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Old 07-02-2020, 05:18 PM   #1
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Towed base plate failure

Anybody ever hear of a base plate failing at the attach points. I am in the middle of repairing mine now. Good thing I caught it!
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Old 07-02-2020, 05:20 PM   #2
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What brand of base plate. Could you post a photo so others know what to check?
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Old 07-02-2020, 05:23 PM   #3
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You mentioned it failed at the attachment point. Did the bolts shear. I’ve heard of the happening when the nuts loosened from vibration.
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Old 07-02-2020, 08:41 PM   #4
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Let me guess, was it a Blue Ox base plate?
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Old 07-03-2020, 08:27 PM   #5
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After thinking this through I was in a accident last year while towing so the base plate didn't fail you can see what did. All welded up and new grade 8 bolts.Click image for larger version

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Old 07-03-2020, 08:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lllkrob View Post
Let me guess, was it a Blue Ox base plate?
I did a quick calculation based on the bolts supplied with my Blue Ox base plate for Honda CRV.

The provided 1/2" bolts (4) were grade 5 and the 8mm bolts were grade 8.8. The 1/2" bolts are sheer loaded and the 8mm bolts are in tension.

The force to break those bolts would be on the order of 96,000 pounds if installed with loctite and TORQUED properly. I don't see my CRV breaking it.

My guess is a lot of failures are a result of them loosening over a period of time due to lack of loctite and proper torque which allows them to "work" back and forth creating much more stress as well as creating stress risers in the surfaces. Proper torque pre-tension's (stretches) the bolt the correct amount so the bolt doesn't "feel" the work load on it.

How do you break a piece of string etc?? Yank on it, not pull on it. The shock load is the issue.

Airplane cylinders have to be torqued precisely in order to pre-tension the bolts otherwise they will fail in short order. "Gootandtight" is not sufficient.
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Old 07-03-2020, 08:45 PM   #7
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I did a quick calculation based on the bolts supplied with my Blue Ox base plate for Honda CRV.

The provided 1/2" bolts (4) were grade 5 and the 8mm bolts were grade 8.8. The 1/2" bolts are sheer loaded and the 8mm bolts are in tension.

The force to break those bolts would be on the order of 96,000 pounds if installed with loctite and TORQUED properly. I don't see my CRV breaking it.

My guess is a lot of failures are a result of them loosening over a period of time due to lack of loctite and proper torque which allows them to "work" back and forth creating much more stress as well as creating stress risers in the surfaces. Proper torque pre-tension's (stretches) the bolt the correct amount so the bolt doesn't "feel" the work load on it.

How do you break a piece of string etc?? Yank on it, not pull on it. The shock load is the issue.

Airplane cylinders have to be torqued precisely in order to pre-tension the bolts otherwise they will fail in short order. "Gootandtight" is not sufficient.

Well that blows my tightening theory of 3-finger-red or 2-finger-white.
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Old 07-03-2020, 08:57 PM   #8
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After thinking this through I was in a accident last year while towing so the base plate didn't fail you can see what did. All welded up and new grade 8 bolts.Attachment 291877Attachment 291878Attachment 291879
Not to be a critic but looking at that weld I'm not totally impressed with it's quality so I will make a few comments for safety's sake. Please don't take offense. If done properly there should be no issue and I hope that is the case, but a repair not done properly and documented as having been done on the internet is cause for concern.

Does whoever welded that know what type of steel that frame is made of?

Most frames are carbon or high alloy carbon steel (of which there are many alloys) and welding them requires special pre and post heating techniques as well as special filler metals. Even with proper techniques they are much more prone to cracking. You can weld them with your oxy/acet., mig or tig rig and melt it together but what type of granular structure is in that weld. I'm not seeing in the photos what I would expect a certified welder to do.

Just some food for thought.
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Old 07-03-2020, 09:04 PM   #9
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Well that blows my tightening theory of 3-finger-red or 2-finger-white.
Never heard that one before in all my years. I like it!
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Old 07-04-2020, 05:30 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by deputydog View Post
Never heard that one before in all my years. I like it!

Quite funny what things stick in the mind as we traverse life.
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Old 07-04-2020, 10:47 AM   #11
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1st off if you look closely that is not welded yet I am holding it up in the piece that broke.. you are looking at are the factory welds. i have been welding for 25 years and know a little about welding. I think that the procedure of pre heat and post heat is 4 cast materials not Soft stamped metal I did not take a picture of the finished product but my welds are good. Probably better then stock plus extra reinforcing.
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:11 PM   #12
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1st off if you look closely that is not welded yet I am holding it up in the piece that broke.. you are looking at are the factory welds. i have been welding for 25 years and know a little about welding. I think that the procedure of pre heat and post heat is 4 cast materials not Soft stamped metal I did not take a picture of the finished product but my welds are good. Probably better then stock plus extra reinforcing.
I did see that the part you were holding was not attached and as I noted please don't take offense at my comments. They were just offered as food for thought. I don't weld for a living but have 50+ years of welding experience (mostly TIG and gas welding of aircraft and machine parts with a bit of MIG and stick thrown in on mostly farm equipment).

I've just seen way too many weld failures that were the result of not knowing what kind of material was being welded. Comments like "it was aluminum, I thought all aluminum was weldable" (WRONG) or "it's just metal (steel) and it's all the same" (WRONG) or probably my favorite of all from home welders of drag racer or aircraft frames "it was 4130 so I welded it with 4130 rod" (Sounds like a great idea but WRONG, major disaster waiting to happen because it WILL CRACK, guaranteed if you do that.)

As for pre and post heating, no it's not just for cast materials. Carbon steels, especially the higher carbon steels require pre and post heating to avoid cracking. Below is a quote from metalsupermarkets.com. I also posted a link if you have any interest in reading more.

Each type of carbon steel requires different considerations when welding. Low carbon steel is typically the most readily welded steel in a room temperature environment. Examples of low carbon steel suitable for welding include C1008, C1018, A36, A1011 and A500. Medium carbon steel such as C1045 typically requires preheat and post-heat treatment to avoid weld cracking. High carbon steel is even more prone to weld cracking than the other two groups of carbon steel. Welding high carbon steel will most likely require very thorough preheating and post-heating processes to avoid this. It could also require special welding filler metals.

https://www.metalsupermarkets.com/welding-carbon-steel/

Cheers and have a Happy and Safe 4th!
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:17 PM   #13
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You information is absolutely correct except this is a 04 VW Beetle made in Mexico I doubt any metal in this entire car except motor parts is carbon steel. Half the car is plastic. I look at it like if it was at a body shop it would not have been as good of job as I did. The hole job cost me less than $5.
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:41 PM   #14
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There was a post on another site some time ago about a Roadmaster base plate breaking and the company wasn't interested.
Looking at the photos posted you could see that the bolts had loosened allowing it to slip and eventually break. My guess is it wasn't installed with red locktite and torqued as specified. So, yes they can break and break the frame too.
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