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Old 03-12-2008, 03:07 PM   #1
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Tightening hitch ball on Equalizer

The AS dealer prepared our Equalizer hitch (which I had to reverse to fit the lower receiver of our Dakota), and secured the hitch ball as part of the assembly. I've begun to notice that the hitch ball has loosened slightly, and I want to tighten the nut, which is recessed on the underside of the hitch, making it inaccessible to a closed or open end wrench. Is there such a thing as a socket that can fit the approx. 2" diameter hitch ball nut?
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Old 03-12-2008, 03:13 PM   #2
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Yes there is:

Equal-i-zer Hitch Store: 1 7/8" Thin walled socket

and it cost $74.00!

I have one and have yet to use it. Oh, it takes an extra large socket wrench, too. I think it takes a 5/8" shank?
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Old 03-12-2008, 03:56 PM   #3
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There is most likely a lock washer on the ball shank before the nut. A Pipe Wrench or large adjustable wrench will work on the ball if there are flat spots on the bottom of the ball.
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Old 03-12-2008, 03:58 PM   #4
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Not many people have these. I usually run up to the dealership every year and have them make sure it is tight. I think my dealer ground down a socket to fit in the tight clearance.

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Old 03-12-2008, 04:18 PM   #5
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Gosh, they are a little pricey. Any competent tool store should have a thin walled impact socket in the proper size. Not being a fan of Harbor Freight Tools I would look at Sears if you don't have a good parts store nearby.
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:31 PM   #6
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BTW, the socket requires a 3/4" drive...my bad.
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:35 PM   #7
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I found that a 1 13/16 socket from Sears worked ($24). It did require some grinding on the hitch and socket to make it work, and it is still a tight squeeze. The 3/4 inch breaker bar or ratchet is not cheap either. If you are close to the dealer, let them do it for you.
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:50 PM   #8
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Remember, always tighten enough to make the balls sweat!
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Old 03-13-2008, 02:17 PM   #9
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Although my application is not the same, what I do to tighten the ball when I can't get a socket or wrench on the nut is to jam a screwdriver between the nut and the hitch wall where it's too tight to get a socket in. Then, I use either a large fixed wrench or crescent if there are flats on the base of the ball, or a pipe wrench on the round base of the ball, and it tighten that way. It's a reverse of what's usually done, but a boy's gotta do what a boy's gotta do. Like asking directions, I just hate to go to someone else to tighten that thing.
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Old 03-13-2008, 03:21 PM   #10
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No room for any kind of socket or wrench on mine. I do what Airstreamer67 does.
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:09 PM   #11
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Great solution!

Many thanks, Airstreamer '67 and Dave! A pipe wrench on the hitch ball just never entered my noggin. I'm picking up our Bambi tomorrow from the A/S maintenance guy (Rod, at C & G Trailer in Bellflower, CA); he also said he could tighten the ball when I show up. But I'm definitely going to get a decent pipe wrench anyway. Do either of you use any tape to protect the neck of the ball?

-Jerry
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:33 PM   #12
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I was able to keep the pipe wrench teeth down on the bottom flange. You don't want to chew up the ball or neck.
It may be worth while to watch Rod and see how he does it.
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Old 03-13-2008, 06:56 PM   #13
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I let the local dealer tighten mine. The RV Tech did it quickly using an impact wrench. I believe it was 430 lbs of torque. Dealer didn't charge me either.
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Old 03-13-2008, 07:26 PM   #14
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Sears Has the socket!

This is the socket I used. My Equalizer is a 2006 vintage. I can't speak for the older ones. The Craftsman socket in the link below fit and worked perfectly. I borrowed, from a friend a Proto 3/4" drive torque wrench for the job. I noticed that my local Tractor Supply had the socket for $19. I prefer the Craftsman.

Craftsman 1-7/8 in. Socket, 12 pt. - Model 47787 at Sears.com

Regards,
Ty
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