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Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > WD Hitch Measurements - Need help with fine tuning

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CSCustomCars

Schenectady, NY

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Posted: 01/12/18 08:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello all,

I spent a very rough afternoon yesterday setting up my WD hitch. I have some physical limitations from my life being a mechanic, but I managed to get it all together. What a pain in the butt.

I have some questions and I need help from the experts.

My TT is a 2005 Keystone Zeppelin Z261, TW 600lbs, total GVWR 6000lbs. My truck is a 2017 Ram 1500 4x4 Hemi reg cab, short bed. I have about 300lbs payload against the cab in the bed forward of the rear axles. My hitch is a Eaz-lift with friction sway control separate from WD hitch. 1000lb TW. I bought the 1000lb tongue weight because I had thought I would have more weight in the bed. It looks like I’ll be closer to 800 lbs total TW with the bed fully loaded and me in the truck. I will be full-timing so I will be driving a lot of miles.

Unhitched measurements:

Front wheel arch: 36”
Rear wheel arch 37.5”
Trailer measurements taken at level front to rear
Front TT at Frame n front of saddle 19.5”
Rear bumper height 18”

After fighting with the **** thing for 4 hours, and readjusting a couple times after realizing I “mathed” wrong. I’m hoping I got it right, or at least as close as possible.

Anyway, my hitch ball is at the lowest mounting point on the drop mount that came with my hitch, and the head is angled slightly rearward towards TT. I have 6 links between the bars and the saddle when hitched. The bars are parallel when hitched.

Measurements when hitched (without moving, so, TT didn’t move, truck hasn’t moved)

Front wheel arch 36”
Rear wheel arch 36.5”
Front TT at frame in front of saddle 20.5”
Rear bumper height 18”

Overall the rear of my truck squated 1”, the front frame TT height weight up aprox 1”, but the front and rear measurements stayed the same. The TT is ever so slightly nose high on the leveler.

This is as close as I could manage yesterday. Are these measurements and information abut my set-up correct? Do I need to get a lower drop bar (I might have one lying around somewhere)?

And finally, my WD hitch came partially assembled. The only bolts I need to know torque specs for are the ones that attached the hitch head to the drop bar. I read somewhere online 250lbs (which sounds awful high) for the bottom bolt, 50lbs for top adjustable. The bottom bolt on mine has a lock washer. I tightened that bolt hard, put my body weight into it (all 280lbs of me). The lock washer is as compressed as it can be. However, if I know exact specs (that weren’t provided in my instructions) I can use my torque wrench to be exact.

CSCustomCars

Schenectady, NY

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Posted: 01/12/18 09:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wanted to add, I will not be installing the friction sway control right away, because it requires me to drill 8 holes through the TT frame, or weld in the bracket on. I do not have a welder, but drilling 8 holes through that frame is gonna take me a couple days to do.

I will be heading south to georgia for about a month’s stay, and will probably be putting the sway control on when I get there. I’m out of time to do it before I leave.

ScottG

Bothell Wa.

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Posted: 01/12/18 09:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That all sounds about right. It can be hard to get the front end to come down on a full size truck.
Now tow with it. If it doesn't push you around in the lane then your good to go. If you do find the truck is suddenly moved from one place in your alne to another, tighten up the spring bars a little more. Keep in mind that two washers equal 1 link. Make any adjustments using very small increments. That means try adding 1 washer if it doesn't handle right.

I wouldn't want to drill 8 holes either! I would try one bolt at each end and see how it works out.


Scott, Grace and Wesly
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DutchmenSport

Between Anderson, Pendleton, & Lapel, Indiana

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Posted: 01/12/18 09:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not actually being and seeing it, I can only speculate. But it sounds like you've done it all right. Now, take it on the road and see how it handles. Drive it 5 or 10 miles and then pull over, re-adjust those chain links and make them 5 links. See if there is an improvement, or not in the handling of the steering, bouncing, overall, how does it feel. If it feels better, then after another 5 or 10 minutes, adjust the chain one more link, 4 now. Drive it. Improved or not!

The real test is night driving when towing. Do your headlights aim for the trees, or only 1 foot in front of the tow vehicle. If you can adjust the chains so you notice no difference in the angle of the head lights on the road, then you've got a pretty good fit going on.

Do the fine adjustments with the chain links now. That can only be done by actually towing it.

Good luck!


DutchmenSport

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CSCustomCars

Schenectady, NY

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Posted: 01/12/18 09:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ScottG wrote:

That all sounds about right. It can be hard to get the front end to come down on a full size truck.
Now tow with it. If it doesn't push you around in the lane then your good to go. If you do find the truck is suddenly moved from one place in your alne to another, tighten up the spring bars a little more. Keep in mind that two washers equal 1 link. Make any adjustments using very small increments. That means try adding 1 washer if it doesn't handle right.

I wouldn't want to drill 8 holes either! I would try one bolt at each end and see how it works out.


Not sure what you meaning for washers. I don’t have any washers on my set up other than the two locking toothed washers on the top angle bolt for the hitch head.

As for the headlights, at the current measurements, the front end height didn’t change, and the rear only lowered 1”, I’ve towed with this truck before with similar drop in the rear without any issues.

Ok, I’ll hitch everything up today or tomorrow and take it for a ride down the highway and see how it handles. Will report back.

CSCustomCars

Schenectady, NY

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Posted: 01/12/18 09:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DutchmenSport wrote:

Not actually being and seeing it, I can only speculate. But it sounds like you've done it all right. Now, take it on the road and see how it handles. Drive it 5 or 10 miles and then pull over, re-adjust those chain links and make them 5 links. See if there is an improvement, or not in the handling of the steering, bouncing, overall, how does it feel. If it feels better, then after another 5 or 10 minutes, adjust the chain one more link, 4 now. Drive it. Improved or not!

Do the fine adjustments with the chain links now. That can only be done by actually towing it.

Good luck!


Speculation and expert opinions are all I’m looking for really. Just want to make sure I did it all correct by the sounds of things.

Will take it for a drive and see what happens.

drsteve

Michigan

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Posted: 01/12/18 09:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sounds like you've got it pretty close to right. The washers referred to by Dutchmen Sport are spacers used to angle the hitch head. They should be shown in the instructions.

One thing I would mention is that while trailer tongue weight counts as cargo, cargo in the truck does not count as tongue weight. Your trailer probably has an actual loaded tongue weight of about 750 lb, so 1000 lb bars should work fine.

But yeah, hitch up and take a ride. I suspect you'll be just fine.

Edit: according to these instructions, those big bolts want 260 ft lb of torque. The diagram shows the spacer washers as #12b.

Clicky


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CSCustomCars

Schenectady, NY

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Posted: 01/12/18 10:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

drsteve wrote:

Sounds like you've got it pretty close to right. The washers referred to by Dutchmen Sport are spacers used to angle the hitch head. They should be shown in the instructions.

One thing I would mention is that while trailer tongue weight counts as cargo, cargo in the truck does not count as tongue weight. Your trailer probably has an actual loaded tongue weight of about 750 lb, so 1000 lb bars should work fine.

But yeah, hitch up and take a ride. I suspect you'll be just fine.

Edit: according to these instructions, those big bolts want 260 ft lb of torque. The diagram shows the spacer washers as #12b.

Clicky


Thank you for that info on the torque specs, I must have been spaced out and just never saw those numbers.
I’m fairly sure it’s probably all right based on everyone’s opinions thus far, so before I head out today or tomorrow for a test run, I’ll torque those bolts with my torque wrench.

As for the washers, I thought that’s what he meant, but my hitch has a thumb screw and a lock bolt. Thumb screw on top (had to use a pry bar to adjust it) and the lock bolt on the bottom to hold the angle. Makes sense why I didn’t know what he was talking about for sure, but I get it now.

old guy

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Posted: 01/12/18 12:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It is important to torque the bolts correctly. I was at a luncheon with classmates and as we were walking to our trucks one guy said my hitch head was loose. he was right, I had to go back to the shop and fix the problem. I'm lucky he saw it, I could have lost my TT towing like that.

CSCustomCars

Schenectady, NY

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Posted: 01/12/18 01:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

old guy wrote:

It is important to torque the bolts correctly. I was at a luncheon with classmates and as we were walking to our trucks one guy said my hitch head was loose. he was right, I had to go back to the shop and fix the problem. I'm lucky he saw it, I could have lost my TT towing like that.


I have every intention to torque them, no worries.

The load in my truck is actually about half of my tools. I want to be sure if any problems arise, that I’ll be equipped to fix them. So i will have my torque wrench with me for my travels.

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