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Installing Trailer Hitch Ball on Ball Mount To Allow Correct Torque Without Ball Spinning

Question:

Im having trouble tightening the nut to 250 ft-lbs. I have a great torque wrench for it, but the hitch ball slips, and I cant get a great hold on it with my vise grips. I know I can probably get away with less torque, but out of curiosity, if I wanted to get the full 250 ft-lbs on the nut, what specific tool would you recommend to hold the ball while I tighten the nut?

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Expert Reply:

Most trailer hitch balls have a flat part on two sides of the base like the 2" Hitch Ball - 1-1/4" Diameter x 2-5/8" Long Shank - Chrome - 10,000 # A-90 for example. You will simply need a open end wrench large enough to fit that. Vise Grips will likely be too difficult to hold. We have also used a bench vice as you see in the attached video. Some will choose to use a pipe wrench which works but is likely to mess up the finish on the ball more than the other options.

Then place the lock washer and nut on the threaded portion and torque to specifications. If you are using an open ended wrench to hold the ball, it is easiest to turn the ball mount sideways in the hitch receiver to allow you more force to torque vertically because it is more difficult horizontally.

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