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Old 04-20-2011, 06:55 PM   #1
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Am I the only one that finds this strange?

On my van that we used to tow up to 2000lbs and on many previous vehicles with receiver hitches I've seen the same thing - a pin that holds the receiver in and takes the entire pulling (or pushing load) of the hitch.

Now on my new setup I had to get a 2 5/16 ball with a 1 1/4" shank, the bits that hang on the receiver weigh a good 50 or 60 lbs, going to tow mebbe 7000 lbs....and the only real connection is the same size pin, perhaps 1/2" diameter, that I've seen on light duty hitches.

Is there some engineering magic on that pin? I've seen balls and hitches with all sorts of weight ratings and I've seen spare pins - and never a rating on them!

Am I the only one that feels this is strange?
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Old 04-20-2011, 07:13 PM   #2
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Other than that pin is hardened steel and the hitch is soft steel, no.

My hitch shank pin hole shows wear (slightly elongated) from towing in just 1 1/2 years. The pin looks brand new.
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Old 04-20-2011, 07:47 PM   #3
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I often think of all that weight riding on that pin when I am towing up a steep hill. But it is a hardened pin and since the gap between the reciever and the shank is so small it would take an increadible amount of force to shear.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:54 PM   #4
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I have been wondering the same thing... i just try to not think about that little skinny piece of steel holds all that together... lol
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Old 04-23-2011, 08:35 AM   #5
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Has any one ever seen one sheared. I have seen a couple bent before but they were bent when trying to pull out a stuck truck not during towing. I think when you are towing there is 400 or 500 lbs pushing down from tongue weight so the ball mount wont move enough to cause a shearing effect. just my thoughts
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:21 AM   #6
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You can buy replacement pins with a locking end that are case hardened steel, and weight rated for 5000 lbs. aftermarket- I think I got mine at Advance Auto Parts. Works very well; had it almost 4 years, and still looks just like I bought it. I think it was made by Reese, but not positive. Randy
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:33 AM   #7
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Don't forget about the toque that is applied to the verticle load. The retaining pin doesn't have to deal with this additional load, and the pins usually solid. so I don't really think of this issue.
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:32 AM   #8
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1/2 dozen 9/16 grade 8 bolts to hold the hitch to the frame
4 more to hold the ball part of the trailer to the toungue
2 even larger bolts hold the two pieces together that make up the ball and receiver assembly, and mine came with shims to be sure there was no freeplay in there.
a 1" shank ball isn't strong enough, so you gotta get a 1 1/4" shank ball.
And then you gotta bolt this together at hundred of pounds of torque.

The only thing really keeping the trailer attached is a 1/2" pin that isn't torqued in at all, rattles in it's holes and weighs less than one of the bigger nuts.

If the pin is strong enough then everything else seems to be overkill.


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Originally Posted by zx5chris View Post
Don't forget about the toque that is applied to the verticle load. The retaining pin doesn't have to deal with this additional load, and the pins usually solid. so I don't really think of this issue.
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:40 PM   #9
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The pin only comes into play from horizontal pulling and pushing from power and braking applied from your tow vehicle. This is why that pin is not necessarily large, IMO. Randy
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prof_fate View Post
On my van that we used to tow up to 2000lbs and on many previous vehicles with receiver hitches I've seen the same thing - a pin that holds the receiver in and takes the entire pulling (or pushing load) of the hitch.

Now on my new setup I had to get a 2 5/16 ball with a 1 1/4" shank, the bits that hang on the receiver weigh a good 50 or 60 lbs, going to tow mebbe 7000 lbs....and the only real connection is the same size pin, perhaps 1/2" diameter, that I've seen on light duty hitches.

Is there some engineering magic on that pin? I've seen balls and hitches with all sorts of weight ratings and I've seen spare pins - and never a rating on them!

Am I the only one that feels this is strange?
The pin diameter is 5/8 on the Cat. 3-4 5 hitches! Youroo!!
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