Tightening hitch/lug nuts - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-17-2012, 12:16 PM   #15
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Name: george
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Originally Posted by rgrugg View Post
So the lesson here is get your nuts tight and keep them tight. Right?
Tight nuts are happy nuts. Or something like that. I think.
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:26 PM   #16
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We will have another look at it at the storage place next week. It could be that there is some play in a plate, not any nuts or bolts. We had an RV guy seemingly putting all of his weight on a couple of wrenches last time to get it tight. We will try to see better exactly what is loose and how. I thought that maybe a plate could be loose due to the way they are made and their function but maybe not. We will get back on it. Thank you! We will get some of that loctite, too.
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:47 PM   #17
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"Plates"?

I'm really unclear as to what kind of hitch we're talking about here, or even if it's the part on the tow vehicle or the part on the trailer!

Is this about a weight-distributing hitch? And if so, are the " loose parts/plates" on the tow vehicle, on the trailer, or part of the hitch that goes into the receiver????

Francesca
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:00 PM   #18
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FYI, you can get plastic pointers that go over your lugnuts after they're torqued. You point them at the next nut. If it's not pointing at the next nut, you know it moved.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:41 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by gmw photos View Post
Not to overstate all this, but for safety sake, proper torque values for bolts is critical. Under torque obviously can and likely will result in parts coming loose. Over torque can stretch a fastener in a way that can stress it to the point of failing.
Regarding some specifics, consider these torque values on my BlueOx swaypro. The cross bolls that holds the hitch head to the stinger are 3/4" grade 8 bolts. BlueOx specs these to be tightened to 300 lb-ft.
Now consider the ball itself. The ball I use has a 1 and 1/4" shaft. 450 lb-ft is the specified torque. You read that right....and THAT is a lot of torque. Most folks don't have a torque wrench that goes that high, so you should take it to a shop that can tighten these to the correct value. I'm lucky that my son's best friend is a heavy truck mechanic, so he has "big tools". If you don't know someone with the tools, swing by a truck repair shop. Many times these guys will do this for you for free....or you can toss them a $20 bill, and everyone is happy.

Raz's point about using loctite is a good one. Specifically he shows us "242" which is what you would want to use.

And for sure, Norm's point about regularly checking nuts and bolts for proper torque certainly falls under the category of routine maint. I crawl around under our trucks periodically and check things like the bolts that hold the hitches to the frame, etc.


George, thank you for this information as I believe the cross bolts you refer to are the possible problem, the bolts on the vertical shank. Our number is also 300 ft./lbs. The torque for our hitch ball is 450 ft./lbs. if a 1 1/2" washer (250 ft./lbs. if 1" washer).

Our instructions say that for the 300, if the torque wrench does not go to that, then torque to 150 ft./lbs. and turn an additional 1/4 turn. So we can probably do that. Then we will see ourselves if there is any loosening after that. Hope not but if there is we can go to Plan B, whatever that is. So we do not have to rely on what they might do at a shop for now and will check it ourselves.

The "plates" I referred to are under those bolts (between the bolts and the shank) and there is no labelling on any diagrams I have seen to know the correct term.

Thanks for pointing out those numbers as that was what we need to address.

Francesca, it is possible that there is a WDH component that is also a problem but we are looking at the adjustable hitch bolts first because that is what the shops were tightening and what we had thought was the problem.

Thanks all. We will work on it.
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:03 AM   #20
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I'm not entirely understanding, so I might be off on this. I had something similar occurring on my car trailer, I think. They couldn't be properly tightened, as the metal would give before the bolts were torqued. It ended up wearing out the holes on the tongue and the coupler.

I welded steel sleeves across the bolt holes on the hitch side:



Then I welded small sleeves to each side of the tongue, due to the worn holes:





I've had many miles on it since then, no issues.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:13 AM   #21
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For anyone perhaps unfamiliar with torquing requirements, and with determining proper torque:

Proper torque is related to the size/grade etc. of the bolt itself and is not specific to the item the bolt is used on.

Here's a link to a key to determing type/grade of the bolt:
Bolt Depot - Bolt Grade Markings and Strength Chart

And here's a link to the chart we use for determining starting torque. There can be a bit of variation due to conditions, but this is the ball park we play in:
Bolt Torque Chart | Portland Bolt

Francesca
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:23 PM   #22
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Jared,
That looks to be a good solution to the problem ! On my BlueOx hitch, the pieces that make up the stinger are solid material, rather than tube stock. And the use of grade eight bolts in that application is a good idea as well. When using grade 8 bolts and nuts, one should ensure they are using hardened washers as well. Some people call them "grade 8" washers, although there is disagreement as to whether the hardened washers are actually called grade 8 or not. Some folks who sell them, call them as grade eight....whatever, make sure they are "hardened" as less washers can actually "flatten out" ( yield ) over time, resulting in yet again, a loose fastener.
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:32 PM   #23
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Agreed. The originals were grade five. I switched to grade 8, and german torqued them. I had to get longer ones anyway. There's a horrible misconception out there that grade 8 is more brittle and will crack easier than five. Those people have never checked out the yield and tensile strength between the two. If a grade 8 fastener cracks, the grade five will have snapped long before.
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