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  • trailer hitch question

    A little off topic but it leads to some welding I'd like to do.

    I recently bought a pickup truck. One of the things I'd like to do is build a cradle that slides into the trailer hitch receiver, and supports the end of my kayak that hangs over the tailgate (welding project). I just want it to take it the mile or so in my neighborhood to the water. problem is that I can not for the life of me get the hitch pulled out of the receiver. I have tried soaking it with PB blaster, beating it with a BFH, and putting lots of heat onto it. No luck. and yes, the pin is out

    I thought about a big chain and a stationary object, but the chain is likely to cost nearly what the truck did, and I'm unsure of a suitable stationary object. I don't want to damage the one nice big tree in my yard. I'm also concerned that when/if it comes free, it will be a missile in the other direction. I don't live way out in the country and so safety is an issue.

    Anybody have any advice?
    Millermatic 180 Auto Set

  • #2
    If you put that much effort into it, it tells me that something is bent somewhere or the back end of the hitch got flared out somehow. Did you check that ?

    Try taking a piece of 2" square stock with the one end welded shut and going in from the back if you can to drive it out that way. You may have to do the chain thing if that doesn't work. At least if you buy a chain, you'll have it for a long time for other uses.
    Ken

    What else is there besides welding and riding. Besides that

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    • #3
      the back of the receiver is boxed shut. I already thought about trying to drive it through. I am getting tempted to cut the plate off of it, drive it through and then weld it back, but I'm not sure how that effects the integrity of it though.
      Millermatic 180 Auto Set

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      • #4
        Mix up some hyd. oil and brake fluid and apply that to the hitch and receiver. Give it a couple of applications and see if that doesn't free things up. If not, it sounds like you have a bent receiver or hitch and it may be best to cut it off and go with another or its so bloody rusted it wouldn't be a bad idea to replace anyway for structural reasons..
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        • #5
          Not sure how much room you have but can you drill a hole in the back and get a nice piece of rod in there to help drive it out ?

          Im not expert on receivers but if you do cut it off, I would use a sawzall or a wheel, definately not a torch, otherwise you'll weaken the whole receiver.

          Just weld it back on then with a good weld, weld that like you would something else so you dont get it too hot or cause it to twist or warp, you should be ok.
          Ken

          What else is there besides welding and riding. Besides that

          Miller Thunderbolt XL 300/200 AC/DC
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          4" Air Grinder
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          • #6
            Last time I checked, and it has been a couple of years, receiver tube was selling in the $4-6 a foot range down at the steel yard. Cut the offending piece off and weld a new one on, IF you are satisfied with your welding abilities. You'll need to thru-drill for your pin.

            EDIT: Be honest with yourself about your ability to do this safely.
            Last edited by WyoRoy; 02-18-2009, 04:05 PM.
            Miller 251...sold the spoolgun to DiverBill.
            Miller DialArc 250
            Lincoln PrecisionTig 275
            Hypertherm 900 plasma cutter
            Bridgeport "J" head mill...tooled up
            Jet 14 X 40 lathe...ditto
            South Bend 9" lathe...yeah, got the change gears too
            Logan 7" shaper
            Ellis 3000 band saw
            Hossfeld bender w/shopbuilt hyd.
            Victor Journeyman torch and gauges
            3 Gerstner boxes of mostly Starrett tools
            Lots of dust bunnies
            Too small of a shop at 40 X 59.

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            • #7
              We're sure a previous owner didn't weld it on somewhere as an anti-theft?

              If nothing works, I'd take the back off and try the drive-thru. I don't even see a need to replace the back end. Many don't have them anyway.

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              • #8
                If it's in there that tight, a chain and a big tree may just result in a bent frame on your truck.

                Have you tried removing the pin and driving it "in" with a sledge hammer. Most plug-in's don't go all the way into the receiver anyway. I suspect rust is the culprit here and once broken free the plug-in will come right out.

                You could make yourself up a crude form of slide hammer using a piece of 3/4" rod and a barbell weight. Weld a stopper on the end of the rod and tack the rod to the plug-in in your receiver. (What I'm describing is a sort of body puller on steroids).

                Good luck.
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                • #9
                  Yep sounds like mud and muck has it rusted in..... mine on my work truck gets stuck after as short as a week.... I knock it in with a hammer then wiggle it up and down....if you have already used PD blaster then another penetrating oil isn't going to help unless you clean it off and let it dry.....
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                  • #10
                    Chain, tree, gas pedal, orks every time. The tow hitch will keep the frame from bending. Or, have a friend hit the gas pedal and hold tension on it while you whack it with a BFH. Won't missle out like you think. Dave

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by WyoRoy View Post
                      Last time I checked, and it has been a couple of years, receiver tube was selling in the $4-6 a foot range down at the steel yard. Cut the offending piece off and weld a new one on, IF you are satisfied with your welding abilities. You'll need to thru-drill for your pin.

                      EDIT: Be honest with yourself about your ability to do this safely.
                      Yeah I'm not 100% about my welding to say I would be doing it safely. I'm also not certain my machine will do steel that thick and get full penetration. My next door neighbor is a welder by trade so I could get him to do it, or at least look over my shoulder. I would like to learn to weld good enough to have that sort of confidence, but I realize the learning curve for that is very steep.

                      Originally posted by MAC702 View Post
                      We're sure a previous owner didn't weld it on somewhere as an anti-theft?
                      100% sure. I bought it from a friend, who claims it's been stuck for "a while"


                      I guess I'll just keep at it. I may end up cutting the back off with the portaband. At the very least, that will let me get some pb blaster on the other end
                      Millermatic 180 Auto Set

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                      • #12
                        The ones in our work trucks get stuck from time to time. Chain and a good sized tree works for us. If you are worried about the tree a heavy tow strap works well also. We have a nylon lifting strap we use to wrap the tree with and then use the chain. You don't leave a ton of slack in the chain then jump on the hammer. Easy forward until you feel resistance and then apply solid pressure. If that doesn't work a small jerk or 2 might get it to move.

                        Also backing into a solid surface like a concrete loading dock may free it up. Concrete not block. Again use common sense. Don't floor it and slam into the wall in reverse. Back up and give it a solid thump or 2 then see if it will pull out. Use some force but don't hurt yourself. Most 2" hitches are designed to pull / push up to 10K+ so you can go ahead and use some of that force to free it up with out hurting too much.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DSW View Post
                          Also backing into a solid surface like a concrete loading dock may free it up. Concrete not block.
                          now that is a good idea! just gotta find somewhere to do that at. theres got to be a parking garage I could "accidentally" bump while backing into a space.
                          Millermatic 180 Auto Set

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                          • #14
                            The chain and tree might work depending how rusted it is in there.

                            Ive done this a few times over the years, I block the truck wheels all 4 hook a comalong to the back of my hilo and also block hilo wheels, apply pressure ( Tension ) heat with a big rose bud torch, quench it with a water hose which shrinks itheat again and repeat, beat it with a hammer in between heat and that helps break the rust away,

                            I actually hit the tube where the rust is.
                            Then warm the tube one last time and hit with sledge hammer to get it out.

                            Thats how you get the really stubborn ones out.

                            Unfortunately it doesnt sound like you have the proper equipment so you might want to try your local welding shop.

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                            • #15
                              I had this happen on a friend motorhome a few years ago. We tried everything including a 30,000 pound "snatch'em strap" tied to a tree and we couldn't remove it. We finally removed the whole hitch, cut a slot in the outside tube and used a hydraulic press to force the hitch out of the receiver.

                              We then rewelded the slot and reinstalled the hitch.

                              Nothing was bent, just lots of rust from not being removed for years.
                              RoyB
                              Dartmouth, MA

                              http://www.rvbprecision.com

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