Towing Hitch - Page 3 - GreenHybrid - Hybrid Cars

Towing Hitch

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  #21  
Old 07-22-2009, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: Towing Hitch

The unit from Valley has arrived. It may be a week or so before I get to putting it in, will let you know how it works out.
 
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  #22  
Old 07-22-2009, 10:44 PM
MrT
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Default Re: Towing Hitch

I finally had a chance the other day to look at mine (my annual trailer usage is coming up in a couple weeks). I got it working (IIRC, my module is a Draw Tite 18187, w/ a direct-wire Ford harness spliced in). The two things I did were to put a bigger screw in my ground lead, and I found a couple crimp butt splices that weren't connected well. Man I hate those things- have a really low success rate.

Now I just have to hook up to the trailer and see if it works.
 

Last edited by MrT; 07-22-2009 at 10:44 PM. Reason: correcting dyslexic typage
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  #23  
Old 07-28-2009, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: Towing Hitch

Originally Posted by MrT View Post
The two things I did were to put a bigger screw in my ground lead, and I found a couple crimp butt splices that weren't connected well. Man I hate those things- have a really low success rate.
3 words for you:

Solder, solder, solder.

( or crimp to hold it while you solder the crimp joint )

I have become a techspert at soldering, and my advice when soldering is, cleanliness IS close to godliness. Even dirt / oil from your fingers will make a poor solder joint. Also, heat the work, not the solder! ( unless you are doing tiny micro circuits with tiny heat sensitive components ) Rosin core is OK but I like using separate flux which make things much easier to weld together.

Soldering is NOT "gluing". It is not "adhesive". It is a chemical meld, where the two metals become chemically bonded to each other. The solder goes into the copper, even though the copper does not melt... the lead and/or silver and/or tin will go into the pores of the copper. The two literally become one.
 
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  #24  
Old 07-28-2009, 01:30 PM
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Default Re: Towing Hitch

Originally Posted by gpsman1 View Post
3 words for you:

Solder, solder, solder.

( or crimp to hold it while you solder the crimp joint )

I have become a techspert at soldering, and my advice when soldering is, cleanliness IS close to godliness. Even dirt / oil from your fingers will make a poor solder joint. Also, heat the work, not the solder! ( unless you are doing tiny micro circuits with tiny heat sensitive components ) Rosin core is OK but I like using separate flux which make things much easier to weld together.

Soldering is NOT "gluing". It is not "adhesive". It is a chemical meld, where the two metals become chemically bonded to each other. The solder goes into the copper, even though the copper does not melt... the lead and/or silver and/or tin will go into the pores of the copper. The two literally become one.
Nothing in the aircraft industry is soldered, just crimped. What does that tell you??
 
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  #25  
Old 07-31-2009, 11:20 AM
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Exclamation Re: Towing Hitch

Originally Posted by wptski View Post
Nothing in the aircraft industry is soldered, just crimped. What does that tell you??
Tells me that now I'm too scared to fly!
( mechanical ( automated ) crimps are better than human done ones, but still, not my cup of tea... )
 
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  #26  
Old 08-16-2009, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: Towing Hitch

Recommendations on what kind of hitch to buy for 2005 FEH? My wife just sprung a jetski on me and I have never had a hitch (I think she assumed I had one).
 
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  #27  
Old 08-16-2009, 06:51 PM
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Default Re: Towing Hitch

My thoughts are at the beginning of this thread (since I started it!). I like the setup of the Valley tow bar. It towed well this summer when I used it.

It was easy to put in, fitup was very good. Their little wire gadget to thread the bolts thru the frame channels worked like a champ.

The electrical side needs a little. When you order one ask them for the lighting setup that has a separate power lead from the front of the vehicle for the trailer lighting.

I found the plug in the tow bar pipe to be a very good touch. No problem with wires dragging on the ground and such.
 
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  #28  
Old 08-22-2009, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: Towing Hitch

Installed the new power module for the trailer lights. It did not come with the pre-wired plugging arrangement of the one that comes with the towbar harness.

So I cut the plugs off the old module and put them on the wires of the new, separately powered module. I soldered them in.

One item to mention, the 4-wire plug on the module is not compatible with the plug arrangement that put the plug in the towbar itself (I found this plug being in the towbar attractive), so I soldered the plug from the old module in. Lots of solder and good insulation around the solder joints.

Voltmeter checks good. Decided to leave the fuse out unless towing since this would otherwise leave a 12v powered wire running down the frame near the gas tank... not a big deal, I'm sure there are sufficient protections built in.

You will need to replace the small (8MM) nuts & bolts that hold the 12V battery clamp on. Ford squashes the ends of the threaded bolts behind the nut. This forces you to damage the bolt threads beyond repair when you remove one to install the power tap for the wire that goes back to the module.
 

Last edited by Bill Winney; 08-23-2009 at 07:11 AM.
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  #29  
Old 08-23-2009, 12:29 AM
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Question Re: Towing Hitch

Do you find it strange that I used the direct tap to the rear tail-lamps with no special module or anything and have had no issues with 3000 miles of towing on half a dozen trips?
 
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  #30  
Old 08-23-2009, 07:09 AM
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Default Re: Towing Hitch

Yes.

Curiously I had no problems with the brake lights & the marker lights, just the turn signals.

This is a minor software issue that Ford should fix. I understand the nominal setpoint of the software for current is 5 amps. The fuse provided with my new module is 7.5 amps.

It took as much as 1-2 minutes to trip the turn signals setpoint (& one time a signal was on for 5-6 minutes with out tripping), indicating that the current was barely above the trip point. This is born out by the 7.5 amp fuse provided by Valley Towbars.

As I see it this is a safety issue.

Ford can fix it with a simple software patch changing the "shorted lights" setpoint so that a trailer with lights can be towed safely . In my case I would reset the trip by turning off the engine when stopped and then minimize lane changes so that I didn't trip it. Worked OK, but come on, Ford needs to fix this.
 

Last edited by Bill Winney; 08-23-2009 at 07:13 AM.
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