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Old 07-25-2016, 08:10 PM   #1
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Hitch Ball Gouged

What could cause my hitch ball to gouged like this? Is this just cosmetic or it's time to replace the ball. I've got about 1700 miles on this hitch ball and greased it every time i tow with a bearing grease.
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Old 07-25-2016, 09:03 PM   #2
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Looks like something got caught between the ball and the hitch. Between the weight on the ball from the trailer hitch and the turning motions, it would not have to be very big, even a stray pebble or some other foreign object. I would inspect the trailer hitch for damage. The damage on the ball looks cosmetic from the photo, but if you have any doubts, replace the ball for your own piece of mind.
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Old 07-26-2016, 07:52 AM   #3
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I would run your finger inside the coupler and feel for burrs of metal or foreign objects such as pebbles that could have caused that. Grease is a good thing to use but can also act like a glue if debris gets up in there. It may be that you need to grind off a shard of metal with a dremmel.

Regarding the gouge on the ball - it doesn't look all that bad, and won't affect the coupler locking onto the ball properly. I'd just roll with it and continue to grease it and monitor for increased wear.
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Old 07-26-2016, 08:06 AM   #4
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It does not look bad.

You say you grease. How much grease do you use? I slather it on thick, which has stopped my wear.
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Old 07-26-2016, 08:23 AM   #5
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While I have not had a hitch ball fail, I did have a coupler failure on a 2-5/16" coupler on my loaded dump trailer. I had crossed a small bridge near my house and the small bump at the end of the bridge was enough to make the hitch bounce off the ball, thankfully my trailer brakes stopped the trailer and the heavy safety chains kept it from becoming completely detached. It did hit my bumper but the trailer brakes stopped it with only a small dent.

I had a hydraulic bottle Jack that was having trouble trying to lift the trailer high enough to hitch it back up so I could turtle back to the house, luckily I was only half mile from home.

Two guys stopped in a pickup and happened to have a shop floor jack and in 5 minutes we had the trailer back on the hitch ball. With a trailer with that much tongue weight I would replace the ball and check inside the coupler be real careful reaching up inside with bare hands a sharp steel shard from a gouge could cut you pretty bad.

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Old 07-26-2016, 09:48 AM   #6
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I looked under the coupler and could not find any debris that might have caused this. There are no burrs but is also not smooth and uneven inside. I could feel that there is a slight ridges that might have caused the gouging. Can those be sanded down?
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtb4life View Post
I looked under the coupler and could not find any debris that might have caused this. There are no burrs but is also not smooth and uneven inside. I could feel that there is a slight ridges that might have caused the gouging. Can those be sanded down?
Replace it.
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:50 AM   #8
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Seems really odd that the gouge is on the non-bearing side of the ball (or so it appears to me from the photo). That side of the ball only really bears weight when braking or reversing, but it is on the lock side. Is there potentially something wrong with the lock or lock lever on the receiver?
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Old 07-26-2016, 12:22 PM   #9
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I don't suppose it could've been the underjaw doing that? Or the handle plate?
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:37 PM   #10
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Looks like the culprit (circled in red) is the ridge / burr from welds when shaping the coupler. How can i remove those burrs without compromising the integrity of the coupler?
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