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  #1  
Old 09-16-2011, 08:22 PM
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Aftermarket Hitch Ball Mount Rattle

A common problem with aftermarket hitches is too much slop in the ball mount tube. On 2" receivers anyway. I have never had that issue with a factory hitch. NOT EVER!. Just aftermarket ones. The hitch mfg's claim it is to make it easier to get the ball mount in and out due to rust and/or dirt build up but that is just horse hooey IMO. I never have had an issue with a properly fit ball mount. NO need for the ball mount to be so loose and sloppy.

Every bump, turn, stop, etc... results in a clunk, rattle, and/or bang from your ball mount. Not only is it bloody annoying but it is not good for your hitch and vehicle. It drives me NUTS! There are many anti rattle devices out there and they all work to some degree or another. If you have a 2" receiver Draw-Tite/Reese/HiddenHitch( all same thing )however there is a product that works GREAT!

It only works with those hitches though as it requires the 2nd smaller hole in front of the hitch pin hole. This device is made specifically for those hitches. See photo...



The part you want is Drawtite 63201 Locking Anti Rattle J-Pin



The main shaft installs into the standard hitch pin hole and then the smaller bend end goes into the smaller hole( see photo below ). You thread the nut on and then tighten it with the supplied wrench. Then pop the lock cyliner on. As you tighten the nut it presses the smaller bend end in on the ball mount and forces it over and tight to the side of the hitch receiver tube. It will completely stop the rattles and clunks.



If you have one of these 2" hitches and are sick to death of the rattles and clunks like me this will be the best $30 you ever spent. Just be sure you put a little grease on the threads before spinning the nut on and lube the lock cylinder now and then if you leave the ball mount in for extended periods of time.

This is the 2nd hitch I have used this pin on and it works great. NO question I was ordering it for my aftermarket Reese 2" hitch.

Hope this helps someone out.
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  #2  
Old 09-17-2011, 02:16 PM
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I thought the idea behind a receiver hitch was that when not in use, you removed the mount so it wasn't in your way (ie a shin breaker). I've only ever left the mount in when driving to or from something I towed, then I store it back in the garage.
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  #3  
Old 09-17-2011, 04:37 PM
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I have lots of cars. Most I've made my own hitch. Some rattle. Some don't. I find it easier just to throw the hitch ball in the back. (after I forget for about a week of annoying rattling )
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Old 09-17-2011, 06:16 PM
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I too, was worried that I might have a loose system. One day, the farm bureau was meeting down the street, and I walked the parking lot full of pick-ups--all with hitch receivers and inserts. I checked over 80--the ALL rattled a little, some more.

What I do is insert a "shim shingle" alongside the receiver both top and one side, ap them in with a hammer, and put the retainer pin right thru the shim. That cuts down the rattle when towing an empty or lightly loaded trailer.

But the real solution is to remove the hitch insert--then you can plug the hole with a unique "branded" unit....anyone found a cheap one that says, "jeep"? All I found was one that said "mopar" and that does NOT float my boat!
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jack.allwardt View Post
I too, was worried that I might have a loose system. One day, the farm bureau was meeting down the street, and I walked the parking lot full of pick-ups--all with hitch receivers and inserts. I checked over 80--the ALL rattled a little, some more.

What I do is insert a "shim shingle" alongside the receiver both top and one side, ap them in with a hammer, and put the retainer pin right thru the shim. That cuts down the rattle when towing an empty or lightly loaded trailer.

But the real solution is to remove the hitch insert--then you can plug the hole with a unique "branded" unit....anyone found a cheap one that says, "jeep"? All I found was one that said "mopar" and that does NOT float my boat!
I am talking mostly about rattles and clunks and banging with a trailer on. It can be an issue( annoying noise )with really loose ball mounts without a trailer on as well but the biggest issue for me is when towing. When you have a trailer on you don't want it banging and slamming around because the ball mount fits for crap. It is not good for your trailer, your hitch, nor your vehicle. You want the ball mount to basically fit with little to no movement so that there is no banging and such. It should fit snug into the receiver not have so much play it can be wiggled around like a 5 year old's loose tooth.

There is always "some" play on the ball mount( has to be for it to fit )but when you check a factory hitch( Chevy, Dodge, Ford, etc... )and compare the little movement you get vs what you get with an aftermarket hitch you will see what I mean. It is a HUGE difference. On the truck I just sold( 08 Ram )the ball mount fit perfect and you never heard/felt anything( a little rattle with no load going over really rough roads but that was it ). On the Jeep with the Reese hitch the two times I towed without the anti rattle pin it was banging and slamming big time.

If you tow often you don't remove the ball mount each time. Especially with a locking hitch pin which I use regardless of the situation( aluminum ball mounts are expensive ). During duck season( Oct - Feb )my ball mount stays on the entire season. I use the boat anywhere from 3-6 days a week when possible. I am not taking the ball mount off and then putting it back on every day. When hunting season ends I remove the ball mount and use a hitch plug.

Here is my hitch plug but it isn't cheap...


You can get a 2" Jeep logo hitch cover through MOPAR Accessories for cheap money. Part # is 82208453. You can also get aftermarket ones. Here is an example...

http://www.jeepinoutfitters.com/scri...?idproduct=934
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:01 PM
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I had the Rattle problem on my Jeep Comanche Receiver when I used to pull my Drift Boat. I solved it by having it Welded in, end of Rattle. Been that way for years.
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:07 PM
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Yeah, I know some guys with work trucks who weld the ball mount in. I do like to remove the ball mount for extended periods though so the locking anti rattle type hitch pins take care of it for me.
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:09 PM
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Yea I have those Pins for my Patriot, Front and Rear.
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:26 AM
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Hey! I like the hitch cover--I believe I saw something similiar that was actually a "flip-down" step--which would be very advantageous for we vertically challenged folks when washing/drying/shining the car roof...
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Old 09-18-2011, 08:54 AM
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I ended up going to the craft store and getting some adhesive backed felt to wrap around the shaft on my most popular ball (2" with a 1.5" rise). The locking pin is a neat idea, but I never leave the ball in if I'm not towing (it's technically illegal in Pennsylvania), and if I were to leave that thing in during the winter months, the road salt wold do so much damage to the locking mechanism, I would have to cut the thing off.
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHPATRIOT View Post
I am talking mostly about rattles and clunks and banging with a trailer on. It can be an issue( annoying noise )with really loose ball mounts without a trailer on as well but the biggest issue for me is when towing.
Hmmm, is the trailer not balanced or loaded right? You should have 300-600 lbs of tongue weight holding that thing down. Perhaps you might want to have the axle on the trailer moved back?
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:07 PM
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If you can find a hitch with a longer tube is will mitigate the noise too. If it can't rock it won't rattle while you roll. Also if you make a hitch or receiver, don't drill the hole too big. I'm just sayin'
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by todde702 View Post
Hmmm, is the trailer not balanced or loaded right? You should have 300-600 lbs of tongue weight holding that thing down. Perhaps you might want to have the axle on the trailer moved back?
I hope like heck you are not putting 600lbs of tongue weight on a Jeep Patriot.

The MOPAR 1 1/4" Hitch( Class I )has a 1500 lbs max tow capacity and 150lbs max tongue weight. Most aftermarket 1 1/4" & 2" hitch( Class II/III/IV )have a 3000-3500lbs max tow capacity and a 300-350lbs max tongue weight for the Patriot.

Actually, my trailer is loaded and balanced very well. I guess I am just not making the issue clear or something.

The ball mount has a TON of play/slop inside the hitch receiver tube. You can wiggle it a LOT side to side and up and down. This is by design from Drawtite/Reese/HiddenHitch for some reason and it has been an issue for YEARS with their hitches. They make excellent hitches but on this design characteristic of theirs I completelly disagree with it and think it is RETARDED!

So, what happens is every time you hit a bump, take a turn, etc... the ball mount rattles and bangs inside the receiver tube. It does this even with the trailer on. Balance of the load has nothing to do with it. The trailer tongue moves up and down and side to side as you go down the road naturally. If the ball mount is loose inside the receiver tube it let's it slam and bang. If it fits tight/properly this does not happen as the ball mount is snug and has no room to move around.

This is just a noise annoyance when no trailer is loaded but when you are towing it leads to the ball mount bashing around inside the reciver tube. This ads undue stress to the trailer coupler, your hitch, and frame. LONG TERM it can lead to issues. It is like hitting stuff with a hammer over and over again every time the ball mount bangs around in there.

I am unsure how else I can state the issue?
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Old 09-18-2011, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlobaugh View Post
The locking pin is a neat idea, but I never leave the ball in if I'm not towing (it's technically illegal in Pennsylvania), and if I were to leave that thing in during the winter months, the road salt wold do so much damage to the locking mechanism, I would have to cut the thing off.
HUH??? I have never heard of such a thing. Illegal to leave a ball mount in the hitch if not towing? What kind of moron came up with that?

I live in NH so I see winters that are as bad or even worse than you. I leave the pin in during the winter. You just have to grease and lube it as I stated in the original post.
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Old 09-18-2011, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHPATRIOT View Post
HUH??? I have never heard of such a thing. Illegal to leave a ball mount in the hitch if not towing? What kind of moron came up with that?

I live in NH so I see winters that are as bad or even worse than you. I leave the pin in during the winter. You just have to grease and lube it as I stated in the original post.
Some lawmaker must have walked around the back of a truck and smashed his knee into the hitch.

Erie is typically one of the top 10 snowiest cities every year, so in the winter I leave a recovery hook in my receiver. I won't be recovering vehicles as I did in the past with my Durango, but it's a good placeholder.
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