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Old 02-12-2016, 09:46 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by emm-dee View Post
I really appreciate all the comments and information y'all have given me in this thread.

Now, I have more helpful information but not quite sure how to use it. I got a Sh Sherline tongue weight scale today and was able to get some extremely accurate numbers.

With the Harley loaded in the back of the Vengeance, and everything else in place, I get a tongue weight (at the ball hitch point) of 1,125 pounds (14.9% of trailer weight). When I unload the Harley the tongue weight increases to 1,250 pounds (18%). Between the Equal-I-Zer and Blue Ox the bar spec choices are 1,200, 1,400 or 1,500 pounds. Which of those specs should I try to comply with?
I'd go with the 1400# as there is not that much difference in weight placed on the tongue weight to worry about. Later RJD
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:30 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by aceinspp View Post
The only thing that needs lube is the ball. Slide is suppose to be stiff to prevent the sway. Just guess you do not like the noise. Later RJD
The "brakeman" is correct. From page 23 of the Equal-i-zer Owners Manual:

"The friction surfaces of the head and sockets should be kept clean and well lubricated with a good quality multi-purpose or bearing grease. These are the surfaces where the arm sockets rub against the top and bottom plates of the head. See Figure 23. We recommend Equal-i-zer high performance lubricant.
They should be lubricated before each trip. Check for damage or abnormal wear at the beginning of each towing day and replace if necessary. Clean dirt and road grit from all friction surfaces regularly."

To the OP: Based on your measured hitch weight, your best choices are probably the 14K Equal-i-zer or the 15K Blue Ox hitches. It's good that you got your actual toungue weights before purchasing
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Old 02-15-2016, 05:12 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by aceinspp View Post
The only thing that needs lube is the ball. Slide is suppose to be stiff to prevent the sway. Just guess you do not like the noise. Later RJD
aceinspp,
You are not reading my post very well, and you are incorrect.
I'm not talking about the "slide" surface back at the L-brackets. I'm talking about the "sockets" up at the head, several inches just below the ball. As someone just pointed out, these pivoting sockets need to be lubricated.

I did send pictures to Equalizer. After looking closer, my socket surfaces are not worn that bad. But the underside of the cast head looks awful. Grit has been grinding against that surface for a while now. Probably more important than lubrication, is the point about cleaning out dirt and grime.

However, the guy from technical support did not seem overly concerned. He advised:
1. Definitely get back to cleaning and lubing regularly.
2. Based on their engineers' most recent testing, the lower socket bolts can be torqued to 100 ft-lbs (my manual says 40-65ft-lbs). Given the typical torque on a half-inch wheel stud, this sounds good to me.
3. The upward forces from the bars is still sufficient to provide sway control at the head. As long as the performance is good (it is), just keep up with maintenance.
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Old 02-15-2016, 06:23 PM   #44
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I agree with the "follow manufacturer directions" concept. I recently purchased a used "Equal-i-zer". It was maintained quite well and I do not see any reason not to ignore suggested maintenance for this equipment.

Until I know better, I will follow directions and lubricate as instructed.

As to the other Ox WDH, I have no experience with it and cannot speak to the good or bad of it. I will continue to learn by reading the comments here. Thanks for this discussion to everybody.

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Old 02-15-2016, 09:20 PM   #45
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I have loosened and retorqued my socket bolt nuts well over 100 times while cleaning and lubing with no ill effects. Wonder if your bolt threads are getting stripped or something.


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Old 02-15-2016, 09:55 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebrakeman View Post
aceinspp,
You are not reading my post very well, and you are incorrect.
I'm not talking about the "slide" surface back at the L-brackets. I'm talking about the "sockets" up at the head, several inches just below the ball. As someone just pointed out, these pivoting sockets need to be lubricated.

I did send pictures to Equalizer. After looking closer, my socket surfaces are not worn that bad. But the underside of the cast head looks awful. Grit has been grinding against that surface for a while now. Probably more important than lubrication, is the point about cleaning out dirt and grime.

However, the guy from technical support did not seem overly concerned. He advised:
1. Definitely get back to cleaning and lubing regularly.
2. Based on their engineers' most recent testing, the lower socket bolts can be torqued to 100 ft-lbs (my manual says 40-65ft-lbs). Given the typical torque on a half-inch wheel stud, this sounds good to me.
3. The upward forces from the bars is still sufficient to provide sway control at the head. As long as the performance is good (it is), just keep up with maintenance.
My mistake as thought referring as mentioned to slide bar. Later RJD
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Old 02-15-2016, 11:37 PM   #47
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Ladies & Gentlemen,
I have read several of the threads advising about lubrication and I have been advised by an old friend of 40 + years to be very judicious in using lubrication where the point being lubricated is open the accumulation of dirt. He drove log truck for over 50 years, singles, doubles and triples. He ended up owning a fleet of log trucks. They experience some of the worst conditions, driving on dirt roads, often with volcanic, very hard dirt surfaces.
He owned his own equipment and so keeping repairs to a minimum was not only good business but essential to staying in business.
According to my good friend, who is an exceptionally astute individual, he discovered that lubing joints that could accumulate dirt lead to excessive wear. The lubricating grease encouraged people to ignore cleaning of the joint as it was a mess of dirty grease. Over time, he discovered that connection points and joints that were lubricated wore out significantly more quickly than if they were left without lubrication and cleaned regularly instead. He cleaned his own joints daily after work and he insisted his employee drivers do the same. It reduced maintenance and replacement. Of course, if there was a zerk fitting, he greased those but if it was an open bearing surface, it was just cleaned.
After the discussion, I stopped lubing my hitch ball and started cleaning it regularly instead. It has been a couple years now and I am not noticing any undue wear on the ball or the inside of the hitch. Every time I unhook, I clean the ball surface the the inside of the hitch. Same before I hook up. On a long trip, I unhook every two days and clean the surfaces. I use a chrome plated ball and it seems just fine -- except for a bit of wear on the leading edge where the top edge of the ball hits the inside of the hitch every time I start up or stop. Slight discoloration there but no other visible wear. Works for me but you choose to do what works for you.
But, it did make sense when my friend told me that the grease got impregnated with dirt and then it was like a grinding compound. The grease allegedly holds the dirt in place and keeps it there to grind away the surfaces of the joint or contact point. It is kept clean, some of the dirt has to fall out or be blown out b the wind but if there is grease there, it holds the dirt in the grease until wiped out. Further, if it is clean and shiny there is nothing to hold the dirt against the steel as it would if grease is present. Of course, zerk fittings are sealed to some degree and hold the grease inside where it should not come into contact with dirt unless pushed into the zerk fitting at the time of greasing.
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Old 02-16-2016, 12:23 AM   #48
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MacII, Your friend’s alternative view seems well thought out to me. Those mating surfaces on the Equal-i-zer (and some other brand's) hitch heads can become nasty if not maintained. The manufacturer cautions to "Clean dirt and road grit from all friction surfaces regularly," but it's a dirty job that's easily postponed. If one isn't likely to keep up with the recommended maintenance, maybe the "greaseless” maintenance method is a better choice. Thanks for sharing the advice from your friend.
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Old 02-16-2016, 02:12 PM   #49
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Sounds like the key is to keep it clean, whether you grease or not.
I think I'll take mine apart this spring, use some brake cleaner on it, and think about it.

But I think I'll be lubing the parts. For someone that uses the parts every day, daily cleanings will keep things in check. But I probably average 3-4 camping trips per year, which means 6-8 days of towing per year. Much of the time, my hitch-head is sitting inside the door of my camper. Cleaning at home, and lubricating for storage, will keep out the grime, give corrosion protection in storage, and have it ready for the next trip.
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