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Fastway Weight Distribution-Amount of Washers, How to Remove Spring Bars and Torque Figure Question

Question:

The written instructions for assembly of the hitch fail to mention the spacer washers on the hitch head. The video addresses the issue only to say that they are using 5 washers because they are installing the hitch on a truck. I am installing it on a Ford Expedition which for all intent and purpose is a truck. I guess that Ill try it with 5 washers and see if I get the head tilt that appears to look correct. The written instructions need to be amended to include the spacer washers as they seem to be important. Is my assumption correct on how many washers to use? The written instructions do not advise on the amount of head tilt that is recommended. My next question is how do you get the spring bars off the hangers when you uncouple the hitch. You use the tool to get the bars ON the hangers, and theyre under tension when you do that. I dont see any way to do this process in reverse to remove the spring bars without running the chance of injury. Its not like undoing the chains on a regular w/d hitch. What can you tell me about that? And one final question. The torque numbers for the hitch components are very high. 250ft.lbs for the bolts on the head and 450 ft.lbs for the ball. 450 ft.lbs is out of reach for just about anyone except for a shop that works on heavy equipment and even 250 ft. lbs. is hard to find an available torque wrench for that one too. How critical are these numbers? A torque wrench that will hit 450 ft. lbs. costs over $600 even at Northern Tools. Just wondering if tightening with a socket and standing on the cheaterinch bar would be tight enough. I weigh 235, lol.. Thanks,

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Expert Reply:

I spoke to my contact at Fastway and he informed me that on a shorter wheelbase vehicle like your 2003 Ford Expedition a good starting point would be 5-6 washers, but the reason they do not list a recommended amount in the instructions is because the amount of washers required varies based on the application.

The easiest way to get the spring bars off is to use the trailer jack to raise the coupler when connected to a trailer so that the spring bar tension is relieved and can easily be removed. This method also works very well for installing the spring bars.

As far as the torque figures are concerned we cannot safely recommend you use anything other than what Fastway recommends as that will void the warranty. If you can find an RV dealer local to you or any type of garage they should be able to help you out.

expert reply by:
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Jameson C

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