advice and nice rebuild write-up.

As I was writing this post, which has now changed, the big Brown delivery truck came to pick up the 78 pound hitch head. This was unexpected. Just the one box - apparently the seller filed a claim for just that part of the shipment. So now I have only parts of the hitch, and won't be needing the experience and knowledge of all of you to get the hitch sorted out....
Until of course I can figure out this mess or purchase a NEW one that is.

I still haven't seen many posts of experience hitching/unhitching when the trailer has been leveled side-to-side, say 4 inches taller on the curb side. I've seen the question asked, and reference to some very good videos in a series of 1 to 8, but I don't think the questions were covered in posts or the videos. I have some off grid areas that require quite a bit of lift on one side of the trailer and I'm nervously curious as to how that will pan out whe unhitching and hitching back up for the ride home.

Till then, thank you all, AND KEEP THE INFORMATION FLOWING!
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Old 04-11-2018, 06:19 PM   #1605
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Side to side leveling has had no effect on hitching or unhitching for us. Since hitch head pivots on the ball its no big deal.
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Old 04-11-2018, 08:00 PM   #1606
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Side to side leveling has had no effect on hitching or unhitching for us. Since hitch head pivots on the ball its no big deal.
That is good to hear. Thank you.
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Old 04-11-2018, 09:57 PM   #1607
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The unofficial pp users guide...

Just sometimes takes a careful adjustment of the WD jacks to tilt the head just right. Only need to be close to get the stinger in.
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Old 04-11-2018, 11:14 PM   #1608
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adjusting the hitch head 'tilt' is done all the time.... crank up one side of the WD bars and the head will rock. The stinger and head are basic ball and socket deals... you will see it once you have it hanging on the trailer..

The hitch head is definitely damaged. don't know if it is done by shipping or prior to. It is really possible to damage the caps.. Ours had the cap damage happen for various reasons on top.. the caps did not seal well, apparently. So, water got inside and there was not enough waterproof grease to keep the water at bay.

So, the damage was rusted out bearings and water inside. I had to remove and clean it all up. Sean stepped up and sent the repair parts. This was good because shipping the head from Texas to Michigan would be really expensive...

Now, the 'bent' part... that is amazing... it could happen by having the trailer tongue drop onto something.. like if the back of the tow vehicle drops off an edge allowing the trailer tongue impact something... or, it could be simple shipping damage... but, seems to me that would be a huge drop to cause that!

Anyhow, rebuilding is possible... and if the shipper replaces the head, you will be in great shape.... as long as the caps are not loose and there is sufficient grease in the bearing assemblies.

BTW, I think Sean is a great guy... and provides excellent customer support. You will love the ProPride... or HaHa (Hensley).
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Old 04-12-2018, 04:06 PM   #1609
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adjusting the hitch head 'tilt' is done all the time.... crank up one side of the WD bars and the head will rock. The stinger and head are basic ball and socket deals... you will see it once you have it hanging on the trailer..

The hitch head is definitely damaged. don't know if it is done by shipping or prior to. It is really possible to damage the caps.. Ours had the cap damage happen for various reasons on top.. the caps did not seal well, apparently. So, water got inside and there was not enough waterproof grease to keep the water at bay.

So, the damage was rusted out bearings and water inside. I had to remove and clean it all up. Sean stepped up and sent the repair parts. This was good because shipping the head from Texas to Michigan would be really expensive...

Now, the 'bent' part... that is amazing... it could happen by having the trailer tongue drop onto something.. like if the back of the tow vehicle drops off an edge allowing the trailer tongue impact something... or, it could be simple shipping damage... but, seems to me that would be a huge drop to cause that!

Anyhow, rebuilding is possible... and if the shipper replaces the head, you will be in great shape.... as long as the caps are not loose and there is sufficient grease in the bearing assemblies.

BTW, I think Sean is a great guy... and provides excellent customer support. You will love the ProPride... or HaHa (Hensley).
Yeah, that is some very thick steel to bend/dent like it is. The pictures don't do it justice either. I wish I would've put a straight edge on it for the pictures. The rusting at the cracks tends to lead me in thinking the damage is older... only the seller knows that.

I did send Sean an email asking his advice and I'm confident he'll get back to me. I emailed once a while back when I was originally looking at the 3P and he called me that night to answer all my noob q' s.
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Old 04-12-2018, 05:59 PM   #1610
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Yeah, that is some very thick steel to bend/dent like it is. The pictures don't do it justice either. I wish I would've put a straight edge on it for the pictures. The rusting at the cracks tends to lead me in thinking the damage is older... only the seller knows that.

I did send Sean an email asking his advice and I'm confident he'll get back to me. I emailed once a while back when I was originally looking at the 3P and he called me that night to answer all my noob q' s.
I have seen damage like that before to a ProProde; typically improper chain hookup creates high stress and bends the metal and damages the caps. I suspect all this damage was done at the same time.

Good news is that it's all repairable. Take a dozen photos of all parts of the ProPride hitch and then forward to Sean by email. He will fully evaluate and tell you exactly what repairs are needed....and what parts you need to throw away and buy new.
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Old 04-12-2018, 06:33 PM   #1611
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I just looked at the second set of pictures, which weren't posted when I wrote my response. Glad the hitch is on the way back, although I doubt that was shipping damage. That bent plate is a cause for concern, but determining how serious it is would take more diagnosis than looking at pictures.

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Old 04-13-2018, 06:15 PM   #1612
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I have seen damage like that before to a ProProde; typically improper chain hookup creates high stress and bends the metal and damages the caps. I suspect all this damage was done at the same time.

Good news is that it's all repairable. Take a dozen photos of all parts of the ProPride hitch and then forward to Sean by email. He will fully evaluate and tell you exactly what repairs are needed....and what parts you need to throw away and buy new.
You're right, it is or at least it should be repairable. I did send Sean some pictures of the head and he offered an estimate on repairs.
On that note, I would like to make public, my affirmation of his level of dedication to not only his customers, but to his potential customers, and apparently any user of the product he supports - it is top notch accountability, and caring for his business and personal reputation that makes for a truly great support record. I know that has been discussed here, but wow.
The big BUT for me is, by the time I ship the head, or buy parts, I could've likely had a new PP with no rust, and a clear conscience hooking (the hitch) up with my 3 girls (dear wife, 2 daughters) in the rig for a smooth trip to camp. Now I'll be nervous about it.
Ugh. It's a money thing right now, or I would have purchased new.

Should I be starting a new thread for this somewhere? Now the seller says that the shipper denied the claim and is sending it back to me. I guess the big Brown truck didn't believe that the rusty bends/dents were shipping damage either. Or he took the cash, how would I even know?
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Old 04-13-2018, 10:37 PM   #1613
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How did you buy this, e-Bay Craigslist, or what? How did you pay? e-Bay and PayPal are pretty good about cancelling transactions when the item received is not as advertised.

The plate on my hitch has a significant ding in it. As long as the welds for the bearing housings (the large tubes) are sound, their alignment is not affected, and the Z-shafts are sound you should be able to refurbish this for less than $200 spent on bearings, seals and caps, and that is using US made Timken bearings. Generic replacements are substantially cheaper.

If you don't have the manual, download it and make sure you got all the parts. Channing's (cwf) thread has a list of repair parts. Pop the caps and look for rust. If you see any, buy bearings, seals and caps and replace them all. If you don't see rust, you can still disassemble, clean, check, lube bearings and reassemble. Take pictures as you disassemble it and lay the parts out in order in a box so you can put it back together.

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Old 04-20-2018, 08:11 PM   #1614
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How did you buy this, e-Bay Craigslist, or what? How did you pay? e-Bay and PayPal are pretty good about cancelling transactions when the item received is not as advertised.

The plate on my hitch has a significant ding in it. As long as the welds for the bearing housings (the large tubes) are sound, their alignment is not affected, and the Z-shafts are sound you should be able to refurbish this for less than $200 spent on bearings, seals and caps, and that is using US made Timken bearings. Generic replacements are substantially cheaper.

If you don't have the manual, download it and make sure you got all the parts. Channing's (cwf) thread has a list of repair parts. Pop the caps and look for rust. If you see any, buy bearings, seals and caps and replace them all. If you don't see rust, you can still disassemble, clean, check, lube bearings and reassemble. Take pictures as you disassemble it and lay the parts out in order in a box so you can put it back together.

Al
Al, I purchased from eBay. The seller now tells me that he is sending the hitch head to Propride for repair, wether I want it back or not. I'll still have to ship the rest of the parts back to the seller if I want to return it (probably a couple of hundred bucks)., as UPS only took the one box that had the hitch head.
I would hate to have to ask PayPal or my card company to stop payment, but maybe I should?
I started to inventory the parts, but even the manual I downloaded doesn't have a simple parts list, it lists parts needed for each step, so I have to keep trucking through and finish that still. My fault, but I trusted the description and pictures of a like new setup, and I'm paying for it now, with snow & ice storms delaying my progress & the main hitch head is in transit somewhere... seller says it is being sent to PP for repair. That could be ok for me.

I had hoped to be hitched up and offering a brief review by now
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Old 04-20-2018, 10:55 PM   #1615
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You should finish an inventory of what you received. Assuming you have everything, and assuming you get a refurbished hitch back from the seller with evidence that it was reconditioned by Propride, you should be fine. If you are missing any parts, tell the seller he should supply them.

Make sure that all correspondence is handled through e-Bay so there will be a record of you objecting to what you received within any time limits. If your previous correspondence has been outside of e-Bay, write up and send a summary of what has happened so far that ends with your reserving the right to file a complaint with e-Bay if the head is not returned in like new condition.

Al
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Old 07-17-2018, 02:51 PM   #1616
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Well, the hitch is back from propride. It was shipped to me from propride and it looks great, new bearings, caps, no more dent, and fresh paint.
After installing it and some back and forth with Sean, I took it for a test drive. The trailer is quite level, but the truck sags in the rear some and I was only able to get about 1/4" return of the front fender after an initial 1" rise from hitching with no weight distribution. Two short trips to the thruway and back.
First trip, loaded as normal, with payload and cargo that'll be typical, 5 3/4" lift on the jacks, zero wind, and things were pretty stable at 55 to 60 mph. Second trip, same load, 6.5" on the jacks, with 12mph winds, and it was scary. Lots of sway, and a max comfy speed around 45 to 50 mph.
I'd like to get to the scale, but nearest CAT is an hour ride at 65... ugh. I was hoping to get dialed in somewhat b4 making that trip. I have one of the fat spacers on the top rivet, all that would fit and allow bolts through the stinger sections. Did all measuring and setup per the instructions.
I did notice the the jack links tend to bend and rub in the jack rails even at a 45 degree turn... is that normal?
I'm still really hoping to get dialed in and back to happy travels.
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Old 07-17-2018, 03:52 PM   #1617
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Sorry, forgot to add that I tried to find the most flat level area around for measuring, but maybe not perfect. It seemed like a flat, level area overall. I also have a tongue weight scale, and weighed gear as it went into the trailer, with my calculations I have alot 11.5% of the trailer weight on the tongue, although that was b4 attaching the propride to the tongue.
I wish there were a pro or experienced individual nearby to assist. I'm pretty good measuring and adjusting, but time is short with life happening at full pace.
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Old 07-17-2018, 04:26 PM   #1618
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The ProPride jack link bars rubbing on the jack base rails seems to be normal. Mine has always rubbed a bit on one side or another in tight turns. Mine are usually nice and shiny after a long trip...I've given up painting them, and just use a little dry spray lube on the rail.

The lack of enough weight return to your front axle may mean that you need to tilt the trailer side of the stinger down just a little bit more. That will pre-load the bars some, and get more tension on them. Max practical lift on the jacks is about 9 inches from the jack upper tube to the base plate--beyond that you don't get much more useful WD, per Sean.

I don't have all that much clearance under the bar U-bolts either--I'm planning to lift the AS on the axles with a lift kit and go to 16" wheels to get a bit more clearance. Of course, that means more stinger adjustments...

I don't quite understand why more lift is giving you more sway, unless you are lifting the rear of your truck. Are you sure the yoke and it's cross member are tight and have proper clearance in the center of the yoke? That could explain some of this if it's too sloppy a fit, or you are lifting the rear of the truck a little.

Does the front end of the truck porpoise up and down any because of the front end being too light? That also can feel like a lack of sway control.

When my rig is properly adjusted, I flat get NO sway. I have Toyota stock tires on the truck. Does your truck have a rear anti-roll bar, tight shocks, and tires sized for the load? a soft suspension can be an issue as well. My Tacoma has the TRD offroad package that has stiffer shocks all around--its real stable all by itself.
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Old 07-17-2018, 05:56 PM   #1619
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Ditto on the pre-tilt angle of the stinger. The final angle should be down after you pick up on the stinger to remove any slop in the receiver.

BTW, noticed in your second picture your jack post still lower than the WD bars. You should always raise it above the bars as in reversing and tight turn up a drive slope, they may contact and bend something. Don't ask me how I know this.
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Old 07-17-2018, 06:13 PM   #1620
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The ProPride jack link bars rubbing on the jack base rails seems to be normal. Mine has always rubbed a bit on one side or another in tight turns. Mine are usually nice and shiny after a long trip...I've given up painting them, and just use a little dry spray lube on the rail.

The lack of enough weight return to your front axle may mean that you need to tilt the trailer side of the stinger down just a little bit more. That will pre-load the bars some, and get more tension on them. Max practical lift on the jacks is about 9 inches from the jack upper tube to the base plate--beyond that you don't get much more useful WD, per Sean.

I don't have all that much clearance under the bar U-bolts either--I'm planning to lift the AS on the axles with a lift kit and go to 16" wheels to get a bit more clearance. Of course, that means more stinger adjustments...

I don't quite understand why more lift is giving you more sway, unless you are lifting the rear of your truck. Are you sure the yoke and it's cross member are tight and have proper clearance in the center of the yoke? That could explain some of this if it's too sloppy a fit, or you are lifting the rear of the truck a little.

Does the front end of the truck porpoise up and down any because of the front end being too light? That also can feel like a lack of sway control.

When my rig is properly adjusted, I flat get NO sway. I have Toyota stock tires on the truck. Does your truck have a rear anti-roll bar, tight shocks, and tires sized for the load? a soft suspension can be an issue as well. My Tacoma has the TRD offroad package that has stiffer shocks all around--its real stable all by itself.
First, thank you for your time and thoughts -

I'll try some dry lube on the rails for sure, as I think I heard them a few times.

In order to tilt downward towards the trailer more, I may need to try different height adjustments or flipping the stinger, because even with a strong helper and a floor jack, we couldn't even get a thin washer in and still get the top bolt through - it was probably 1/4" from fitting. I want to try that again I think, as this was Sean's suggestion too. I tried for an hour with different washer configurations, but didn't want to disobey the manual to flip the stinger around to plates up, or something.

I was also leery about going much higher on the jacks because they felt quite tight, but I could try. I'm on the center of three holes, maybe try the lower hole for more lift?

If referring to the yolk tail in the vertical center of the cross bar 'fork, it was tight and centered at setup, but I will double check that. I have a line after centering that should tell me if it went off side-to-side, but not sure on the vertical. Also, the yolk only has maybe 3/4" clearance to the A-frame when tightened to be centered/parallel.
I wasn't too sure if that was ok, because directions said level and 1 to 2 inches. I couldn't see a way to stay level and spread the distance between the yolk and A-frame.

The side-to-side between the yolk tail and it's 'fork holder was somewhat loose at setup... could that be an issue? This was a used hitch.

I absolutely get some porpoise while rolling!
Maybe alot... more so than I liked. That said, I have experienced the light steering issue, and I don't feel that, but certainly could be.

I'm fairly confident in the normally stiff-feeling suspension of the 2015. It only has 15000 miles of easy riding, but it is stock, and could be a point of failure. The tires are also stock, P rated, but I am not going over load or pressure (based on my calcs). Although, max tongue weight is 1200 pounds, and payload is 1700 pounds. I know it is somewhat close.
I'd love to try tires or bags or something, but the lease is up in a month, and I'm not sure I can keep it with the current issues.
I may just have to go 3/4 ton for a daily driver that sees a few hundred miles of towing per year, which really kills the budget and comfort.

Thanks again, please do keep the suggestions and advice flowing, and I will check all options!! Still hopeful
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