Monday, August 11, 2014

So Dude says:

"Man, my trailer hitch is stuck in the receiver.."

Me: "Gotta take 'em out every few years and clean up the rust. Or use "Never Seize"..even so, take 'em out once a year.".

He says: "I had it moving back and forth about a 1/4" in June, but  I was afraid I'd break the chain and I didn't have anything but a telephone pole to hook to, and it swayed too much".

Me: "Bring it over, I got a chain your truck can't break and a tree you can't pull down....We'll get it out".

So he comes over on Sunday, and we proceed to hook the chain to the tree and the truck.

Bang!    Bang!    nope, not moving. Shook the tree a bit and pissed off the squirrels, but no joy.

Try a little heat and some Strike Hold....

Bang! Bang! Bang! Nope, still not moving. More heat...enough that I went and got a piece of aluminum sheet to act as a heat deflector so I didn't melt the plastic on his bumper. Lots of Strike-Hold (from both ends) and some gentle love with the air hammer to crack the rust.

Bang! Bang! Bang! Nope. Nothing. Not any movement at all. It's like the pin is still in (it isn't).

Got out the bigger torch head. Still nothing. Am afraid I am gonna pull the hitch out from under his truck.   There is no more paint on the receiver or the hitch itself. The chrome is peeling off the ball from the heat.  The bottom of the receiver is orange. Much more and something is gonna catch fire.....The squirrels are pissed and have filed an OSHA complaint and are ready to go to the Housing Board. All told, I have been at it for over an hour...

Me: "Dude, how did you get it to move a few months ago? It is STUCK."

Him: "I don't rightly remember. It's been over a year...."

Me: So when it moved, it wasn't LAST June.......2 months ago??

Him: "Nope, a year ago this last June....I think. Maybe longer. "

I unhooked the chain, dragged it to the barn (it is a 1" chain) and put it away. And the torch and the rest. Spooled up the air hose, put the air hammer away.

Him: "You are just gonna give up? I though you said you could get it out.?

Me: "Nope. I'm done. Go find a dealer and buy another'll be easier, and likely cheaper. If I'da known it hadn't moved since June a YEAR ago, I'd not have wasted my time. It has been rusted in place for over two years or more. Go home"

Ass. I wasted a fair amount of a Sunday trying to help an idiot. Coulda been splitting wood.


og said...

I've had some luck using WORKS toilet bow cleaner(Hydrochloric acid) on rust, but you're exactly right, cheaper timewise to get a new hitch. What a pain.

Old NFO said...

Oh damn... TWO years? Yep, it's NEVER coming out!

Jon said...

One of the benefits to living in the high desert - minimal rust. I've left my receiver hitch in place for several years without any ill effects, aside from running into the stupid thing with my shins.

Phil said...

A true face palm moment.

David aka True Blue Sam said...

Forty-five years ago this engine was totally frozen up. The piston was exposed to the elements, and it was stuck tight. I used Liquid Wrench through the lubricator hole with air behind it, and in a few days it seeped through. I was able to disassemble the engine, put it back together and run it at a show before I stored it away for decades. Look at it now. I still love the smell of Liquid Wrench.

B said...

If this had been an irreplaceable engine, i would have waited and let it work. It was a trailer hitch on the truck of a person too lazy to remove it and lube it twice a year.

easier to replace the hitch.

I have a Fairbanks 6hp igniter engine that took 6 years to get the piston free. That was worth the work.

This was a trailer hitch that was easily replaceable for a few hundred bucks.