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Old 05-10-2018, 12:47 PM   #1
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Blue OX Replacement Wrench

Please forgive if this ? has already been answered. I'm a total newbie! I have the Blue Ox Sway Pro for my 19C and F-150. The guys who installed the B-OX said I have to be VERY CAREFUL when I release the anti-sway bars because I might "break my leg!" So I've figured out how to release them by lifting all the pressure off the hitch and I actually pull the pin out with a hammer so I'm far away from those chains when they fly off. I would like to replace the B-OX wrench with something that keeps me FAR AWAY when I release but I know ZIP about tools. What exactly should I get to replace that wrench? Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 05-10-2018, 02:00 PM   #2
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The tool that comes with the Blue Ox SwayPro is pretty basic and I have never used mine. I purchased a 1" socket and a 20" breaker bar at a discount tool store before I had the hitch installed. They have worked well for me.

If you raise the trailer jack up high enough there is no snapping of the chains and hooking up is a piece of cake. Without raising the jack you need to apply a significant amount of force to install the bars.
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Old 05-10-2018, 02:08 PM   #3
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That tip pretty much applies to any hitch system that uses the snap-over chain brackets for tensioning.

It also helps a lot on any hitch that uses jacks or ratchet straps to tension WD bars--makes tightening a Hensley or ProPride a lot easier, for example.

It only takes a 4-6 inch lift on the bumper to ease the load a lot.

Be sure the hitch is in good condition and properly LATCHED before you try this, and that your tongue jack is up to the load. Ypu would not like things coming undone while you are trying to tighten other things.

You will be lifting the rear of your tow vehicle as well...so make sure brakes are set and wheels are properly chocked. And do look to see that you won't be dropping the rear of the AS too much and hit the ground, either...they don't like that.
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Old 05-10-2018, 02:27 PM   #4
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Over time the rotators need to be cleaned and lubed a bit to allow them to rotate freely.

I would not recommend poping the rotators, but rather holding back against the preload with the breaker bar, pulling out the pin and letting off pressure to allow the rotators to turn slowly.

Your head should be out of the way. Your feet should be back away from the springs. The load can be greatly reduced by lifting the tongue jack as you have figured out. Do not release the coupler from the ball until you have released preload and removed the spring bars.

There are several Blue Ox threads. Suggest you read them. Several folks have provided their experience. Have not read about anyone breaking a leg. However, we do have members who have come out on the wrong end of preload force release. It hurts. Prevention is much better than healing.

Recently replaced a standard 1/2 inch breaker bar with an extended bar from Harbor Freight. Cost a whole $20 bill. Works great. A six point socket is a good plan too.

Until you get a longer socket breaker bar, a cheater bar is of use. A short piece of thin wall conduit or pipe can be flattened over the OEM handle for extended purchase. Shade tree tools help in a pinch.

Hope to meet you down the road. Learn more about tools. RVers need to use tools. Universal can opener, corkscrew, ice pick, aluminum radio wave reflectors ...... you know, tools! Pat
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Old 05-11-2018, 05:51 AM   #5
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Many thanks!

Thanks Everyone for all your great advice! Now I know what I need to be safe with this hitch and will be less fearful of it. Have a great summer on the road and hope to see you. As a side, I took my first trip to Hunting Isl. State Park, SC last week and absolutely LOVED how the AS folks naturally come around to meet each other and talk AS. I think that's one of the reasons I got one. <3
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:06 AM   #6
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I have the Blue Ox and it is no problem at all releasing the chains when you lift the hitch and take the pressure off. That is the standard way of doing so with a Blue Ox. If you have to stand far away from releasing chains, there is far too much pressure on them and you should NOT be trying to release. You shouldn't need a tool to release the pin either. It's all about relieving the pressure and it is easy-peasy and safe.
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:31 AM   #7
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Use the jack as is mentioned above. This is my 3rd BO Sway Pro hitch on last 3 AS's; I like this hitch. Sometimes, the angle can present problems when getting into a tight camp spot, so you may have some tension caused by the angle of the spring bars when finally in your spot. Either take the spring bars off early and just back up with the hitch, or be careful when off loading the spring bars. I got a larger breaker bar for those rare occasions; but I do use this breaker bar combo below all the time anyway now. Easier on the load/unload and the swivel tip with socket work out very well. When hitching up in a tight situation however, I will just drop on the hitch ball, and pull to flat straight area and then load the spring bars. Not often a need, but that's how I do it. Easy and takes only a couple minuets if you use a block of wood under the jack.

For the breaker bar, see below from Amazon.

This combo works very well! (just don't forget to put it away...I drove off and left on my rear bumper on a trip; lesson learned...this is my second set!)

Sunex 0432 3/4-Inch Drive 1-Inch Impact Socket $13.29

Craftsman Flex Handle 3/4-Inch Drive and 18-Inches Long Breaker Bar, 9-4431 $34.68
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:46 AM   #8
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Had Blue Ox installed last fall at International. Was having trouble, so on the way home, we stopped at the factory. Great people. Told me to get the 1” socket and an 18”breaker bar and pitch the wrench that comes with the unit. Got mine at Harbor Freight. All works well. Some of the problem was user error. Better control with this rigging.
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:04 AM   #9
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Agree with postings above. I will also add that IMHO some people really load their bars unnecessarily tight. Go to scales at a truck stop. If the weight IS evenly distributed at 6 or 7 links, that is tight enough. The bars will bend more at 9 or 10, but the ride and sway control doesn't feel better.

And slow down and focus on the journey, not just a miles per.day goal. Safety is easier to achieve at sensible speeds!
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:36 AM   #10
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https://www.harborfreight.com/12-in-...fQ%3D%3D%0D%0A

which is now onsale for $15:

https://www.harborfreight.com

And to that, you add a 6-point, 1/2" preferably long socket of the appropriate size (which i have forgotten, 1" maybe???), which should cost $5-10 at your local auto parts store.
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:41 AM   #11
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OH, Oh, Oh ..... links - when you read a number of links in a post, make sure you understand that it is the number of links from the loose end or from the u-bolt. Big difference. We count from the u-bolt - others from the end. Some folks talk about how many links they can see when looking from the side with the chains hooked. All different reference points for preloading the spring bars. Pat
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Old 05-11-2018, 02:28 PM   #12
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Blue Ox Hitch

I was unhitching with the short wrench that came with the hitch. I had the hitch jacked up a little but not enough. I was knocked unconscious and almost lost my eye. I now use a long breaker bar and jack up much higher. But I now worry that the hitch might not support all the weight of the truck and AS.
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Old 05-11-2018, 04:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayGorham View Post
I was unhitching with the short wrench that came with the hitch. I had the hitch jacked up a little but not enough. I was knocked unconscious and almost lost my eye. I now use a long breaker bar and jack up much higher. But I now worry that the hitch might not support all the weight of the truck and AS.
Sorry to hear that experience. 10 years, 3 AS's with BO and not even close to having any issues like you had...there can be a lot of tension if your not using the jack properly to take load off. I have a newer jack with my 2017 model, but lots of weight up there with a 28' AS and my 4x4 F250; jack handles it just fine.
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Old 05-11-2018, 04:36 PM   #14
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I'm a 5'3" lady. The first thing I figured out all by myself with my Blue Ox is to stand so the chain flips AWAY from me if I lose my grip on the wrench. I reverse where I stand for the opposite side. I haven't had anything dangerous happen but it makes a heck of a clunk if the wrench comes out of my hand. I plan on getting something better sized to my hands as the wrench is made for MUCH larger hands than mine.
Also, "yes" to raising the hitch as far as I can to ease the tension on the bars.
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Old 05-11-2018, 04:53 PM   #15
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Blue Ox wrench supplied is ok, not ideal. 1" socket, 4" extension, 20" breaker bar.



Hooking up, ball and coupler aligned, weight off your hitch. #7 or #8 link (for us), rotate and lock, lower coupler onto the ball.


Unhitching, block AS tires, take the weight off hitch, pull the pin and release the "cam".


Oh yes, releasing the "cams" w/full weight on your receiver is not a good or safe idea/maneuver. Doing this w/Blue Ox wrench is a sure fire way to do damage to ones self.


Best regards and safe travels
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:59 PM   #16
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oh my! That is frightening!

If you have to work hard at releasing the chain, there is too much pressure. Raise the hitch until it is easy to release. I use the blue ox issue wrench, pull the release lever with bare hand and the chains fall to the ground. Easy when you take the load off. Would never attempt to do it otherwise.
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Old 05-12-2018, 08:08 AM   #17
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When we headed to the Seattle area AS dealer to pick up our new 27' AS, our first ever trailer, they gave us about a 2 hour tour of every aspect of the trailer. When we were hooking the trailer to the TV, with the Blue Ox, the fellow scared the bejesus out of me with dire warnings about releasing the chains. Told me to "pay attention", or "do you understand" sorts of things.

So, for the first year, I was quite nervous about it. Less so the second year. Nothing bad happened, but I certainly focused on what I was doing.

Then like others, I used the 18" or so ˝ inch bar with the 1" socket instead of the Blue Ox device, and that made life much better! More control and leverage.

The first year I was seeing 4 and a half links from the U-bolt end, the second year I could get 3 and a half links, and this year by raising the TV/trailer up higher (using a block of wood and now a leveler = about 6" total), can get 2 and a half links showing from the U-bolt end. Things seem fine.

What do folks use to 'lube' between the Blue Ox trailer mounted rotating piece, and the A frame. A tight space, and I have used spray silicone and the dry spray stuff, but is there something else that works that doesn't build up dirt 'mud'? Lubricant helps make cranking easier.
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Old 05-12-2018, 02:57 PM   #18
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Quote:
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-- snip -- What do folks use to 'lube' between the Blue Ox trailer mounted rotating piece, and the A frame. -- snip --.
WD40 is a heavy oil/grease with a solvent to allow airborn delivery. When the solvent evaporates the heavy oil/grease is left behind. PB Blaster is a mineral oil base and likely a better product for this application. Blaster silicone or teflon products may be best, since that is a dry lube.

We found that sand/grit built up behind the rotators after traveling on roads treated for ice prevention. We used high pressure water to remove grit and followed with a spray lube (PB Blaster we had available from use in marine applications). Pat
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Old 05-20-2018, 12:49 PM   #19
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Important - a 7-8 link from the end of the chain setting is light pre-load for the spring bar. How the rig feels is important. However, most important is that the spring bars are loaded enough to prevent/manage sway. That requires about 2" of flex in the bars. Maybe a little less for your rig, but not much.

It sounds like you were feeling the trailer moving and did not like it. I have a similar sensitivity, so understand the issue. However, the lower preload may not be be giving you the best result with respect to sway control.

Also, what weights are transfered is very important. At a minimum the front axle should see the unladened design weight when hitched. At most all axles should not exceed gross maximum loads. The rear axle should not see less weight than the front axle. Spend time at the CAT scale and tune the hitch setup. Then, with caution, test the setup. My guess is that eight is close and nine from the end will be better.

Note, every trip is a different loadout, different wind, and different schedule. Keep your attentive goove on with tune, test, and all your driving focus. Pat
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:29 AM   #20
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Thanks Pat! Yes, the first time I towed, I felt like the trailer was "lurching" behind me. This has not been the case since the B-Ox was installed. I will be sure to fine tune it on the CAT scale next time I take a trip.
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