How to lube a coupler?

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How to lube a coupler?

Postby les45 » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:07 am

Just took my latest project out on its maiden voyage and noticed a minor irritation on the return trip. The 28 year old Jayco pop-up coupler would squeak, especially at lower speeds on a rough road. I could duplicate the noise by kicking it. I have done nothing to the inside of the coupler except to make sure it fastened tightly to the 2" ball so I'm sure it has a little surface rust. The ball also has a little rust on top. Would graphite spray be appropriate for this area after a little cleaning up with some sandpaper or steel wool?
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Re: How to lube a coupler?

Postby Pinstriper » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:58 am

If you see significant rust, hit it with WD-40 and scrub with a wire brush, then wipe it clean and maybe do a little work with 120 grit sandpaper. Again clean it, and then more or less any grease. You use grease because it will stay on the ball/coupler surface. A little goes a long way. For me, a quick spritz of white lithium grease spray up into the coupler at the end of the season keeps rust down in the coupler. Another spritz at the start of the season does the job for the whole year.

You can also be getting noise from the hitch inside the hitch tube. Spray a little lube in there when it annoys you sufficiently. This is a good use for RemOil.
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Re: How to lube a coupler?

Postby les45 » Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:48 am

Pinstriper wrote:If you see significant rust, hit it with WD-40 and scrub with a wire brush, then wipe it clean and maybe do a little work with 120 grit sandpaper. Again clean it, and then more or less any grease. You use grease because it will stay on the ball/coupler surface. A little goes a long way. For me, a quick spritz of white lithium grease spray up into the coupler at the end of the season keeps rust down in the coupler. Another spritz at the start of the season does the job for the whole year.

You can also be getting noise from the hitch inside the hitch tube. Spray a little lube in there when it annoys you sufficiently. This is a good use for RemOil.


I've tried grease but it always leaves a mess that eventually gets on your hands even when it's just a light coating. I'm looking to see if anyone has specifically used graphite spray lubricant on a hitch ball and coupler. I've used it on other things and it dries to a lubricating film that doesn't come off.
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Re: How to lube a coupler?

Postby swoody126 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:50 am

the best way to keep the coupling from screeching at you is to USE THE TRAILER MORE

that'z all it is really saying anyhow

UES ME, USE ME... :thumbsup:

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Re: How to lube a coupler?

Postby Shadow Catcher » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:35 pm

You need to make sure it is adjusted correctly, that big nut tightens or loosens it. Other wise it could look like this
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Re: How to lube a coupler?

Postby aggie79 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:37 am

les45 wrote:
Pinstriper wrote:If you see significant rust, hit it with WD-40 and scrub with a wire brush, then wipe it clean and maybe do a little work with 120 grit sandpaper. Again clean it, and then more or less any grease. You use grease because it will stay on the ball/coupler surface. A little goes a long way. For me, a quick spritz of white lithium grease spray up into the coupler at the end of the season keeps rust down in the coupler. Another spritz at the start of the season does the job for the whole year.

You can also be getting noise from the hitch inside the hitch tube. Spray a little lube in there when it annoys you sufficiently. This is a good use for RemOil.


I've tried grease but it always leaves a mess that eventually gets on your hands even when it's just a light coating. I'm looking to see if anyone has specifically used graphite spray lubricant on a hitch ball and coupler. I've used it on other things and it dries to a lubricating film that doesn't come off.


Graphite only works well for tight tolerances. A coupler, particularly and older coupler that is rusted and pitted, does not have tight tolerances.

I too use grease. And yes it can be a mess. But, as part of my set-up ritual, I keep a roll of paper towels in the tongue box. Once the teardrop is disconnected, I wipe the grease off of the receiver ball.
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Re: How to lube a coupler?

Postby working on it » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:01 am

aggie79 wrote:...I too use grease. And yes it can be a mess. But, as part of my set-up ritual, I keep a roll of paper towels in the tongue box. Once the teardrop is disconnected, I wipe the grease off of the receiver ball.
  • I also used grease, and wiped off with towels afterwards, but later I used a rubber cover over the ball. I could force it over the greased ball without getting messy , or simply pull it off, and put it in a zip-lock bag for stowage.
  • rubber cover for greased coupler ball.JPG
    rubber cover for greased coupler ball.JPG (51.16 KiB) Viewed 165 times
    keeps the ball greased, but keeps you clean
  • Now, I don't use heavy grease, but the dry-film graphite spray, to lubricate the coupler ball. I switched, years back, to using a Reese Interchangeable Ball kit,
  • Reese interchangeable ball set.JPG
    Reese interchangeable ball set.JPG (70.49 KiB) Viewed 165 times
    no heavy grease needed, no mess either
  • with three sizes of balls that lock in place on a tapered shaft. There is a set of ball-bearings that facilitate the ball being able to turn while latched inside the coupler, so the tolerances are tight enough to make the graphite spray work, without the mess of heavy grease. I spray the tapered shaft a couple of times a season, but I remove the ball(s), and store them (grease-free) inside the door pocket of my truck (they can't be stolen that way, either). I then select what size ball I need for the trailer at hand, and drop it over the shaft, and lock it in place (a quarter will lock the push-button on the top, with a simple twist). The ball is now ready for the coupler, and will easily turn on the shaft, but not loosely. I've used my set for years, on many trailers, with loads from 200 lbs to 10200 lbs, and have observed no wear to the ball, or shaft.
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Re: How to lube a coupler?

Postby Dale M. » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:30 am

Never had a hitch and ball squeak... Only noise that drives me nuts is the rattle of the ball mount in a loose receiver... And there is ways to eliminate that...

As for greased ball, a "X" slit tennis ball (or stolen dog toy "tennis" ball) pops over ball to protect the world for ball grease...

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Re: How to lube a coupler?

Postby Dale M. » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:33 am

Image

How good does that actually work for you???

I ask becasue I have 3 different TV I move trailers around with (three trailers) and all three have different size couplers and different "drop" ball mounts on TV... Would be nice to only have 1 ball mount with correct drop for each vehicle and not have to change balls (traditional threaded) every time I need to move something...

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Re: How to lube a coupler?

Postby working on it » Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:20 pm

Dale M. wrote:Image

How good does that actually work for you???

I ask becasue I have 3 different TV I move trailers around with (three trailers) and all three have different size couplers and different "drop" ball mounts on TV... Would be nice to only have 1 ball mount with correct drop for each vehicle and not have to change balls (traditional threaded) every time I need to move something...

Dale
  • Actually, it works quite well. I've used the 1 7/8" ball only once, on my original trailer (when it was a derelict piece of junk , 50"x 60", with 8" wheels, and perhaps only 225 lbs max), the 2 5/16" ball maybe 7-8 times (my wife's 20 ft. travel/business trailer, weighing 4500-5000 lbs), and the 2" ball a hundred times or so (my race car hauler at up to 7000 lbs, utility trailers-rental- once or twice at about 2500 lbs, and my squareback TTT which started out at 225 lbs and now is 2020 lbs).
  • When I first put it on, I thought that the locking mechanism would fail, and the coupler would lift the ball off the tapered shaft, and I still test it by jacking-up the rear of my truck usiing the trailer jack, just to make sure it still holds. I normally use a weight distributing hitch, so even if it became disconnected from the shaft, the downward pressure of the wd spring bars would keep it there, anyhow. But, I sometimes tow on short trips without the wd spring bar attached, and it stays put, even over whoop-de-doos or speedbumps. Since my wd hitch stays on my truck, and the height of it isn't adjustable, some of the trailers I tow are nose-up (my squareback TTT), or slightly nose-down (my wife's trailer), because I adjusted it for the best towing using my car-hauler trailer...i need to get a drop shank, now that my TTT is my primary concern.
  • As I stated before, I carry the three balls normally off the shaft, safely stowed in the truck's side-door pocket. That way, I'm always assured that nobody has stolen the ball, and I'm ready to move any sized coupler-equipped trailer, if I need to. I've moved several trailers for friends, on their properties, when their normal tow vehicle was not available to them. Avery hany item to have, requiring no tools, just a small flat-bladed screwdriver, or even a "quarter" to operate the locking button (push down and turn to install the ball; twist the other way to let the button rise, and the ball can be taken off).
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  • featuring: 3500 lb Dexter axle w/brakes & HD leaf spring system > riding on General Grabber 27x8.5-14LT tires, LED lighting inside, A/C & heat, AGM battery 12vdc, 110vac from extended run generator onboard or park power, Coleman dual-fuel stove & Northstar lantern
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