Good thing you had plenty of tounge weight.
I took extra care to make sure the boat, trailer and truck were ready for the 6 1/2 hour drive to the cottage. All was set and we are on our way, about 3 hours into the ride I feel a clunk when I stop or go. I figure the Coupler is not down so I run out at the next stop and it is down. I figure now it is loose and will fix it later, I even grab the tounge and lift to make sure it is attached well. I figure the bolt is loose and can fix it when we get there. Now the ride still has 3 1/2 hours left, over train tracks, bridges, bumps, you name it we went over it. The next morning we are getting ready to put a bunch of kids in it for a parade and I notice something missing....the nut to the ball!!!! The clunking was the ball flopping around and ready to pull out!!! I about passed out, this could have been the end of the boat and I didn't even know it. Never in my 40 years of boating has this happened. If I had put the kids in it and they were in the back, it would have come undone for sure. Now we were only going like 1 mph but I am sure it would have hit the tailgate and made a mess of that. I still cring when I think of the bad bridges I hit that should have sent it flying. Now I have another thing on my check list.
Good thing you had plenty of tounge weight.
Dang Mitch, that was a close one. What whimp put the nut on the ball in the first place???
LOL!! At least you can look back at it as a "could have happened" instead of a "did happen." Count yourself lucky and put a new nut on there.
[b]M Go Blue.......Gator boots, gator luggage, gator purses... all at cut rate deals!!!!
Mitch, I had almost the same thing happen to me over 20 years ago (when I was much younger ).
I was trailering our brand new Starcraft 18' Montego w/ 454 jet drive from Waukegan, Wi (OMC factory) to northern, Mich. About Niles I stopped to fuel and was looking for something loose because the clunk kept getting louder (along with the accompanying push/pull) from behind.
The Ball nut was totally loose and ready to fall off.
Turned out I had NO tounge weight. The 454 in the back of the boat gave me NEGATIVE weight.
It was a borrowed trailer and it was not set up right.
A trucker at hte stop pulled out a big wrench and tightened it for me.
When I got home it was coming loose again!
I know your pain, when I was about 24 I had a nice jet boat and a buddy and I decided to go to the river (4hr drive) and when we pulled into town we heard the same noise somehow the ball came loose and the nut was gone. Know it was really late and no shops were open.
So we ended up trying to buying a ball off someone not using theirs. We got a ball and we were off again, but to this day I all ways check the ball before I tow.
Thanks for the story.
Mitch, you got really lucky! that could have been ugly. Whew...
When you buy a new nut and lockwasher(you had a lockwasher on there right?), install it and torque it down, then drill clear through the nut and bolt with a small bit(1/8" will be fine) and stick a cotter pin through to lock it in place.
Last edited by Baja Daze; 07-07-2003 at 01:55 PM.
Or do what we do in racing drill a hole in the nut and one in the bolt and run bailing wire through it.
The hole thru the shank is a good idea...and the tounge weight....I had just filled the tank at a gas station so I would have tounge weight otherwise it would have gone for sure....I forgot that part of my luck. I still cannot believe it did not come loose over this one bridge...in fact when I went over it I thought there must not be too much wrong if it didn't take off after that bounce. Oh, I almost forgot...thanks for lunch the other day Mad Hatter, it was good to meet you.
I Has Mine Come Loose All The Time, Until I Took The Welder To The Nut, Welded It On.... I Use The Same Reciever For All My Trailers.........
I had the same thing happen to me many years ago. The nut came loose, not off, so I got off lucky. The next day I purchased a wrench just for that nut. In my case the reason the nut came loose was because the trailer hitch was latching to the ball too tightly. As you go down the road twisting and turning the ball actually starts to move and that is the reason the nut gets loose. You may want to check your trailer hitch and make sure it is just snug not tight. I also like BD's cotter key for cheap insurance, good idea.
Alum Metal Fab
Custom Marine Sales
Dave's Custom Boats
Diamond Performance Parts
Double R Performance
Elton Porter Insurance
Fastboats Marine Group
GGB Exhaust Technologies
Grand Sports Center
Ilmor High Performance Marine
Lake Cumberland Marine
Lake Havasu Boat Show
Marine Technology Inc
McLeod Design Group
Performance Boat Center
Performance Marine Trading
Potter Performance Engines
Ron Sporl Performance
Speed and Custom Marine
Total Dollar Insurance
Teague Custom Marine
Wake Zone Marine Insurance
Young Performance Marine