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Receiver Hitch Install, Class II

wildbill23c

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Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ford Bronco II
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
0
Total Drop
0
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235/75-R15
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So, a couple days ago I had to go to a pick-a-part yard to get a couple items for another vehicle and I stumbled across an 88 Bronco 2 with a class II receiver hitch. Pulled it and brought it home. I didn't get the hardware because it looked to be in pretty bad condition after I got it all removed...so I assume I should use grade 8 bolts? Not planning on really towing anything except maybe one of the 4'x 8' trailers like you can find at Harbor Freight and similar places. So not much weight, but I assume the proper mounting hardware is grade 8 bolts. It'll be a while before I can install it because the Bronco 2 is currently sitting awaiting its new engine. Figured I'd gather a few items up while its away being worked on.

The hitch itself looked to be in pretty decent shape, but damaged the fasteners trying to remove them. I took a flap disc and got rid of all the surface rust, gave it a couple coats of primer/paint and then a heavy coat of the undercoating spray, so its ready to be installed on my Bronco 2 when it comes back home.
 


adsm08

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I had to pull the receiver off m B2 this summer and went through pretty much the same story. I replaced all the hardware with some 1/2" grade 8s that I had sitting around, and that worked very nicely.
 

wildbill23c

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Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ford Bronco II
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
0
Total Drop
0
Tire Size
235/75-R15
My credo
19K, 19D, 92Y, 91F
I had to pull the receiver off m B2 this summer and went through pretty much the same story. I replaced all the hardware with some 1/2" grade 8s that I had sitting around, and that worked very nicely.
Thanks, figured grade 8 bolts were the way to go. I took a trip up to the shop that's doing the engine replacement and took a look at the frame. Looks like I'll be drilling holes, no holes at all in the frame for a receiver hitch. I figured I'd clamp it to the frame get it into position then mark for the holes and drill them out. I picked up a 1-1/4" ball mount with a 2" ball for $22, then got home and found I also have a 1-7/8" ball as well so I should be set for everything I'll never be towing with it LOL. Maybe a 4' x 8' trailer someday, doubt it'll ever do much if any towing though. Figured for the $20 I paid for the receiver hitch I did pretty well. Its the only Bronco 2 I've seen in a pick-a-part yard that actually had a receiver hitch on it. My Bronco 2 has the 4 pin plug at the back already, so nothing I really need to do as far as wiring, although I plan on replacing the plug and rewiring the end because the current one looked like the wire sheathing was getting a bit frayed.

I had a tranny cooler put in it when the transmission was rebuilt so it should have absolutely no problem pulling that little 4x8 trailer if I ever go buy one LOL.
 

alwaysFlOoReD

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Grade 8 is overkill, but won't hurt anything. Grade 5 is fine.
 

91stranger

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I would always go for the grade 8 over the grade 5. Yes the grade 5 bolts are good and strong but if you were given the chance to upgrade wouldn't you want to have the strongest possible? I would.
 

adsm08

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Grade 8 is overkill, but won't hurt anything. Grade 5 is fine.
I used grade 8 because I had a bunch left over from rebuilding the Ranger.

But in matters of safety I consider overkill to be the only way to go.
 

don4331

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I would always go for the grade 8 over the grade 5. Yes the grade 5 bolts are good and strong but if you were given the chance to upgrade wouldn't you want to have the strongest possible? I would.
The problem is upgrading from grade 5 to grade 8 bolts doesn't make it stronger.

The weakest link in the chain is the 33ksi steel of the Bronco II frame, followed most likely by the steel in the hitch. The 85ksi strength of a Grade 5 bolt is far better than the strength of the frame*. The addition 35ksi strength (120ksi proof) of Grade 8 bolt will never be used.

In fact, the additional strength of the grade 8 bolt can in fact make things weaker, by removing flexibility from the joint and creating a stress concentration. (Although probably not in this case)

The above is based on Ford's frame repair recommendation which spec's Grade 5 bolts, and if Grade 5 was good enough for Ford's engineers, who am I to argue.

So, if wildbill23c wants to save a couple additional dimes, he can grab some grade 5 bolts

*Assumes correct assembly(correct size bolt, washers, lubricating threads, etc)/tightening(not over/under torquing) procedures.
 

wildbill23c

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Southwestern Idaho
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ford Bronco II
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
0
Total Drop
0
Tire Size
235/75-R15
My credo
19K, 19D, 92Y, 91F
I did finally get the receiver hitch installed, used 4 1/2" grade 8 bolts, washers, lock washers, lock nuts. Receiver hitch isn't going anywhere....the thing will probably never pull a trailer anyhow, but figured it would be good for one of those cargo carriers if I need one at some point, but for the $20 I paid for the receiver hitch I figured it may as well get installed LOL.
 

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