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Old 02-23-2004, 06:18 AM   #1
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Trouble Drilling to Install Anti Sway Cams

I am having trouble drilling through the frame of my trailer to install the cams of my Reese Anti Sway system. The holes need to be 17/32" but as I tried to drill pilot holes it became difficult (actually virtually impossible) I purchased a cobalt drill bit 1/8" and muscled my way through. I then used two other bits to get up to 1/4" but when I jumped to the 3/8" I got nowhere. There must be a better way to do this. I have never drilled through metal like this before. Do I need a better drill (just using a simple corded Black and Decker for the home) or do I need a diffrent set of bits?

By the way, I am a first time AS owner and find these forums are an excellent source of information.
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Old 02-23-2004, 06:27 AM   #2
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That is interesting.....I too will have to do this same thing. I had figured on doing exactly what you are doing. I too will be watching this post.

Eric
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Old 02-23-2004, 06:39 AM   #3
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Drilling thru steel

Use high quality high-speed-steel drill bits and lubricate while drilling. One of the best is lard! It melts at a higher temperature and sticks to the steel. The smell when it gets hot is just like when grandma used to fry up some fatback. Umm-good.....
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Old 02-23-2004, 06:43 AM   #4
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Hello, It sounds like the drill bit to me. I drill through hardend high strength steel at work all the time. I get my drill bits from Snap On Tools but a good set from Napa or of the same quality should work. Drill at a slower spead and a couple drops of oil might help on the bit and drilling surface. Marvin
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Old 02-23-2004, 08:17 AM   #5
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Lubricate.

SLOW!!!!!!!!!

Most people think they have to be running full blast on the drill. NOPE! under 500RPM.

What happens with too fast is you over heat the drill bit and dull it. Then the Heat also tool hardens the steel your trying to drill through. That helps ruin the next bit.

Yes some presure you need but in mild steel you don't neead to lean on it. some presure yes put not a lot.
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Old 02-23-2004, 08:40 AM   #6
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Go slow!

I drilled mine with my 12v battery-powered DeWalt drill; I didn't even have to swap batteries.

Like you, I started with an 1/8" pilot hole and drilled up to 17/32 in stages. I drilled the smaller holes at high speed and the final hole at low speed.

BTW, there was wiring in the street side of my A-frame. I used a slim piece of wood to protect the wiring while drilling.
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Old 02-23-2004, 09:20 AM   #7
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This has been some great info for when I do this in a month or so. Thanks!

One question though, are the bolts self tapping or do I need to get a threading tool to thread the hole once it is to size.

Eric
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Old 02-23-2004, 09:44 AM   #8
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There are nuts you attach to the bolts supplied. I did have to purchase some 1/2" washers so that the bottom of the cam will sit flat on the frame (as recommended in the instructions).
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Old 02-23-2004, 09:55 AM   #9
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That might have worked on my Bambi as it had a "C" channel A frame, but the 25' Safari has a box frame and looking at the install, the bolts are surely not long enough to go through both ends of the box frame.

Eric
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Old 02-23-2004, 12:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Silvertwinkie
That might have worked on my Bambi as it had a "C" channel A frame, but the 25' Safari has a box frame and looking at the install, the bolts are surely not long enough to go through both ends of the box frame.

Eric
The bolts are self-tapping. That is the reason for the odd (17/32) drill bit size.

There are also threaded bolts and nuts in the kit for C-channel frames.
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Old 02-23-2004, 01:26 PM   #11
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Smile Good news for some

There is a bolt-on plate available so you don't need to do any drilling. I am at work now without the resource needed to look up the piece, but if anyone wants to know about it, respond to my post and I will reply tonight.

Rick
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Old 02-23-2004, 01:28 PM   #12
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Sure. I'd be interested.

Eric
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Old 02-23-2004, 03:32 PM   #13
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Try using a "step" bit. I used these to drill through the plate metal offroad bumpers for winch mounts, recovery mounts, etc.

Follow 59toasters advice-slow and steady with lots of lubricant. Sounds racy doesn't it? But it works everytime.

The bit is expensive, but if you take care of it, it will last a long time and is easily sharpened.

Tripp
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Old 02-23-2004, 03:55 PM   #14
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Shouldn't need anything special

I used no lube and needed none.

Except for the final bit, which had to be necked down to work in my 3/8" drill, I used some cheap bits from Harbor Freight and they went through the mild steel with no trouble. The bit does hang just as it breaks through and usually requires a full-speed start to get past the snag. The bits never got hot.

I had to run into town for the final bit because the set I had with me would have required a 1/2" drill and all I had was the 3/8" battery drill and no electrical outlet nearby. The final bit was a vanilla Ace Hardware bit.

The frames are mild steel and shouldn't be a problem for any reasonable bit and drill combination.
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