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Old 11-18-2022, 01:35 PM   #1
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Source for WD hitch chains

I use an EAZ Lift Elite round bar WD hitch with 1400 pound bars. The chains are showing visible wear, and I'd like to replace them. The bars are fine.

I have not found anyone selling EAZ Lift chain kits, so I ordered a set of Curt chains from eTrailer. These were advertised as for trailers up to 1500 pound tongue weight. They arrived promptly, but I'm concerned about their strength. My original chains are 3/8 in diameter; these new ones are 5/16. How do I know if I should trust these?

I did look at the chains at my local hardware store. They had multiple grades of strength of 3/8 diameter chain. The strongest was rated at several thousands of pounds. How do I know how that relates to the strength needed for the hitch?

The final catch to using the hardware store chain is, I also need to replace the U-bolts. The hardware store U-bolts are only "normal" grade steel and I'm sure they would be the weak link. I looked at McMaster-Carr, and they don't have anything close to the right size.
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Old 11-18-2022, 02:14 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquared View Post
I use an EAZ Lift Elite round bar WD hitch with 1400 pound bars. The chains are showing visible wear, and I'd like to replace them.
The final catch to using the hardware store chain is, I also need to replace the U-bolts. The hardware store U-bolts are only "normal" grade steel and I'm sure they would be the weak link.
When I refurbished a Blue Ox, I needed the U-bolts also.
Looked like the U-bolts made contact with the ground (Speed bump?)and I had to cut the chains off. Seems no one sells grade 8 or even 5 U-bolts, so I called Blue Ox and they had a package of parts just what I needed.
Perhaps contact EZ-Lift and see if they have a repair package for your needs.

There's lots of chain suppliers, mostly security chain. I bought some Pewag chain that I think would hang the trailer and the building it's in. Check online.
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Old 11-18-2022, 02:35 PM   #3
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Leaf spring u-bolts are available in grade 8. Auto parts stores carry them. Sometimes difficult to find the exact size.
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Old 11-18-2022, 03:21 PM   #4
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If it's any help here's the scoop on he Blu-Ox u-bolts. (by e-Trailer)
They're about 2" long and the spacing between posts is 1 1/4".
They also sell the Reese version.
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Old 12-08-2022, 11:52 PM   #5
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There are several ways to determine if the chains you ordered are adequate. Here are the two easiest.

1) Use the specifications provided by Curt. They advertise the chains for up to 1500 lb tongue weight. Using standard industry practice, they pair to 1500 lb WD tension bars. Your existing bars are nominally listed as 1400 lb bars. Thus by this method, they are a good match.

2) Most chains use standard industry markings to identify the chain grade. Standard grades are 30, 43, 70, 80, and 100 markings are either 8 or 80 to signify Grade 80 chain, 4 or 43 for Grade 43 and so on. This and the chain diameter can be used along with a table from the internet for example this one https://fulcrumlifting.com/chain-grades/ will give you the working load limit. From there use the general rule of thumb that a particular pair of tension bars are designed to safely generate sufficient torque to redistribute up to 50% of the nominal tongue weight. In practice most will actually be set to redistribute between 20 and 35% of tongue. Now the general formula is that each chain will be tensioned to between 1 and 2.5 times the nominal bar rating when in use though 2 is the more likely number. For yours that would be 3500 lbs max working load and the 5/16 chains should be grade 43 or better. Note that the actual breaking point is at least 3 times the working limit when the chains are new and defect free.

Let me know if you have any questions or if I made any obvious errors.
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Old 12-09-2022, 02:01 AM   #6
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As far as the u bolts are concerned, the process is similar. A grade 2 (typical hardware store provided unit) 5/16 coarse thread U bolt has a clamping load of over 4000 lb. and is more than adequate for 1400 lb WD bars. Fine threads are better still with about 50% greater load capability.
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Old 12-10-2022, 01:35 PM   #7
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Thanks for the reference on chain grades. Unfortunately, there are no marking on my new chains or U bolts.
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Old 12-11-2022, 03:31 AM   #8
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You can safely assume the U bolts will be grade 2 then. The chain, it's a crap shoot since they have no markings. How unfortunate.
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