Aluminum Ball Mount

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

tlmgcamp

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 16, 2016
Posts
99
Recently bought Class III aluminum ball mount.  When I attached the ball, I noted that the split lock washer was scratching the aluminum as I cranked down on it.  Is there an issue with the relative hardness of the aluminum?  Will the forces eventually cause the split washer to indent into the aluminum to loosen things?  Thinking about a flat washer between the lock washer and the ball mount.  Any thoughts out there?
 

jubileee

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2013
Posts
708
I always put a stainless steel flat washer between aluminum and lock washer/nut. Never used a aluminum ball mount, but have made hundreds of connections on aluminum semi trailers. If you gouge the aluminum, it?s a good place for a crack to start and the stainless steel offers some galvanic protection.
 

Rene T

Site Team
Joined
May 20, 2011
Posts
19,474
Location
Farmington NH
IMHO, If you put a flat washer under a lock washer, there's no need for that lock washer. It is intended to dig into the material and the nut so the nut will not loosen up.  By using a flat washer, you're turning the lock washer into a compression washer which is useless in this type of application.
 

jubileee

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2013
Posts
708
Rene T said:
IMHO, If you put a flat washer under a lock washer, there's no need for that lock washer. It is intended to dig into the material and the nut so the nut will not loosen up.  By using a flat washer, you're turning the lock washer into a compression washer which is useless in this type of application.

IMO split lock washers are useless in metal applications,but I didn?t want to open that can of worms. 
 

Rene T

Site Team
Joined
May 20, 2011
Posts
19,474
Location
Farmington NH
jubileee said:
IMO split lock washers are useless in metal applications,but I didn?t want to open that can of worms.

Can you elaborate a little because that's what lock washers are designed to do. This is the definition:

Different lock washers perform this function in slightly different ways, but the basic concept is to hold the nut and bolt in place. Some lock washers achieve this function by biting into the base material (bolt) and the nut with their ends.
 

grashley

Well-known member
Joined
May 7, 2015
Posts
6,591
Location
Western Kentucky
I could well be in error, but I thought the split washer was to be tightened to near flat.  The force applied to the bolt and base make it harder to turn, "locking" it in place.
 

Rene T

Site Team
Joined
May 20, 2011
Posts
19,474
Location
Farmington NH
grashley said:
I could well be in error, but I thought the split washer was to be tightened to near flat.  The force applied to the bolt and base make it harder to turn, "locking" it in place.

You are right Gordon. The ends of the lockwasher was suppose to dig into both pieces preventing them from backing off.
 

Utclmjmpr

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 14, 2009
Posts
5,617
Location
Cedar City, UT
A "star" washer basically does the same,, by digging into the two apposing surfaces it locks the one that's turning.>>>Dan
( Also every "ball" I've purchased has had a spiral lock washer supplied)
 
Top Bottom