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Old 07-14-2003, 02:27 PM   #29
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I like manhandling mine,

Feels good to put the old pipe onto the ends of them there snap up brackets and just lay them on over!! Releasing them is even more exciting, sprained elbows?, broken wrists?, bruised shins?, not yet!

John saw the way I did them at our Austin Forum meet and told me what he thought of it and he's probably right. I guess I'm just young, dumb and full of (something). Myself, I'm not sure if it is good for the tongue jack to be lifting the truck and the trailer tongue to ease the install of the spring bars. I myself haven't ever been able to unlock the ball coupler with the spring bars tensioned up and don't think it is a good idea either.

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Old 07-14-2003, 02:36 PM   #30
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If the ball drops after you release the spring bars, there is a load on the spring bars as they are what is keeping the ball elevated.

If you can release the spring bars without any leverage, there is very little load on them as a lever is what helps to reduce the load forces in exchange for distance.

What I find is that, for tongue loads of the 600 to 1000 lb variety and for most tow vehicles, the spring bar loading requires about 5 inches hitch lift to nullify. If much less lift is required, a reasonable conclusion is that the spring bars are insufficiently loaded. If much more is needed, the implication is that the spring bars are overloaded. (the loading is usually changed by ball angle and chain link adjustments)

Dealing with springs under load is hazardous and the more load the more hazard. Caution and care are needed.

One path towards success and safety is limiting the number of pieces loose at any one time.
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Old 07-14-2003, 02:40 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chas
I like manhandling mine,
Chas
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Old 07-14-2003, 02:56 PM   #32
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The instructions can be downloaded from Reese in .pdf format at:

http://www.reeseprod.com/

Straight from the "Reese" installation instructions:

"1. Connect trailer to car. Raise trailer tongue and rear of car with jack. Install spring bar trunnion in balll mount. Place bottom trunnion into lower socket first. Spring bars may be used on either side. Mate spring bar and cam to cam arms. Pull chain vertical and place link on hook of snap-up bracket.

2. Place snap-up in position. Install safety pin. Install second spring bar using the same number of chain links."

Since it's their product, I would presume that they are the experts when it comes to using their products.

Roger
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Old 07-14-2003, 03:21 PM   #33
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"Raise trailer tounge and rear of car with jack"


How much??????????????
that's one of the instructions from reese that I'm just not getting.

anyway, as to the "un-hooking" discussion, I had the spring bars so tight that the coupler wouldn't come off the ball. raising it any amount lifted the back of the truck off the ground via the spring bars. (the weight of the trailer pushes the coupler down; the tension on the spring bars pushes the truck up into the coupler. it was being squeezed from both directions. wouldn't have mattered if I released the coupler first, or not.)
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Old 07-14-2003, 04:41 PM   #34
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raise it 'til it's slack...

Chuck,

I usually drop three links, placing the bracket hook in the fifth link from the loop of the cam bar when it's hooked up. That lets the 1000lb bars bend just about an inch on mine when I'm hooking it up for my 800 lb tongue weight.

To drop it, I raise the tongue AND attached truck (usually about 6-8 inches or so PAST where the ball & coupler disconnect and reconnect inside the coupler) until there is little or no pressure remaining on the spring bars. In other words, raise the back end of the truck 6-8" from it's neutral position using the trailer's tongue jack. You will see the tension release from the bars. The brackets will open very easily, usually without the use of the bar, the spring bars drop off, and then lower the unit a few inches so that there is some weight back on the ball and the coupler will open easily.

Then I open the coupler and raise the tongue again until the ball and coupler separate. Hopefully when everything else is disconnected (chains, pigtail, etc.) you can drive off.

It's very painless process with an electric jack. It's a pain in the a** if you have a manual crank jack!

Roger
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Old 07-14-2003, 07:54 PM   #35
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Re: raise it 'til it's slack...

Quote:
Originally posted by 85MH325
It's very painless process with an electric jack. It's a pain in the a** if you have a manual crank jack!

Roger
You haven't cranked in a while. It's a great workout!

With my 1200# bars there is no noticeable bend at all. However, I do believe given the fact that it does level the car and the camper nicely that it is distributing most of what it should.

Any idea if I'm right here?

Eric
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Old 07-14-2003, 08:18 PM   #36
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Chuck, I just have to ask, to satisfy my curiosity. Just what do you mean?

"I had the spring bars so tight that the coupler wouldn't come off the ball. raising it any amount lifted the back of the truck off the ground via the spring bars. "

Do you mean to say that you when you raised the tongue jack the back wheels of your truck came off the ground?!!

If all you are saying is that the back end of your truck came up with the trailer tongue, well of course it would. But not from the spring bars, from the fact that you are jacking it up via the coupler. And doing so takes the load off the springs to facilitate their removal.

"How much??????????????
that's one of the instructions from reese that I'm just not getting."

That's an easy one. It depends. Enough to reduce or eliminate the propensity of the springs to snap over the release lever when the springs still have too much tension on them. Six inches or so.

Signed, Perplexed (Mark )
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Old 07-14-2003, 09:51 PM   #37
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Eric ---it seems you must have close to the same set-up as I have ---02 Bambi --Reese WD w/1200# spring bars & Dual Cam Sway control. I have the same look to my unit re; no noticeable bending of the spring bars. the ride seems o.k, but I am wondering if I am transfering to much of the road shock to the trailer, due to the 1200# spring bars. Reese tells me --no problem --the dealer tells me---no problem,. The outfit sets level. How come does it not seem right to me? Can't seem to find a good answer that is satisfactory & convinces me that the 1200# bars are o.k.. Anyway the dealer has given me some ideas to try, when we pull out for the upcoming week-end. if I find that the suggestions don't pan out , then he will have me try some 800# spring bars.
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Old 07-15-2003, 04:19 AM   #38
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Mark, when this happened, the coupler was un-hooked. it started to raise off the ball, but only about an inch or so (never got close to clearing the ball); then the spring bars started lifting the truck. If there was a spot where the tension from the spring bars was reduced, I couldn't find it. that's why I say that they were too tight. With my old setup, (ball was too high, non-adjustable, and I couldn't get the trailer level while distributing enough weight to the front of my truck...so I bought an adjustable ball and draw-bar, hence the new experiments), I would release the coupler, raise the trailer until the coupler cleared the ball, at which point the spring bars had no tension. I would then unhook the spring bars with no dangerous and unpredictable "snap", and then drive away.

At the point where the instructions say to "raise the trailer and vehicle with the jack", the spring bars have not yet been attached, so there is nothing to get "slack". hence my question. I suspect that they must mean that you should raise the trailer and vehicle back up to the height where the vehicle started (an inch or so above the desired trailer coupler height). then attach the spring bars, and when you lower the jack, the weight settles evenly onto the truck. but it is not clear.
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Old 07-15-2003, 05:20 AM   #39
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use the jack

one side benefit of having the jack to lift the tow vehicle up on initial hookup is...

you are 100% sure the coupler has captured the ball and not just sitting on top.

or to worn, or out of adjustment to keep them coupled.

plus it makes the chains a heck of a lot easier to hook up.

john
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Old 07-15-2003, 05:28 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally posted by chuck
At the point where the instructions say to "raise the trailer and vehicle with the jack", the spring bars have not yet been attached, so there is nothing to get "slack". hence my question. I suspect that they must mean that you should raise the trailer and vehicle back up to the height where the vehicle started (an inch or so above the desired trailer coupler height). then attach the spring bars, and when you lower the jack, the weight settles evenly onto the truck. but it is not clear.
When hooking up, lower the coupler onto the hitchball and close the coupler. Raise the trailer and vehicle with the jack the 6 to 8 inches to install the spring bars. The bar Reese supplies is only 12" long, so you shouldn't have to apply a great deal of force to get the chain bracket to close. I occasionally don't even use the bar on the bracket. Slip the chain over the bracket hook on both sides, making sure that the chain is the same length on both sides and close them. Then let the jack back down and your hitch assembly will be tight.

Roger
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Old 07-15-2003, 09:06 AM   #41
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OK, then here's a question for Reese...

If the 1200# bars are good for essentially any tongue weight, as they're saying, why bother to make any different bars? Why not make 'em all the same?

On the other hand, that's what Equal-i-zer does. They've got one bar weight, and that's that.

I still haven't thought thru the mechanics of the bar weights enough to provide an adequate critique of the bar weight issue. My thoughts are running along the line of examining the incremental tension of moving the next 1/2 inch, and how that affects the dual cam operation....
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Old 07-15-2003, 09:48 AM   #42
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Spring bars are part of a suspension system and should be considered much the way springs and shocks are. A lightly loaded suspension tends to ride rather harsh while an overloaded suspension tends to cause handling problems.

In most cases, you can tell if your spring bars are set properly if they have no load after lifting the ball five inches or so (6-8 quoted several times in this thread).

Spring bars are rather stiff so the flexing can be too small to notice - and should be in normal circumstances.

The DC sway control needs a proper weight on its cams to develop effective control so these hitch types are perhaps more sensitive to proper adjustments than other hitches.

I am curious about the statement that the Equalizer hitch uses the same spring bars for its three weight ratings. If so, what is the difference between the Equalizer hitches of various weight ratings?
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