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Old 10-30-2020, 06:58 PM   #1
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Questionable welds on hitch receiver

Looking at the OEM hitch on the 2017 Ford Escape I purchased a couple months ago, which I will be towing with starting next season, I am starting to wonder about the quality of the welds.

These just look a little strange versus most other hitch or frame welds I have seen. The left side photo shows the unusual shape most clearly - sort of a thick rounded strip - and the welds are not continuous around the four sides of the receiver - see gaps at both top corners.

For welders out there or others truly knowledgeable, do these seem abnormal or have I just been sheltered?
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Old 10-30-2020, 07:04 PM   #2
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Not the best since it wasn't continuous but the welds that are there appear to be good.

Out of curiosity, what are you towing with a Ford Escape?
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Old 10-30-2020, 07:11 PM   #3
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Compared to some welds I've seen these look great. Even better, nobody tried to cover up their bad work with thick paint.
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Old 10-30-2020, 07:21 PM   #4
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Glad to hear those responses so far.

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Originally Posted by bradbill View Post
Out of curiosity, what are you towing with a Ford Escape?
Outside of the A-frame forum someone is always going to be asking me that. I have done my research, and the numbers + experiences of others check out. (Ridgeline w/215K miles is pending sale!)
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Old 10-30-2020, 07:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JArry View Post
Glad to hear those responses so far.



Outside of the A-frame forum someone is always going to be asking me that. I have done my research, and the numbers + experiences of others check out. (Ridgeline w/215K miles is pending sale!)
I guess I could have looked up your A frame trailer. Looks like empty it is 2100#. Seems too much for a Ford Escape. What is the Escape rated for?

EDIT: Looks like the 2.0 ecoboost is rated for 3500#
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Old 10-30-2020, 07:48 PM   #6
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Yep
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Old 10-30-2020, 08:49 PM   #7
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My vote is for that weight, the welds are plenty good.
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Old 10-31-2020, 12:21 PM   #8
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You are not going to enjoy towing anything with a Ford Escape. That hitch is deceiving. I've owned the same vehicle and with 5 adults in the car it drives poorly. Hook a trailer on and drive with flashers to warn people around you at least. A frame or a flat trailer, makes no difference, it the weight that matters.
Sorry, but that's the truth.
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Old 10-31-2020, 12:34 PM   #9
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Looks like the OP’s Escape is rated to properly tow 3500 pounds. OP would obviously need to take cargo weight and GCWR into account, but let’s move on. Towing capacity of the Escape was not the question, rather the opinion of the receiver welds.

https://www.ford.com/cmslibs/content...scape_Sep7.pdf
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Old 10-31-2020, 01:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JArry View Post
Looking at the OEM hitch on the 2017 Ford Escape I purchased a couple months ago, which I will be towing with starting next season, I am starting to wonder about the quality of the welds.

These just look a little strange versus most other hitch or frame welds I have seen. The left side photo shows the unusual shape most clearly - sort of a thick rounded strip - and the welds are not continuous around the four sides of the receiver - see gaps at both top corners.

For welders out there or others truly knowledgeable, do these seem abnormal or have I just been sheltered?
Those welds look like they set up the receiver in a fixture and robotically weld them. The last picture looks like the MIG gun ran out of wire and somebody let it slide. Lots of safety factor, I'm sure, so you are probably golden.
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Old 10-31-2020, 02:29 PM   #11
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Agree

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Originally Posted by boogiejack75 View Post
Those welds look like they set up the receiver in a fixture and robotically weld them. The last picture looks like the MIG gun ran out of wire and somebody let it slide. Lots of safety factor, I'm sure, so you are probably golden.
Agree. Easier to teach the robot to do three straight lines than to turn corners.
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Old 10-31-2020, 03:57 PM   #12
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Those welds look fine to me.

One thing to check on those vehicles is the under body rust. Loom at where the reciever bolts on and the shock tower connections.

My connection from the suspension to the frame was at issue. Mine was rusted so bad that less than a half inch of martial was the only support it had. I repaired those proactively and had no issues with that small of a trailer. If you have a newer model this is obviously less of a concern to check.

Best of luck!
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Old 10-31-2020, 05:40 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dbledan View Post
Those welds look fine to me.

One thing to check on those vehicles is the under body rust. Loom at where the reciever bolts on and the shock tower connections.

My connection from the suspension to the frame was at issue. Mine was rusted so bad that less than a half inch of martial was the only support it had. I repaired those proactively and had no issues with that small of a trailer. If you have a newer model this is obviously less of a concern to check.

Best of luck!
Even in the great snowy and salty north, I'm hoping I'll be good on rust for at least a few years, but will definitely keep an eye on it!

Thanks again for all of the suggestions (edit: I meant "opinions).

Regarding the TV's capacity, I am putting more stock in the reports of people who have actually towed these trailers with them. I promise I will come back and report my experiences if it was a bad choice.
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Old 10-31-2020, 08:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Looks like the OPís Escape is rated to properly tow 3500 pounds. OP would obviously need to take cargo weight and GCWR into account, but letís move on. Towing capacity of the Escape was not the question, rather the opinion of the receiver welds.

https://www.ford.com/cmslibs/content...scape_Sep7.pdf
3500lbs IF it has the full factory tow package.
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Old 10-31-2020, 11:13 PM   #15
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I am glad you checked it, these factories get away with a lot of stuff. When I was building hitches that would not be acceptable, especially that last photo. That needs repair. make them give you what you paid for.

I had some people come over here for a visit and they had never looked at the high dollar Hensley hitch and as they came up the driveway it broke apart dropping their Airstream on the ground. Faulty and missing welds. Only 20 minutes before that they were traveling winding mountain roads with severe drop offs.
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Old 11-01-2020, 12:20 AM   #16
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3500lbs IF it has the full factory tow package.
That is true. The clue is that the OP said they had an OEM hitch. The Ford paper says the factory hitch is included with the Class II trailer tow package.

“Factory-Installed Trailer
Hitch Receiver Options
Escape: Included with Class II Trailer Tow Package”

Therefore, having an OEM hitch, there is a real possibility that the OP has the factory tow package.
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Old 11-01-2020, 10:25 AM   #17
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Yes, I have the factory tow package.

Despite not knowing for sure what a good weld looks like, I am not new at this.
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Old 11-01-2020, 12:30 PM   #18
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From years of welding experience including MIG welding, which those welds are--Those welds appear to have been applied by a robot, dedicated to just that task. The welds themselves look to good MIG welds. I learned that one would not do a continuous weld all around on an application such as that is that IF the weld were to start to crack it would not run all around the weld, a possible crack would stop at the end of a weld run. The only thing I would be concerned about is that fact that the welds were not finished IMO as far as a protective coating. Some wire brushing and a layer of good paint would help, , ,
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Old 11-01-2020, 01:10 PM   #19
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Aesthetics?

Quote:
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From years of welding experience including MIG welding, which those welds are--Those welds appear to have been applied by a robot, dedicated to just that task. The welds themselves look to good MIG welds. I learned that one would not do a continuous weld all around on an application such as that is that IF the weld were to start to crack it would not run all around the weld, a possible crack would stop at the end of a weld run. The only thing I would be concerned about is that fact that the welds were not finished IMO as far as a protective coating. Some wire brushing and a layer of good paint would help, , ,
Aesthetics, right? The number of years it would take for a dangerous amount of that weld to rust away probably far exceeds the expected lifetime of the vehicle.
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Old 11-01-2020, 02:08 PM   #20
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The welds look decent. I suggest wire brushing the rusty welds and paint to prevent further rusting.
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