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Discussion Starter #1
I was in San Francisco this weekend. The downpour on saturday was non-stop all day. Then back in Sacramento on Sunday evening...I saw these orange-red dusts and spikes on the mouth/opening of the hidden hitch!!! I am sure this is RUST but I had the hitch on for only 3 weeks!

Jim, friends and others... whom have the same 2" class-3 hidden hitch please check your hitches and let us know if I am in an unique circumstances or is this rust universal to all hitch owners.

What to do? What to do?

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abyez:
I've got the tubular hidden hitch too. The company does not coat the inside of the receiver. Probably just a touch. When I got mine, I noticed this so what I did was to spray it gloss black inside & out.

They look clean & shiny now even with the freezing temparature, rain or what not that we're having. I suggested this to Jim. I'm not sure if he did it.

You can take it down, sand it and then spray it.
 

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Forgot to tell you, I also placed a cover in the back of the receiver so that sand and salt or water will not get in. Not totally but at least it will be minimized. You can get the small reese plastic cover. It'll fit in the back.
 

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My hitch is also showing signs of rust (2 months old). If I don't get to it right away it's going to look like sh.. It just seems out of place with the new van. Suggestions?

2002 RRP EX
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks kuruma,
taking it down, sanding it, gloss paint it...sounds like a 3-day-weekend job for me. Do you have a complete instruction to do this?
I may want to try this on thanksgiving.

Or Should I go to the local store (from which I purchased the hitch) to ask them for a "fix" or idea to tackle this problem?

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abyez:
How did you know that it took me a three-day weekend to do this? It's only because I allowed one day to let the paint dry and then recoat it again until the whole can is empty. Plus it was cold at the time I did it. If it's hot where you are, you can paint it in the morning and repeat the process in the afternoon. I'm pretty sure you can do it.

Here's what I did:
1) First of all, I bought gloss black paint spray from Home Depot. It cost me Cdn$1.95 (US$1.20). I had spare sand paper from previous mods I did.

2) Removed all labels. Sanded the whole hitch using a fine sand paper (Metal Fine #150 grit). Probably took me 10-20 minutes. Do not sand the original paint off. Just enough for the new paint to stick. I called the Hidden Hitch tech guy and he said they bake the paint on. So do not sand it to the bone.

3)Start spraying evenly by going from left to right or vice versa. Let paint dry for 10 minutes and then re-coat. Make sure you do not overspray in one location to avoid drips. After 3-5 coats, let it dry overnight.

4) Repeat step three the next day. Make sure you also spray the inside of the receiver.

5) When paint is completely dry, apply wax to protect it and then buff it.

6)Install hitch. That's it.

Maybe I should take a picture and let Jim post it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Kuruma Hayai:
abyez:
How did you know that it took me a three-day weekend to do this? It's only because I allowed one day to let the paint dry and then recoat it again until the whole can is empty. Plus it was cold at the time I did it. If it's hot where you are, you can paint it in the morning and repeat the process in the afternoon. I'm pretty sure you can do it.

Here's what I did:
1) First of all, I bought gloss black paint spray from Home Depot. It cost me Cdn$1.95 (US$1.20). I had spare sand paper from previous mods I did.

2) Removed all labels. Sanded the whole hitch using a fine sand paper (Metal Fine #150 grit). Probably took me 10-20 minutes. Do not sand the original paint off. Just enough for the new paint to stick. I called the Hidden Hitch tech guy and he said they bake the paint on. So do not sand it to the bone.

3)Start spraying evenly by going from left to right or vice versa. Let paint dry for 10 minutes and then re-coat. Make sure you do not overspray in one location to avoid drips. After 3-5 coats, let it dry overnight.

4) Repeat step three the next day. Make sure you also spray the inside of the receiver.

5) When paint is completely dry, apply wax to protect it and then buff it.

6)Install hitch. That's it.

Maybe I should take a picture and let Jim post it.
</font>
Excelent!!! Sounds easy. You are one hack of an instructor - very clear and simple to understand.
Thank you.

now, the hitch I got was installed by the store I purchased from. So, I guess I need to learn more about the installation process. My 1st question would be,

how much ft/lb of torque did you applied to the bolts??

I do not have a torque wrench, where to find one?

Thanks again....more questions to come as I learn more.


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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I do not have a torque wrench, where to find one?</font>
Try the local rental center. I rent one when I change over and back from snow tires to summer tires. Runs about $6 for 3 hours in this area.

It'll probably be a 1/2" drive so make sure you have the right sockets and extensions.

Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by robr2:
Try the local rental center.
</font>
Got it ROB, Thanks.


BTW, How much does a new torque wrench cost at stores ??? If it is $10-$20...I'll be willing to invest.

[This message has been edited by abyez (edited 11-14-2001).]
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by abyez:
BTW, How much does a new torque wrench cost at stores ??? If it is $10-$20...I'll be willing to invest.
</font>
A quality torque wrench will be in the $100 - $200 range.

- Darell

[This message has been edited by darelldd (edited 11-14-2001).]
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by darelldd:
A quality torque wrench will be in the $100 - $200 range.

- Darell
</font>
I think torque wrenches are an essential for any DIYer that works on cars fairly frequently. I have two of them, both Sears Craftsman. One is 3/8" drive, 25-250 in-lbs, the other is 1/2" drive and goes up to 150 ft-lbs. IIRC, I paid in the $60-$80 range for them (each). These are both the "break-away" type, which I prefer when working under the car. I'd check ebay, lots of tools up there for reasonable prices, you can get a real decent torque wrench for around $50, I think. Also, check the Sears Craftsman website, seems some are on sale there too:

www.craftsman.com

click on tools & equipment > mechanics tools > torque wrenches

can't seem to get the UBB code working with the HUGE URLs that craftsman site uses...

Of course, Darell is right if you wanna get something really nice like a Snap-on, etc.. expect to pay alot more.

Also a simple spring gauge type torque wrench would do too if you don't anticipate using it much, and you could get one for less than $20 probably.

Hope this helps...

-SJ

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DEP '01 EX no-navi

[This message has been edited by shinjohn (edited 11-14-2001).]
 

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Forget it. I tried removing the bolts off the hitch on my Windstar. Managed to work 3 out of the 6 off. The rest wouldn't budge. Had to put those bolts back on and bring it to a hitch dealer. Torquing is a non issue with those darn impact wrenches.

2002 RRP EX
 

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abyez:
Thanks for the complement but I give credit to all the members here because they were the ones who taught me how to do it. As Chuck said once to me, we teach you now so that you may teach others down the road. Sounds like Master Kwai Chang Kane.

One tip when putting back the hitch: I used an anti-sieze compound (silver stuff) on the threads of the bolt so it doesn't lock up on you later on.

I also agree with everyone that a torque wrench is a 'must have' tool in the garage. Got a 3/8". Waiting for a sale on a 1/2".
 

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Discussion Starter #14
thanks yall for replyin

now I have a qestion: What is snap-on and "break-away"????

See, I told you that the more I learn the more questions I need.
Knowledge is power and it can never-EVER be satisfied.

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Snap-on is a brand name, break-away is a type of torque wrench. In a break-away design you dial in the torque you want, and when the torque reaches the dialed in value, the wrench "releases" and you can feel the "release" and it will have a soft click. This indicates that you have the correct torque. Inexpensice torque wrenches just have a needle on a scale, so the accuracy is only as good as you can read the needle, and you have to view the wrench to see the torque. It is often difficult to even view the scale on the wrench when working in awkward situations.
 

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Using anti-seize (Molybdenum disulfide) on the trailer hitch bolts is a bad idea. First, when using a torque wrench, you will tend to over tighten them, second, they will tend to loosen over time due to the lubricant on the threads. The torque value is usually around 60 foot-pounds with clean, dry threads. If anything, you should probably use blue Locktite on the bolts.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by seize:
Using anti-seize (Molybdenum disulfide) on the trailer hitch bolts is a bad idea. First, when using a torque wrench, you will tend to over tighten them, second, they will tend to loosen over time due to the lubricant on the threads. The torque value is usually around 60 foot-pounds with clean, dry threads. If anything, you should probably use blue Locktite on the bolts.</font>
I think I see a religious war brewing, but I'm not smart enough to stay away


Using an anti-seize compound on these bolts is certainly not necessary. This type of product is particularly useful when dissimilar metals are in contact, e.g., steel spark plugs in aluminum heads, which is not the case here. Personally, I'd probably just use clean materials and not worry about any possible rust since these threads are going to be tightened and probably never removed. If I expected to have to remove them then I'd simply use some grease on the threads.

Lock washers should be sufficient; an appropriate Locktite-type product could be used but probably isn't necessary.

Just my 2 cents worth,
Mel
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by abyez:
I do not have a torque wrench, where to find one?</font>
Pep Boys or Autozone. It's free at either place with a deposit.

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Jim
'01 GG EX w/stuff
'93 Nissan Sentra SE-R with more stuff
 
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