Safety wiring your nuts…. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-16-2014, 09:21 AM   #1
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Safety wiring your nuts….

Sorry for the thread title, but years ago we used to safety wire all nuts to the bolts on our motorcycles to meet track safety standards. I also have safety wired a couple of trailer balls to the stinger to prevent it from coming loose in the past. With a new hitch set up I'm wondering if I should repeat this procedure and drill a hole through the nut and bolt and safety wire together. Do other members perform this procedure? Thanks for your input.
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Old 02-16-2014, 10:30 AM   #2
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Being a former aircraft mech, I always safety wire or cotter key, lock nut, or locktite the important things.

You just can't be too safe.
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Old 02-16-2014, 10:42 AM   #3
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Can't say that I have ever heard of a properly torqued trailer ball come loose, but it certainly could I suppose. If one was concerned, perhaps an easier answer would be to put a second locking nut below the first.

And Yes, I still have two pairs of safety wire spinners and few rolls of s.s. safety wire in my roll around that I think got from Wilbur Wright hisself.
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Old 02-16-2014, 10:59 AM   #4
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I have 2" ball from UHaul that has both a nylok insert in the nut threads and a hole in the shank for a cotter key below the nut. Could become loose and work in the hole in the stinger but would prevent dropping the nut and total separation. Reese and the walmart forge and weld industry use lock washers. I'd say what can it hurt? When we safety-wired in commercial aircraft, I mainly remember wiring thru the heads of hex bolts.

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Old 02-16-2014, 11:38 AM   #5
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There are quite a few rotations before you would lose the nut. I'm sure one should notice the looseness first.
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:01 PM   #6
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There are quite a few rotations before you would lose the nut. I'm sure one should notice the looseness first.
Friends of our daughter didn't notice and lost their pop-up camper after crossing the George Washington Bridge in NY City. After that incident and getting back on the road a while later they blew a tire on the trailer because when the trailer came unhitched, the propane tank had come off, damaged the spring mounts and cocked the axle at an angle. At that point they got everything out of the camper they could, had a tow truck take the camper to be junked, continued to their destination and bought a tent. So there are some people that are oblivious to problems . We have the Uhaul ball with the cotter pin, but I know how to tighten things, have the tools, and never had one come loose.
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:58 PM   #7
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I am also a fan of a secondary means of securing the hitch ball or any critical fastener. I raced cars in my past and used many spools of lock wire. Currently I use Loctite on my hitch ball threads, I can also tell you by experience the hardness of the steel used on the hitch ball makes it very difficult to drill (buy extra drill bits).
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Old 02-16-2014, 04:27 PM   #8
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If it lets you sleep better at night why not! It don't cost anything. I personal wont bother with it at all but if it stayed on my mind I would....
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Old 02-16-2014, 04:53 PM   #9
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One really big problem is that people reuse that split lock washer. It is a one time use item and should not be used again.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:16 PM   #10
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A properly tightened trailer ball isn't
coming loose, period. Mine call for 450 ft lbs of torque. I give it all I can with a 2' breaker bar. I'm an aircraft mechanic, wouldn't bother safetying it.

Oh, and I have a different stinger for each ball size, so they've been on for years without coming loose.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:16 AM   #11
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You can not be too safe only to daring.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:32 AM   #12
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paint a stripe on the nut and the stinger. If it moves you will see it in your preflight check.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:42 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
One really big problem is that people reuse that split lock washer. It is a one time use item and should not be used again.
As they say you learn something new everyday, Thanks Darwin for sharing that!

Off to buy a few spare split lock washers as I do carry a different sized balls in the tug in the event I need to tow a family or friends trailer with a different ball size than mine.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:57 AM   #14
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Checking the ball mount and making sure all's tight and look for rusting is part of my check list before leaving on a trip.
Something are good for years and then all of a sudden too many things start to change.
So, check, check.

Ron
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