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John E Davies

HOW TO: Anderson friction cone service

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My hitch started to make the dreaded Anderson Groan during sharp turns, an indication that the sleeve was contaminated with grit. The sound first appeared at about 2800 miles since I bought the hitch.you need a pretty heavy duty external snap ring tool to get the bottom ring off. It is strong.

 

Invert the hitch in the receiver, remove the snap ring, whack the bottom of the ball mount. If that doesn’t work you may have to connect to your Ollie and use the jack to raise up the ball, and jump on the mount to free it. Mine popped loose with a single hard blow of my 2 lb dead blow mallet.

 

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Separate the sleeve from the ball mount. Upside down in a vise, one whack.

 

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Clean parts with a strong solvent and a red scotchbrite pad. I used brake cleaner. There was a lot of nasty crud stuck to all the parts. Don’t forget to clean the inside of the aluminum mount itself.

 

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Cracked sleeve. I don’t see how it could fall out, I just reused it.

 

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Reassemble dry, install the snap ring. Good to go.... no more ugly noises.

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I really think that the hitch needs to be sealed from the elements. Moisture won’t hurt it, but grit and dust certainly will. I can see having to do this annually at least. I plan to carry my snap ring pliers on long trips, just in case.

 

Yes the ball is heavily worn,  but it is not getting worse. I do plan to eventually replace it and the coupler in the stronger 2 5/16 inch size. This worn ball works ok, except on the rare occasion that I drive over a really steep slow speed dip, the coupler rotates out of the groove on the ball with a loud bang. Disconcerting but fairly harmless, I hope...

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

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"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 -

 

I replaced that sleeve on my old Andersen three times before I got the new design. On all three attempts at removing the ball it certainly took me a bunch more force than you had to deliver to get the ball out. In fact, on the third replacement it took a press to get it out.

The good news is that with the new design I have not heard a peep out of the hitch in over 6,000 miles.

 

I know that Andersen will send you new sleeves (free) if you ask. However, they will send you the new design for (I think) $100. Not only is that $100 worth it (to me) to avoid having to do your maintenance, but, the new design is also a bunch easier to hookup.

 

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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John,

 

Good job.

 

It would be nice if there was a way to seal the taper and keep moisture out. It looks like the upper part of the steel taper has some corrosion damage from moisture.

 

Grease is an obvious first thought, but it would reduce the friction and the resistance to sway. Interesting thing, and something I don't care for in the Anderson, is the fact you can't adjust the sway friction. It might be more than needed in some cases and cause handling problems, and it might not be enough in others, which would allow sway. The only sway adjustment is the down force on the ball, which is unrelated to sway. I'd bet they have a lot more friction than needed, especially when they start groaning.

 

Since the Olivers are so stable, it's hard to say for sure that any anti-sway is needed. Just load leveling in applications like yours. Maybe a dab of silicone grease wiped around the top of the taper and the top of the socket, to resist moisture intrusion, would be a good fix for the binding and groaning problem.

 

I was thinking that while you have it apart, you could remove the coupler and, with a ball grinder, fit the tow ball to the receiver socket, up on the bench. You could work it in with repeated marking of the ball and finding out where the high spot is in the coupler, then grinding that spot until the receiver is round inside and closely matching the ball. Then your ball wear and the "loud bang" will also go away. I think you could make it a lot better with a bit of tuning. Then before replacing the ball, turn it to a new position and run some lapping compound for a couple thousand miles to really get the two parts matched. After that, a new ball would last a very long time and operate smoothly if greased. The only problem is that the majority of the lapping would occur in the rear part of the coupling because the Anderson applies so much forward force on the coupling against the ball. You see that with the ball wear pattern you have. Still, it would be a lot better than the current situation.


John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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Mine was doing the same thing and was not easy to get off. Got it all cleaned up and hope that embarrassing binding noise is gone. I'll find out Monday morning when I leave this campsite.

 

Thanks for the info!

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However, they will send you the new design for (I think) $100. Not only is that $100 worth it (to me) to avoid having to do your maintenance, but, the new design is also a bunch easier to hookup.

 

When did Oliver TT start installing the Andersen with the 'new design' sleeve?


2018 Ford F150 3.5EB 4X4 Max Towing / 2019 Oliver Elite II - Hull 421 / "Cocoon"

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Well over a year ago just as soon as Andersen did the re-design.  I don't believe that you can even get the old design anymore.

 

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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In September 2017 I ordered and installed the new upgraded model of the Anderson WDH; no noise has been experienced in over a year.  We just returned from a trip and after disconnecting the trailer from the tow vehicle with the triangle plate still attached to the tow vehicle I noticed I could move the triangle plate very easy, this has never happen before with the upgraded Anderson WDH.  I reattached the trailer to the tow vehicle ball with no tension on the chains and I could not move the triangle plate.  I repeated this process several times with the same results.  Not sure what is going on with the Anderson WDH, something has changed over the past years with lots of miles on the trailer.  I have sent and email to Anderson about the issue, but no reply yet.


Horace & Dianne

Chesapeake, Virginia

2016 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4x4 Limited

2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull # 93

 

States Visited Map

 

 

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When I visited the Andersen factory in Idaho Falls this summer the Sales Manager told me that, indeed, on the "new" model the triangle (whale tail) could be moved by hand when there wasn't any weight on it.  This was not the case with the old model.  Being able to do this allows you to realign the whale tail with the tow vehicle without releasing one (or both) of the chains when it is difficult to get the tow vehicle and trailer aligned as they were before you separated them.

 

Like Maverick, my "new" design hasn't made any noise in over 10,000 miles of towing.  I'm not sure if my "water diverter" had any effect on this, but, it makes me feel as if I'm doing something to keep moisture and dirt from getting between the housing and the sleeve (see picture below).  I simply cut this to fit out of an old lawn mower inner tube that I got free from a local tire shop.

 

Bill

 

[attachment file=P1020095.JPG]

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I cut the inner tube with a diameter of 6 1/2 inches and then cut a 1 inch diameter hole in the center.  The center hole has to be stretched over the ball in order to get it on.

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Ok we are confused and need to understand what we are missing. Our delivery date was 11/18 so we have the new Andersen. If we detach the Oliver from the TV, the chains are far too tight to move the whale tale. And the only way we can unattach the whale tale from the TV is to raise the Oliver up high to lossen the chains. We can only move the bolt opening of the Andersen when there is nothing attached using a bar to straighten the angle. Is there a better way of doing all of this ?

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Bobfirst -

 

Basically you have got it.  However, when we talked above of being able to move the whale tail, that is only possible when the Oliver is NOT attached to the tow vehicle.  If you jack up the Ollie to induce slack in the chains but still have the Oliver connected at the ball of the hitch, there is upward pressure on the ball and, therefore, on the part of the ball to which the whale tail is connected.  In this situation it is more than likely that you will not be able to move the whale tail due to that upward pressure.  Likewise, when the Ollie is connected to the tow vehicle in a "normal" position then there is downward pressure on the ball and/or the chains are too tight to move the whale tail.  Therefore, the only time that the whale tail can be moved is when the Ollie is not connected or there is no pressure on the ball.

 

Having said all this, your second sentence confuses me a bit.  I trust that you remove the Andersen whale tail prior to detaching your Oliver from the tow vehicle's hitch ball.  The only time that one really needs to move the whale tail is when you can't re-hitch in the same (or nearly the same) alignment of the tow vehicle and Oliver as it was when you un-hitched the two.  Usually these situations are caused by someone being parked such that a fairly severe angle is needed in order to get backed up to your Ollie.  With the old Andersen it was very difficult to move that ball/whale tail (note that the whale tail was sometimes used by taking it off the chains or detaching the chains from the Oliver in order to get some leverage to help with moving the ball into the best position).  With the new Andersen sometimes the ball can be moved with just the hitch pin.  If that doesn't work then one can use the handle of the socket that Oliver gave you that was to be used for tightening your lug nuts on the Ollie.  If that doesn't work then you will need to resort to the old fashion method of detaching the chain that is too tight (and thus preventing you from being able to attach the whale tail), attach the whale tail with that slack chain attached, drive so that the slack chain tightens and then re-attach the missing chain.  With this method all you have done is use the weight of the camper to pull the hitch ball assembly back into a "neutral" position.

 

Hope all this does not confuse you further!

 

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Bill excellent explanation. You confirmed what we have experienced. It was posted the whale tail is suppose to be able to be moved by hand if there is no weight on the hitch  ball. We can’t move the hitch ball unless the whale tale is also detached. Could you send a pic of the socket to tighten the lug nuts because we didn’t get one.

 

Thanks again for your help

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OOPS!  Sorry about that "handle" - I thought of that as I was typing the reply but just figured they were still included at delivery.  I'll get you a picture tomorrow but you can use anything that fits nicely into the 5/8 inch hole at the bottom of the hitch ball.  Yes, it is easier to do that than it is to remove the whale tail from the chains.

 

Bill

 

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edit :  decided to go ahead and get that pic right away just so I would not forget to do it tomorrow.  Note that the handle is approximately 21 inchs long as pictured.

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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I was pleasantly surprised when I pulled out from a campsite and all was fine.

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