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Pintle hitch??

Discussion in 'Tow & Trailer' started by Thumper, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. Thumper

    Thumper 1/2 ton status

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    Just wondering what the general consensus was regarding pintle hitches for towing.
    The reason I ask is that I am building a towbar to tow my K5 around. Its going to incorporate a hydraulic surge brake unit that is T'd into my rear disc brakes on the K5. I am robbing the brake unit from an ex-military 3/4 ton trailer. I just spent 20 minutes staring at it trying to figure out how I was going to convert it from the trailer tongue, into a towbar mount, then convert the pintle to a ball type. Then a brainstorm hit me. Why not cut the entire tongue off the trailer at the right width for the towbar mounts, and use the entire thing including the pintle? Then I can build a new tongue for the trailer with a ball hitch on it a lot easier than trying to mod the brake unit onto a built towbar.
    Any issues you can foresee with this? Running the pintle that is.
    I have thoroughly thought this brake setup and I am positive it will work, but how will running the pintle be on a towbar?
    We run the pintles on everything at work, and I have run this trailer with it for 1 1/2 yrs now without any issues, and they are strong, so I figure it should be ok for a towbar too... but I wanted to ask the 'experts'. Hehe. /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif

    Thanks.
    Mike
    /forums/images/graemlins/truck.gif- /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  2. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

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    PM James, jac6695, I know he tows his K5 on a trailer with a pintle setup....
     
  3. hatchetjack

    hatchetjack Registered Member

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    Have thousands of miles towing via pintle, they work just fine. IMO only consideration is that some of the hollow cast pintles (as used on the A-1B, etc) would break right where the ring was welded to the stem. Plates were added over that section to strenghthen them. If you don't have the cast pintle, no problem.
     
  4. az-k5

    az-k5 1/2 ton status

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    They can be noisey, but the good ones are strong as can be.
     
  5. Thumper

    Thumper 1/2 ton status

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    Well, thats what I figured. They are rated at a pile more weight than a ball, and with my trailer now it does rattle and clank a bit especially when the load inside is in the center or back... it kinda takes the weight off the tongue so it bounces more. But with a towbar, there is no weight on it anyways, except pull weight, so maybe it wont bounce. The only movement I will get is a bit of side to side.
    Cool... well, I am going for it.
    I will let you know how it works out. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    Mike
     
  6. kennyw

    kennyw N9PHW Premium Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    The only movement I will get is a bit of side to side.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I have done alot of towing with a tow bar and any slop in the tow bar is going to create a terrible tow. I dont think a pintle hitch is a good idea for what you are doing. Why do you need surge brakes on a tow bar anyway?
     
  7. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    The only movement I will get is a bit of side to side.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I have done alot of towing with a tow bar and any slop in the tow bar is going to create a terrible tow. I dont think a pintle hitch is a good idea for what you are doing. Why do you need surge brakes on a tow bar anyway?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I am thinking of the same thing except using a regular surge brake setup for a ball hitch and hooking it up to the brakes on my K5.
    I think this will work better since it's tight , no slop so the brakes will be smooth.
    I tow my boat and trailer with surge brakes and I think it should be fine.
    I don;t know about the pintle and the slop it creates.
    I only like the pintle for it's strength but I don;t like how much slop and noise it makes. We use them in construction here a lot so I know first hand how bad that is, it keeps jerking you around because of the slop, and flat towing with slop like that is not something I want to do.
    Flat towing with a tight ball setup and no brakes was scary enough.
    /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  8. Thumper

    Thumper 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]




    I have done alot of towing with a tow bar and any slop in the tow bar is going to create a terrible tow. I dont think a
    pintle hitch is a good idea for what you are doing. Why do you need surge brakes on a tow bar anyway?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Well, I dont know what you are towing with your towbar, but pulling a 6000lb truck (with no brakes) behind a 6200lb truck is ok for level roads, but any types of hills or a quick stop and kiss both rigs goodbye. I figure the surge brakes are way better than no brakes.
    As for the pintle slop, like I said, with the trailer behind, I never noticed any sway. The only issue I saw was the noise it made when the trailer was loaded towards the rear, then the hitch would bounce up and down. If I loaded it forward, it wouldnt even do that.

    I dunno, I will prolly give it a try and see. A guy has to think outside the box sometimes. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    Mike
     
  9. kennyw

    kennyw N9PHW Premium Member

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    I have towed everything from S10's to 2 ton trucks with 3/4 and 1 ton trucks as the tow rig using a clamp on bumper mount tow bar (ancient uhaul variety). I have towed over mountain passes and flat ground as well. I would not use a 6K truck to pull a 6K truck over the mountains on a regular basis, but would for an emergency tow and not go over 35-40 mph (depending on how well it is handling).

    Surge brakes will need to be set up on your rear axle only otherwise the front of the vehicle being towed will pitch side to side when the brakes are applied if there is even the slightest pull to one direction (pulls left then rebounds right as the tow bar corrects the steering, then becomes a vicious cycle).

    As for the pintle hitch, the slop I am worried about is when coasting down a hill and the weight of the vehicle behind you transfers from a pull to a push (and vise versa). There will be enough room for the slop to affect the steering for a second and that can cause the towing vehicle to go out of control.

    I think there may be some possiblility of making some of this work but it may not be good for anything over 30 MPH if you cant take the slop out.
     
  10. Thumper

    Thumper 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    As for the pintle hitch, the slop I am worried about is when coasting down a hill and the weight of the
    vehicle behind you transfers from a pull to a push (and vise versa). There will be enough room for the
    slop to affect the steering for a second and that can cause the towing vehicle to go out of control.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Well, thats the input I was looking for. However, if I am thinking correctly, the slop causing a side to side catastrophic wobble will be compromised a lot by the fact that the rear vehicle will have brakes. As the setup coasts down the hill, the trailing vehicle catches up to the towing truck, activating the surge brake and applying the brakes to the rear vehicle. I will have only the rear disc brakes on my K5 actuated by the surge unit, so this should help to control any type of wobble.
    I have towed my K5 behind my 2001 1500 Ram Quad cab with the towbar a couple times, and at 50-60mph without any issues. But the reason behind all this is the fact that it didnt have any sort of brakes. We had one fairly fast stop to make, and it was pushing us pretty good... one quick steering movement to avoid something and it coulda gotten bad real fast. Thats the reason behind the surge brakes. Without any brakes, I wouldnt even try to tow it over any passes or mountains.

    I am fabbing the towbar up today, and hopefully can go out for a little test run this weekend. I will post up how it works.

    Mike
     

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