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Old 06-25-2015, 02:35 PM   #51
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my hitch comes off the ball easily sometimes, other times it doesn't...I would bet its just alignment issues caused by a bad design, if the new coupler they put on is the same design, your gonna have the same issues
Ummm. Uhhh?

If it is a bad design, it won't work or fail in service.

If parts are misaligned, the system has to be adjusted to restore alignment.

Many pieces have to line up (within some fairly wide tolerances) in order to couple and uncouple a ball hitch system.

I put 2" ball couplers on my wheeled gensets, cement mixer and compressor to allow me to move them about with a compact tractor that has a 2" receiver welded to the front end loader bucket.

So I hitch and unhitch these things quite a bit. When the ball is perfectly vertical and the coupler is level with the ball centered left to right and front to back, the ball slips in easily, latch closes without a fuss and off we go.

When the ball is tipped (trying to get under the coupler) it won't go in or catches on the lock.

Trying to unhitch when there is a fore or aft load; forget it! Relieve the pressure and try again.

---------------

Now it is genuinely possible that there is a ding, dent, rough spot or misshapen part inside this particular sample that is causing poor operation.

The test I recommended above will clearly show it. If the ball goes into the socket smoothly and easily (no binding, grabbing or having to press it in). And it simply falls out when the latch is opened (and the latch operates smoothly). The coupler is not the problem.

That is a whole lot of IF's!
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Old 06-25-2015, 02:50 PM   #52
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How is it possible to hitch up easily...I have NO issues getting the coupler to drop onto the ball and latch...every time slides right on with no hang up

its only when I unhook that there is a problem
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Old 06-25-2015, 02:54 PM   #53
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No problems hitching. Unhitching used to be a pain until I figured it out years ago.
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Old 06-25-2015, 03:08 PM   #54
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How is it possible to hitch up easily...I have NO issues getting the coupler to drop onto the ball and latch...every time slides right on with no hang up

its only when I unhook that there is a problem
I've found that fore-aft tension is often a problem. Followed by twisted tow.

After leveling the trailer left-to right (has to stay hitched to pull onto leveling boards). Chock the wheels. Double check chock the wheels.

Then start the uncouple process: Electrical umbilical, breakaway lanyard, safety chains. Then the latch. If it won't move easily, I put SWMBO in the cab of the truck and have her (no pressure on the gas) move the transmission into R and then D and back (taking foot off the brake after each gear change). Put truck in P engine running. (Oops reconnect the electrics to run the jack)

That bit of 1" or less shuffling will allow the latch to open. Then lift the trailer's tongue with the jack. Generally the trailer's weight will come off the truck (3"-4" of sag) and then the ball is fully exposed. If need be, re-shuffle after the trailer starts lifting the truck. Disconnect electric umbilical. Double check no connections between the truck and trailer. Wave her forward several feet and shut down the truck.

Easy!

It is possible that the trailer has been leveled left-to right and the truck is significantly out of level. This would cause binding. But does not account for the system going back together easily.
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Old 06-26-2015, 01:38 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by scottraycraft View Post
How is it possible to hitch up easily...I have NO issues getting the coupler to drop onto the ball and latch...every time slides right on with no hang up

its only when I unhook that there is a problem
Exactly! Same here. I have no issues whatsoever hitching up but getting the ball out of the coupler is ALWAYS a pain.

We're heading out next week so we'll see how it goes. Some good ideas here that I'll try and if that doesn't work out I'll go see the dealer.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 06-26-2015, 01:41 PM   #56
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I noticed last night that my coupler lever was stuck, had to smack it with a rubber mallet, not too hard,,so I wd40'd the crap out of it and now its nice smooth and easy to open...this might have had something to do with it, maybe it was opening 1/16 less than it should have been...

so keep that coupler lever lubricated, and probably keep it down (hitched pos) when in storage?

Also, I need to be more anal in side to side leveling...in my driveway I don't always pull it onto boards to keep it level side to side, gonna have to do this as well to minimize any potential binding
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Old 06-26-2015, 01:58 PM   #57
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I noticed last night that my coupler lever was stuck, had to smack it with a rubber mallet, not too hard,,so I wd40'd the crap out of it and now its nice smooth and easy to open...this might have had something to do with it, maybe it was opening 1/16 less than it should have been...

so keep that coupler lever lubricated, and probably keep it down (hitched pos) when in storage?
Did I mention something about Smooth Operation?
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Old 06-26-2015, 07:27 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by scottraycraft View Post
How is it possible to hitch up easily...I have NO issues getting the coupler to drop onto the ball and latch...every time slides right on with no hang up

its only when I unhook that there is a problem
the tension of towing is causing the ball to fully set into a slightly smaller socket. it is what is called an "interference fit". This condition would be caused by either a ball that is slightly oversize (due to mfg tolerances), or the socket slightly undersize (due to mfg tolerances, or poor quality control).

find out where the ball is rubbing in the socket, then file off that spot. You could probably take some material off the bottom of the ball at the front end without any issues.

Tim
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Old 06-26-2015, 08:56 PM   #59
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I would NOT have the old hitch burned off and a new one put on...if the dealership screws it up there could be problems

my hitch comes off the ball easily sometimes, other times it doesn't...I would bet its just alignment issues caused by a bad design, if the new coupler they put on is the same design, your gonna have the same issues
I probably wouldn't capitalize "not" for warranty work, but I completely agree that I'd explore all other possibilities before going to a cut/replace solution.

The manufacturing companies I'm familiar with use jigs for assembling/welding the same critical structural parts day after day. That assures a consistent product. I'd bet money that the trailer frame providers use a similar method. If a dealer chops off the coupler and replaces it my guess is that they will not have a jig, but will rely upon custom fit and measurement. That can be an effective method, when it is done correctly by a meticulous mechanic.

I have no data on this, but another issue is that it seems to me that production welds and protective coatings resist corrosion better than subsequent repair welds.

If the uncoupling problem is related to manufacturing tolerance issues on the existing OEM coupler then replacement may be the only real solution.

FWIW. vic
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:47 PM   #60
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Leave your truck in neutral if you are level it will help
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