Welding a Ball On Hitch

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hoss10

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Mar 13, 2016
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A strange question.
I recently purchased a very lightly used Equalizer hitch.  As many will know the balls on Equalizers require a special socket to install, I guess the RV dealer were the original owner bought his trailer and hitch didn't bother with the special socket and the ball was loose.  There had been a little wear but not too much (there is still paint on the middle of the hole) I did contact Equalizer and they said it shouldn't be a problem.  I bought a new ball from Equalizer and installed it with a correct socket and 450 pounds of torque.

My question what would be the downside (beside it being more difficult to remove the ball) to running a bead of weld around the base of the ball, and welding it to the hitch?  I seem to remember decades ago in my youth that we did it quite frequently when balls wouldn't stay tight.

Thanks for the help.
 

Joezeppy

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Mar 16, 2009
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Upstate NY - Kuyahoora Valley
hoss10 said:
A strange question.
As many will know the balls on Equalizers require a special socket to install, I guess the RV dealer were the original owner bought his trailer and hitch didn't bother with the special socket and the ball was loose. 
I don't have an answer about welding but funny you mention this. Back in 2004 we bought a used TT and a new Equal-izer hitch. The dealer set it up. After about 3 trips I noticed the ball was loose! My mechanic did not have the right size. My tire dealer did but it was not "thin walled". Being a typical small town, he handed me a pair of goggles, pointed me to the grinder and told me to keep grinding until it fit.  8)
 

jubileee

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Dec 17, 2013
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683
I just ?tack? the nut and the ball to the frame work. I try to make tacks accessible to at least die grinder cut off wheel.
 

blw2

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Aug 9, 2012
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Saint Johns, FL
I've seen folks on the road before with welded balls like that.  Part of me always wonders if the welder knew what he was doing...  Might be good, might not be.
seems like there's all sorts of opportunity to overheat the steel, change temper, change hardness, induce stresses, etc... that could change the load capacity......
 

lynnmor

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May 14, 2013
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Welding unlike metals will result in a poor weld, just forget about it since it is properly torqued.
 

hoss10

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Mar 13, 2016
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100
The advantage I can see to tacking in on is you will be able to see if it moves.

Not only did the "Geniuses" at the RV dealership not tighten the nut they also installed a ball with a standard length shank, resulting in the threads being messed up! 
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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24,783
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Davison Michigan
I agree with welding unlike metals may or may not work well.

I have done some add-on hitch welding.. I used the REESE Friction anti-sway bar and this required I add a second (Very small) ball to the hitch (Tow Vehicle) as well as to the tongue of the trailer.  I had an Aircraft Certified welder weld the "Tab" on. Also on a Drop adapter I had a 2nd Receiver welded on for a bicycle carrier.  Again same welder did it.  Both did good work.

I do know how to do welding. but when it is safety releated I get a certified welder to do it for liability reasons. Would hate to have a weld break at the wrong time.
 

ksbowman

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Jan 22, 2013
Posts
158
Both of my Dodge trucks have plates in the beds with a 2 5/16" balls welded to them to pull our stock trailer when not using a 5th hitch. One is a 2001 and one is a 2005 and I welded them both in with no problems yet. I am a certified welder so, it wasn't my first welding job. My hunting 5th wheel is a gooseneck and I've used it on the 01' since the truck was new. neither ball has fell off yet.
 

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