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JuniorBirdMan

Trailer tongue bolt failure

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This one was a bit scary. I was looking under the generator basket to see if I could move it rearward a little when I noticed this:

 

The shiny area is where the flanged bushing should have been. From the rust pattern it appears that the bolt may have had a small hole drilled through it. That was enough to allow the rust to spread some and weaken the bolt, causing it to snap off with the nut and the bushing. The only thing holding the trailer to the tongue was the now completely loose remains of the bolt. I have no idea how long it had been that way and I shudder to think of what could have been if the rest of the bolt had fallen out.

 

Anyway, it might be wise to take an occasional quick look at this area, although I'd bet this was an isolated occurrence.


Aubrey and the two wingmen, Woodstock & Rascal


Oliver #032, "El Huevito"


Ford F-150 4x4


El Juevito's Travels

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Thank you for the post. We, too, hope it's an isolated incident, where someone grabbed the wrong bolt. We'll check ours, as well, and report back. So glad you discovered it before there was a problem in tow.

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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We are talking about the tongue clamping bolt that torques down to 90 pounds ?


I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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I don't know about the torque, but it's the grade 8, 1/2 inch cap screw that holds the sliding portion of the tongue to the trailer chassis and is located directly above the safety chain attachment point.

 

I was lucky enough to find a bronze bushing and replacement bolt at Tractor Supply Co that fit perfectly for an emergency field repair. As a matter of fact it fit so well I may just leave it as is.


Aubrey and the two wingmen, Woodstock & Rascal


Oliver #032, "El Huevito"


Ford F-150 4x4


El Juevito's Travels

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Looks like the bolt failure is NOT an isolated incident. Oscar & I joined Aubrey, Rascal & Woodstock for a trip out east and out of curiosity, Aubrey took a look at my tongue bolt and discovered IT HAD FAILED!!!! I had checked it when this thread started. It was OK then, so I never gave it another thought. OOPS

 

The nut was gone, bushing still held on by a thread, and the head of the bolt was starting to migrate out. Continuing in this manner without checking could have eventually resulted in tongue separation. The bolt that sheared was a hardened, extra strong, grade 8 bolt. Fortunately, Aubrey had another one handy and we fixed it on the spot.

 

Moral of the story . . . check your tongue bolts on a regular basis to ensure all is well.


Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

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I just checked this bolt on our trailer, and it seems to be in good shape. Aubrey and Pete, if I understand correctly, you both have baskets mounted above the location of this bolt. In addition to making it less likely that you would see a problem, without intentionally checking under the basket, I wonder if having the basket there in any way contributed to the failure. It's probably just a coincidence, though, but the engineers among us may have a thought on this.

 

Steve

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