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Old 01-13-2012, 09:20 PM   #1
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How to mount a 7 pin to the TV?

Last January I had my dealer upgrade my 4 pin connector to a 7 pin. They installed a side by side 7 pin and 4 pin on a metal braket. The metal bracket had two holes in it to mount it to the TV. They mounted it by drilling two holes into the bottom of the receiver and running two self tapping screws into them. I know that the receiver is pretty stout which is why one of the holes didn't line up properly and they ended up running a screw in at an angle.

After use with the heavy weight of the TT's cable and vibration, the messed up screw broke. Back to the dealership and they were nice enough to remove the one good screw (not the broken one as it had no head on it anymore) and welded the bracket to the receiver.

After two trips, the welds broke and now my bracket is just hanging. I don't know much about welding but it appears as if all they really accomplished was filling the holes on the bracket with weld and it kinda stuck to the reciever. I can see the back sides of the welds now and they are rusty and left very little mark on the receiver itself which makes me think it never really stuck to begin with.

Aside from the obvious trip back to the dealer, what would be the "correct" way to repair it? Can you weld onto a receiver without some sort of prep work, the receiver is powdercoated?
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:31 PM   #2
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You're going to need to get to solid, clean metal for the weld to work. Prep is the most important.
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Old 01-14-2012, 08:45 AM   #3
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I drilled and tapped. I use two 5/16 dia bolts to attach. Haven't had any problems.
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:24 AM   #4
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Obviously the dealer it not very experienced with welding as a good joint would not be like that.

My preference would be to use the proper size and hardness of self tapping screws. That would allow you to remove the bracket later if you damaged. If done right, it will not break.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:54 AM   #5
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If I were to do this myself (and I have, once), I would avoid drilling/welding into/onto the hitch. Instead I would use a clamp-on bracket like this or this. These clamp-on brackets seem like they would work well with square tube hitches.

In my application, I have a round tube hitch, so I used this mounting box to attach my 7-pole connector. I couldn't figure out a "nice" way to mount and use my 4-pole/7-pole combo bracket (like the OP has) with the mounting box. So I discarded the combo bracket and used this universal bracket for the 4-pole connector and mounted it directly to the round tube.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:17 PM   #6
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If I remember correctly, many hitches clearly state NO welding and NO drilling. They are certifed at factory and insurance companies love them "as per original factory build" as well. Not too sure why trailer shop wants to weld or drill onto a store bought. To me, very bad idea to drill or weld onto existing hitch. Expecially from a legal view.

To mount the 7-pin connector (with is spring loaded lid) on my prevous van, I visited my local welding shop, got a small thick steel plate from their scap pile and they created a round hole (for the 7-pin plug) to fit into it. At home, I then drilled 4 x small holes in it. Then, self tapper scewed that plate to the backside of the rear bumper - NOT onto the hitch. For a picture, surf: http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w...r-Lights-3.jpg

If wondering, I did the same type of 7-pin connector install on my wife's mini-van as well. re: Screwed the 7-pin connector on the vehicle's rear bumper (not onto the hitch). For pictures, surf: http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w...xtralights.jpg

IMO, the 7-pin connector should be mounted high up (under the rear bumper) instead of on the hitch - where there's more salt and road junk.

Forgot to mention... To convert 7-pin to 4-pin, many auto/trailer parts stores well a simple plug-in converter. Thus, no need for both 7-pin and 4-pin connectors under the rear bumper area. Simply install 1 x 7-pin connector and when needed, use the 7 to 4 pin coverter. Less exposed pins back there (where dirt loves to collect), the better. That's why 7-pin's come with a spring loaded dirt protector cover.

Hope this helps....

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Old 01-20-2012, 08:08 AM   #7
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3pillons-- I used a hole saw to drill the bumper ( about 1 ft from center) then installed the 7 pin. Larry
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Old 01-20-2012, 09:47 PM   #8
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Drilling the bumper is out of the question, it's plastic. I went back to the dealer. They ground off all of the old weld and ground down the powder coating on the hitch. They also re-welded the mount back on using the two mounting holes and ran a bead down both sides of the bracket and painted it all black. It seems pretty solid now. Hopefully it will hold up. It's the factory hitch and all the work was done at the dealer so they'll catch all the liability if anything goes wrong. The hitch on the Expedition is quite high so clearance is not an issue with it being mounted below the hitch. The spare tire hangs lower than all of it.
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:38 AM   #9
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Sounds like they did a much better install "this time" compared to their 1st time. For this repair, did they charge you? Perhaps this repair (and doing it right) should be at $0 cost. Your call….

I also like your comment of "the work was done at the dealer so they'll catch all the liability - if anything goes wrong". Especially since they welded (modified) the factory hitch.

Thanks for the update….



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Old 01-21-2012, 09:20 PM   #10
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It was repaired at no cost, and maybe I wasn't clear, but it was at the Ford dealer, not my rv dealer.
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