Solved

Ball hitch hole in bumper too small?

Posted on 2013-06-07
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Last Modified: 2013-06-21
My truck has a 2 inch ball hitch mounted on the bumper. The stem fit exactly in the existing hole. I now need a 2 5/16th's ball and the stem is 1 inch and the hole is too small.
Any ideas to widen the hole?

I'll look but never seen recently  a one inch diamter drill bit that won't rip my hands off as it makes the hole larger with a hand held electric drill.
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Question by:nickg5
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19 Comments
 
LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:tailoreddigital
tailoreddigital earned 75 total points
ID: 39230907
Drilling it out sounds like the thing to do if you can't find a 2 5/16 with a thinner shank.

When i do that type of drilling, my Dewalt has a side handle that helps support,
Side Handle
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LVL 25

Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 39230919
The existing hole has to be 1/16 too small.
Maybe 1/8 but I doubt it, and I mean 1/8 inch all the way around.

Whatever bit I use is going to be very hard to handle.
I've had troubles with 3/8 inch bits through metal. They grab and...........

The larger ball 2 5/16th's require the larger shank, I assume for safety reasons.
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LVL 2

Assisted Solution

by:MrWid
MrWid earned 75 total points
ID: 39230950
Try a thing called a step drill bit. They are ideal for drilling holes wider and especially work well with sheet metal/plastic. They don't grab and snatch like a fluted drill bit.

Have a look at this link in the UK:

http://www.tesco.com/direct/3-piece-titanium-step-drill-set/793-7483.prd?pageLevel=&skuId=793-7483&kpid=793-7483&sc_cmp=ppc_g__&gclid=COjX6M2t07cCFWfItAod-DcAOQ

Hope this helps.
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LVL 34

Assisted Solution

by:Michael-Best
Michael-Best earned 250 total points
ID: 39231054
The methods given above will not stop the drill from grabbing and ripping your arms off...
You need to grind a negative or nuetral rake on the drills cutting edge so the drill won't grab.
Also do the drilling at a slow rotational speed in a drill press.
A hand held drill is very dangerous if used to enlarge an existing hole.

http://www.mmsonline.com/articles/choose-the-best-drill-point-geometry

Also called the Dubbed drill (fig. K)
http://www.newmantools.com/machines/drillpoint.html
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LVL 25

Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 39231569
The difference between the shank and the hole is fairly small. I may use a round bastard file and see if I can get the shank to fit that way.
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:Michael-Best
ID: 39231610
You could also enlarge the hole with a rotary grinding stone in a hand held drill.
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LVL 32

Assisted Solution

by:aleghart
aleghart earned 100 total points
ID: 39232297
You can find a step bit that goes up to 1-inch.  but, if it catches, you need quick reactions and a fair amount of strength to avoid getting thrown, or spraining your wrist.

I've used step bits on sheet metal up to 10ga.  Not something like 1/4" steel.  If you try it, I'd use oil.  Have somebody spritz it with WD-40 while you're drilling.

Otherwise, I'd try a grinder, like Michael-Best suggested.  Trace the outline, grab a Dremel and go for it.

I tried to do this with a file when I was a teenager.  (Teacher's pet.)  After a few days of filing with a round file, I gave up and gave it back.  Too much work for such a small hole.  I think whoever finished it used a die grinder.
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LVL 34

Accepted Solution

by:
Michael-Best earned 250 total points
ID: 39232367
I repeat, do not use a step bit as it will certaily grab and break something...
Step bits are designed for drilling sheet metal or wood only.
(I am a very experience "tool and die maker")

"1/8 inch all the way around"
"I may use a round bastard file and see if I can get the shank to fit that way"

If the steel is not "hardened" then this is possible with some hard elbow work...

Better to use a rotary grinding stone in a high speed hand drill.

rotary grinding stones
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/ecatalog/N-1z0dqdk
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LVL 25

Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 39233494
The new 2 5/16's ball looks huge compared to the 2 inch.
Even though the shank is just a tad too round.
I pulled this trailer home on the two inch ball. The previous owner has owned and pulled many trailers and he said the 2 inch would hold fine.
I only have one place to park the trailer and the concrete is not prefectly level and parallel with the ground. I had trouble getting the trailer to let go of the truck despite the ball only being 2 inches. The trailer wanted to roll forward as did the truck. I'll have to brick off all the wheels involved next time.
I'm not clearly seeing how easy the larger ball will work as far as ease of hitching up and un-hitching.

The hole in the truck bumper was apparentlt intended to be used for a ball hitch. How capable the truck bumper is for accepting the larger ball not sure. I'm having to enlarge the hole that came from the factory.

Looking at the truck manual the truck weigh 4600 pounds and can handle over 3000 pounds in the bed of the truck.
As far as towing, the truck manual says it can handle 4400-5900 pounds of trailer and tongue. We have a truck stop nearby and I'll go weigh the trailer.
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:Michael-Best
ID: 39236346
"I pulled this trailer home on the two inch ball."
You should have your driving licence canceled for doing such a dangerous action.

Luck for you no traffic cops are EE members, or are there some???
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LVL 25

Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 39236414
It was properly chained on both side and the trip was 24 miles.
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LVL 25

Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 39236416
-
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LVL 25

Author Closing Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 39236428
Drilling it out sounds like the thing to do if you can't find a 2 5/16 with a thinner shank.
..........no luck there....
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LVL 25

Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 39241038
The 7/8 to 1 1/8 step bit at Home Depot was $44.95.

I decided on a 1 inch round 3/8 inch deep grinding point to try to get started for $3.47.
My hole is 7/8 so I may need a beveled grinder to get the one inch hole started before using the round one. With the existing hole 7/8 and the round grinder being 1 inch it will try to walk on me, I assume.
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:Michael-Best
ID: 39241507
"I pulled this trailer home on the two inch ball."
"It was properly chained on both side and the trip was 24 miles."

safe as houses...but still very illegal...prey no EE  traffic cops come to hunt you down...hehe
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LVL 25

Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 39241554
A police officer was sitting at a redlight when we made the turn.
No turn signals, no brake lights, no tag. We were ignored.

Our state does not require a tag, registration or title on any trailer under 26,000 poinds. However we've been told that an out of state officer can give you a ticket for having no tag with no regard to the laws in our state.
We can get a permanent trailer tag for $87.00.

This trailer is not going to be flying down the highways at 60+ mph fully loaded. We see no issues with local hauling and small loads. How many trailers come flying off the tow truck at 30 miles per hour?
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:Michael-Best
ID: 39243231
Lucky you...
I got fined $100 for my motorcycle tyre (tire) being 0.1mm under regulation tread depth...cops here in Japan are ruthless pigs...

A warning to get a new tyre soon, should have been given first.
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LVL 25

Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 39257994
I got a 3/8 thick, 1 inch round grinding point for my drill.
I then got a 3/8 inch round one to try to get the surface from 7/8 to 1 inch so the 1 inch point would be below the surface and begin to grind the hole all the way through.
The small one barely shaved metal. This is hard metal from car bumper. I got the one inch round point to get a 1 inch hole started and maybe 1/8 inch deep and the point broke in 3 pieces. There is maybe another 1 inch depth to go. At $4.00 per point that would be 8 more.
It tries to grab and turn the hand drill at the surfce but once below the surface and in the new one inch hole it is trying but very little metal is being removed.
The new hole is not exactly centered over the 7/8 inch hole so maybe off by 1/16 or less.
Too late now as the one inch hole has been started and maybe if lucky 1/8 inch deep.
How to proceed not sure. This is very hard steel.
Step up or step down would be perfect if the drill would not grab. And the bit is made of carbide I think and are $45.00 each.
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:Michael-Best
ID: 39266174
Please open a new question so that other EE members can earn points.
I have retired from solving all EE automotive questions.

Goodbye & regards.
Michael
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