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Old 08-11-2020, 03:18 PM   #1
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Blue OX replace handle and spring. Has anyone done?Special tool?

A spring in one arm of our Blue Ox Tow bar has either broken or come out of place. I do not know which bar it is. We bought it at least 15 years ago but hardly ever used it until recently. Here is a pic.

One lever suddenly stopped coming up when the arm extended. The lever flops with no spring action. It does not remain up when towing. I pulled the ends off of the box section that holds it and I can see that the spring is not lifting the lever.



I see this kit with instructions.



https://www.blueox.com/towing-access...-latch-handle/


It says I need a special tool to install the spring. Has anyone found another way to install the spring?I found the tool for $83 from Blue Ox. Do I need it for this single use?
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Old 08-11-2020, 04:43 PM   #2
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I installed a new spring in one of my arms without any special tools. It took some patience and the right sized punch to get the little shaft out. I bet you can do it. When mine broke while headed home I used a foam pool noodle and tape to keep it engaged so I could drive home.
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Old 08-11-2020, 05:40 PM   #3
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Yeah, You may have a few problems getting that thing apart. If you look at the kit instructions step 5, it shows you removing the 3/16" Allen screw after heating to loosen the LocTite Red. On 3 brand new, never used, Blue Ox tow bars I've bought, all 6 of these Allen screws were cracked by Blue Ox during installation. Check them well on yours before starting.

Drilling out grade 8 Allen screws is not fun unless you have some experience doing that type of chore. Just know what you might be getting into.
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Old 08-12-2020, 09:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iowaone View Post
I installed a new spring in one of my arms without any special tools. It took some patience and the right sized punch to get the little shaft out. I bet you can do it. When mine broke while headed home I used a foam pool noodle and tape to keep it engaged so I could drive home.
ROFL I have to admit I was thinking along those lines myself but wasn't sure what to use. The pool noodle is perfect!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigman1 View Post
Yeah, You may have a few problems getting that thing apart. If you look at the kit instructions step 5, it shows you removing the 3/16" Allen screw after heating to loosen the LocTite Red. On 3 brand new, never used, Blue Ox tow bars I've bought, all 6 of these Allen screws were cracked by Blue Ox during installation. Check them well on yours before starting.

Drilling out grade 8 Allen screws is not fun unless you have some experience doing that type of chore. Just know what you might be getting into.
I can only imagine! Thanks for that. I will see about
taking those out before I commit to DIY. If they are busted I will have to use the pool noodle to get to a Blue Ox repair facility.

I am forever grateful for the combined knowledge of the members here and your willingness to share it! Thank you both.



PS My wife said that she has noticed people driving with pool noodles on their hitches and wondered why.
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Old 08-13-2020, 10:42 AM   #5
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I am in luck. The allen screws are OK. The spring is actually broken. I ordered the handle kit and also the bushing kit while I was at it. I am assuming these will fit. I don't know which bar I have, it is not on the site ans there is no remaining lettering on it other than Blue OX but it looks the same. I will also clean and lube the tubes.

The broken piece of spring may be inside the outer tube somewhere. Nothing rattles when shaken. I am leery of putting cleaning fluid inside and flushing it. Not sure it is safe to leave in. Should I be concerned?

How much play is OK in the slide tubes and how do I measure it?
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