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Old 06-10-2012, 03:54 PM   #1
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Damaged Pin Box

I bought my 2008 Wildcat 24RL last year and used it twice.

The 1st owner said they also used it only a few times (which squares with the absolutely new appearance everywhere, including the tires), as well as the appearance of the saddle of their 5er hitch.

I removed the large plastic disc around the king pin and installed a Gooseneck Adapter for my 2 trips.

I noticed a bit of "chucking" on less than perfect roads, so decided to use a real 5th wheel hitch as everyone said it would ride smoothly w/o chucking w/ a 5th hitch.

Bought a new (pre-owned, but never actually used) B&W Companion for use w/ my trailer.

Today I removed the G/N adapter and used a wire wheel to remove the rust/paint so I could repaint and replace the disc (which I assumed was an anti-friction pad. I must not have checked very well previously, but there is considerable gouging of the bottom plate of the pin box, through which the king pin protrudes.

In fact in one place (shown by the red arrows) there's a pit in the steel that goes clean through the plate!

I arranged green arrows to show the outline of obviously the 5th saddle that galled on the plate and worked its way into the steel plate a ways.

On the forward right edge there another deep gouge (that doesn't go through), but couldn't have been caused by the hitch saddle, since it's well outside of the easily visible circular groove in the plate.

The big white plastic disk is large enough diameter that it overlapped the spots of damage, concealing them completely, BTW.

The 1/2" holes in the pad were the ones I drilled to secure the G/N adapter. There is no damage from the adapter.

How bad is this with respect to safety of towing my 5er that weighs about 8500 pounds wet?

What's the best way to repair it? Make another plate of similar thickness (original appears to be 1/8" thick), cut a hole for the king pin to poke through, and weld it to the existing plate? Or does one have to cut off the old plate and start over?

The trailer was bought in Texarkansas and kept in non-coastal Texas, so I'd be amazed if the gouging is merely corrosion.

Thanks,
Bob
*BTW, the jaws of the Companion are not too far below (maybe 5/8") the top surface of the saddle on which the pin box pad rides, yet the portion of the king pin machined to be engaged by the hitch jaws is pretty far below the bottom of the pin box plate (maybe 1.5").
Does one "shim" the pin box UP using such plastic disks so the reduced diameter portion of the king pin engages the locking hitch jaws properly, with the weight of the pin box being supported by the top surface of the hitch's saddle against the plastic disks/shims?



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Old 06-10-2012, 04:42 PM   #2
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It looks like someone had welded something to the 5th wheel plate an later removed it with a process called gouging. They did not do very good job of cleaning up their work.

You can have a welder fill in the spots and grind them down. Personally I would fill it with JB Weld and use the Teflon disc. If it bothers you, get New pin replacement box.

Ken
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Old 06-10-2012, 05:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXiceman View Post
It looks like someone had welded something to the 5th wheel plate an later removed it with a process called gouging. They did not do very good job of cleaning up their work.

You can have a welder fill in the spots and grind them down. Personally I would fill it with JB Weld and use the Teflon disc. If it bothers you, get New pin replacement box.

Ken
I agree, though the strange part is I bought the trailer from the original owner (I saw the paperwork when I paid off their loan), and they'd only used a regular 5th wheel hitch.

I used the G/N adapter, but it was strictly bolted (I drilled the 4 1/2" holes shown) in place for a few months.

The gouges are circular like someone used bits of carbide drill bits for lubrication between the saddle of the hitch and the lower plate of the pin box and then drove around so they rotated against each other.

Very weird.
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:24 PM   #4
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Looks like a perfect time to install an air-ride pin box.

When I bought my first FW, the lot monkeys couldn't get it hitched up to my truck. Turns out the previous owner had an automatic slider wedge welded behind the pin, and they had to cut it off with a torch. With a little skill and patience, this can be done with minimal damage to the parent metal, these guys had the finesse of a sledgehammer. Got it home and filled in the gouges with a MIG welder and ground them smooth, then covered with the plastic disc.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:26 PM   #5
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Fill and grind sound good to me.
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