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Old 06-27-2017, 06:27 PM   #1
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Torching a weld nut inside 2" hitch stinger

Hi all,
It's embarrassing how much product research and $ I've put into getting two bicycles across country cleanly, safely and securely.

I went with a 4-bike swing-away rack, even though the tilt-aways would have provided adequate access, if a bit constrained. I got the hitch-mounted Thule Vertex 4-bike swing-away.

Problem is that the 2"x2" stinger for the Vertex has a *nut welded inside the hitch pin hole that prevents me from using a standard 5/8" pin diameter hitch lock.

(*Weld nut is intended for use with included short threaded bolt for anti-rattle attachment ... AND is compatible with Thule's $56 "snug fit" lock, which is little more than a threaded locking skinny-looking pin, using the same darn lock cylinder I'm so NOT a fan of.

So I guess I have to use a 1/2" pin diameter hitch lock. It's not the end of the world; I'll put on one of those anti-rattle U-bolt/plate thingamabobs so the hitch receiver and stringer won't put a lot of play on a rattling pin ... but wouldn't everything be wonderful and sized appropriately if I could just eliminate the weld nut?

Question: Would I likely be able to torch the welds on the nut and get it out of there? Or will they be some kind of industrial weld impenetrable with your average handyman's blow torch? Also, by torching that hitch pin hole area, would I be taking a chance at weakening the integrity of the stinger in any way?

Should I just go with the damn 1/2" pin or try torching the nut out?
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Old 06-27-2017, 08:06 PM   #2
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I'm not quite sure I understand, but can't you drill out the threads to 5/8"?
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Old 06-27-2017, 08:52 PM   #3
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What's so bad about the bolt and weld nut for anti rattle? I've found them to be pretty effective......throw the correct sized wrench in the back of the van....

...or use the smaller pin sized hole if you have a 1/2" pin..

Heating the steel with a blow torch won't impact it's strength.
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:05 PM   #4
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I understand...now. I looked at all the pics closely on Etrailer because I was concerned about you regretting removing this nut! Here's the thing. These bigger bike carriers move around a LOT. They are heavy, especially the swing out style, and even a snug hitch pin won't keep still. They don't just move around a little, they move around a lot. I have build 3 point racks for my bikes and hitch add-ons in the past.
When you consider that you're in an SMB and might take it offroad where SMBs like to go you probably need this anti rattle feature. Honestly I would get the proper bolt if it wasn't supplied. I realize this isn't as secure but you can win the war. Go to a specialized hardware store or get on Mcmaster Carr and order that bolt in a 'no tamper' style if you can find it. Another possibility is a big hex bolt that no thief is going to be able to bypass without a lot of work. Whatever you decide, I think you'll figure out that they put that anti rattle feature there for a reason.

https://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Bike-...0WMaAuUM8P8HAQ

You can see the welded in nut in the top row of pics all the way on the right.

Try one of these, but verify what fits first. Companies like Thule love to sell those $60 or more locks so it may not be a standard thread.

https://www.mcmaster.com/#security-bolts/=189c0tg

https://www.mcmaster.com/#tamper-res...-bits/=189c1qc

And you shant be embarrassed. You'll be amazed how much people around here dump into their hobbies.......on TOP of the hobby of the vans themselves.

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Old 06-27-2017, 10:11 PM   #5
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If you want it tight and locked, I'd just by the snug fit lock. They should really include it with the carriers that use it.

I have the T2 Classic and it came with the lock. I use it and am glad I have it. I also use something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Between the two nothing moves, even off-road.
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Old 06-28-2017, 02:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rallypanam View Post
I'm not quite sure I understand, but can't you drill out the threads to 5/8"?
Right - hadn't thought of that. simple is good (and lucky my hosts have the tools I might need).

i'm liking the tamper-resistant bolt idea now, tho.
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Old 06-28-2017, 02:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boywonder View Post
What's so bad about the bolt and weld nut for anti rattle? I've found them to be pretty effective......throw the correct sized wrench in the back of the van....

...or use the smaller pin sized hole if you have a 1/2" pin..

Heating the steel with a blow torch won't impact it's strength.
You're right, the included bolt looks like a decent anti-rattle. And given how many miles I'll be putting in, multi-snugging is desirable. I hated to give up that screw-pin functionality, frankly, but the weld nut really limited what non-thule anti-rattle lock options were available ... luckily, there may be a solution if the weld nut doesn't have proprietary threads.
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Old 06-28-2017, 03:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty View Post
I understand...now. I looked at all the pics closely on Etrailer because I was concerned about you regretting removing this nut! Here's the thing. These bigger bike carriers move around a LOT. They are heavy, especially the swing out style, and even a snug hitch pin won't keep still. They don't just move around a little, they move around a lot. I have build 3 point racks for my bikes and hitch add-ons in the past.
When you consider that you're in an SMB and might take it offroad where SMBs like to go you probably need this anti rattle feature. Honestly I would get the proper bolt if it wasn't supplied. I realize this isn't as secure but you can win the war. Go to a specialized hardware store or get on Mcmaster Carr and order that bolt in a 'no tamper' style if you can find it. Another possibility is a big hex bolt that no thief is going to be able to bypass without a lot of work. Whatever you decide, I think you'll figure out that they put that anti rattle feature there for a reason.

https://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Bike-...0WMaAuUM8P8HAQ

You can see the welded in nut in the top row of pics all the way on the right.

Try one of these, but verify what fits first. Companies like Thule love to sell those $60 or more locks so it may not be a standard thread.

https://www.mcmaster.com/#security-bolts/=189c0tg

https://www.mcmaster.com/#tamper-res...-bits/=189c1qc

And you shant be embarrassed. You'll be amazed how much people around here dump into their hobbies.......on TOP of the hobby of the vans themselves.

Thanks for the great idea. A torx rounded head bolt looks like the ticket, if I can find one that works. And I agree, the u-bolt/plate anti-rattle thingy is a given. The one I have seems pretty beefy, I was going to wait and see how my components worked out, and add a second ubolt thingy if there was any remote amount of play ... and that would surely render the hitch pin anti-rattle immaterial ... or so i imagine. Plus the would be thieves would take one look at the number of bolts to contend with and ditch their ambition ;-)

I do appreciate your concern. Even mostly highway, it's a punishing amount of ground to cover. I figure I'll have to check the bolts every couple of stops to boot.

And thanks for the personal reassurance re my consumerism.
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Old 06-28-2017, 08:48 AM   #9
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I have not seen that genius anti-rattle that Madscience linked. That's really cool and leaves your pin location open for a regular lock. I'd probably go that route personally.

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Old 06-28-2017, 11:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadScience View Post
If you want it tight and locked, I'd just by the snug fit lock. They should really include it with the carriers that use it.

I have the T2 Classic and it came with the lock. I use it and am glad I have it. I also use something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Between the two nothing moves, even off-road.
Thats what I like to hear! ;-)

It's good to have your personal report on on the thule snug-fit. When my 20+ year old Thule rack/feet and ski attachments were stolen off my honda a year ago, I googled and learned (many years behind the times) that stealing racks/components to sell on CL was a thing. ... and with thule-type locks, it takes only a screwdriver and a little muscle. I suppose the form factor of the snug fit hitch pin might make it harder to compromise than say thule locks in plastic housing, but I was bummed to find out my aftermarket options were so limited.
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