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Old 07-14-2009, 07:54 PM   #1
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Found a draw bar and hitch head today..

I went to a place in Winchester, VA today, that deals exclusively with trailers. The place has been there for years, but I completely forgot about it.. Go figure!

When I got there, the owner told me that he didn't have any draw bar/hitch head combos in stock. He did have a 14,000lb draw bar, by itself. He said that he had an old combo in the shop, but it was welded and non-adjustable. He walked to the shop and brought it back into the store front, so I could see it. It did not have the right size ball on it, so he said: "I'll let you have this one to try, if you want. We will have to get a bigger ball on it though." When I asked how much, I was told: "Just let me know, if it works"

Since the old ball was rusted solid, he had to torch it off. While he was cleaning it up, I saw a hitch head lying on a different work bench. I picked it up and asked him what it was to/for... The ball mount for the friction sway control had been broken off and the owner had only replaced the hitch head.

I looked at it and found that it almost identical to the one Kitty now has. Even the notch where the WD bars go in, were undamaged. I asked if he thought it would work and he said that he didn't see why they wouldn't. Turns out, that the hitch head was Reese, just like the draw bar I had seen in the store front.

He asked me to go and get it, while he found a 3/4" bolt kit for it. When I came back, he showed me how it went together properly and even put a new 2-5/16" ball, with the 1-1/4" shank on it...

We got it together and it looked sweet! The only thing wrong with it, was the jagged edge where the sway ball mount had broken off.

When we went back inside the store, he asked me if $100 was too much..

I got a new 14,000lb draw bar, new ball and the hitch head for $100!

I also asked him about some of the factory brake control wiring in my truck and he grabbed a test light.. He went to the truck, showed me the in-cab brake controller wiring and proceeded to test everything! He showed me which wires to connect to the trailer plug and how to do it right. He then went on, to draw me a complete wiring diagram for the brake controller. Both for the in-cab connections and the trailer plug.

He even wrote down the wire colors for everything from memory. Perhaps if I get a chance, I can scan his diagrams and color coding info..

Needless to say, this man knows his stuff and now has a new "Loyal" customer! I would HIGHLY recommend this shop, to anyone!

DeHaven's trailer sales.. Winchester, VA

After I left, I went to our locomotive shop and cut off the excess metal from the hitch head. I then ground it down, to make it neat. A fresh coat of black paint made it look even better! I didn't take any pics of it YET, but I will!
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:41 PM   #2
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Wow, what a find. Great!

A friendly heads up. Reese had some all cast steel hitch heads and they look like the new ones unless you look real close. They had some issues. The new ones ( ~ year 2000 to 2002 and newer) are forged steel top and bottoms with the large steel U shape that goes around the shank is a piece of flat bar welded to the top and bottom. This new design replaced the all cast ones.

The design HP head looks like this. It is 3 pieces welded together. A top, A U part and a bottom.








If that is the one you have then GREAT! If it is the all cast one, heads up. There can be a fit up issue to the hitch shank. If they squeeze to hard they can crack and they have.

The friction sway ball arm being broke off, this should not a problem as long as the one side looks like the other side and you ground the edges smooth. They probaly snapped it off doing a rigth turn. I have been thinking of cutting mine off anyway as it limits how far a right hand turn can be before crashing the frame. I know about it and take caution to not turn that hard right. You can turn harder left then right beacsue of the friction ball arm.

You said 1 1/4 " ball shank. You mean the bolt part with the threads or the ball rise. Did you get a hi rise ball and is it stamped more capacity then 10,000#?

The one on the left is the hi rise ball. The one on the right a standard height ball. Both are 1 1/4" shanks


Only friendly heads up on that is with a 6" frame and the ball coupler on top you can get into a bind with the DC if there is not enough clearance. And if the bind goes to far, you can brake off the DC arm. The hi rise ball lowers the hitch head and creates part of the needed clearance. Then having enough links under tension also helps create the right clearance.

You will not have a problem towing straight or even slight turns with the standard ball, but if you get into a hard turn and the TV is at and angle to the TT, then it can setup the bind condition.

I linked you to Tractor Supply in the receiver post if you do not have one yet. The standard ball could get you home with it as I know you are pressed for time but be carefull in turns until you can change it out.

I do not want to scare you just a freindly heads up as this has happend. If you have the hi rise ball now, then great that is part of the setup. If not, take it easy until you get it.

As a quick note, here is the problem. There is more to this but this shows the problem. The WD bar acts like a lever against the DC arm and if it contiunes, the arm gets stressed. If the truck is at an angle to the TT, it can happen in less turning angle.


Here is less turn, truck on an angle.


Here are 2 camping buds that had the problem until we figuired out what was going on. The end result looked like this. Yuk.




Hope this helps and good luck. Did the receiver come in yet? It’s Tuesday, counting down the days now…

John
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:40 AM   #3
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Thanks a ton for the reply! I did go to TSC and got two high-rise, 25,000# hitch balls.

One for me and one for Kitty's rig.

I will investigate the hitch head and take pics.
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:23 AM   #4
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GREAT!! Good for you.

Any help you need with setup, ask away. Glad to share.

John
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:00 AM   #5
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I got the high-rise ball put on today and noticed that my hitch head IS the one-piece design.

If you know where it's prone to cracking, I can have it reinforced. The head looks well-used, so perhaps it will be fine for now.

Kitty just called and told me that my new Curt receiver is in! I'll be picking it up toot-sweet!
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Old 07-16-2009, 01:01 PM   #6
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HUM, 11am and he's posting on the website. He always tells me how "hard" he's working

Kitty
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:18 PM   #7
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Just FYI: I was just sitting down to lunch!

We got the new Curt 14001 receiver today and installed it this evening! Kitty was both moral and install support!

I also wired up the 7-way plug again, since the T connector for the stop/turn/tail had basically rotted away..

While I was at NAPA today, I asked if they had any brake controller pigtails for the 93 F250. As I've heard so many times this week, I was told that they only had the 94 and up pigtails. I went ahead and bought one, so I could "Tinker" with it.

The 92-93 pigtail has four holes and four wires. Simple enough! In 94, they decided that there weren't enough holes.. Solution: Add two more holes! Did they put any wires in those holes??? Of course not!

My solution, was to take the wires out of the six-hole connector and then attack it with my dremel tool. I wanted it to look like the four hole connector and it only took about a minute to get it there! It's a good feeling, when you mod something and it fits perfectly, the FIRST time! I then put the wires back into the connector, in the proper order. Easy enough!

I ran out of daylight, before I could snap any pics.. It really sucks, posting in a vacuum! I haven't posted any pics, since the ones of the "New" T320SR... I have some catch up to do!
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Old 07-16-2009, 09:18 PM   #8
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I dug and dug for the pics of the cracked heads but cannot locate them. This was a big talking point back in 2004. The pictures posted by others have been changed on there picture server and no longer show up.

But I found this as I personally know this person, a very good camping buddy we camp with some times and we talked about his hitch head. His did not crack but he changed it after he learned of the run of problems with that batch of them.



Note the square washer with the hole drilled off center and the high raised up ball mounting area. And naturally all one piece. Now they also had a 2nd version of the trunnion bar head with the issue, all cast but I” think” it had the serrated washer as well like mine. Since I can't find the pics, I can't say for sure. Reese has changed the head tilt feature so many times in the pre 2000 time frame I lost track. But now they have setteled in on the serrated washer adjusting tilt which I really like.

There where like 2 all cast versions that had some issues in the trunnion bar series in the 2000 era. Reese part number #58088 or the Reese #54944 ballmount. Now you will not find any numbers anywhere.

But the combo was, all cast and trunnion bar. The round bar hitch head are all cast but they did not show up with the problems. And not all cast trunnions ones had problems. The very ealry models where fine 70's to mid 90's. It was just a bad batch of them that surfaced around the 2000 time frame and then some dealers had them left on there shelves a long time. I actually saw one new for sale, dust and all on a dealer shelf 2 years ago back in Kingston NY. It had to be almost 10 years old.

Here was the issue. The width of the large 2” nominal U slot that goes over the shank. In some cases the U was too large and shims where to be used to take up the space. Some never put the shims in or they never sent them with the the shank. Then some folks where using the all cast head with a non brand Reese shank which could have been narrower.

The problem was tightening up on the hitch head bolt and trying to squeeze that all cast U shape too far to tighten up against the shank. That gap between the casting U and the shank created a stress point and given the right situation a crack could develop in the head around that U shaped area separating the U from the trunnion sockets.

Now if you want to check it for cracks, at work do they have a dye penetrate test kit or even better, a wet florescent magnetic particle test system Aka Magna Flux? Both can find fine cracks the human eye cannot see.

I would not try and repair it if you find a crack. The weld may cause more issues setting up stress areas

So for sure if you are squeezing the U shape to clamp up a gap to the hitch shank, that is not good.

If you are ever want to upgrade it, you can buy just the Reese hitch head PN 58167 http://www.etrailer.com/p-58167.htm The last one I bought a while back was $165. Now I see they are up to $199. a search on the web might find a little cheaper but make sure it is that PN.

Good luck

John

Oh great news on the new reciever. Yes the 7 wire plug can be the longest time consumer.... unless you get a rusted frozen bolt to deal with.
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Old 07-16-2009, 09:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanyonkitty
HUM, 11am and he's posting on the website. He always tells me how "hard" he's working

Kitty
Hey, us guys need our mid day SOC fix every now and then.....

It's a lunch time past time sometimes....

Lets see, it is what 36 hours from aquistion time? Have fun camping in that new camper.

John
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Old 07-17-2009, 04:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB

Note the square washer with the hole drilled off center and the high raised up ball mounting area. And naturally all one piece. Now they also had a 2nd version of the trunnion bar head with the issue, all cast but I” think” it had the serrated washer as well like mine. Since I can't find the pics, I can't say for sure. Reese has changed the head tilt feature so many times in the pre 2000 time frame I lost track. But now they have setteled in on the serrated washer adjusting tilt which I really like.
I don't have that two-hole piece... All I have, is the serrated piece. My hitch head is not serrated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB
Here was the issue. The width of the large 2” nominal U slot that goes over the shank. In some cases the U was too large and shims where to be used to take up the space. Some never put the shims in or they never sent them with the the shank. Then some folks where using the all cast head with a non brand Reese shank which could have been narrower.

The problem was tightening up on the hitch head bolt and trying to squeeze that all cast U shape too far to tighten up against the shank. That gap between the casting U and the shank created a stress point and given the right situation a crack could develop in the head around that U shaped area separating the U from the trunnion sockets.
Good luck

John
When I put the two pieces together, it was a tight fit. I had to get the head past the tiny bit of extra paint on the shank. It almost didn't go...
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Old 07-17-2009, 10:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EMD_Driver

I don't have that two-hole piece... All I have, is the serrated piece. My hitch head is not serrated.
H'mm.... that is odd. It's time for a picture so I can see what exactly you ended up with.

Over the years Reese has had a few types systems of adjusting the head tilt.

1. A square washer with holed drill off center to create an eccentric. The hitch head has lugs on it that capture the outside of the square. By rotating the square washer the eccentric effect allowed the head to be locked in position while creating head tilt. And then you could pick a 2nd hole to get more positions

2. A hex washer with a hole drilled off center. They still use this today on there round bar heads. Similar to the square washer type, but a hex rotating washer.

3. A serrated hitch head with teeth and a square washer with teeth with a hole drilled in the middle of it, no eccentric. You pick different teeth to lock the head in position. I like this one the best as it gives the most adjustment and fine adjustment.

It sounds like you may have an actual 4th version that I have not seen yet. It would not surprise me one bit as how to adjust the hitch head changed a lot between before 2002

OR you have pieces from 2 different types and they really do not work right together.

If you have a serrated washer and no serrated head, does the head have 2 lugs on it to capture the outside of the washer? And if the hole is drilled in the middle of the washer, then there is no eccentric and thereby no head tilting adjustment. It is in one fixed location. Which if this is the case, you are limited to only chains adjustment which most times do not cover all the issues in WD adjustment. This thought is a combo of a head from version 1 or 2 above with the washer from version 3 above.

If all you are missing is the washers and have a lugged head, make 2 new eccentric washers. They are about ¼ to 5/16” thick. They “might” be available for sale as a spare part still but you cannot buy a new hitch head made like that at this present time period. Unless one is hanging around in a dealers back shelf for the last 10 years.

Again a picture here will educate us a lot better.

Good luck.

It sounds like you have a tight fitting shank at least, good. Look for any signs of cracks by the U shaped part or along the head between the upper and lower part.
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Old 07-17-2009, 06:36 PM   #12
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Finally got my camera and a little bit of daylight! Here's what I have...



This is the assembly.. Notice the notch, where the sway ball mount used to be...



Here's an aerial view.. There's still a bunch of meat on the side, where the ball mount was.



The underside..



Notice the trial plate, mounted under the upper bolt. The hole is centered, so it makes the ball lean down a bit.



The other side.



the sticker, on the shank.



Here's a shot of mine (Right) and Kitty's (Left) for comparison.



Here's the plates I made, to replace the ones with teeth that came with my hitch bolts. While attempting to drill them, the drill press decided to break on me. I'll have to wait until next week, to try drilling them again. I'm not entirely sure, of where to drill the holes. If I make them around 3/8" from one side, the ball should be straight up. Any helpful insight here?

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Old 07-18-2009, 11:47 AM   #13
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If you do not drill before Sunday night, I will send some possible combinations of offset diminsions

But I need 2 things to determine hole pattern

1. what is the diminsion of the square washer that fits between the cast lugs on the head? This would be the OD of the square

2. Is the hitch head bolt that goes thru the square washer a 3/4" bolt or a 5/8 dia bolt?

Kittys is a 3/4". I just measured mine. But your older head may be different. A different bolt dia could affect the layout I give you

Let me know before Sunday at 6:00PM and I will give hou some options to consider

Be back Sunday night

John
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Old 07-18-2009, 07:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB
Gary

If you do not drill before Sunday night, I will send some possible combinations of offset dimensions

But I need 2 things to determine hole pattern
Ok.... Shoot!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB
1. what is the dimension of the square washer that fits between the cast lugs on the head? This would be the OD of the square
It is 2.25" wide by 2" high. We had some 2"x3/8" steel at the shop and I cut some into 2.25" lengths. I can make as many of these, as I need to. Just have to wait on the drill press to be fixed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB
2. Is the hitch head bolt that goes thru the square washer a 3/4" bolt or a 5/8 dia bolt?

Kitty's is a 3/4". I just measured mine. But your older head may be different. A different bolt dia could affect the layout I give you
I have the 3/4" bolts. They fit the hitch head perfectly..

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB
Let me know before Sunday at 6:00PM and I will give you some options to consider

Be back Sunday night

John
Okie dokie... Thanks!
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