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Trailer Hitches/Trailer Brakes.....

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by 90blzr, Jul 3, 2001.

  1. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    Does anyone know how to tell what the hitch is rated for if the sticker is gone?? It is bolted on which I dont really like, mainly because the guy at the hitch said they are junk and told me a few stories. Is there a difference between the bolt on and weld on besides the way its mounted. What I mean is can you weld on a bolt on and get the same thing. The reason I'm asking is because I have a hitch and went to go get the module for the trailer brakes hooked up in the cab and the guy said he would recommenc replacing the hitch so I know what its rated for and also go with a weld on. I dont want to spend the $200 for the hitch if I dont have to. If there is no way to tell then I will just get the new one, cause a hitch is not something I want to be questionable. And you guys with trailer brakes what module did you go with (brand, etc.). I've heard the ones from NAPA are good. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    The ratings on mine (factory bolt-on) are stamped into the metal. I guess yours aren't if you can't find the rating.

    I may be way off base here, but I'm thinking that welding the hitch to the frame will destroy the frame's heat treatment in that area, and actually make it weaker around the hitch. 6 or 8 Grade 8 bolts should hold up to any load you may encounter. Opinions, anyone??


    If at first you don't succeed, failure may be your style...
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  3. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    Where was th rating stamped on yours?
     
  4. prjt_blzr

    prjt_blzr 1/2 ton status

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    Mine is stamped into the cross bar as well. These things can be rated up to 10,000Lbs. I tow a 7,500Lb trailer with about 1,000Lbs of gear in it with the bolt on design. No problems to date. Almost all of the receivers are bolt ons. I don't see the need or desire to weld one to the frame. What if you are hit from the rear? How do you go about fixing it without cutting into the frame?
     
  5. fr8train

    fr8train 1/2 ton status

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    My hitch has them stamped in on a top "trim" plate, above the reciever.
     
  6. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    You make some good points I hadnt considered. I guess since they only do weld ons where I went, OF COURSE they are going to say bolt ons suck! All I wanted was the trailer brake module and he says my hitch is junk. Glad I have CK5!! LOL!
    I'll check the hitch again for the rating.
     
  7. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Make sure it's a class III hitch if you are going to do any heavy towing. Bolt on hitches are just as good as weld on hitches (and I think are better). You do have to worry about the bolts coming loose (Very rare), but a quick check at every oil change takes what all of 30 seconds. Also make sure the hitch itself is in good shape, not overly rusted, check all welds for cracks, etc. How many bolts is it attached with, and is it just bolted to the bottom of the frame, or does it have brackets that mount to the sides as well? This will give us an idea of what class of hitch it is.

    If you didn't build it yourself, how can you call it yours.......?
     
  8. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    All the welds look real good, no cracks, its bolted to the frame with 1 bolt on the bottom and 3 on each side of the frame, so a total of 8 bolts. I will be towing a car trailer and Camaro, so I want to be sure it is Class III, like you said, for the heavier loads. Would measurements help? Oh yeah and I checked again for the stamping of the rating, couldnt find anything.

    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by 90blzr on 07/03/01 09:11 AM (server time).</FONT></P>
     
  9. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    So it's bolted and welded to the frame??

    Mine is the factory hitch. The ratings are stamped into the metal plate (kinda like a step) where the holes for the safety chains are punched. It sounds to me like your hitch is aftermarket, or possibly homemade. For some reason, I keep hearing this voice in my head telling me the stamped-in ratings are mandatory. But the little b@$tard in my head that says these things has been wrong many times before...[​IMG][​IMG]


    If at first you don't succeed, failure may be your style...
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  10. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

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    I wouldn't get the weld-on, they're weaker. We used to have a '78 2WD Sub with a weld-on hitch. We were going to pull some stumps one day and on the very first try, the right(or maybe it was the left, one of those)weld on the frame broke away. I have a Drawtite class III(bolt-on) that I use as a recovery point(very frequently [​IMG]), pull some stumps, and I towed a car from Houston to Austin with no problems and the bolts have never backed out

    Murphy's Laws on Life:
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  11. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    Sorry I wasnt clear on that. Its bolted onto the frame. I meant the welds around the hitch, the bracing, the way its all held together and made, those welds on the hitch itself are all good.

    Ok, I will NOT get the weld on hitch!! Thanks guys! So now I just need to find out what my rating is on the hithch I have now, so I can either get a new one or use my existing one.
    Any other ideas??
    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by 90blzr on 07/03/01 10:18 AM (server time).</FONT></P>
     
  12. Cmoe

    Cmoe 1/2 ton status

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    Go to another trailer hitch place......look at what they have and see if it looks yours with 8 bolts it may be a class 3 or even maybe a class 4.... does it go forward a long way under the truck..... conferm that all your bolts are 8 grade.... check all your nut also, if their not marked...CHANGE them to be sure..... and if your changing the nuts check the bolts to make sure they aren't cut due to them being loose at one time or another......

    Just my two cents worth.......

    C'moe

    <font color=black>the blazer is "Back in Black"
     
  13. Thunder

    Thunder 3/4 ton status

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    Every commercialy made hitch should have the rating stamped on it in a visible place. I think D.O.T. regulations require it
    If you cant find a rating stamp it is proabablly home made or very old. But if it looks like a class3 hitch and the welds look good it most likely will handle the load you need to pull. My neighbor makes coustom trailers and hitches all the time. he just copyes a commercial hitch. he has never had a problem with one failing. He is an excellent welder.
    I have a bolt on hitch on my 89. its been on sence the truck was new. I have towed a lot of trailers. Boats, travel trailers, trailers full of dirt, rocks, wood ect some way overloaded. I have had no problems with the bolt on hitch. I would trust a bolt on more than a weld on because the welds are only as good as the welder. Bolts are pretty standardized. Plus If you ever want to go out and do some hard 4 wheeling you can take off the hitch. So is wont drag and screw up your departure angles.
    For a brake module I am using a Tekonsha. Its been on my Blazer sence it was new and still works good.

    <font color=orange>GOT HORSEPOWER?</font color=orange>
     
  14. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    If you just want to buy a new one, JC Whitney has Class V hitches. I think they're rated for 12,000 lb!

    Tim
    '84 Chevy K10, lifted, loud, fast, and 3/4 ton axles
     
  15. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    I went to another hitch place at lunch and got some more advice. He looked at mine and said he was sure it was a class 3, and he even is going to weld 2 more tabs to bolt it on in one more place and put all 1/2" grade 8 bolts in it on Thursday morning for $20. He didnt like the weld on hithches either, he said the same thing you all said. I told him I just didnt want any doubt as to how strong it was. He said he would sell me a new one for $125, but he said mine would be fine and not to waste my money. It's nice to know there are some places that arent always about the money, and really do want the best thing for the customer. I also bought the control mod. for the trailer brakes from him. Thanks for the help guys!
     

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