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How Far to go on Repairs?

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  • How Far to go on Repairs?

    My friend has a business doing yard maintenance. The right support arm on the hitch on his 1993 van failed due to rust as shown in the pictures. Originally the arm was thick and before it failed it was paper thin. He plans on replacing the van next year, after his busy summer season. As you can see even the 2 tube is has a lot of rust. He would prefer to not buy a new hitch for one year because it may not work on his new van and this is the off season so he is short on money.

    If it were my van I would have replaced the hitch. For my friend, I chose to replace only the rusted out arm, remove all the rust from the hitch and paint it. My reasons:

    -When I cut the arm off, the tube was still about 5/32 thick (See picture).
    -I tapped on every inch of the tube with my weld slag removal hammer and it was sound.
    -He uses the trailer for very light loading; his walk behind commercial mower, edger, weed whacker and rakes.
    -He is planning on replacing it after ~ one year.

    I have to believe that others have faced decisions like this and I would value your input.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Good fix. And just think there are lots of them in the same shape driving around pulling trailers...Bob


    • #3
      makes me wonder what in the heck it's bolted to????


      • #4
        It has been a little over a year since I repaired the hitch on my friends van and here is the update.

        Originally posted by FusionKing View Post
        makes me wonder what in the heck it's bolted to????
        FusionKing, your concerns were valid. After a few months of use, the box beam of the van's frame started yielding and made squeaking noises. The rear bolts of the hitch were pulling out of the box beam and the front of the hitch was digging into the box beam. I welded some angle to the front of the hitch to spread out the moment that the hitch applied to the car frame. The front of the hitch now extends all the way to a cross brace on the frame which is solid. For the rear of the hitch, I ran a bolt through the hitch, the box beam of the frame and into a tapped hole in bar, which I added that was supported by the floor of the van. I hid the bar inside the plastic trim that goes around the rear door. This held up until my friend retired the van this spring.


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