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Old 06-27-2009, 12:22 PM   #1
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Reese HP Trunnion and Dual Cam Hitch setup

Ok, so after extensive calculations and weighing I'm around to installing and adjusting the WD hitch.

From the thread on weights I know I should be shooting for a zero load on the front axle. The question now is how does that get setup. The instructions from Reese indicate that appropriate hitch setup is equal wheel well heights front and back to within 1/2 inch.

That seems like it would load the front axle. How do I adjust this for zero front axle load and appropriate weight distribution between back axle and TT axle.

I'm also looking for any advice on installing the DC to the hitch since I will have to drill this through the frame and I want to make sure that I get it right the first time.

Thanks and sorry for starting what may turn into a long thread again.
--Tom
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Old 06-27-2009, 09:25 PM   #2
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Tom

I'm traveling right now but will post more Sunday night. Typing this from a Blackberry....

To get the front to unhitched weight we start by measuring tire fenders. Do unhithed front and rear, then hitch up and adjust until unhitched height comes back

Air up your tires ready for towing first as this affects the measurements

Did you get the smaller WD bars? The setup will be different when you change later

The DC, do you have channel iron A frame or tubing? Slightly differnt thing to watch out for on both

More later on Sunday some else does not chime in

John
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:39 AM   #3
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JohnB,

I haven't been able to find lighter weight bars and they are around $150 on-line. I don't completely understand why we would need to go with lighter bars as the 1200s should just flex less in order to bring the TV and TT inline and should provide more resistance to coming out of line when going through depressions or drop offs.

I have found one guy locally who has 550# bars with a hitch setup that I might be able to trade, but wasn't sure if they would be strong enough.

One other question - you mentioned having the tires aired up for towing. Do you change your tire pressure when you are going to tow?

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:06 AM   #4
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The channel on the A-Frame is 4" c-channel. From the DC install instructions it seems to indicate that I need bolt and cap nuts when going through a c-channel. Unfortunately I only got the self threading screws from the previous owner. I will be hunting today to try and find a set of bolts that I can use on this.

--Tom
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thesteigers
The channel on the A-Frame is 4" c-channel. From the DC install instructions it seems to indicate that I need bolt and cap nuts when going through a c-channel. Unfortunately I only got the self threading screws from the previous owner. I will be hunting today to try and find a set of bolts that I can use on this.
Tom, you'll likely need at least Grade 8 hardware for that. It might be worth a check with the Reese website to see if they have any info on that. www.reeseprod.com
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thesteigers
JohnB,

I haven't been able to find lighter weight bars and they are around $150 on-line. I don't completely understand why we would need to go with lighter bars as the 1200s should just flex less in order to bring the TV and TT inline and should provide more resistance to coming out of line when going through depressions or drop offs.

I have found one guy locally who has 550# bars with a hitch setup that I might be able to trade, but wasn't sure if they would be strong enough.

One other question - you mentioned having the tires aired up for towing. Do you change your tire pressure when you are going to tow?

Thanks,
Tom
Hi Tom

I sent you a PM. Check it and I will send you a care package that will get you going until
I can catch up here on line to the specifics to your TV and TT for the Reese setup. I have been wanting to do a generic Reese WD/DC setup post for a long time and yours may be the one that gets me going on it.

Before that you have 3 questions above that lay the ground work for a good towing setup.

1. Using 1,200# WD bars on a 700 or 800# tongue weight. Will this work as far as WD? Technically yes, however it comes with 2 very large issues as side effects. See this link to a Reese towing tech guide. http://www.towingproducts.com/catalo...pswarranty.pdf See page 6 of the PDF, it says 390 on the bottom of the page. According to Reese the 1,200# WD bar can range from 600# to 1,200# tongues. That is a very large range and is only talking about the WD bar, nothing else.

1A. The first side effect can be a harsh ride in certain circumstances. Not always, but it does happen. The springs are so stiff compared to a 700# tongue load that they will not flex very much. The hitch will feel very rigid in the TV. When your TV back tire drops in a hole the hitch will not flex much and on a suspension as light as a Tacoma, you may get a hard reaction when you drop in the hole then followed by a very high up bounce from extra force of the heavy bars when you come out of the hole. Now since you carrying weight in the truck bed aft of the rear axle, this offsets some of this. How much, well only a test drive will tell. If this was you only issue, I would say you can try it and if it is too hard, then you can always switch to the lighter bar after.

1B. The second side effect is the one I want to express large caution about. Your receiver is only rated at 700# tongue weight in WD mode. When the TT is level and you are diligent about setup to not overdrive the front suspension beyond unhitched weight, other then the hard ride that may come, you can set up the TT and TV to actually work as you only have a 700# tongue. That is on the level prefectly flat and level towing conditions. The problem is we go camping in many un-level places, we come out of gas stations, come off of high up RR tracks, we drop in pot hole and other things that come our way while in route to and from camp. These specific examples I listed create what I call a hard back flex in the hitch. They are not all of them but the ones that come to mind quick.

The TV rear axle drops low in elevation in relation to the TT axles which are up higher. Bascially the hitch connection sags a lot. TT nose goes down and so does rear of truck. The WD bars now act on that heavy sag and start applying more torsion into the TV receiver lifting the back of the truck up and throwing more weight to the front axle. It is like you just took up 2 or 3 more chain links of tension on the snap ups.

The further the sag the more force the WD exerts. When this happens real fast like dropping off a curb coming out of a gas station or in a large pot hole with the TV rear axle, 1 massive back flex and major force gets exerted by the WD bars. The WD bars will give all the force they can only limited by the actual springs size itself, the amount the hitch sags per say and the impact of how fast it all occurred. The hitch can take it up to a point, however there are 2 other components that take heavy strain in these cases. The 2 pin box of the TV receiver where it attaches to the cross tube and the TT A frame. Your 700# WD rated receiver can only handle so much as it was intended to have safety factor to what WD can add by running WD bars in that range. The 1,200# bars are about 72% stronger then the rating. If you happen to find the right curb or pot hole to fall in, the receiver will become overloaded and the pin box can be permanently bent up.

The TT A frame can take a strain in a turn from a TV dip at the same time. We know this occurs as the 2005 up to almost the last 2007 T2499s with the 4 channel iron A frames overloaded from WD. In this case it was heavy tongue weight and the 4 channel A frame flexing that then buckled the TT headers. The 4 channel could not resist the heavy twisting force of the WD bar on only one side of the A frame. While you do not have the heavy tongue weight of the T2499, you do have a 1,200# WD bar on that same 4 channel iron A frame. If that 1,200# WD bar every reaches max force generated in a turn, the A frame may flex and your header may become damaged.

I have seen the receivers twist and become damaged from over loading. The TT A frame twist, I have not seen it caused by a WD bar in a T2199 Sunline, but have noted the warning stickers on other brands, (Jayco Jayfeather) has a warning sticker to not use over a 1,000# WD bar on there lighter A frames. If the WD bar is stronger then the frame, again given the right conditions, damage may come. After the T2499 investigation from last summer, the same forces are acting here just from a different source.

I myself do not know how to control the over exerted force in the WD bar by the effects of towing other then making sure the hitch components are all sized to take what comes at them. Some one else here on the forum might be able to shed some light on this, but from what I have learned along the way, the only way is prevention and making sure you know where the weakest component is and if it has enough rating to do the job .

If you could find and buy a 1,200# WD receiver, that would solve the receiver issues, however the truck frame is then the next weak link and that might be a bigger problem. And WD bars are cheaper then the reciever anyway.

I dont know how to get you out of this one other then acquiring lighter WD bars with the truck you have. The hitch and DC you have is hands down the one to go with, just need lighter WD bars. Have you tried to find a dealer who will swap you 800# bars for the 1,200#? Or Ebay? If you cannot figure out what I am referring to as hitch back flex, let me know, Ill sketch up something to help show this point. Sorry I got wordy, but was trying to explain the forces going on here.

2. The 550# WD bars, no those are too light. Then you have the problem of not strong enough to do the job and may break a bar as Reese Tech service told me. The WD bars are usable up to the ratings. Exp. Using a 1,200# tongue on a 1,200# WD bar is perfectly OK and actually the best you can get from a ride standpoint when the WD bar and tongue weight are equal. Same on 800# or 600 # etc WD bars. Just you cannot use them over the rating.

4. Tire pressure. Yes tire pressure is a big deal as far as sway control. You can have a perfectly setup WD hitch, but the wrong tire pressure or side wall combination will still allow sway to occur. For towing we want stiff tires. Yes they ride a little harder but the keep they TV stable left to right. The WD hitch anti-sway keeps the TV to TT connection stiff when using this type of hitch. When a sway upset acts on the TT, like a big wind gust, the hitch resists the pressure blowing on the side of the TT trying to flex the TT to TV hitch connection. If the anti sway device can resist that force, the TV stays straight ahead. However if the TV tires are soggy, while the hitch was stiff, the entire truck just shifted or pivoted on the side wall flex of the tire and will break free the dual cam high friction locking feature.

To help this be the best with the tires you have, air up the TV rear tires to max side wall cold pressure when towing. You can take them down to normal when not towing. The TV front must be at least at the door sticker pressure ratings stated by the TV maker. From there a drive test comes next and uping the front by 5 psi increments until you can get the tire stiff as allowed up to max cold side wall pressure. If the front gets too stiff, it can bounce. And that bounce is no good either so you have to back down 5 psi to get out of it. When it bounces it feels like the truck just slipped left or right when you hit a bump. Basically the front is an experiment once you get all setup if you are having some sway issues. And even then, pending tire brand and load rating, some P rated tires and even LT rated tires are nice and cushy for non towing, but are not great for towing as even at max side wall pressure they are still to soggy. Air up the back and try the front on what you have. It might be just fine.

Ill start prepping a hitch setup reply for you.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:32 PM   #7
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Hi Tom

Here is I how I install the Reese DC. What I have here augments the Reese instructions. The Reese instructions are sort of a one size fits all set of instructions which are OK but they would be better if they would of added more to define the end results objective of what to end up with and what to watch out for.

Recapping what you have:

- Ball coupler on top of A frame.
- A Frame made of 4” channel iron.
- Used Reese HP trunnion bar WD hitch and HP Dual Cam to install.
- Prior had standard friction sway bar.
- 7,500# rated tow ball

Here are the Reese Instructions for your WD hitch and DC -- EDIT 2-13-11 Fixes Reese links that changed

http://www.reeseprod.com/content/downloads/installation/N66022.pdf

For the Reese HP DC made prior to 2010 see here

http://www.truckspring.com/Installat...eese/26002.pdf

For the Reese HP Dc made after early 2010 see here. Make sure you have the correct instructions. The new DC looks different in the can bad yoke and the chain plate is bent in place of flat.
http://www.reeseprod.com/content/dow...ion/N26002.pdf

Note: The Dual Cam install shown below is for the prior 2010 Hp version.

I’ll do this mostly in pics to help cut down the words. I have a collection of pic’s from various TT’s and hitch installs. I will pick the just right shot to explain the point but it might be a different TT then the last set of pics…. So keep that in mind.

First we start out by installing the tow ball. You said yours was a 7,500# tow rating. Not knowing what brand it is, that tow capacity is most likely on a smaller threaded shank then higher capacity tow balls. Typical size thread shanks are 3/4", 1" and 1-1/4". The Reese HP head is drilled for a 1 1/4" shank tow ball. If the smaller sizes are used, a bushing “must” be installed in the hole to take up the excess room and adapt it down. If not the connection will never stay tight. Check that yours has a bushing as I doubt it is 1 ” with only a 7,500# rating. There also needs to be a lock washer under the nut. According to Reese the ball torque should be: “Unless otherwise specified by ball manufacturer torque ball nut to 450 ft/lbs for 1-1/4" nut, 250 ft/lbs for 1" nut. “ They did not list the 3/4 shank.

This is how I tighten mine. Holding the hitch head can be a bear so I put it on the hitch shank and then in the truck.


I use a ” drive socket and breaker bar. If you do not have a torque wrench, you can use this method until you can get to a dealer to check the torque. To get 450 ft lb of torque, apply 225# of weight on a 2 foot wrench handle. For many of us that is our body weight. Some more, some less…. Torque is force X distance. You will have to use a wrench or strap of some kind to hold the ball from rotating while you tighten. Some tow balls have wrench flats on them. Others do not. What ever you do, do not use a pipe wrench on the actual ball surface. It will cut in and leave permanent dig marks in the ball. A strap wrench on the tow ball is fine or wrap the lower part of the ball shank right near the hitch head with a heavy leather or nylon strap and use a pipe wrench on the shank area as a last resort.




Having the tow ball tight is a must.

Next is to get the hitch head in the right location to start adjusting with. There are many ways to do this, but this is sort of the easiest if you have the TV and TT in front of you. First level out the TT with the tongue jack. Where is level? Use the TT frame and check it by the siding or go inside and put the level on the floor. The longer the TT the more wave in the frame.




Get an average of level if the differs along it’s length. You can also measure the frame to a hard level surface.


What may not be level is the actual A frame. The A frame is welded to the TT main frame. Some times they are dead on level, other times heading slightly uphill or down hill.

Now that you have a perfectly level the TT, on a level hard surface, go out to the ball coupler area and measure from an easy to measure spot to the ground. I use the frame just behind the ball coupler. Write that number down as now you know real quick where level is.


Then back up your truck. Have it loaded ready to camp so the back will be where it normally rides. Install the hitch head and just pick 2 holes to hold the hitch head in place that looks about 1 to 1 inches higher the on the tow ball top to the top of the ball coupler. You can use small level to project the 2 points.


The truck will squat some in the rear after WD is adjusted. On your tongue weight, 700#, light ton TV suspension, I’m guessing 1” to 1 ” drop will occur. You can fine tune it later, but this will get you real close on the first attempts later in setting up the hitch. Install the hitch head blots and adjust the tow ball angle so the ball is slightly tilted back towards the TT. Again in your case maybe only about 2 teeth back from the ball being straight up and down. Again this is a starting point to later adjust from.


Take care that equal teeth are on both sides of the hitch head. Some times it is easy to get the head twisted and one side has more teeth then the other and do not cross thread the teeth.


At this point, tighten the hitch head bolts very snug but you do not have to heavy torque them yet.

Next is working on mounting the DC. Find the frame plate brackets. There are left hand and right hand frame plates. Make sure you have one that is LH and one RH. I had a buddy once where his dealer mounted 2 left hand ones by accident and the DC yokes would not adjust out right.

Here is the HP DC parts kit out of the bag.


Here are 3 pics of the left and right frame plates.






Add the set screw, lock washer and jam nut. I think I added the lock washer myself. 12 point sockets fit the square head set screws to make this easier.


Locate the DC bar and yoke. Adjust the DC so it is in the middle of the threaded adjustment. Leave it loose but finger tight. Reese allows you to flip the frame plate forward or rearwards to miss things mounted on your frame. For your setup since I know the Sunline and the propane tanks setup, use the frame plate bracket on the right side of the TT that the frame plate will be more forward of the pivot bolt. Hand mount the yoke to the frame plate. It would look like this. The yoke pivot location is at the rear of the bracket. Since your are used, they may be installed backwards for your install. Correct as needed.



Next is the chain plates. Yours are already mounted however the chain must be able to flip freely on the U bolt but not have excess play. Check that your is not over tightened or under tightened. Reese new, uses locking nuts here. I added an extra layer of protection with a lock washer between a double nut. If someone has had you U bolt on and off a few times the single lock nut would hold well. In this case double nut it or buy and elastic stop nut to replace what you have.


And now to the snap up brackets.


Since yours are used, look at the set screw points on the tip. They should be a cup point set screw. If the prior owner has them all rounded off, well you need new set screws. Those set screws will bite into the frame to hold them in location. In most cases the set screws will lock when they bite into the frame. If they keep loosening over time, you can add a jam nut.


Now lets go mount something…..

Look at the radius on the inside of the frame plate. That radius is in the way of your square corner channel iron frame and even some tubing frames with a smaller radius. We will have to shim teh frame plate out with ” washer spacers to accommodate that large radius and the square corner channel. For now keep this in mind we will get to it soon.


Next is locating the frame plate on the A frame. Along the side of the A frame, measure off 18” from the center of the tow ball along the side of the frame to the DC pivot location. That locates the frame bracket along the side of the frame. Scribe a line vertically on the 18”


Now you only have one direction located. Now you have to deal with that frame plate radius and your square channel iron frame. You will need a large C clamp to make this task go easier. Put the snap up bracket on the side of the frame in a general location. Only get the set screw barley tight until it touches, no large wrenching yet. Do not tighten as you do not know yet where it goes. The snap up can hold up the DC partly for you. Add the chain plate to the cam yoke and get a big C Clamp


And now to those washer spacers.




You need to shim away the frame plate so there is no radius bind on the square corner C channel. Use the washers do not grind the frame or frame plate. A helper here is use full as you need to tighten the clamp and fiddle with the washers to get the holes to line up. An old trick is to use grease to stick the washer in place. You will most likely need at least 2 washers. If 1 clears, great, if 2 does not, then it is 3 washers. All depends on how thick your washers are. Line everything up and double check the 18” to the pivot bolt and that you are flush up against the bottom of the frame. Reese really wants the bottom dead flush.

If you have 2 clamps and really want to check everything is correct prior to drilling, put the hitch head in and the WD bars on. Then check that the DC yokes come out in the right area. There should be enough adjustment for final setting of the DC. Put the shank sort of level to shank nose down on this check and use 5 chains links under tension on your 4” frame Low riding T2199.


OK if it all checks out, use a dia drill, spot your centers, then go to a smaller drill bit, pilot the hole and then increase up to ” You really do not need a clearance drill but if wanted a 33/64 or 17/ 32 clearance drill is OK.

Bolt on the frame plates using ideally grade 8 hex bolts and lock washers. Grade 5 is the minimum. Do not even use grade 2. Grade 8’s on ” will torque to about 110 ft lb. on the channel iron frame. Grade 5 will be 75 ft lb. Both are dry clean threads. You will note when Reese uses self taping screws in tube frames they only torque to 50 ft lb. More then that and they can strip out or pull the tube frame. I’m not a fan of self taping bolts on hitches. If you are going to the store, I would buy grade 8 bolts, nuts and lock washers.

Once the frame plate bolts are in, tighten the frame plate set screw. The set screw, once it touches, Reese recommends ” turn tight to bite in and then tighten the jam nut. Again check the points on those set screws as well. Replace as needed.

Now the DC is mounted and the Wd hitch is ready to start adjusting. Before hitching up, make sure the hitch head bolts are fairly tight and the snaps up have all the pay out of the set screws but not dead tight yet. The goal of setting the location of the snaps ups is for the chain to be vertical when the WD bar is in place and in your case, the chain is on 5 links under tension. And the DC bar lobe is seating over the V notch of the WD bar when the TV is straight ahead. You can set the location of the snap ups the 1st time you hitch up. Reese again states again, turn tight on the snap up or you will start to spring open the snap up.

I’ll type more on Tuesday how to adjust. If you get ahead of me, the file I sent you has most of that in it. You are no longer going to change chain links, you will be tilting the hitch head to get more WD. The 5 links gives you the right DC clearance and should leave you ground clearance on the DC lobes. Again with your low riding TR2199. Those following along, that chain combo is for this TT setup.

More Tuesday night. Hope this helps

John
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:30 PM   #8
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Tom

OK here is how I setup the hitch and WD now that you have mounted it.

Ideally your TV and TT are fully loaded to go camping. If it is not, that is OK just you will have to redo this again when you load. The process is the same just the added cargo changes the WD.

TV and TT tires. ( This is for your specific Truck)

TV. Air the rear tires to max cold side wall pressure listed on the tire. For the front tires look at the door jam sticker which is full GVWR of the truck. Start this process at that pressure. Once you start towing we may have to up that number in 5 psi increments as I described before if you are getting sway. Its an experiment on the front. It also depends on brand of tire.

TT tires: Air up to max side wall pressure cold.

Base line setup. Need pen and paper.

First find a level hard surface spot long enough for the truck and camper to be straight in line.

In the hitch assy note you found what the TT tongue height was when the TT was level. It was done by this pic. Find that number again as you will need it during the adjustment process.


On the truck we need to establish unhitched fender height. This is how I do this so I can come back to reading the same place each time. Do this on all 4 fenders and write them down. This now established the Truck unhitched fender heights




It is not uncommon for left and right to be different heights. The truck is not built exactly level or the loading shifts it.

Since you already set the hitch head height in a starting location in the WD hitch assemble step, go ahead and hitch up but do not put the WD bars on yet. Have the TV and TT straight in a line on a hard level surface. Remember this step setting the hitch head height? Also make sure your hitch head bolts as fairly tight.


And look at your hitch shank. Yours is the all cast one as shown here without the hitch head on it. There are 2 pin holes for the 5/8 pin. One allows the shank to hang out further (1,000WD setting) and the other brings the head in close to the TV (1,200# WD setting) In your case either the weight setting will work, however if you had to pick one, pick the one that will make the shank be in close to the TV, the 1,200# WD setting hole. By being closer it will give you a slightly better margin for less overhang and sway. If you end up in a turning problem and jack knife bumper to TT front, you can then use the longer one to gaion more turning room. BUT, which ever hole you pick now, remember that hole as it does affect the WD settings. So from now on you will use that same hole each hookup unless once again re-adjust the hitch.


Now lower the TT down on the tow ball and let the jack just break loose of the ground. The truck is now holding all the TT dead weight. The TV rear will be sagging and the front will rise. Go around now and measure and record the fender heights. This is hitched, no WD engaged.

Now hook up the WD bars. To do this, crack up the tongue jack and lift the TT and TV fairly high up above normal towing height. How high is a trial and error until you get to know the set up. You should be able to rest the WD bars on the cams, pivot the cam arm up or down as needed. Hook up the chain plate on the cams and by hand flip up the snap ups with 5 links between the chain plate and the snap up.

We call this 5 links under tension. The 5 links come from prior known setups. Other larger TTs may use more as needed for differnet fraems, WD bars etc for those following Toms post. If the snap up will not flip up by hand, jack the truck up higher until it does. If you run out of jack, use a 6" block of wood under it to gain more height.

While Reese provides a pipe handle to help this, I recommend you still take a great deal of weight off the tongue while snapping up. If not, over time pulling the entire load by the snap up will bend the chain plate as it pivots over plus it is dangerous. This chain plate bending has happened as I had a camping buddy I helped reset his hitch and he never use to jack up the TV and TT, he just snaped up under full weight. Had to straighten out his plates.

Install the WD bar




Place WD bar on cam

Hook up chain plate. Note: the U Bolts studs/nuts face outwards. This allows the chain to pull more straight.


Now let the jack down and lift off the ground some. The WD bars will now have some amount of load on them. Go around and check the fender heights and record for this setting.

The TV WD goal is to get the TV front fenders back to unhitched height. How are they doing? Are you 3/4 high, 1/4 lower? Lets assume you are high as most likely the head tilt estimate I had to start with will be light on the front.

Before we start adjusting the hitch head for more WD, we need to check the DC that they are in the ball park at least for seating the V of the WD bar on the cam lobe on center. Bend down and look here.






At this point we do not have to be perfect, that will come later. Right now we need to be at least 1/8 from being on center. Check both sides. More then likely they are off. If they are, jack up the TT, undo the snap ups and take the WD bar off and adjust the cam to be closer on the correct spot. NOTE: When undoing the snaps, wiggle the chain to make sure all the pressure is off it before unsnapping. Each side may be different. AND or use the pipe and hold it as you pull out the keeper pin. By using the pipe you can control the unloading of the springs. On your lighter 800# WD bars they unload easier then the 1,200 or 1,700s.

Once adjusted, hook the WD bars back up, snap up the chains and let the jack back down. If you moved the cam, that did change the WD. So go around and check again. Are you high or low? Record the numbers.

For now we will assume you are still too high on the front end. We need to tilt the hitch head back towards the TT to gain more WD to the front.

To tilt the head, jack up the TT, take WD bars off, lower down and unhitch and jack TT back up. You do not have to move the truck per say. Loosen the hitch head bolts and tilt the head back and move equal teeth on both sides and tighten back up. Again not dead tight yet but fairly tight.


Now how many teeth to tilt? This comes from experience and trial and error. Here are some rules of thumb. 1 chain link of WD pressure is about 2 teeth on the head. However you are not changing chains links. So for your tongue weight and WD bars here is a good guess If you are 1 away (high) on the front fender, move 3 teeth. If you are 3/4 away, move 2 teeth. If you are 3/8 away, move 1 tooth. If you are 1/8 away to being right on, your are there and need to do a road test to get it any better.

One set, go back and check the DC that is still at least within 1/8 or better, check the fenders front and rear and record. Are you there yet? If still too high, or low, need to go back and tilt head back to gain more WD to the TV front axle, or tilt head towards TV for less WD. This is a trial and error setup. Once you do enough of these you an predict better but it still may take a few trys to dial it in.

Now you made it. Well almost. The front is at unhitched height or within 1/8 + or - from unhitched. The truck rear fender is where it is but should be in the 1 to maybe ~ 1 down. It may be 3/4" and that is OK if the front where it is suppose to be. But what you do not want is the rear at or higher then unhitched. If you end up with this some how you moved to much weight up front and we have to go back and re-adjust. A light rear axle is easier to skid sideways when towing in wet/slippery conditions when the TT is pushing you.

Now we have to see if the TT towing height is OK? Here pull out that TT level height number from the ground to the top of the TT frame. The goal is TT tows level. If the TT is high by approx more then 1/4 to 3/8 we would like to make an adjustment. You can only move the hitch head up or down 1 hole pitch. So if you where high, then drop 1 hole and now you will be slight nose down. Being nose down is preferred over nose up due to the way the wind catches the top of the TT on some rigs. It is most times is more stable being nose down verses nose up.

However, if you are a lot of nose down, like 1 pushing 1 1/2 plus, then it is better to be 1/8 high. Being a lot of nose down is not good for the TT axles/tires as they are now not as equally loaded.

If you have to move the head up or down the shank, Unhitch and move the head, hitch back up, check the cams, and then do back and check the fenders. It is common pending setup that you now may need 1 more tweak on the WD setting to bring the front end down. Pending TT/TV combo, the hitch head height can interact with the WD settings.

Setting WD fine adjustments can be done faster if you have a floor jack. You jack up the TT with the tongue jack, just unsnap the chains, let the tongue down until the truck comes back to a normal stance. Then place a floor jack under the hitch head and gently lift until the shank goes loose in the receiver. This takes some tweaking of the TT tongue jack and the floor jack to get this. But for sure, you must see the shank pivot in the pin box and be under no load. The truck is just at normal rest and no weight on the tow ball. You can wiggle the shank.

Then loosen up the hitch head bolts and gently jack the shank to pivot the hitch head. Align the serrated washer and tighten up.




This saves time, but if you have no floor jack, then just unhitch and move the head.

Once you get the WD on the truck set,. The TT towing level, then it is time to dial in the DC. Now you can torque the hitch head bolts to 300 ft lb. as you are going for a short test drive.

Here is a recap of where you should be. Ideal world to end up with is.

T V front end back at unhitched height. First priority
T V rear squatted below unhitched height by at least 1/2. Your TT 1 to 1 1/2 is good.
TT towing level or slight nose down.

If you have not already done this, while having no weight on the WD bars, tighten up the snap up brackets. 1/4 turn from contacting.

Also mark your WD bars left and right as once you tweak them into being perfect, you will always put them on the same side. I'll explain more when we get there on the wear patterns that develop.

I ran out of time tonight. Sorry. If you get ahead of me, see page 15 in the 2500HD setup file I sent you.

Be back on Wednesday.

Hope this helps

John
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Current Sunlines: 2004 T310SR, 2004 T1950, 2004 T2475, 2007 T2499, 2004 T317SR
Prior Sunlines: 2004 T2499 - Fern Blue
2005 Ford F350 Lariat, 6.8L V10 W/ 4.10 rear axle, CC, Short Bed, SRW. Reese HP trunnion bar hitch W/ HP DC

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Old 07-01-2009, 09:54 PM   #9
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OK now you have made it to setting the DC and doing a final check on the WD. Setting WD the first time in your yard may slightly change as you go around the block 2 times. The TV suspension is on springs and springs have a tolerance plus and minus that they go thru for a given weight. So what you very well may see is if you where 1/8 high on the TV front axle in your yard, you may now be 1/4 high and in need of a tweak more on the WD. Or it might be just fine. Many TV suspensions can easily have +- 1/8 in height per the same weight. The tape measure helped get us as close as we can until we can make it back to the scale to confirm.

Now to set the DC, you will need to do a drive test. Im lucky enough to have a school parking lot about 1,000 feet from the house. You need an area where you can drive straight with no turns for about 100 feet. And ideally can do a U turn, a left and a right and back straight for the 100 foot run again. The only way to get an accurate DC setting is this drive test as the TV and TT are tracking one to one. Trying to get them in line in your yard is close but not dead on.

Have your DC adjusting nuts tightened up before you leave your original setup and go for a test tow if you have not already. We do not want to be doing a lot of driving around with a loose cam bar as it can damage the threads.

There are 2 ways I have set the DC. Both work, both using a slightly different approach. For your light TT this 1st method will be the easiest.

DC Setting Method 1:

Tow to your DC setup area. Need a hard surface, level and able to do a 100 foot straight drive test.

When you get to the area, stop, get out, jack up the tongue, (bring a wood block to put under the jack foot, easier in jacking up.) and loosen all 4 DC locking nuts. Leave about 1/8 of actual clearance on each nut and lock washer to the DC yoke. This means the DC can float a 1/4 if it wants to. The 1/8 on each end is not a hard number, 3/16 even a 1/4 will work , just you do not need a lot more then that.

Now go slow and drive thru about a 30 to 45 degree right turn , then a left turn at a minimum, (can do more if you have too and then line up for your 100 foot straight drive test. You may hear a cluck in each turn from the DC shifting. The clunk is OK.

Now once you are ready to start the 100 straight drive, sight an object in the distance and drive right to it. This is a better way to drive straight as not turning the wheel may not actually track the TV and TT straight. See pic.

Here Im coming out of a turn and picking an object in the distance


Now partly turned, I spot the object and head straight to it.


Then stop, get out and go look at the hitch. The TV and TT should be straight in line.


With a flash light look up in the chain keeper


Here is a close up of a DC out of adjustment


Since you did the left and right turn and then tracked straight, the V notch of the WD bar should be dead on the cam center. Now what you might see if a very slight air space on the cam lobe to the WD bar that is partial. New cams or new bars are not yet a perfect match. They will however be resting on the high spots of being on center. This is OK. You can use a thin piece of paper to slide up there if you want to to make sure it is at least on a tight spot on both sides of the cam.

Check both sides of the hitch on the DC. They are most likely dead on. Then without moving anything, snug up the DC nuts and lock it in place. You may have to snug, then do final tightening when the WD bars are off.

Now check the WD fender heights. They may have shifted for 2 reasons. The springs settling and the DC settling. Remember in your yard they where only "in the range", not spot on. If you need to make a WD adjustment, now if the time. Tweak the head tilt as needed. If you tilted the head, well that can affect the DC. You have 2 options, you might get lucky or you might not.

Do the drive around again and do the 100 foot straight drive test. Then get out and check the DC. If it is spot on, well your lucky. If not, then loosen the cam nuts and go around again. Regardless if you tweaked the head or not, do a DC cam check twice. Check the TT heigth for level as well to make sure you are not a lot of nose up or too much nose down.

2nd DC setting method.

You can use tihs method in case you are concerned you will be rasping the threads on the DC cam arm with heavy tongue weights. This concern would come in the 1200 to 1700# area. I have done the method above and not harmed any threads up to a 1,200# tongue weight and is what Reese exlains to do. On my 1,400# bigger TT, Im more cautious and have used the 2nd method.

Do the 100 foot drive test the same as in method 1 above and stop and get out and look. Again look in the keeper hole.

With a flash light look up in the chain keeper


Here is a close up of a DC out of adjustment


Now determine how much each cam, left and right of TT are off and by how much. Write it down so you remember. This is a view with the chain plate off just so you can see what Im referring to which way you need to adjust.


To adjust, jack up TT to take weight off WD bars, unhook WD bar. You do not have to unhitch. Take WD bar loose.


Now figure out which way the DC cam arm has to go, retract or extend? Loosen the lower nut then by hand to get it out of the way. Slide the DC arm up to retract it the exact amount you need using the upper nut as a gage to the yoke to see the distance. Now adjust the upper nut so it will take up the space. Then tighten up the bottom nut.

If the cam arm has to extend, rather then pushing the cam arm up, as before loosen up the lower nut, then on the top nut while holding the cam to the yoke so it will not move, spin the upper nut away from the yoke the amount you need the cam bar to move and then push the cam bar down until the nut touches. Tighten the bottom nut.

Repeat on the other side as needed.

See pics. Here you set the gap on the upper nut as a gage. To retract the cam arm, push the cam bar up the amount need and snug up the upper nut down to the yoke. To extend the cam bar, hold the cam bar and yoke and so it will not move then spin the nut up away from the yoke so the gap you need is seen, then pull the cam bar down the distance and it will stop on the nut. You can use the nut and space as a gage to set by.


Snug the nut down


Tighten lower nut


When both sides are done, hook up WD bars, let jack down and look again. If you are centered then the cam lobe should be dead centered on the V notch. If it is not, well measure again, and redo it. Being off here has the DC fighting for center as you tow. When it is dead center both sides, then the V notches lock like a detent.

Once both sides are correct, drive around again and re do the 100 foot straight drive. Get out look at the DC. Is dead on? If so great. If not, then tweak again.

Once you drive around and it stays put, well you have it.

Check the 4 fenders heights again and write them down.

Is the front end still back at unhitched height?
Is the TT tongue base line still level or nose down?

End of Method 2

Now your DC is set and so is the WD. Mark the WD bars left and right and always put back on the same side. As the cams wear, they will wear to match the WD bar. The WD bar is forged not machined. In time they will waer to be a perfect match. If you keep flipping WD bars on each side, that wear pattern starts all over again. The WD bars are not the exact same length which means all the perfection tweaking you did, now no longer exists if you flip bars each time. I have written on the WD bar sticker left and right and used a couple of nylon tye wraps on the driver side so I always know which side to put that WD bar on.

You are now done setting the system. There are 2 checks yet to do as good measure, a DC cam bar interference check and a trunnion lug hitting check at jack knife. Since you have the combo of a 4 frame, 800# WD bars and you are running 5 links of chain under tension, I know that combo should not bind on you. It is the 5 and 6 frame campers or someone running 4 links or less under tension that can have the problems when the TT ball coupler is on top.

I know you are out adjusting now as I type this. When you get all done post us a side pic of the hitch, top pic and a complete rig pic. that would look my smaller camper below. I can tell from the pics if you have the binding problems or not. For future, I will create a post on how to check for this, but that is another 2 nights of typing and we are heading out camping on Thursday so I will no be back until Monday.

TV and TT side shot.


Top shot


Shot with no words just so you can see better


A shot of TT and TV ideally level so we can see the whole rig


You mentioned you where heading to the scales again. You now have WD so you need 3 weights where before you had 2 weights, again all axle by axle like before.

1. TV and TT hitched with WD engaged.
2. TV and TT hitched No WD. (just unsnap the WD bars after weight 1. No need to even move the truck.
3. TV only. Go unhitch the TT.

Good luck and hope this helped.

John
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Current Sunlines: 2004 T310SR, 2004 T1950, 2004 T2475, 2007 T2499, 2004 T317SR
Prior Sunlines: 2004 T2499 - Fern Blue
2005 Ford F350 Lariat, 6.8L V10 W/ 4.10 rear axle, CC, Short Bed, SRW. Reese HP trunnion bar hitch W/ HP DC

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