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These are a few of the common issues and questions we get about our WD Hitch. Most of the issues experienced are due to improper installation or hook up. See the Andersen WD Hitch thread for general information about our WD.

 

Q. How do I get my triangle plate straight?

 

A. Often times when someone discovers their plate is crooked is when they are trying to hook the trailer up again and can’t get a chain to reach. Why this happens is the trailer is unhooked when it is turned and then they back straight into the trailer to hook up. It will be practically impossible to move the tringle plate by hand at this point (Don't hammer or try to pry it straight),  hook the coupler on the ball and release the short chain from the triangle plate. Once the short chain is released, pin the triangle plate in place, retract the tongue jack and drive forward perhaps even turning the other direction to get the attached chain to straighten the triangle plate. Once it is straight raise the tongue, reattach the chain and hook up as normal. To prevent this issue, try to unhook and hookup as straight as possible.

 

Q. Why is my WD making an awful noise?

 

A. This is the unfortunate side effect of doing all of our R&D testing out West where it is very dry. What is happening is the quietest WD on the market is getting moisture in the friction material and it sounds like the spawn of the underworld has manifest in your RV. For this we sincerely apologize, it does not affect safety but it can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. The good news is there is an easy cure; Send me and email: Sage@Anderseninc.com with “ Noisy WD Warranty” in the subject line, include your name and shipping information and we will send you a new friction cone with an updated material that handles moisture much better.  If you are changing this the easiest way to get the ball out is to remove the retainer clip from the bottom of the ball assembly, then reinstall the rack in your receiver hitch and use a jack to lift the ball out of the housing. After inserting the new friction material you can turn the drop rack upside down in your receiver hitch and jack the ball in so the retainer clip will go on.

 

Q. Can I back up without unhooking?

 

A. Yes you can. Because of the ball turning in the housing there is no need to unhook anything when you back up, it will not damage the hitch or trailer. With any hitch it is possible to jackknife a trailer so please don’t turn so sharp in reverse that the trailer contacts the bumper of the tow vehicle.

 

Q. When I get to about 40 MPH my trailer starts swaying bad. What should I do?

 

A. This is a conflict of two great systems and is not exclusive to Andersen WD. Many of the newer vehicles are coming with a trailer sway protection on them. This is a system that applies slight braking inputs to the opposite sides of the vehicle to minimize and correct trailer sway. The newer F-150 is the most common vehicle with this feature. This system fights against anti-sway hitches of any manufacturer. If this is something you are experiencing just turn that feature off in your vehicle each time you start it.

 

Q. Can I turn my drop rack over and use it in the rise position?

 

A. Yes you can. The rack is safe to use in the drop or rise position, the important thing is to get your trailer riding level.

 

Q. I have a class 5 receiver will this hitch work?

 

A. Yes, we have two options; there is a reduction sleeve 2.5” to 2” but this can create extra movement in the receiver. We also build the drop rack in in the 4” and 8” drop that has a 2.5” receiver for the class 5 tow package.  Have your dealer order the appropriate receiver when buying the hitch to avoid shipping and restock charges.

 

Q. I have the rack in the rise position and can’t open the back of my SUV.

 

A. We build the racks with a custom 3” extension on the shank to get you a little better clearance, this also works well for spare tire interference.

 

Q. My truck is lifted will this hitch still work?

 

A. Most likely, we can do a 4” and an 8” adjustment on the rack. The 4” works on most vehicles and the 8” gets you a little more reach. See our fit guide at AndersenHitches.com. Have your dealer order the appropriate receiver when buying the hitch to avoid shipping and restock charges.

 

Q. How is this a greaseless system?

 

A. The way the ball turns in the housing eliminates any friction between the coupler and ball, they turn together so there is no friction and no need for grease.

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Hi Buzzy, Thanks for the warm welcome,

 

Based on your comment from my other thread:     "I am a new owner (June 9, 2016). I really like using the Andersen Hitch, but I do not really know how much weight is being redistributed to the front axle on my tow vehicle. The “bulge” in the red bushings is new knowledge for me. I do maintain an equal number of threads on each side. However, I clearly have not attempted to seek tension on the chains prior to retracting the tongue jack. As a result, I bet I am not gaining the kind of weight distribution I seek."      It sounds like your chains may not be tight enough to activate the weight distributing or sway control of the hitch so it is not fighting your trucks computer system. I would guess that as you tension the chains before putting the weight down and get a slight bulge in the red bushing it will start to conflict with the truck anti-sway feature.  Basically if you are using our hitch for weight distribution you will probably want to turn off the trucks sway control, if you are just wanting sway control your F-150 will do great by its self and you could remove the chains and use the ball as a regular hitch.

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I emailed Anderson with this question a few months ago and never received a reply.

 

How does the hitch do in continual heavy dust? Does the friction insert get damaged or become sticky in its movement?

 

I drive on north Idaho National Forest dirt roads and in the summer they can be extremely dusty.

 

Thanks.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Sage: Is there any issues with the Anderson WDH if grease is used on the trailer ball?

Keep in mind that even tho the entire ball assembly rotates during turns, the coupler is still going to rotate up and down on the ball as you drive over dips or bumps. I think grease is always appropriate for any heavy tongue load. A little utility trailer? No need for lube at all.

 

If the ball and coupler rust, then you get serious, rapidly escalating damage to both parts. It's best to keep them slick and rust free, always.

 

It does make for swearing when you get dirty grease on your pants leg, plus you need to remember to wipe out the old yucky grease from the coupler every so often.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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How does the hitch do in continual heavy dust? Does the friction insert get damaged or become sticky in its movement? I drive on north Idaho National Forest dirt roads and in the summer they can be extremely dusty.

 

This hitch does great in dusty conditions. The only issue we have ever had is the friction cone material took a couple tries to get it right for all conditions and we are covering that through warranty. It was a combination of the high pressure and moisture that would cause the problems with the previous cones but dust and dirt have never been a problem. They are always sticky in their movement, the heavier the tongue load the harder it pushes on the friction material creating more resistance. It will be almost impossible to rotate the ball by hand especially after you have pulled a trailer. The fiction cone is a wear item $12.99 but should last for many years and thousands of miles.

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John is exactly right. Greasing the ball is not necessary but it will not adversely effect anything if you do.

Sage, no offense, but you misrepresent what I said. I indicated that grease was a good idea (in fact I would never tow without grease on any heavily loaded hitch ball). You imply that it isn't needed at all. These are two different positions entirely.

 

Once the chrome wears off the ball, and the paint off the coupler, you will get corrosion and it _will_ wreck the parts, sooner or later. Harsh conditions (road chemicals, dust, water) hasten things.

 

Perhaps you are referring to the Anderson greaseless hitch ball? Correct me if I am wrong, but that unit doesn't come standard with the WD hitch. I would be happy using one of those without any lube in a clean towing environment. How do those hold up in the long run? Do they get damaged by old worn couplers? Can you please comment?

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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John, you are correct there will always be some movement between the ball and coupler, it may even wear the chrome plating on the ball, it may develop rust. Grease is just fine to use so you are welcome to do what works best for your situation.  The WD Hitch only comes with our plated steel ball but due to the minimal movement between it and the coupler grease is not necessary. Will grease extend the lifespan? Yes, but even without a lubricant the ball and coupler will outlast the tow vehicle, the trailer and most likely the owner's desire to pull a trailer. So let's leave this up to the end user to decide if the messy hands and greasy shin wounds be more of a benefit than an oxidized ball.

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Will grease extend the lifespan? Yes, but even without a lubricant the ball and coupler will outlast the tow vehicle, the trailer and most likely the owner’s desire to pull a trailer. So let’s leave this up to the end user to decide.

Unlike your typical stick and staple trailer that has a lifespan of twenty years at best, and that may only see a few thousand miles of use in its lifetime, Olivers are expensive "heritage trailers", designed and intended to pass on to future generations. Other than the poor standard Dexter suspension, they are intended to go many, many miles and last fifty years. Any owner that does not try to eliminate wear and tear of his $60,000 trailer by simple precautions such as lubing the coupler should be prepared to replace the parts when they inevitably get nasty.

 

Steel on steel movement under high loads without any lube is always very bad news, regardless of the application.

 

But you are indeed correct: in the end the end user decides, always. But don't think for a second that a ball will outlast an Oliver.

 

Do you care to answer my questions about the greaseless hitch ball?

 

Thanks for your participation. Please do not take my disagreement as anything but constructive. I think Anderson offers a superior product, and I wish more manufacturers participated here.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Hey John, I looked at the greaseless ball on their website and to my untrained eye it doesn't look like it will fit the same as the one that comes with the WDH. Maybe one of the nylon caps that come on the greaseless one would fit the standard ball. I dunno. What trailer do you have?

 

randy

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Hey John, I looked at the greaseless ball on their website and to my untrained eye it doesn’t look like it will fit the same as the one that comes with the WDH. Maybe one of the nylon caps that come on the greaseless one would fit the standard ball. I dunno. What trailer do you have? randy

I have no Oliver yet, I am working on that situation. ;)

 

My mistake, I thought it was available for the WD hitch, but I was wrong. They make regular threaded balls as well as ones with a smooth straight shaft for their switchable ball mount, using the same type of top coating, sleeve, top hat, cap, whatever you want to call it.

 

I am sure it quiets and lubricates, but IMHO that benefit would only be for a "like new" coupler in a clean environment. Add some pitting and flaking inside the coupler socket, and grit and water from a run down an unimproved road, and you will have a real mess on your hands.

 

I think! Which is why I am trying to see how they hold up in the long run. My gut feeling is that they are a gimmick.

 

Since it isn't available for the WD hitch maybe I should just go away now....

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I will add, the resulting change in how my tow vehicle feels is dramatic.  Not knowing the metrics or how the steering would feel with an engaged WDH, I was quite frankly stunned my how much better the F150 behaves.  Originally, my focus on collecting metrics was to determine if I really needed to use a WDH.  Now my focus has changed to whether or not I am realizing the maximum benefit. I have attached a few pictures below which might be helpful. Buzzy Bulge in Red Bushing.

 

That is great news, I am glad that you noticed an improvement in the towing. I might suggest moving your frame brackets aft another inch or so to give you a few more threads to work with and for your socket to reach a little easier. The bulge you have in your photo is about perfect for a smaller trailer, a good rule of thumb is the larger the bulge of the red bushing the more weight will be distributed.

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Sage, As I look at the attachment of the brackets to the frame, moving them aft might not be possible. Would shortening the chains be an alternative option you might recommend? Buzzy 

 

Buzzy ...  Back off your nuts (that sounds bad, doesn't it?) connect each shackle to the next available chain link, readjust and try it out. It is apparent that you need to eliminate a little  slack in your system. If this works you can just leave those links dangling or borrow a bolt cutter to whack them off.

 

If you have any threads left in front of the nuts you could just crank the nuts another turn using a big adjustable wrench, if you have one, for testing purposes. If there are no threads left then you gotta shorten the chains a bit.

 

Take baby steps and keep things reversable in case it doesn't help.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Buzzy:

 

I wanted to answer your question as to whether you are getting full benefit from your Anderson WD hitch in the manner you are using it. I don't think you are. First, however, let me thank you for the excellent videos you have posted. As a likely prospective buyer your videos have been extremely clear and informative.

 

The theory of a weight distribution hitch is that by creating a "turning moment," or torque, at the point of attachment to the towing vehicle, some of the weight that would normally be born by the rear axle is shifted to the front axle. Your scale numbers show that you have not yet achieved this. The loaded truck front axle weight of 3200 lbs should have gone up after attachment of the trailer and tensioning of the chains. Instead, attaching the trailer un-weighted the front axle by 120 lbs, down to 3080 lbs.

 

The length of the lever arm generating the turning moment is the distance from the triangle plate up to the center of the hitch ball, which looks about 8" or 0.66 ft. The length of the lever arm resisting the turning moment is the distance from the hitch ball to your front axle, which I am guessing is about 15 ft. The truck lever arm is 22.7 times longer than the trailer hitch lever arm. The force applied by the tensioning chains would have to be 22.7 times greater than the force desired at the front axle.

 

I believe you need to get the front axle weight up at least to the 3200 lbs you had when the trailer was unhitched, and I would add another 75 lbs (this is a weight shifting hitch, after all) for a desired front axle weight of 3,275 lbs. That is an additional 195 lbs of downward force on the front axle to be achieved when the trailer is attached. That would require a turning moment at the hitch ball of 2,925 ft-lbs. Given the shortness of the hitch lever arm, this would require 4,432 lbs of additional chain tension, or 2,216 lbs tension per chain.

 

My numbers are approximate. You could work this out mathematically using accurate numbers, but you would still be guessing in that you don't know how much additional tension results from each turn of the tension nut. But there may be an easier and more accurate way. Go back to the CAT scales with a loaded truck and loaded trailer. Unhitch the trailer and weigh the front axle of the truck. Then hook the trailer back up, tighten the tension chains until they are bar tight, and re-weigh the front axle. Keep adding tension until the front axle weight is 50-75 lbs above its weight without the trailer. (Safety note-keep the front axle weight, and all other weights, under the max gross weight limits for each component.)

 

Best regards,

SailorAshore

 

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Buzzy:

 

I wanted to answer your question as to whether you are getting full benefit from your Anderson WD hitch in the manner you are using it. I don't think you are. First, however, let me thank you for the excellent videos you have posted. As a likely prospective buyer your videos have been extremely clear and informative.

 

The theory of a weight distribution hitch is that by creating a "turning moment," or torque, at the point of attachment to the towing vehicle, some of the weight that would normally be born by the rear axle is shifted to the front axle. Your scale numbers show that you have not yet achieved this. The loaded truck front axle weight of 3200 lbs should have gone up after attachment of the trailer and tensioning of the chains. Instead, attaching the trailer un-weighted the front axle by 120 lbs, down to 3080 lbs.

 

The length of the lever arm generating the turning moment is the distance from the triangle plate up to the center of the hitch ball, which looks about 8" or 0.66 ft. The length of the lever arm resisting the turning moment is the distance from the hitch ball to your front axle, which I am guessing is about 15 ft. The truck lever arm is 22.7 times longer than the trailer hitch lever arm. The force applied by the tensioning chains would have to be 22.7 times greater than the force desired at the front axle.

 

I believe you need to get the front axle weight up at least to the 3200 lbs you had when the trailer was unhitched, and I would add another 75 lbs (this is a weight shifting hitch, after all) for a desired front axle weight of 3,275 lbs. That is an additional 195 lbs of downward force on the front axle to be achieved when the trailer is attached. That would require a turning moment at the hitch ball of 2,925 ft-lbs. Given the shortness of the hitch lever arm, this would require 4,432 lbs of additional chain tension, or 2,216 lbs tension per chain.

 

My numbers are approximate. You could work this out mathematically using accurate numbers, but you would still be guessing in that you don't know how much additional tension results from each turn of the tension nut. But there may be an easier and more accurate way. Go back to the CAT scales with a loaded truck and loaded trailer. Unhitch the trailer and weigh the front axle of the truck. Then hook the trailer back up, tighten the tension chains until they are bar tight, and re-weigh the front axle. Keep adding tension until the front axle weight is 50-75 lbs above its weight without the trailer. (Safety note-keep the front axle weight, and all other weights, under the max gross weight limits for each component.)

 

Best regards,

SailorAshore

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Hey guys let's not overthink this thing. If you want to see if the WD is making a difference on the scales weigh the vehicle and trailer connected with the WD chains loose, then tension the chains properly and weigh it again. If the weight on the rear axle is less than the first weight you win, if not it needs more tension on the chains. Comparing a truck with no trailer to one that is hooked up??? The amount of force it would take to actually make the front axle heavier in this situation could easily damage things; trailer, hitch, and vehicle. A F-150 would safely tow an Oliver with just a regular ball. If it tows well and the truck feels stable when driving that is the goal. Buzzy is using this hitch correctly based on his photos and comments I have seen.

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Is there a point at which I could do damage?  How do I know where that point is?  I am using a torque wrench and I could set it to whatever you recommend.

 

Our red bushings should fail before something else does, however I just got a little nervous about the 4432 lbs of chain tension from a previous comment, that is enough force to cause serious damage to not only our hitch but the aluminum trailer frame and pickup receiver. My recommendation is 2-3 threads past hand tight before loading the weight on the vehicle. The more threads you go past hand tight the more weight will be distributed. A torque wrench may not be the most accurate method if you are slightly crooked when hooking up. Try a few different thread counts to get a good feel for your application and what you like when you are driving.

 

The way you shortend your chains looks great!

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Buzzy,

 

 

 

You mentioned "I will add, the resulting change in how my tow vehicle feels is dramatic. Not knowing the metrics or how the steering would feel with an engaged WDH, I was quite frankly stunned my how much better the F150 behaves. "  I am traveling to Hohnwald on the 19th to pick up my trailer and I've ordered the Anderson WDH.  My TV is a 1999 Ford F250 4WD Crew Cab with tow package and camper package (which included an extra leaf on the read leaf spring for overload conditions).  All my undercarriage (springs, bearings, driver shaft etc etc is new).  The engine is a 7.3L Diesel.   Now, all that said, when you mentioned that it was so much better to tow, how would you describe the difference?  I've been wrestling with whether I keep the WDH or have them remove it, but you comment has really piqued my interest.

 

 

 

Thank you,

 

 

 

John

 

 

John Marilyn and Gracie


2017 Legacy Elite II Hull 172


TV 2017 F250 Diesel 

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John,

 

I curious about a truck that old, the new ones all specify on their hitches Mac tongue weight without WDH 500lbs with WDH 1000lbs, out something to that effect. Being that old of a truck and that beefy of a truck does it have any mention of with and without WDH?

 

Thanks

Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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I am traveling to Hohnwald on the 19th to pick up my trailer and I’ve ordered the Anderson WDH. My TV is a 1999 Ford F250 4WD Crew Cab with tow package and camper package (which included an extra leaf on the read leaf spring for overload conditions). All my undercarriage (springs, bearings, driver shaft etc etc is new). The engine is a 7.3L Diesel. Now, all that said, when you mentioned that it was so much better to tow, how would you describe the difference? I’ve been wrestling with whether I keep the WDH or have them remove it, but you comment has really piqued my interest. Thank you, John

John,

 

Your truck is a serious pulling machine and with new shocks you won't even feel an Oliver back there without a WD hitch. You can always add one later if you feel you must - it simply bolts on. I think your rig has a tow rating over 13,000 pounds.

 

https://www.guaranteerv.com/upload/Tow%20Ratings/1999.pdf

 

My 2006 Ram 3500 Quad Cab Cummins is a similar size and will tow over 14K. I haven't towed an RV behind yet, it but it sure doesn't feel 6500 pounds of car and car hauler, even on steep grades or choppy pavement.

 

The problem you will have is soot buildup on the pretty white shell of the Oliver. Are you prepared to deal with that nagging worry? It will be a constant irritation.  The 7.3 is a fantastic engine but as you know, it sends plenty of greasy soot out the tailpipe. Your truck has a lot of resale value and for this reason alone you might want to trade it for a cleaner running TV.

 

The new 2017 F150 3.5L Eco Boost with upgraded drive train sure has me interested. Or maybe even a Raptor..... But both of those would absolutely require the Anderson hitch.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Randy, the truck just has a tow rating no mention of w/wo wdh.  The rating, with my configuration, as John Davies points out is north of 13000 lbs.  I originally bought the truck to transport horses which it did admirally.  the hitch I installed was bolted to the frame and I was told was a class v hitch.

 

Buzzy, I understand about the handling being something one needs to determine what they are comfortable with. With all horses I hauled , I never used a wdh, in fact I'd not even given it any thought before. But as with many things once you become aware of something you begin to wonder if its worth looking into in more depth.  As most of my driving was across the western states, and more rural areas the aggressive driver challenges you face are not somthing i needed to,worry about so much.  I guess I'm going to have to include these into my thinking.  Thank you.

 

John, all valid points and yes, someday Ill  likely be forced to update.  The unfortunate or fortunate situation, is the 7.3L diesels can reach 1,000,000 mile if properly cared for. As for soot, ive not seen much,but i havent been towing in a couple of years,so the engine tends to lope easily.  If this becomes an irritation, ill need to look into a tv update.

 

 

 

thanks all for your great insights they are always valued.

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John Marilyn and Gracie


2017 Legacy Elite II Hull 172


TV 2017 F250 Diesel 

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