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Old 07-06-2020, 09:09 PM   #1
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Will increasing ball angle (WDH) improve "porpoising"?

So the short question is: will adding a washer, thus increasing the ball angle, and the amount of weight distributed help with porpoising? You can address the general idea, or read the very long winded question below.

I have an E2 round bar WDH system. It came with my previous trailer and 600# bars. When I moved to my new trailer this spring I got 1000# bars for it. The trailer tongue weight is listed as 940# so yes I know, I'm probably really at 1100#. But they only make 1000# round bars. If it was the square bare system I could have gotten 1200#. But this is what I have so I'd like to make it work as well as possible. i.e. I'm not dropping $500 on a new WDH unless I absolutely have too. That money is better saved for new Goodyear's for the trailer down the road.

The dealer setup the WDH for me when I traded in the old trailer. I've since then changed the setup twice. Basically they had what I felt was too much angle on the bars. The manual says the bars should be level with the frame. Originally there were 2 holes I could lower the L brackets. The picture below shows 1 hole left before I made my most recent change of lowering it all the way down. To be honest, I drove the trailer home from the dealer on a windy day, so I don't remember how bouncy it was.

So with my current setup it seems to me it gets too bouncy over patch jobs in cement roads. Yes I'm being that specific. I just drove from NJ to GA. The I78 stretch in PA was miserable about 1/2 the time. Also the I485 beltway around Charlotte NC (from I77 to I85) had a really bad stretch. For the most part every thing felt fine. On decent roads I could drive 65 and not even notice the trailer. But when I hit miles long stretches of the above cement roads with a patch job every 100 feet the truck would start bouncing like crazy. It was uncomfortable to ride in. Even without the trailer my truck will complain about I78 (since I'm in NJ I drive into PA occasionally) but this was horrible.

So I don't have weights to give you guys, but I have the measurements I saved from my last (current) setup. One of the problems I'm having is that when you read the manual's example of how the front fender will move 3" when connected while mine moves 0.5". Makes adjustments hard to measure. So here are some measurements. The first number is a point on the hitch near the ball. The second number is the front wheel well height:

22"..........39 1/2"..... No trailer connected
19"..........40" .......... Trailer with no WDH
20"..........39 3/4"..... Trailer with 6 washers
20 3/8"....39 11/16... Trailer with 7 washers.. a couple of them look "thinner"
20 1/2"....39 5/8....... Trailer with 7 washers.. all look "thicker"

So I have a bunch of washers. Some came with the hitch, some I grabbed from my neighbors junk pile. Some of them do look a bit thinner, but I didn't measure.

So on the numbers, I got back over 1/2 the distance on my front end. Now the question: Will adding an 8th washer, thus putting my front end very close to resting height, help with any of the bouncing/porpoising I'm feeling? Other thoughts or suggestions?

And as a bonus question: I have Timbrrn rubber springs on the rear. At rest there is a gap (maybe 1") between the rubber spring and the frame. The idea is empty ride comfort is unaffected, but when loaded, the rubber spring hits the frame. I could add a "block" to the frame so that the rubber spring makes contact sooner. Would that possible help? I kinda view it as those guys who add air bags to their trucks.

Thanks for reading this far, can't wait to hear the comments.
Jim M.
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Old 07-06-2020, 09:53 PM   #2
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When the trailer is sitting level and unhitched, is the ball height and coupler height within an inch of each other? that is your starting point of setting up a WDH. If those heights are close then you could add a bit more tension to the hitch. Your front tire measurement means you have some weight removed from the front axle. You have an inch and a half of rear sag so you could tighten the bars a bit more and get that rear sag a bit less.
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Old 07-06-2020, 10:19 PM   #3
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I would also lower your L brackets one hole. You want the bars parallel to the trailer.
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Old 07-07-2020, 04:19 AM   #4
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Remove the Timbrens, remove 3 washers in the hitch head, adjust the frame brackets so the bars are parallel to the trailer frame rails. Let the truck take most of the weight from the trailer tongue by using minimal tension on the bars then things will be much better.
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Old 07-07-2020, 06:51 AM   #5
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To answer the other posts first, I've lowered the L brackets all the way down. The picture is from before my last adjustments. The trailer coupler and ball sit close to the same height unconnected. When connected the trailer is a bit nose low (maybe 1"), but you really can see it, you would need to measure to confirm.

Now this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustyhd View Post
Remove the Timbrens, remove 3 washers in the hitch head, adjust the frame brackets so the bars are parallel to the trailer frame rails. Let the truck take most of the weight from the trailer tongue by using minimal tension on the bars then things will be much better.
Interesting. Yes, my 2500HD says I can do 1500# tongue weight with or without WDH. So removing tension on the bars I'd still be in spec, though I would have to flip the hitch and raise the ball to level the trailer. But almost all posts on these forums say you should put most , if not all, the weight back on the front wheels with the WDH. You are suggesting the opposite. Have you had the same/similar experience? Does the less tension cause any noticeable sway or other issues? Have others tried this approach?

Thanks
Jim M.
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Old 07-07-2020, 02:43 PM   #6
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One thing to not overlook when trying to cure porpoising is rear shocks on tow vehicle.

Their purpose is to dampen spring oscillation that occurs after hitting a bump. The existing shocks may be fine when empty or just carrying a load in the bed but a trailer brings a whole new set of dynamics to the party.
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Old 07-07-2020, 03:24 PM   #7
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My truck has ~50K miles on it. I just replaced all 4 shocks with Bilstein's. The empty ride did improve a bit... softer. Well for a truck. The problem on the roads I mentioned is that the patch jobs to the concrete go on for miles. Not one or two patches, but probably a hundred or more. There is never time to recover from the previous bump before you hit the next one.

I have a short trip coming up in 10 days or so. I might try Dustyhd's suggestion to lessen the tension on the bars and see what happens. Though no interstate driving on this trip.

I wonder what the weight police will say about this suggestion.

Jim M.
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Old 07-07-2020, 04:01 PM   #8
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sometimes it is the road's fault for a crappy drive...
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Old 07-07-2020, 04:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmarako View Post
My truck has ~50K miles on it. I just replaced all 4 shocks with Bilstein's. The empty ride did improve a bit... softer. Well for a truck. The problem on the roads I mentioned is that the patch jobs to the concrete go on for miles. Not one or two patches, but probably a hundred or more. There is never time to recover from the previous bump before you hit the next one.

I have a short trip coming up in 10 days or so. I might try Dustyhd's suggestion to lessen the tension on the bars and see what happens. Though no interstate driving on this trip.

I wonder what the weight police will say about this suggestion.

Jim M.
I have almost the exact same issue. I just replaced my shocks with Bilstein 5100s and have been messing with my E2 because I get some porpoising. I am at a point I think my tongue weight is probably over 1000, probably closer to 1200 and I need to upgrade the E2. I have 7 washers, changed bar position, etc. It's not terrible, annoying yes. I'm thinking E4 is the next move. Probably will CAT Scale it first to confirm.
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Old 07-07-2020, 04:07 PM   #10
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I have a short trip coming up in 10 days or so. I might try Dustyhd's suggestion to lessen the tension on the bars and see what happens. Though no interstate driving on this trip.

I have not tried this, let me know how it goes.
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Old 07-07-2020, 05:13 PM   #11
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sometimes it is the road's fault for a crappy drive...
I hear what your saying. It was about 800 miles from NJ to GA. There are several construction zones that while annoying because of lane changes, higher barriers, narrowness,.... were not that bad bouncing. The occasional pot hole, expansion joints,... could wake you up. It was really just those 40-50 miles of patched cement lanes that killed everything.

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Old 07-07-2020, 05:17 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by dmdomokos View Post
I have almost the exact same issue. I just replaced my shocks with Bilstein 5100s and have been messing with my E2 because I get some porpoising. I am at a point I think my tongue weight is probably over 1000, probably closer to 1200 and I need to upgrade the E2. I have 7 washers, changed bar position, etc. It's not terrible, annoying yes. I'm thinking E4 is the next move. Probably will CAT Scale it first to confirm.
At least I'm not alone. If I had to buy a new hitch, I'd probably try the Andersen hitch. I have no knowledge of it but it's priced right with the Equalizers and E4's, etc and claims "no bounce". But that option is far down on the list. I'd like to think a proper adjustment, even if the bars may be overloaded, can take out much of the bounce.

Jim M.
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Old 07-07-2020, 05:19 PM   #13
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Yep... there is a road near me where the expansion joints are at a distance where my boat trailer feels like it going to jump in the air. With other trailers and the truck alone, it's fine
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sometimes it is the road's fault for a crappy drive...
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Old 07-07-2020, 05:32 PM   #14
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Yep... there is a road near me where the expansion joints are at a distance where my boat trailer feels like it going to jump in the air. With other trailers and the truck alone, it's fine
I towed my old trailer across Minnesota on I90 one year. Every joint in the road was perfectly spaced so truck and trailer would be bouncing over a joint at the same time. Didn't help that the joints were all raised about an inch from freezing.

Like riding a horse at a trot the first time.
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Old 07-07-2020, 05:57 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by jimmarako View Post
To answer the other posts first, I've lowered the L brackets all the way down. The picture is from before my last adjustments. The trailer coupler and ball sit close to the same height unconnected. When connected the trailer is a bit nose low (maybe 1"), but you really can see it, you would need to measure to confirm.

Now this:


Interesting. Yes, my 2500HD says I can do 1500# tongue weight with or without WDH. So removing tension on the bars I'd still be in spec, though I would have to flip the hitch and raise the ball to level the trailer. But almost all posts on these forums say you should put most , if not all, the weight back on the front wheels with the WDH. You are suggesting the opposite. Have you had the same/similar experience? Does the less tension cause any noticeable sway or other issues? Have others tried this approach?

Thanks
Jim M.
I’ve owned 2 Chevy 2500s and had them setup the way I described, towed TTs for 20k + miles with them without a problem. You don’t need to return all the weight lost on front with these trucks. The tires, steering and suspension geometry are designed to carry heavy loads on the back axle. I’m 300 lbs lighter on the front axle after the trailer is attached but still carry 4,000- 4200 lbs on the front 4600-4800 lbs on the rear axle. I still have to jack up the rear of the truck to put my bars on, from a measurement point of view I raise the rear of the truck 0 and push the front down 0 .
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Old 07-07-2020, 06:00 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by jimmarako View Post
At least I'm not alone. If I had to buy a new hitch, I'd probably try the Andersen hitch. I have no knowledge of it but it's priced right with the Equalizers and E4's, etc and claims "no bounce". But that option is far down on the list. I'd like to think a proper adjustment, even if the bars may be overloaded, can take out much of the bounce.

Jim M.
Right now I have my bars cranked up and probably overloaded. I have not tried the other end of the spectrum. Right now, all cranked up, all my measurements are what E2 says they should be for wheel well height, but my bars are not parallel. They look like your original picture.
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:05 PM   #17
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I'm fond of saying, "more spring is more spring."

A WDH distributes load, and to some degree it deals with porpoising. But more spring makes the rear of the TV less prone to wallow. Air bags are an easy way to add more spring and to integrate more spring with the WDH effects.

For sure, you can fine tune the WDH to perfection and expect significant improvements, but when 750 pounds of tongue weight and the estimated 600 to 800 pounds of ground hugging cargo in the bed, combined with the weight of human cargo, hits the bottom of a whoop-de-doo, more spring is the answer.

Answer this: does the front end of the TV porpoise? I thought not.

The beauty of airbags over other suspension mods is that they are working from the first 1/4" of suspension travel to the last, and they are infinitely adjustable. And they work for all loads...hitched or not.

If you can't take the wallow out, consider adding more spring.

P.S. Crappy shocks make for a crappy ride. Many half-tons come through with suspensions dialed in for a soft ride during the test drive, but they are too soft to work. (Have you ever seen a car dealer throw a half-palate of bricks in the bed for the test drive?) Also, factory shocks often go limp after 30,000 miles. Good aftermarket shocks can make a huge difference. My RAM 1500 was Boaty McBoatface until I added the Bilsteins.
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:03 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustyhd View Post
I’ve owned 2 Chevy 2500s and had them setup the way I described, towed TTs for 20k + miles with them without a problem. You don’t need to return all the weight lost on front with these trucks. The tires, steering and suspension geometry are designed to carry heavy loads on the back axle. I’m 300 lbs lighter on the front axle after the trailer is attached but still carry 4,000- 4200 lbs on the front 4600-4800 lbs on the rear axle. I still have to jack up the rear of the truck to put my bars on, from a measurement point of view I raise the rear of the truck 0 and push the front down 0 .
Thanks for the suggestions. Its good to hear from people that have (or had) similar setups and how they setup their trucks to get good results. The reason I ask the initial question was I didn't know if even more tension would help the problem, or if it was causing the problem. Obviously you think that less tension is good, at least for the HD truck models. I currently do not have any sway issues as far as I can tell so I need to leave enough tension on the bars (what ever that is) to keep effective sway control.

Thinking out loud, I have the L brackets as low as they will go, so the bars are almost level. I have 7 washers on the ball. I'll probably remove 2 since Fastway claims that 5 is the minimum number for the E2 system (5-9 washers). I'll need to flip the shank over to raise the ball 1 hole as I already sit a tad nose low on the trailer and with the expected drop of the truck's rear end from less bar tension i'll need to level it off a bit.

So thats my current trend of thought. I have a week or so to decide before I change the setup for my next trip. If it was easier to get the trailer into my driveway I would actually make changes then drive 20-30 mile to test them out. Now I have to make a change and see how it goes on the next trip.

Of well, enough complaining.

Thanks
Jim M.
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:10 PM   #19
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I'm fond of saying, "more spring is more spring."

Answer this: does the front end of the TV porpoise? I thought not.
So I get your general thought here. A 1 ton pickup with a 5000# payload and a 1200# tongue weight hitch is going to sag/bounce less than a 1/2 ton with 1500# payload because the springs are better able to absorb the TT's up/down movements. And adding airbags is a way to "get more spring".

But if the truck is porpoising isn't the whole truck bouncing? Not just the rear end?

Jim M.
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Old 07-08-2020, 04:18 AM   #20
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Here’s a picture of my 06 2500 8.1l with no bars attached. It towed just as well without them as it did with them. Porpoising is technically called pitching, some trailers are more prone to it than others. Think about it the TV rear suspension is a high tension spring, then the WDH is also a high tension spring also pushing upward. The interaction between the two springs exaggerates the movement.
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