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Old 03-21-2007, 01:56 AM   #1
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1992 34' Limited
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Upgrade the Current hitch?

Hello all -

Have a '01 K2500 Burb - 6L, 3,73 gears - Schefenecker mirrors. It pulls SilverToy. SilverToy is a '92 34' Classic Limited. The TV has (Class 3 or possibily IV) the standard GM hitch and I have heard that these hitches can serve quite fine.

On the other hand, Have read about some failures where the basic bolt on hitch bent some distance and caused all mannor of unneeded driving drama. To fix that, I have looked, read, consulted and have the following to offer as a possible upgrade. There is a way to weld angle iron in on, a diagonal to a frame cross member from the rear of the receiver tube. This seems like it would add quite a bit of stiffness and certainly eliminate the hitch issue where it would bend.

Haven't even gone and done any 'price' consideration prep work yet. Perhaps there is someone here that can 'make me come to my senses"?

I'll toss it out to see what I get. Will decide there-after.

Thanks for any an all that took the time to answer me.

Axel
SilverToy
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Old 03-21-2007, 05:11 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverToy
... Have read about some failures where the basic bolt on hitch bent some distance ...
What were the circumstances of these failures? Can you share either a link or a few more details?

My '99 Silverado 2500 has, I believe, the same hitch your 'Burb does, and I think I understand where you are thinking about reinforcing it.

If I was concerned about potential hitch problems, I would investigate replacing the hitch with either a certified Class V hitch or a Pullrite.

Tom
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Old 03-21-2007, 06:37 AM   #3
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Hitch Warnings

Pay attention to labels that may be still attached or may have been removed from your factory hitch. Many times the manufacturer will state that nothing is to be altered or welded to the hitch platform.
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Old 03-21-2007, 06:44 AM   #4
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Have a look at post #76 http://www.airforums.com/forum...a-28364-6.html
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Old 03-21-2007, 07:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverToy
To fix that, I have looked, read, consulted and have the following to offer as a possible upgrade. There is a way to weld angle iron in on, a diagonal to a frame cross member from the rear of the receiver tube. This seems like it would add quite a bit of stiffness and certainly eliminate the hitch issue where it would bend.
I've seen photos of similar improvements elsewhere; one installer went around either side of the spare tire so it could stay in place.

The warning about welding is liability protection for the manufacturer. The receiver is no doubt made of low-carbon mild steel, so hardening of the steel from welding is not going to happen, and you'd be making it stronger and safer in any event. Also, removing the flex will aid weight distribution.

However, depending on your tools and your skill, it may be easier to throw away the OEM receiver and install a good aftermarket unit. Putnam seems popular, and I've seen a Valley Industries unit on a full-size GM van that I was impressed by.
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:21 AM   #6
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Axel, If you're really that concerned about it, I think that for all of the effort and expense in upgrading what's on there, you'd probably be better off just replacing it with a good quality, well-engineered class IV hitch reciever and be done with it.

Roger
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:40 AM   #7
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IMHO...

Your 34 footer represents some serious weight issues. If you can confirm that you have a Class III it should be replaced with a higher rating hitch.

Just in case you decide to take the homemade approach for this or any other project that involves welding; take precautions to protect the vehicle's computer system. Often disconnecting both terminals on the battery will work but check with an authorized dealer first.

Tow safe,
em.
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:55 AM   #8
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Exclamation extensive news concerning..

Admittedly old news worth revisiting..
Here's a few threads..

RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Tow Vehicles: Hitch Failure

PickupTruck.com Community Forums: GM Hitch failures

This link shows some SHOCKING RESULTS..

The date is wrong on these pictu
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Old 03-21-2007, 10:37 AM   #9
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we've discussed the ge'em receiver recall issue before...

where is that thread?

there was a batch in 2002 or '03? on the suv side? with a higher failure rate...

and these were/are replaced by the general...

IF the receiver in question is from that batch yes replace it.

IF the receiver is a class 3, which is unlikely, replace it.

IF the receiver is a class 4 with sx of fatigue replace it.

IF a/s tongue mass is 1200lbs or more replace it with a 5.

gotta weight it to know...

road ruler's 3rd leg looks really functional and done nicely,

but a new receiver is not much more coin than mystery welding.

cheers
2air'
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Old 03-22-2007, 01:34 AM   #10
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Upgrade is likely....

Thanks for all the replies!

Good to see that others have the same general thought as I am having. Current hitch is standard GM with the HD K2500 set-up. No signs of issues, but this is something that I feel is easily upgraded so I can concentrate on other 'possible' issues.... nothing like having that 'upgrade' itch, is there?

Will look into having a local welding place - VERY highly recommended! This is a place that hasn't advertised in 30+ years, but still has more business than they can handle.... all word-of-mouth. Got recommends from all over town for about 3+ years now. Does it get better than that?

It will likely be that a new C5 hitch will be as/ more cost effective than adding to the current set-up. Now about which brand of C5??? Seen 2 thoughts already... any others? Anybody have Curt experience?

Hitch $300 or so? Install? Do it myself? or not?

Thanks again!

Axel
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Old 03-22-2007, 05:27 AM   #11
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If you're comfortable crawling under the back of your truck and wrenching, install it yourself. The new one will likely require just 6 1/2" or 5/8" bolts. Find someone to help to get the new one in place, and use a jack (floor jack or bottle jack) and a piece of lumber to keep the receiver in place while you fiddle with the bolts. The receiver will get heavy very quickly.
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Old 03-22-2007, 07:14 AM   #12
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Axel, I had a Curt Class III on a Ranger pickup. They're obviously built quickly with a fair amount of slag not ground off. Some of the welds may not be the prettiest work you've ever seen. The edges aren't milled well, and they appear a little crude by some of the other manufacturer's standards, but they're as strong as any product out there, and they certainly do the job. They're painted, not powder coated, so it's best to keep a can of Rustoleum nearby and use it liberally. Other than that, they'll do fine.

Roger
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Old 03-22-2007, 08:51 AM   #13
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Had a quote yesterday from a local hitch shop for a Putnam class v with a 2" receiver, $250 plus tax installed. Seems pretty cheap to get lots of muscle and not worry about anyone's welding skills. JMHO.

Greg
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