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Posted: 8/14/2012 3:15:57 PM EDT
So I removed the trailer hitch from my Silverado in the hopes of removing the rust and repainting it.
However, the pin that keeps the ball mount in the receiver seems to be stuck.
I've heated it with a torch, let some WD40 soak (thinking it may be rusted stuck) wailed on it with a hammer, and I cant get any movement out of the thing.
I cut of one end of the pin hoping to drive it out the other side, but the thing wont budge. Im thinking the previous owner may have backed into something and bent the pin.

What are my options? Any ideas on getting this pin out so I dont have to get a whole new hitch?
Pics below



Link Posted: 8/14/2012 4:08:33 PM EDT
Looks like you have mushroomed the end of the pin. Can you push it back through and grind the mushroom off.
Link Posted: 8/14/2012 4:08:46 PM EDT
Is there any movement between the ball mount and the receiver? If they are rusted together it could cause the pin to bind. Try banging on the ball mount to try to loosen it up.
Link Posted: 8/14/2012 4:09:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/14/2012 4:12:44 PM EDT by Trollslayer]
It's a puzzle.

1. Cut off the other end and try to hammer it out in the other direction.

2. Soak the entire assembly in oxalic acid (eats rust, won't touch steel) using a kiddie pool or basin of some sort. Sold in most hardware stores, sometimes sold as wood bleach. If it doesn't come out, it isn't rust.

3. Drill out the center of the pin, go in about half way from each end. Insert punch into ball mount (from front facing end) and bend pin until it falls free.

4. Get a long blade for a Sawzall and cut pin in center of ball mount. Perhaps cut the pin twice, once on each side. Center of pin will then fall free and remaining plugs can be punched out because they are not connected/wedged.

5. Burn it, then piss on it to put out the fire and go buy a new one.


Pin looks peened, for sure.
Link Posted: 8/14/2012 4:16:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Holloway:
Is there any movement between the ball mount and the receiver? If they are rusted together it could cause the pin to bind. Try banging on the ball mount to try to loosen it up.


There is a lot of movement- the mount and receiver are definitely not rusted together. If I didn't know any better, I would say the pin is welded to the ball mount from the inside...

I did try drilling the center of the pin out from the flat end (that is now slightly mushroomed), but it was taking forever and not making much progress.
Any specific drill bits recommended for metal? I have a bunch of the Ryobi wood/metal ones but they seemed to dull pretty quick

Link Posted: 8/14/2012 5:44:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By dbnorton:
Looks like you have mushroomed the end of the pin. Can you push it back through and grind the mushroom off.


Yep that what is wrong
Link Posted: 8/14/2012 5:51:56 PM EDT
I'd shoot the mushroomed end with my AK using some Chinese hardened steel core ammo. I've solved a few similar problems this way. Any extra holes you can weld up. I think it would be the fastest, and thus the best, way.
Link Posted: 8/14/2012 6:02:57 PM EDT
Hacksaw/sawzall blade between the ball mount and receiver tube; cut the pin on both sides on the inside. Since you're probably going to be replacing the ball mount anyways, might as well cut the end off that so you're not bending the blade around the flange. (Now that I see it's off the truck, hell, do it from the back side. SIIHPAPP!

Good luck.
Link Posted: 8/14/2012 6:23:56 PM EDT
The mushroom isnt holding me back. Its barely deformed, despite what the pic looks like, and certainly not strong enough to stop it from being driven out.

The back side of the ball mount is solid- its not open.
It sure seems like the entire ball mount is solid- not hollow. What are the chances of that?

I just cut the other side of the pin flush with the mount, and have a pencil sized hole going through the middle of the pin.
I put a steel punch in the hole when it was about halfway through and pounded on it again, both ways, and it showed no signs of moving

Not sure what my next step is.
Im thinking of slowly working my way up to larger diameter hole... and then.... not sure?
Link Posted: 8/14/2012 6:34:01 PM EDT
I'd start working my way up in drill sizes working from both sides so you dont have to drill all the way thru At some point you'll have no pin left in the hitch.
Link Posted: 8/14/2012 6:37:17 PM EDT
Originally Posted By crag_dt:
Im thinking of slowly working my way up to larger diameter hole... and then.... not sure?


You don't have to drill out the entire pin. Just enough to clear the receiver. As you move up to larger size drill bits, you will need to slow down your drill. Used lots of lube and keep your bits sharp.
Link Posted: 8/14/2012 8:02:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/14/2012 8:03:40 PM EDT by ragedracer1977]
Originally Posted By crag_dt:

It sure seems like the entire ball mount is solid- not hollow. What are the chances of that?




That could be your problem. I had a 10k lb ball mount that was solid iron. It might be that the pin is rusted in the hole. In fact, I'd bet that's the most likely scenario if it's a solid mount.

ETA: Just looked at your pic closer, it is a 10k mount. It very likely is solid, meaning the pin can rust to it all the way through, instead of just at the walls.
Link Posted: 8/14/2012 8:51:47 PM EDT
Oxalic acid will eat that rust alive.

If you're not having success drilling, you are probably not using cutting fluid (lube) when drilling. It could also be dull bits.

Then again, it could easily be a hardened pin (probably is). Hard = strong (high shear strength). If it's a hardened pin, you'll need to anneal it (torch).

What do they cost to just replace?
Link Posted: 8/14/2012 9:33:19 PM EDT
Jump up and down on the hitch.

Then wiggle it.
Link Posted: 8/14/2012 9:38:24 PM EDT
skip the WD-40 and go with break free or PB blaster. spray it and let it soak in then spray it again then spray it again. spray it every hour for a day or so.
Link Posted: 8/15/2012 5:55:15 AM EDT
Cutting torch? Just cut the pin in half.
Link Posted: 8/15/2012 6:26:51 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Waveform:
I'd shoot the mushroomed end with my AK using some Chinese hardened steel core ammo. I've solved a few similar problems this way. Any extra holes you can weld up. I think it would be the fastest, and thus the best, way.


I watched a guy mounting a toolbox in the back of his Chevy, use a .38 to "drill" the holes in his bed.

Yes, alcohol was involved.
Link Posted: 8/15/2012 1:23:35 PM EDT
bash the leg of the pin that's sticking out with a sledge hammer to loosen it up
Link Posted: 8/15/2012 3:20:31 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AssaultRifler:
bash the leg of the pin that's sticking out with a sledge hammer to loosen it up


Did you read anything the op has posted he said he has already cut it off


The mushroom isnt holding me back. Its barely deformed, despite what the pic looks like, and certainly not strong enough to stop it from being driven out.

The back side of the ball mount is solid- its not open.
It sure seems like the entire ball mount is solid- not hollow. What are the chances of that?

I just cut the other side of the pin flush with the mount, and have a pencil sized hole going through the middle of the pin.
I put a steel punch in the hole when it was about halfway through and pounded on it again, both ways, and it showed no signs of moving

Not sure what my next step is.
Im thinking of slowly working my way up to larger diameter hole... and then.... not sure?
Link Posted: 8/15/2012 3:37:24 PM EDT
Thanks everyone for all of your help- it has become this massive struggle of wills. It doesn't help that sammich maker is just telling me to buy a new one... Nevar!!!

Here are updated pics. I have a hole drilled in both sides. I'm going to run into the problem of not having a drill large enough to be able to drill out the entire diameter of the pin...
Thinking about the PB blaster route, although I have pounded the living hell out of this thing both directions and no movement up to this point.



And a pic of the back of the ball mount. This thing is definitely solid




Link Posted: 8/15/2012 3:50:08 PM EDT
Someone you know must have a 100 ton press.
Link Posted: 8/15/2012 3:56:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JosephTurrisi:
Originally Posted By AssaultRifler:
bash the leg of the pin that's sticking out with a sledge hammer to loosen it up


Did you read anything the op has posted he said he has already cut it off




No. My time is valuable
Link Posted: 8/15/2012 4:11:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By crag_dt:
Thanks everyone for all of your help- it has become this massive struggle of wills. It doesn't help that sammich maker is just telling me to buy a new one... Nevar!!!

Here are updated pics. I have a hole drilled in both sides. I'm going to run into the problem of not having a drill large enough to be able to drill out the entire diameter of the pin...
Thinking about the PB blaster route, although I have pounded the living hell out of this thing both directions and no movement up to this point.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v95/craigdt/IMG_1263.jpg

And a pic of the back of the ball mount. This thing is definitely solid



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v95/craigdt/IMG_1266.jpg


have you used the hitch to jerk stumps etc???......if so maybe pin is bent inside the receiver in a slight U shape???
Link Posted: 8/15/2012 4:33:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/15/2012 4:34:06 PM EDT by zegermanznew]
NVM
Link Posted: 8/15/2012 6:03:01 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Waveform:
Someone you know must have a 100 ton press.


This. Even a cheap HF 20 ton press should make short work of that pin.

Good luck, OP!
Link Posted: 8/15/2012 7:25:19 PM EDT
Originally Posted By crag_dt:
Thanks everyone for all of your help- it has become this massive struggle of wills. It doesn't help that sammich maker is just telling me to buy a new one... Nevar!!!

Here are updated pics. I have a hole drilled in both sides. I'm going to run into the problem of not having a drill large enough to be able to drill out the entire diameter of the pin...
Thinking about the PB blaster route, although I have pounded the living hell out of this thing both directions and no movement up to this point.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v95/craigdt/IMG_1263.jpg

And a pic of the back of the ball mount. This thing is definitely solid



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v95/craigdt/IMG_1266.jpg


That looks like one of those cushioned ball mounts. If you know anyone with a press that's your ticket. Maybe some of the local machine shops would press it out at a reasonable price.
Link Posted: 8/15/2012 10:25:45 PM EDT
That looks like one of those cushioned ball mounts. If you know anyone with a press that's your ticket. Maybe some of the local machine shops would press it out at a reasonable price.


Good advice, try a local machine shop. Who knows, they may even do it for free!
Link Posted: 8/16/2012 4:28:27 PM EDT
Victory!

Here is pics of the sumbitch. You can see the numerous holes I drilled, and the host of broken punches and drill bits. I pretty much drilled away as much of the material as I could, torched it frequently and hammered it through one side.


I've been pounding on it for 2 days- neighbor came out and complained about the noise at one point.
I thought about asking if she wanted to play the part of the 20 ton press, but thought better of it...





Now, any great ideas on stripping the paint and rust to prep for new paint?






Link Posted: 8/17/2012 7:38:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/17/2012 7:39:12 AM EDT by Trollslayer]
Originally Posted By crag_dt:

Now, any great ideas on stripping the paint and rust to prep for new paint?


Assuming you don't have a grit blaster, strip the old paint by power sanding (grinding wheel with flapper wheel thingie, orbital sander,... not by hand).

I have to say it again - oxalic acid will eat that rust. The steel will come out of the bath shiny grey. It does not hurt the steel at all. Naval jelly sucks, oxalic acid WORKS!

Paint the bare steel with self-etching primer followed by two-part epoxy paint from an auto parts store. Failing that, get one part epoxy paint from th ehardware store. Powder coating would be best but is not a DIY project.

I hope this helps.


Do you have a source to buy a replacement pin?
Link Posted: 8/17/2012 7:53:17 AM EDT
wire wheel on a drill. dont forget eye protection. give it hell and dont worry if there is a little paint left. if its still on there after hitting it with the wire wheel then it has good adhesion and will be just fine as a base for the new coat of paint.
Link Posted: 8/17/2012 8:02:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/17/2012 8:08:36 AM EDT by fal72con]
Cobalt drill bits, slow drill speed, heavy pressure and lots of lube. Keep stepping up in size from each end of the pin. Once you have drilled out all the pin material holding the hitch in the mount tube, it should drop/drive out. Then you can take it to the press to drive out the pin or put enough heat on the pin to break it free. Trying either press or heat while it's still stuck in the tube is futile.

Well crap. Didn't notice there was a second page until I posted. Congrats. I like a knotted wire brush wheel in my 4 1/2" grinder for cleanup. I have two setups- one is a cup wheel and the other is a flat wheel.
Link Posted: 8/17/2012 10:32:37 AM EDT
I know you guys are recommending wire wheels but I don't care for them. To each his own and whatever works. Usually, it comes down to what you have on hand, already.
Link Posted: 8/17/2012 11:54:08 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Trollslayer:
Originally Posted By crag_dt:

Now, any great ideas on stripping the paint and rust to prep for new paint?


I have to say it again - oxalic acid will eat that rust. The steel will come out of the bath shiny grey. It does not hurt the steel at all. Naval jelly sucks, oxalic acid WORKS!

Do you have a source to buy a replacement pin?



Is the oxalic acid something I can get at an auto store/hardware store?
I had one of those cup wire wheels that I used for a few minutes last night. Wasnt overly impressed with the results. I think I may try one of the wheel style or probably the acid bath.


And I plan on getting basically the same style of pin. Do you guys have a recommendation for me? I don't think I really need one of the locking style.
Link Posted: 8/17/2012 7:05:26 PM EDT
Oxalic acid is sold as wood bleach in hardware stores. You may also find it in bulk as oxalic acid.
Link Posted: 8/19/2012 9:04:05 AM EDT
I know it's a little late to consider this, but if you had it to do over again, I suspect that buying a new hitch would have been 'cheaper'.
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