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Old 04-07-2013, 07:18 PM   #1
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weight distribution springs bars and brackets not lining up

So, I have a Curt Weight Distribution kit for my E350. Fits to the van all pretty like.

However, my trailer is a shorter tongue style and I cannot get the brackets to get back far enough to line up with the spring bar chains.

Here's what I am up against:



Any ideas as to how to go about getting this to be done right? Or, am I out the money? I could cut up the base of the trailer body to accommodate the brackets to go back further, but think when lifted into the locked position, the brackets will hit against the trailer body...

I know that drilling holes closer forward is next to impossible as the steel is hardened... Open to thoughts...
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:29 PM   #2
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Re: weight distribution springs bars and brackets not lining

Yeah, I wouldn't recommend trying to modify the bars. I would take some measurements to see if you'll enough clearance for everything if you trim the diamond-plate.

You may be better off with a weight-distribution hitch that uses L-brackets instead of chains to hook up. The most popular one is Equalizer but I think Reese makes a version now. This style will allow it to hook-up below the body-work. You also have some flexibility in mounting the L-brackets, including distance and mounting method (you can bolt it directly to the frame if you can't get the bracket over the frame)

http://www.etrailer.com/Weight-Distr...0-00-1000.html

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Old 04-07-2013, 09:07 PM   #3
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Re: weight distribution springs bars and brackets not lining

I heard the style you show is less desired due to binding? Not sure, but everyone pointed me to the chain style like I bought. Then, I bought this system from someone and not a store so, I cannot return it...

I'd really like to see if I can get this to work. I hate to drill and bolt to the frame. I might be able to get away with having it welded. Not sure if that would work, but if I cut the brackets and weld the plates against the frame... Dunno...

Is there such a thing as shorter bars?
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:34 PM   #4
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Re: weight distribution springs bars and brackets not lining

I have never seen shorter bars. Keep in mind if you shorten your bars, you will be effectively making the spring rate stiffer.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:04 AM   #5
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Re: weight distribution springs bars and brackets not lining

The hook is what you need to secure the chain, no? The bracket that won't fit without cutting aluminum is just a convenient way to attach the hook, yes?

If so can you not have the hook equivalent attached by a competent shop all the way down on the frame where you need it?

Bear in mind I have a similar setup but have not attached it yet so it's quite likely I don't know what I'm saying.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:27 AM   #6
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Re: weight distribution springs bars and brackets not lining

Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
The hook is what you need to secure the chain, no? The bracket that won't fit without cutting aluminum is just a convenient way to attach the hook, yes?

If so can you not have the hook equivalent attached by a competent shop all the way down on the frame where you need it?
The brackets cam over to hold the chain up. And they take a cheater bar to help it cam over.

Now.... if you have a nice power jack (strong enough to lift some of the van's weight), you can just hook it up without a cheater bar, which means you could just weld some hooks directly to the frame. But things could get tricky if you had to hook-up or unhook on uneven terrain where you can't jack up the front of the trailer and rear of the van far enough.

My first farm job required us to hook it up using the tongue jack (not power of course) since cheater bars weren't allowed, after the boss sent the cheater bar into his thigh when it slipped. 14 staples to close it back up.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:54 AM   #7
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Re: weight distribution springs bars and brackets not lining

Ah, wouldn't I have been surprised- lucky for me mine came with the trailer. Hopefully I'll be going through this myself in a few weeks.

I'd say most of what you could do would involve engineering and welding to a point that, well, you might as well sell your Curt and invest that in something that fits the trailer correctly instead.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:26 PM   #8
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Re: weight distribution springs bars and brackets not lining

Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
Ah, wouldn't I have been surprised- lucky for me mine came with the trailer. Hopefully I'll be going through this myself in a few weeks.

I'd say most of what you could do would involve engineering and welding to a point that, well, you might as well sell your Curt and invest that in something that fits the trailer correctly instead.
Just so I don't forget later.... This goes for everyone.... Never stand in the line of fire of the cheater bar when hooking up the WD chains! When it slips, the cheater bars gets launched with potentially thousands of pounds of tension behind it.

And yes, good point on the welding costs. Since Lizard's trailer has a tube-frame, it will require stiffeners to connect both walls of the tube so it won't collapse.
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:24 PM   #9
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Re: weight distribution springs bars and brackets not lining

I have used these hitches on several trailers, and it seems to me you could just shave an inch or so off the back of the brackets (at an angle on the inside) and then they would slide back enough to use your current bars/chains. I had one setup where my chains were angled back to the bars, and I never had a problem if I hooked things up carefully.
You should do all the reading you can on weight distribution. I'm not saying you haven't, but if you're setting up the same vehicle, trailer and load to be used the same way all the time, you should take some measurements of how everything is sitting and make sure your tension, squat, etc. are right. You want to find the difference in wheel to fender on the tow vehicle with and without the trailer. I can't remember the specifics but it shouldn't be hard to find. Otherwise, you will have a pretty scary ride the first time you try braking in the rain! I've heard it is possible to torque a weight distributing setup so tightly that you can actually raise the rear wheels of the tow vehicle, but obviously this is a bit of an extreme.

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Old 04-08-2013, 08:22 PM   #10
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Re: weight distribution springs bars and brackets not lining

Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty
I can't remember the specifics but it shouldn't be hard to find.
carringb just emailed me this info, I'll save him retyping it:

Quote:
you mean a weight distribution hitch?

If yes, then you can go over 10% on the tongue weight (at the jack is close enough). I found big square trailers tow better with a heavier tongue tongue than a light tongue. The basic guideline for setting up the tension on the weight-distribution bars is to reference the front fenders on the van. Measure the gap to the tires with the trailer hooked up and compare that to empty. When you hook up the weight distribution bars, they should remove about have the "lift" at the front axle.

Does the trailer have rubber torsion axles (looks like mini trailing arms at the end of the axle tube) or leaf springs? If it has torsion springs, it has to be absolutely level. Unlike leaf-springs, rubber torsion springs can't equalize, and if the trailer is not level, it will overload one of the axle, and you'll eat through those tires really fast (BTDT).

Other than that.... Trailer tires are only good for 65 MPH. The only other thing to watch out for is the bow-wave coming off trucks. When it hits the front of the trailer, it pushes the trailer away from the truck, which cause the van to angle towards the truck, so it feels like you're getting sucked in! Just be prepared for that. Once it happens a couple times you'll barely notice. It's not noticeable with the newer aero trucks, but the classic style trucks and buses can really push a wave through the air.
My plan is to use my 3ton jack to help elevate the van rear so I'm not doing a full pull on the cheater.
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