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Old 07-20-2014, 02:28 PM   #1
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Equlizer Hitch bolt (smashed) question

Hi,
I'm on a trip right now. I have the Equalizer 1000/10000.
After a rather difficult camper back in, the slip bolts (not sure exactly what to call them) did their job and slipped down, causing the set bolt on the bottom of the hitch to mash up against the shank. As I understand it that exactly what it's supposed to do when the slip bolts, well, slip! By Slip bolts, I mean the two large bolts that hold the hitch part to the shank.
Anyway, I've tightened the slip bolts with a breaker bar (no T-wrench here) and adjusted the set bolt so everything is nice and snug.
However, I noticed that the set bolt has kind of gotten all mash up (See photo -- taken from under the hitch).
I'm wondering if that bolt is strong/safe enough to continue our journey later his week, or do I need to get a new one?
If I need to get a new one, I could probably just go to hardware store here (Boone NC) and get a new 5/8inch bolt. But the problem is how do I get the mashed bolt out? I can take the hitch apart to get to the other side, but I think the bolt would need to be cut off??
Ideas and or opinions?

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 07-20-2014, 04:36 PM   #2
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Those two large bolts never moved on my set up years ago when I had it. They are tightened to 180 ft/lbs torque and shouldn't move once the shank is set at the appropriate angle. I've never heard they were supposed to slip. Might want to have them tightened to spec.

As for the set bolt, if you tighten the two big ones properly they shouldn't move. Once your camping trip is done, I would use a hacksaw to cut the mashed end of the bolt off and then unscrew it and replace it with a new Grade 8 bolt.
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Old 07-20-2014, 06:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildWildWest View Post
Those two large bolts never moved on my set up years ago when I had it. They are tightened to 180 ft/lbs torque and shouldn't move once the shank is set at the appropriate angle. I've never heard they were supposed to slip. Might want to have them tightened to spec.

As for the set bolt, if you tighten the two big ones properly they shouldn't move. Once your camping trip is done, I would use a hacksaw to cut the mashed end of the bolt off and then unscrew it and replace it with a new Grade 8 bolt.
with WildWildWest, everything should be tight. There are no "slip" bolts. The top hole is elongated to allow the head to be angled and the mashed bolt has the washers which set that angle. You will need to slightly loosen the two 3/4" bolts in order to replace the angle set bolt. Be sure to put all the installed washers back. Then tighten to manufacture's specs. If you don't have a manual you can get one here: Equalizer Installation Manual
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:40 PM   #4
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I forgot to mention one thing. I took off the WD bars when I was backing the RV in. I thought it would be easier on the hitch if I did that as well as not so noisy. I think in doing that I weakened the hitch setup and when the hitch got low enough and dragged in the dirt a bit (not a level site), that's when the set bolt got mashed and the ball head drooped down. I'm sure it happened because it had more force on it then it was supposed to since I removed the bars for back in.
I was wondering if the set bolt being mashed was going to cause me any problems for the rest of my trip. It doesn't seem like it will as long as I keep the bars on the whole time I'm using the hitch.
I don't have a torque wrench here, so I am just using a 24 inch breaker bar with a socket to tighten the 3/4 bolts. They are pretty tight now after I got through with them.

Mike
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:17 AM   #5
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First off ...why did you take the wd bars to back up?? I never take them off unless I am unhooking tow vehicle. They are there to keep units level thus not causing your hitch to drag.
To stop 'noise ' ,buy a pair of 'bracket jackets..($20 ) They go on the L-braket and stop all noise and do not affect sway control,at least nothing you will notice. Alos a bit of grease on the ball and the 2 piviting parts on the hitch head .
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:57 AM   #6
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WD bars should be left on when backing. That would have kept hitch higher off the ground but I would doubt that alone caused that bolt to distort like it did. You can loosen or remove the sway bar when backing which I do with no problem.
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:10 PM   #7
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I would call them at 1 800 478 5578 and get the answer you need.
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Old 07-21-2014, 02:32 PM   #8
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Honda - Thank for the number and suggestion. I didn't know about that number. I called them and they did answer all of my questions and offered to send me a new set bolt.
Mike
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Old 07-21-2014, 02:33 PM   #9
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Harly -- I took off the WD bars because I thought/think it's easier to move in tight spots without them on and also didn't want to put undo stress on them for a difficult back-in.
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nachtmsk View Post
Harly -- I took off the WD bars because I thought/think it's easier to move in tight spots without them on and also didn't want to put undo stress on them for a difficult back-in.
Mike , Tim has the friction sway bar(with 2 small balls,one on frame and one one hitch)that can be loosened as you don't require sway control when driving slow.He will leave the weight bars hooked up ....don't get the 2 confused. But we have the 4 pt hitch with the square bars doing the weight distribution and sway together. We just leave ours the way they are hooked up for driving . No harm to back up or turn . As a matter of fact , on last summers vacation , i never unhooked for 6 days as we were on the go daily.
As I stated earlier , grab 2 bracket jackets , you will like them . Or for a test for noise ,you can put a dab of grease on the friction point of the L-bracket. It can be cleaned off later.
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