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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Troy, MI
    Posts
    335

    Default 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.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Salem ,Ohio
    Posts
    3,900

    Cool

    Good fix. And just think there are lots of them in the same shape driving around pulling trailers...Bob
    Bob Wright, Grandson of Tee Nee Boat Trailer Founder
    Metal Master Fab Salem, Oh 44460
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Lake of the Ozarks MO
    Posts
    3,550

    Default

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

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Troy, MI
    Posts
    335

    Default

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

    Quote 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.

    Miller Thunderbolt
    Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
    Miller Dynasty 200DX
    Lincoln SP-250 MIG Welder
    Clausing/Coldchester 15" Lathe
    16" DuAll Saw
    15" Drill Press
    7" x 9" Swivel Head Horizontal Band Saw
    20 Ton Arbor Press
    Bridgeport

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