kaydano

Sucking the chrome off a hitch ball...

18 posts in this topic

Okay, time for another stupid question to drum up some action on the forum...

The chrome on the top third of my ball has been sucked off by the tongue of my trailer. While neither is virgin, both tongue and ball are fairly young and in great shape...

Is this normal? Or did I get some kind of chrome-flaking disease from China? Underneath the chrome, it looks like I have a brass ball...

(This is actually a serious question for those of you that need to remove your mind from the gutter. The chrome has really come off my ball.)

Dano

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Metal to metal causes serious friction, especially if your trailer is putting extra pressure on the bumper. Put a small amount of grease on the ball. This should lengthen the life of the ball.

Don't know if this is the answer your are looking for, but it is one way to alleviate the situation.

Hope this helps.

andy

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Here is a photo of my ball...

I did put grease on it after the damage was done, but, the damage was done.

Mostly curious if this is normal, or just a cheap ball from China with very thin chrome. It is very sharp on the edges where the chrome has come off, so curious if I buy a better ball, whether I will be throwing good money after bad.

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Prolly a combination of cheap ball AND coupler. Grease helps, but I have a lot of stained jeans from contacting a greasy hitch ball.

Mine have the chrome worn off, too.

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Having had the experience of 2 of those cheap chrome balls break off on me over the years I now only run the hardened balls they are usually Black iron and cost about twice as much as the chrome palted junk. Most trailer supply companies carry them. Don't buy the typical hardware store or boat shop balls.

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In the meantime, a bit of high pressure axle grease from your local autopart store will not only cut the friction, it will help protect against rust by literally grind the grease into the ball and forming a semi-protective layer. It's not perfect, but what you're really looking for here is a reduction in frictional wear. Your ball isn't going anywhere, but your coupler is made of thinner metal and there is less to wear there. Not that I think you're going to wear right through anytime soon, but grease it up anyway. Honestly, you want to grease even the good balls. Anytime you have metal to metal contact in a system, lubrication is desirable.

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They do sell stainless steel trailer balls. No chrome to come off.

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I agree with lakebum, I use only the stainless steel with the 1" shank.

All chrome is plated and this is what is happening to your trailer ball, the plating is being removed by your trailer hitch.

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You should always grease your ball, chromed or not. As mentioned before, it's metal on metal contact and needs lubrication. To keep your jeans from getting greasy, get a ball cover, and put some extra grease in it, that way it gets greased every time you use the cover.

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Sometimes you search for something and you come across something else...LOL

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Ha ha ha.  I forgot about this.

I am REALLY surprised to see that Derick never chimed in...

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He was too busy playing with his own hitch balls.

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Underneath the chrome, it looks like I have a brass ball...

Dano

 

Probably dirty copper, in higher end chroming most items are copper plated before the chrome plating is done. This is very common in the auto industry, maybe they used brass plating????

 

Steve

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Ha ha ha.  I forgot about this.

I am REALLY surprised to see that Derick never chimed in...

 

 

He was too busy playing with his own hitch balls.

Haha, what makes this really funny is that I literally just picked up a stainless hitch ball!! We picked the boat up out of storage on Monday night and I thought, "Gee my ball is looking nasty!" and since we all know that once the friction messes up your balls, they'll never be the same. So I went to Canadian Tire (they have the biggest and best selection of balls) and figured stainless was the way to go. Some really like to have chrome balls, and heck you can even get a chrome bar now too, but I was more concerned with the function vs just looking great. Sure lots of people are just concerned with having their balls LOOK pretty, but if you're scared to use them in fear of getting a scratch or a wear mark on them, well you might as well not have any. I know I should put some grease on there, but like others, I know it will end up all over my pants, or worse, my wife's and I'll never hear the end of how me greasing the balls ruined her nice pants/shorts. Never thought about using a cover on my balls. That may be worth looking into. I wonder if they make ones that are ribbed or something so they are easier to get off. You know, in case some of the grease gets on the outside, it'll give it some texture to grab on to.

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There's gotta be a AC/DC song in there somewhere.

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There's gotta be a AC/DC song in there somewhere.

YUP!    :D

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Derrick, you really really REALLY need to get out on the lake. You got WAY too much time on your hands ..... LOL !!!

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I think there is something else on his hands...

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