Coupling Change.

Submitted: Thursday, Sep 10, 2015 at 20:58
ThreadID: 130255 Views:2777 Replies:3 FollowUps:13
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Hi all, I have a query regards swapping a standard 50mm ball coupling to a lower profile Alko 2000 kg one ( no brakes involved ). The existing unit as per most 750 kg rated trailers is it has 2 bolt location where as the one I wish to fit has 4. Is it possible to drill new locating holes in the existing drawbar plate or is this a no no ?
A look on the Alko site only shows a weld on sheet metal type rated at 750 kg which might be fine for a garden trailer but not my cup of tea .
I am hoping to be able to achieve a compromise without spending $ 300 + on a treg type.

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Reply By: Ron N - Thursday, Sep 10, 2015 at 21:12

Thursday, Sep 10, 2015 at 21:12
Greg, you don't say where you are located (State) - but it would be highly advisable to get advice from a local vehicle inspection station as to precisely what you propose to do.

In general, drilling additional holes in any part of the drawbar would be vetoed - but exactly where you propose to drill the holes would have to be explained to the vehicle inspector, to see if your proposal was allowable, and to ensure it would not seriously affect the integrity and design strength of the drawbar plate.

It is very hard to envisage what you propose, without pictures, drawings, examination or inspection of said drawbar.
The bottom line is, an inspection station engineer has the final say, on what you can and cannot do, as regards modifications to vehicles and accessories.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 590232

Follow Up By: Shaker - Thursday, Sep 10, 2015 at 21:25

Thursday, Sep 10, 2015 at 21:25
I think you will fin that his original coupling had 2 bolts on the centreline of the mounting plate, so to drill 4 new holes shouldn't be an issue.
Vista RV Crossovers have hole patterns for both Ozhtich & Vehicle Components hitches laser cut in their mounting plate, so changing a coupling is a breeze.
FollowupID: 858234

Follow Up By: GREG T11 - Thursday, Sep 10, 2015 at 22:49

Thursday, Sep 10, 2015 at 22:49
Thanks for that, I think I will can that idea. The only reasoning behind it was being able to hitch it to a grand vintara, these have the worst towing arrangement ever.
For those amongst us who have a safety first attitude I will present a scenario that was supposedly a solution and is perfectly legal for this vehicle. An extended towbar made by a leading company, designed to clear the spare wheel and raise the height of the ball. This was used once to tow a trailer with a ball weight of 70 kg. Maybe I am wrong here but at one point we stopped to check a noise, the bow between the receiver and the actual "gooseneck" a distance of maybe 125mm was significant. I don't trust it and it now sitting in the shed.
Fortunately we have a bravo to tow with, it would have been nice to be able to go back to one car if we needed to.
FollowupID: 858236

Reply By: Steve in Kakadu - Thursday, Sep 10, 2015 at 21:39

Thursday, Sep 10, 2015 at 21:39
What do you say when the coroner asks you what went wrong ??

Your answer would have to be, but I save $300 dollars.
AnswerID: 590233

Follow Up By: GREG T11 - Thursday, Sep 10, 2015 at 22:19

Thursday, Sep 10, 2015 at 22:19
I suppose I should have expected a response like that. My reasoning is that I don't require a Treg type hitch that has most likely 4 bolts in the configuration which would still have me asking the same bloody question except I would be $300 behind before I started. It was the kind of question you ask on this type of forum.
I love it when some "expert" puts their 2 bob.s worth in that in essence has little or no relevance apart from trying to appear smart(ass)
FollowupID: 858235

Follow Up By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Friday, Sep 11, 2015 at 07:06

Friday, Sep 11, 2015 at 07:06
Steve is not being a smartarse.
What he has stated is fact.
And like it or not unless you know what you are doing dont do it.
IE A child car seat install with anchor points etc.
If a home install fails and results in maiming or even death it will be investigated.
This why we have qualified installers.
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FollowupID: 858238

Follow Up By: Patrolstl04 - Friday, Sep 11, 2015 at 18:26

Friday, Sep 11, 2015 at 18:26
Greg you should have ;-)...thick skin required often on this forum.
FollowupID: 858248

Follow Up By: GREG T11 - Friday, Sep 11, 2015 at 21:04

Friday, Sep 11, 2015 at 21:04
It's all cool fellas, as I posted earlier I am not going ahead with this, just thought it may have resulted in someone suggesting an alternative model/brand that has a 2 bolt location in parallel as per the original.
The first answer was the clincher so thank you and that it why someone asks on a forum .
Maybe I should be more concise next time and avoid the expert opinions on how to do things without offering any actual answers.
FollowupID: 858260

Follow Up By: Steve in Kakadu - Friday, Sep 11, 2015 at 21:12

Friday, Sep 11, 2015 at 21:12
If there was an actual answer to your problem I would have posted it, however I post what would almost certainly be a problem should you do it.

I am glad you have you have decided not to do it.

yours truly

FollowupID: 858261

Follow Up By: GREG T11 - Sunday, Sep 20, 2015 at 20:49

Sunday, Sep 20, 2015 at 20:49
Thanks Steve, the solution I have come across is a McHitch coupling which states that it is a straight swap over for your standard ball coupling. All legal and no drilling, this is a great relief as I could not have lived with myself after being so succinctly warned of the possible outcome.
FollowupID: 858546

Follow Up By: Steve in Kakadu - Sunday, Sep 20, 2015 at 21:04

Sunday, Sep 20, 2015 at 21:04
Good to hear, enjoy the outcome. :-)
FollowupID: 858549

Follow Up By: nickb - Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 at 13:16

Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 at 13:16
Just drill the holes, as said above other makes have many holes from factory. If anyone can prove just one case anywhere in the world where a hitch has ripped off due to too many holes I will walk down the Main Street with my pants down!!!

Wheel bearing, poor welds, worn axles, old and bald tyres would be more of a concern.

Re the child anchor points: an acquaintance got a CRA bar installed in his patrol. The 2 bolts at either end were only screwed into the sheet metal behind the interior plastic, no washers etc. and that was engineered from a reputable engineering shop. I wouldn't attach my lunchbox to that, let alone my child. Isolated case maybe, but if I didn't check it with my own eyes he would still be using it today.
FollowupID: 858717

Reply By: TomH - Friday, Sep 11, 2015 at 08:42

Friday, Sep 11, 2015 at 08:42
I bought a towbar for my Cruiser and it had the chain attachments underneath and awkward to get at.
I asked the seller (A trailer builder,seller and towbar agent) to weld a new plate on the top.

He refused saying it was illegal to modify a plated towbar in any way, be it by welding drilling, cutting or anything. He said they are complianced as sold and cant be altered as it then voids the compliance.

Some years ago I got permission from HR to shorten and redrill the tongue on the hitch to fit the 100ser. Shortly after that they stopped permissions following legal problems from someone who had done something wrong.
So it is now not permissible to modify the hitch either .

Queries like this are as said best made from the appropriate authority who will give a definitive answer.
Answers on forums are opinions at best and may or may not be correct or even good advice.
Actual occurrences to the poster are reasonable if verifiable.
AnswerID: 590239

Follow Up By: Shaker - Friday, Sep 11, 2015 at 19:10

Friday, Sep 11, 2015 at 19:10
The OP was enquiring about altering his trailer, not his tow bar.

FollowupID: 858250

Follow Up By: TomH - Friday, Sep 11, 2015 at 20:03

Friday, Sep 11, 2015 at 20:03
My mistake In that case just remove and weld a new plate on the A frame Lots swap them from under to over and vice versa without problems Would probably be better than drilling extra holes and weakening it
FollowupID: 858257

Follow Up By: GREG T11 - Sunday, Sep 20, 2015 at 20:59

Sunday, Sep 20, 2015 at 20:59
Thanks Tom, I think I have the hitch part sorted but my chains are going to be a bit short now arrrgh, bloody Suzukis. So now have to find a welder afterall. At least the integrity of the drawbar should not be affected to any great degree.
FollowupID: 858548

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