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Tee Nee Boat Trailer Coupler Installation with Bolt Holes Misaligned


I am trying to install this coupler to replace an old coupler on a Tee Nee boat trailer. The bolt holes are 2.5 inches apart so they line up horizontally. But vertically they are off by at least an eighth of an inch. The bolt cannot not be pushed through. Is it best to drill out the frame or coupler holes to make it align for the bolts? Any help would be appreciated. Also the trailer frame is two inches but the coupler appears to be about 2 and 3/8s inch. Is this standard? Will it pull in tight when the bolts and nuts are tightened? Thanks

Expert Reply:

It sounds as if the holes in the trailer frame are not drilled straight through the tongue, or that the coupler spread a little bit after it was stamped at the factory. The coupler should conform to the shape of the frame when installed.

The first thing I would try is use a C-clamp around the coupler, and squeeze the coupler to the frame. This way you can check to see if the bolts will align and slide all the way through the coupler and frame.

If you cannot get the bolts to align in this way, I would use a properly sized drill bit and starting with the hole that is most correctly aligned, with C-clamp holding the coupler in place, drill the hole out so one of the bolts can be installed.

Once this bolt is installed and tightened then drill the other bolt hole out so the bolt will fit. This way you will remove as little material as possible from either the trailer frame or the coupler for the strongest, most secure attachment.

expert reply by:
Robert G

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