Max Coupler Wearing Out

#1
I have what I think is a second generation "Mod 1" Max Coupler, purchased in May 2013. There seems to have been lots of changes in design and ownership over the years and pictures are hard to find but roughly:

First Gen


Second Gen On mine the yoke's bolt bushing has a shoulder (Mod 1?), but no grease fitting for keeping the bushing lubed. Frequent disassembly, cleaning, lubing and reassembly
is required if you frequent dusty trails.


Third Gen With the yoke's vertical steel wrapping around


Maybe later a zerk fitting was added to this gen

Fourth Gen The Yoke has the alignment "wings" to aid in coupling and a grease fitting

 
#2
On mine the Yoke's steel bushing (they call it a Crush Sleeve) no longer has a round exterior and the hole in the yoke is out of round too. This results in a lot of vertical slop in the yoke.
I've made sure that the large bolt is tight and does not move.

The bushing exterior varies from 1.20" to 1.22"

The Yoke's hole is more of an oval with the side to side being 1.22" and the front to back being 1.24"

When the bushing rotates into the "worst" position the gap can be .040" front to back.

Instead of the yoke staying horizontal the play can cause it to noticeably wobble up and down. I measured .050" in the vertical plane and it makes clunking noises. How long it will last until failing? Dunno.

My attempts to engage CU Offroad have gone nowhere. I did attempt to order a new yoke from them last week but that failed too. Phone calls go to black hole voice mail. It turns out that the website is deliberately designed to keep the end user at bay as stated to me by "JR" when I finally got a rather hostile return call and a very unhelpful follow-up email reply. I never asked for anything free and I've paid full price for the yoke. Mine is 4 years old so it is what it is. It would have been nice to have the owners tell me what the current yoke design is like. Pictures are few and far between.

So for anyone who actually offroads a lot with a Max Coupler be sure to keep an eye on the wear in the yoke.

I reluctantly ended up ordering a new yoke from Knight Offroad but I have no idea when I will receive it.
 
#3
This came on my tent trailer, tried to get more info about it like where do I order replacement parts, what's the warranty, etc by calling cu offroad but there is no contact number. Just their ****ty website contact form, tried that a half dozen times - nothing. So after doing some digging this is what I came up with

Chris Ulloa
Company name "Cuamco"
717 N Coney Ave
Azusa, Ca 91702
702 674 6292
818 565 5522

info@kilbyenterprises.com
chris@kilbyenterprises.com (obviously not kilby as brad kilby sold the business back in '10 or '11 IIRC)

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100013315657696

I tried calling the numbers I found and got nothing. I tried emailing the email addresses and got nothing. So at this point with less than 3k miles of use on CU OFFROAD's "amazing" coupler with their "Tough-Flex formula" polyurethane bushing that supposedly they have never had to replace under warranty (because they don't answer ****ing calls/emails??) and with the rubber pads on my unit FAILING and the fact the company seems to be a joke I will be throwing this pos in the trash this winter when I find a replacement option.









image hosting for websites
 
#4
I got one too-late reply in an email and it was a "could'a-should'a-would'a" telling me what they might have done and what might have happened but avoided any discussion of the problems due to the wear around the yoke's bushing. Both the angry phone call and the email seemed to imply that everything was my fault.

It was also stated that the "owner" of CU Offroad is here on Expo and supposedly was corresponding with me:

"...the owner saw your recent thread on a "winged" yoke assembly, and having corresponded with you before apparently, was more than willing to hook you up with a deal for your loyalty."

That was pretty weak.

I replied to that one email but my reply was not acknowledged.
 
#5
Thanks for taking time to post, I have a Pintle and lunette combo on my trailer and was thinking of upgrading to Max coupler to eliminate the click clack noise a pintle makes. think I will just put up with noise and save a couple hundred bucks. .until this post was not aware of problems. pictures speak a thousand words
 
#6
Thanks for taking time to post, I have a Pintle and lunette combo on my trailer and was thinking of upgrading to Max Coupler to eliminate the click clack noise a pintle makes. think I will just put up with noise and save a couple hundred bucks. .until this post was not aware of problems. pictures speak a thousand words
The funny thing is that the one single email to me started off with this statement that somehow justifies the non-communication with customers experiencing product failures:

"Our focus is making sure we manufacture a quality product and second to that is manufacturer/product support.

So if they are shipping out inherent design problems how will they ever find out if they don't bother to talk to customers who operate the product in the real world??? I believe that the approach of the hard steel bushing riding in a softer steel yoke is destined to be a wear problem even with a grease fitting in place.

Pintle/Lunette combos are pretty solid and don't suffer from development issues that new approaches can struggle with. :sombrero:

I've not kept mileage logs but my trailer is definitely operated in the (dusty) off-road environment as seen here at Expo and on my blog. I would have thought CU OffRoad might have shown even a slight interest in the wear issue but they didn't appear to care.











 
#7
This came on my tent trailer, tried to get more info about it like where do I order replacement parts, what's the warranty, etc by calling cu offroad but there is no contact number. Just their ****ty website contact form, tried that a half dozen times - nothing.

Are those two pieces pulling apart or is it what they are now shipping??? That is strange looking.

I have an older yoke but the trailer piece with red bushings is like this one with a very small gap between the two pieces:

 
#8
Are those two pieces pulling apart or is it what they are now shipping??? That is strange looking.

I have an older yoke but the trailer piece with red bushings is like this one with a very small gap between the two pieces:

Just got off the phone with AT trailers in AZ - I asked if I could purchase the new style yoke for my current max-coupler. "No you have to buy a complete new one".....Thank sweet baby Jesus I canceled my original TD order with that company in 2013 after visiting SoCal TD's
 
#9
Just got off the phone with AT trailers in AZ - I asked if I could purchase the new style yoke for my current max-coupler. "No you have to buy a complete new one".....Thank sweet baby Jesus I canceled my original TD order with that company in 2013 after visiting SoCal TD's
You can buy the new yoke at a few places. Right now it is $135 and free shipping at Knight OffRoad. The web site is a little goofy but what you'll see is that a complete set is $235, the Yoke is $135 and the swivel tongue piece is $100. They communicate a bit better than CU Offroad but improvements would be welcomed. :sombrero:

http://shop.knightoffroadtrailers.com/MAX-COUPLER-6k-lb-parts-knight2020.htm
 
#11
#12
Thank you for that tip!!
You are welcome! The owner of CU Offroad should take notice that I willingly helped out one of his customers rather than try to keep you from giving him more business. He is too busy writing me angry emails but should instead do something about that website...
 
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#13
I can only assume I have the fourth gen, as stated I was never able to get in touch with anyone. Not even a bot, auto reply of thanks for contacting us, your email has been received etc. I assume it's the latest ver based on the casting mark or whatever that is on the top of the square tube in the limited amount of pics I've seen.

As far as the piece pulling apart that was my initial question for cu offroad. It free spins 360* but I have only seen pics online of an older design with no gap thus I was freaked out. I've been checking it before and after every trip and while the gap hasn't gotten any wider their super special polyurethane bushing continues to fail after less than 5 trips of a total of 3k or so miles. No water crossings, no mud, always greased. Just rain, dust and dirt :rolleyes:

Love your pics btw. We are in the planning stages of a trip from the east cost to the west coast next year. I really don't want to be a couple hundred miles from anywhere and this thing **** the bed. Honestly I'm thinking about just going to a regular old ball and lever coupler trailer hitch setup. Other than that it's call energy suspensions to see if they even make this bushing because at this point I have doubts that is even the case. Order a few in different sizes, see which works and eliminates the wear and failure I am seeing now. Then order spares to make my own rebuild kit if I am on the road.

It all feels like a colossal pain in the *** that I can solve by placing this in the garbage and walking away because their bs about a 2 year warranty is just as much of a joke as their customer service.
 
#14
I can only assume I have the fourth gen, as stated I was never able to get in touch with anyone. Not even a bot, auto reply of thanks for contacting us, your email has been received etc. I assume it's the latest ver based on the casting mark or whatever that is on the top of the square tube in the limited amount of pics I've seen.

As far as the piece pulling apart that was my initial question for cu offroad. It free spins 360* but I have only seen pics online of an older design with no gap thus I was freaked out. I've been checking it before and after every trip and while the gap hasn't gotten any wider their super special polyurethane bushing continues to fail after less than 5 trips of a total of 3k or so miles. No water crossings, no mud, always greased. Just rain, dust and dirt :rolleyes:

Love your pics btw. We are in the planning stages of a trip from the east cost to the west coast next year. I really don't want to be a couple hundred miles from anywhere and this thing **** the bed. Honestly I'm thinking about just going to a regular old ball and lever coupler trailer hitch setup. Other than that it's call energy suspensions to see if they even make this bushing because at this point I have doubts that is even the case. Order a few in different sizes, see which works and eliminates the wear and failure I am seeing now. Then order spares to make my own rebuild kit if I am on the road.

It all feels like a colossal pain in the *** that I can solve by placing this in the garbage and walking away because their bs about a 2 year warranty is just as much of a joke as their customer service.
Thanks!

I just got an abrasive email response from the owner of CU Offroad, Chris. Apparently they build a perfect product, the website is just wonderful and I have no idea what I am talking about after using the Max Coupler for over four years. Who am I to question the OEM source, right?

Here is my view of CU Offroad at the moment because every response digs them deeper below a minimum level of respect i will give them.




Apparently my facts are all wrong because he says "You do not have your facts straight on your complaint post, but whatever makes you feel good, it is your right to do whatever you feel." and "We do not have a known engineering flaw".

I guess my measurements of the worn yoke must have been made up? I only imagined that clunking noise that I am hearing from the worn yoke? It definitely does not make me "feel good" when I am driving alone and ascending a difficult and rocky trail in a narrow canyon in the Inyo mountains but I guess the business owner is always right.....

Despite all of that my emailed response to Chris included some detailed information even though I may get another angry email response, LOL:

"The yoke wore out in an odd way. I suspect that is why the zerk fitting was added much later because it is a PITA to have to take the yoke off after every dusty or wet trip and re-lube the bushing as I have tried to do. I imagine most people don't perform that maintenance and theirs will also wear like mine has. At least forcing lube in will get rid of some grit or water but eventually a sealed bearing will be needed.

I offroad a lot, maybe more than others so in four years I may have worked the yoke harder than others but that is not any fault of mine. Either way the open nature of that yoke bushing is an invitation for dust and grit to mix with the grease and form a great abrasive. That is called a design flaw so get over it and listen before you get upset over what you don't want to hear."


So to all owners of the Max Couplers: perform that disassembly, cleaning, inspection and lubing often enough to match the demands of your offroading conditions. Apparently you cannot purchase OEM replacement parts so be prepared to replace complete yoke or tongue assemblies at full cost if your parts wear out.
 
#15
I tried calling the numbers I found and got nothing. I tried emailing the email addresses and got nothing. So at this point with less than 3k miles of use on CU OFFROAD's "amazing" coupler with their "Tough-Flex formula" polyurethane bushing that supposedly they have never had to replace under warranty (because they don't answer ****ing calls/emails??) and with the rubber pads on my unit FAILING and the fact the company seems to be a joke I will be throwing this pos in the trash this winter when I find a replacement option.



Based on the four years that I have used my Max Coupler, I think that the chipping of the bushing edges is as far as the problem will go. The bushing shape with a flat face and straight edges is a second best choice. Their coupler bushings are shaped the same as those designed to be bolted into a car suspension system and not really meant to be pulled in and out.




My Max Coupler bushings have chipped too but the main body of the bushing seems to be intact. The poly material is too "grabby" so I used to lubricate mine with a silicone spray to help them would slide in and out of the yoke much more easily. However the spray would still attract enough dirt to gum up the surface. I am not sure what lubricant might be better. Maybe a graphite?

I think a bushing with this beveled edge would be better, but what do I know? I've been told by experts that my facts are wrong.... LOL


http://www.stage3motorsports.com

...or these from Ballistic Fabrication.