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Trailer hitch, truck frame cracking


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  #1  
Old 01-23-2008, 07:05:08 PM
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KeithW KeithW is offline
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Photo Trailer hitch, truck frame cracking

I've done a bit of towing with my '95 Chevy Tahoe. Had it in the other day for some brake work. When I picked it up the mechanic said I should check the frame where the trailer hitch bolts on, there is a problem.

http://members.aol.com/keith0alan/images/truck1.jpg

http://members.aol.com/keith0alan/images/truck2.jpg

Looks like the hitch gets to come off and a bit of welding done. The plan is to weld the cracks then add some reinforcment.

This frame and hitch are common to lots of Chevy trucks. Might be something good to check every once and a while.

keithw
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:11:22 PM
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Default Re: Trailer hitch, truck frame cracking

Just keep in mind, that steel on the frame of the truck is cold formed steel. When you heat it by welding it, then it becomes mild steel... I have welded the same frame with no problems.. Just wanted to give a heads up...
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:31:21 PM
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Default Re: Trailer hitch, truck frame cracking

Hmmmm... I better check my Chevy 1500 with 400,037 miles on it . Still runs good like a Chevy should .
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:33:04 PM
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Default Re: Trailer hitch, truck frame cracking

The Newer Chevy Trucks with the Round Tube Hitch also have problems... I think it's more the hitch than the frame.

Many are replacing the hitch with an aftermarket one. There have been a few failures even when towing below the rating of the hitch...
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:40:38 PM
T Hickok MN T Hickok MN is offline
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Angry Re: Trailer hitch, truck frame cracking

Check with GM the later models had a service bulletin, maybe they will fix or replace, but I doubt it.
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:59:20 AM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: Trailer hitch, truck frame cracking

First check with the dealer and see if there are any 'hidden recalls' (I know that there are at least 2 for the frame on my 1996 Dodge ram 1500!). The dealer won't tell you about them, unless there is a problem that GM has OKed a fix for, or if you make a direct inquiry about. You might also see if the NTSB has any reports of frame safety issues for your truck - you might be surprised at what you find!. If neither can be of help, I would drill the ends of the cracks, Vee out and weld them, grind off flush, and install reinforcement over the entire area, not just the attachment points.
Andrew
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Old 01-24-2008, 07:57:17 AM
Charlie Bryant Charlie Bryant is offline
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Default Re: Trailer hitch, truck frame cracking

My friend has a Ford 150 same problem. Previous owner had used the truck to haul his boat which he launched in salt water. He has about decided a repair is not feasable for further trailer hauling use.
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:14:10 AM
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Default Re: Trailer hitch, truck frame cracking

The hitch bracket is too thin resulting in the first bolts carrying most of the load. There appears to be a fair amount of thread exposed so a doubler on each side of the bracket would help spread the load to the aft bolts thus making all fasteners carry a fairer share of the load.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:32:07 PM
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Default Re: Trailer hitch, truck frame cracking

I have Googled the make, model, ahd year of my vehicles including the words "service bulletin" or "Recall Notices" and gotten results as well. All of them I hadn't heard of, nor received notices from GM.
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:48:44 PM
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Default Re: Trailer hitch, truck frame cracking

I bought a Putnam XDR for one of my Dodge Deisels and I notice that the mounting pads are spread out in a Much Longer area than the 5,000 pound original.

I like to use the Solid ball mounts as they are rated at 10,000 pounds or more and are a lot shorter so they don't get as much leverage to Bend/Brake things.

The first thing I do with them 6,000 pound ones is cut them off and drill another hole for the pin.... Also helps distribute the weight better.... The guys that use an extension to extend the hitch with a Camper don't know how much stress they are putting on things...
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Last edited by Ken Majeski; 01-24-2008 at 03:52:17 PM. Reason: Add word to improve sentence structure
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Old 01-24-2008, 06:47:12 PM
Clark Bigger Clark Bigger is offline
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Default Re: Trailer hitch, truck frame cracking

My 92 cracked further ahead of the spring hanger..I figure from general overload & abuse
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Old 01-24-2008, 07:29:51 PM
Mike Cannon Mike Cannon is offline
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Default Re: Trailer hitch, truck frame cracking

You guys are inflicting punishment on this old man! Now I have to lay on the frozen ground with a flashlight and fine tooth comb and look hard at my trusty Dodge diesel to see what was done to it before I did it to it. Thanks for the post ~ anyone that doesn't search after this little heads up should not be towing. regards
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:16:20 PM
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Default Re: Trailer hitch, truck frame cracking

I installed a Reese Tow Beast on my truck last spring when I started towing an oil field engine to shows. I cut up the stock GM hitch for scrap. The Reese looks like what should have come on my truck in the first place! That round tube thing is okay for a pedal truck, but not a 3/4 ton workhorse.
To the original poster, you may also try searching the forums at the chevytalk.com site. I haven't been on there in quite some time, but they have a truck section that's broken down by generation. Most likely someone on there has experienced the same problem you're having.
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:42:33 PM
Clark Bigger Clark Bigger is offline
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Default Re: Trailer hitch, truck frame cracking

I do have a reese hitch..plan to remove box from truck and "box" the frame to repair it..hows that sound?
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Old 01-24-2008, 11:38:08 PM
Patrick McNallen Patrick McNallen is offline
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Default Re: Trailer hitch, truck frame cracking

If you build too much stiffness into the repair, the frame may crack where the repair and the original material meet.
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Old 02-04-2008, 01:41:57 PM
Glenn Miller Glenn Miller is offline
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Default Re: Trailer hitch, truck frame cracking

thank's for the head's up.everyone. I do have an extension I use to pull my camper. I thought useing the chains on the hitch to transfer the weight would keep this proplem from happening. but I am going to check the truck frame for sure now. ps. this is on an f-250-2005. thanks again.
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:10:15 PM
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Photo Re: Trailer hitch, truck frame cracking

Removed the bumper and trailer hitch. Cleaned it up a bit.

http://members.aol.com/keith0alan/images/truck3.jpg

Cut up a piece of 4" square 1/4" wall tubing to make doublers. Drilled for the bolt hole and welded on three sides. The end toward the front of the truck was not welded. Didn't want to heat that part of the frame.

http://members.aol.com/keith0alan/images/truck4.jpg

Painted and reassembled. I'll keep an eye on it but I expect it will be good for a long time

keithw
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