Tow hitch upgrade

Stitebunny

Adventurer
I have a 97 e350 eb. Looking to reinforce the hitch to limit the flex up and down at the receiver. The cross bar seems to be the area that moves.
It seems to twist a little bit and I would like to minimize this.
I have the spare mounted under there still so space is limited.
Has anyone done something like this or have some ideas?
 

billiebob

Well-known member
Buy an engineered hitch built to handle the load.
Unless you are a Structural Engineer and a Journeyman Welder you are putting us all at risk.

Is the hitch you have rated to tow the load you are hooking up?
The liability for what you plan to do is exponential.
 

Stitebunny

Adventurer
You don’t always have to assume the worst.

It is a manufactured hitch made for an
Econoline I assume. Looks professional and like all the other ones but has no sticker any longer so not sure of the make and model.

Reinforcement of the hitch is not for towing.
My van has stiff springs and rides pretty rough. And being an eb the hitch sits back there pretty far exaggerating the bumpy ride.
Suspension redo would be optimal but not an option at this time.

The hitch is mainly used for carrying a vertical bike rack and bikes.
With a 90lb rack and a single 35lb bike it flexes more than I would like.
Hence wanting to keep you and everyone else safe.

Its fine for towing as is.
The flexing is more noticeable since the rack mast goes straight up from the receiver several feet.

Google image in case you can’t picture it2A84CFDF-A199-4B7A-AF2E-A7D715538609.jpeg
 

billiebob

Well-known member
Are you sure it’s the actual hitch flexing and not the tube/box section of the rack in the receiver? for bike racks they all move in the receiver tube and using a bolt-in style hitch pin will take out the side to side slop (but not always the up and down slop).
I think so too.
The issue will be eventually the flex will fatigue the metal and the bikes might land on the road.
I'd say this is a poor design destined to eventually fail. Thats a lot of leverage. I doubt the hitch is the issue.
 

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