Please advice can't get rearmost bolts in trailer hitch

Please advice can't get rearmost bolts in trailer hitch

Postby Thebrain [OP] » April 8th 2015, 6:44pm

Please advice can't get rearmost bolts in trailer hitch

I'm installing a hidden hitch it's the 6000LB on my 99 Astro the man at the hitch store told me to reuse the bolts that hold the bumper bracket on which I have done.

Problem is the hitch has two extra holes in the rearmost part of hitch closest to front of Van.

I tried to thread in one of the orginale bolts however it would'nt screw in, are these rear bolts a differnt size if so what size and thread type?
attached image isn't my van I have a arrow to the bolt I'm having diffaculty w/. my hitch is longer than this image.
Thanks TB
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1999 Astro HT conversion RWD.Van is for sale 112K miles good condition $4500.viewtopic.php?f=68&t=64402
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Re: Please advice can't get rearmost bolts in trailer hitch

Postby TaxiVan » April 8th 2015, 6:53pm

Could be a spacing issue where the hole in the hitch was drilled a little off-center and isn't lining up with the threaded hole in the body, cocking it sideways and preventing the threads from contacting. May have to wallow the hole in the hitch a bit to allow the bolt to center. Also, I wonder if there are differences between the hitches used on shorties vs the extended models? Might want to check into that. If you're swapping a hitch from a shorty to an extended or vice versa, it may be possible the bolt holes might not line up from one to the other? Just a WAG... Take it for what you will.
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Re: Please advice can't get rearmost bolts in trailer hitch

Postby Thebrain [OP] » April 8th 2015, 7:36pm

TaxiVan wrote:Could be a spacing issue where the hole in the hitch was drilled a little off-center and isn't lining up with the threaded hole in the body, cocking it sideways and preventing the threads from contacting. May have to wallow the hole in the hitch a bit to allow the bolt to center. Also, I wonder if there are differences between the hitches used on shorties vs the extended models? Might want to check into that. If you're swapping a hitch from a shorty to an extended or vice versa, it may be possible the bolt holes might not line up from one to the other? Just a WAG... Take it for what you will.
not a spacing issue holes do line up
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Re: Please advice can't get rearmost bolts in trailer hitch

Postby TaxiVan » April 8th 2015, 8:09pm

I've seen cases where a set of bolts did not necessarily fit any hole you put them in. Possibly try swapping for another bolt in the set? I've seen this with lug nuts, where one nut would not thread onto one stud, but fit another perfectly, even though another nut in the set would work on either one. Just a thought.
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Re: Please advice can't get rearmost bolts in trailer hitch

Postby 97cargocrawler » April 8th 2015, 8:59pm

They should all be the same size. Probably some rust in there. I had to ream mine out with a thread tap before I could get my bolts in. Put some grease/oil on the bolt if you have nothing else.
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Re: Please advice can't get rearmost bolts in trailer hitch

Postby Lumpy » April 9th 2015, 12:12am

I nearly always clear threads with a tap and die, especially when I'm reinstalling those large diameter structural bolts. The last thing I want to happen is some frame mounted captive nut gets cross threaded because some bug poop on the bolt made it go in a little sideways. Makes torque readings more accurate too. Lube them (or loctite them) and torque them to 75% of the recommended dry rating.

Do what the others suggest. Check for bunged up threads on the end of the bolts. Clean them with a wire brush. Lube them. Try other positions for the same bolt. If some previous installer wanked 'em on with a 300 lb impact wrench, the threads could be stretched, rounded etc.


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Re: Please advice can't get rearmost bolts in trailer hitch

Postby Meterpig » April 9th 2015, 1:57am

Ah...yes...the hitch. AKA, GM's answer to "the extended van has no real rear frame member". :chevy:


I swapped two hitches to two different vans and found (surprise) that they didn't quite line up without a lot of jiggering. I agree with cargo, ream them out. They should bolt up. You REALLY want those to bolt up considering..that there really is all of two bolts holding your hitch to the "real" frame of the van.

The other frame is really the fake frame intended to look like the real frame. :thumbup: On the plus side, your van might survive a rear ender a little better as well considering you have added to the frame. :banana:
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Re: Please advice can't get rearmost bolts in trailer hitch

Postby Thebrain [OP] » April 9th 2015, 4:57pm

well I finalley got all the bolts on the three back ones on each side where'nt that hard the two front ones on each side where a night mare the hitch was bent a tiny bit and I believe my rear bumper surports where bent a tad, the rear most bolts must of had serious road dirt build up but it pays to be presistant.

anyway all bolts are in got at least 4 turns on each bolt 6 turns on the others, only had to add 1/4 of washers to 3 rear bolts the Van the hitch came off was done the same way.

I'll post a image of hitch underneth later way to tried to take images.

next please advice how to run the factory sliced wireing to the outside of the Van do you Guy's drill a hole in the jack area?

also there's a lot more wires than I need white,green,brown & yellow what are these extra wire's?

please post images of how the wires where run.

I would like to not have my 4 pin adapter just dangleing under Van please show images of how the adapter is mounted preferablley under bumper where it won't get exposed to rain.

edit I advice anyone who wants a cheap used hitch make sure it's not bent or you'r in for a night mare.
Thanks TB
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Re: Please advice can't get rearmost bolts in trailer hitch

Postby chevymaher » April 9th 2015, 5:34pm

I had the same issue with mine. I just backed all the bolts out untill they were only in a thread or 2. Got the hard one on first and then struggled with the one that lined up better. In other words I put the one that was out the most in first. Then I put a crowbar in the end of the square tubing to pull the last bolt hole in place. Once they were all started I just tightened it up a couple turns on each bolt in a pattern. Pulled it down straight.

I had the same problem with the rear bumper and it was the one that came off of it. I took it off twice painting it.

I get band new parts for the chevelle and they all do the same thing. Just got to finesse them on. File the holes in the correct spots.
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Re: Please advice can't get rearmost bolts in trailer hitch

Postby Lumpy » April 9th 2015, 5:37pm

Thebrain wrote:
...there's a lot more wires than I need white,green,brown & yellow what are these extra wire's?

...I would like to not have my 4 pin adapter just dangleing under Van please show images of how the adapter is mounted preferablley under bumper where it won't get exposed to rain.



Test those wires and find out. There's now way anyone can tell what they are without testing them.

Either buy a 4 pin bracket or lose the 4 pin and install a 7 pin plug and bracket.

All these questions you're asking seem simple. How come you're having so much trouble figuring out how to put this van together? You've been working on cars for years, built race car engines and all that. Do what you did when you built that other stuff.


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Re: Please advice can't get rearmost bolts in trailer hitch

Postby kennyj » April 9th 2015, 10:54pm

Copied from the Astro owners manual:

Brown: Rear lamps.
Yellow: Left stoplamp and turn signal.
Dark Green: Right stoplamp and turn signal.
White (Heavy Gage): Ground.
Light Green: Back-up lamps.
White (Light Gage): Center High-Mounted Stoplamp.
Blue: Auxiliary circuit (eight-wire harness only).
Orange: Fused auxiliary (eight-wire harness only).
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Re: Please advice can't get rearmost bolts in trailer hitch

Postby Leeann_93 » April 10th 2015, 1:43am

On the new Gold '02 with factory HD towing, the wires are run out the back of the jack area, down through a round hole. I'll see if I can get a pic tomorrow...and look in the back of my white '02 to see if there's a knockout or grommet.
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Re: Please advice can't get rearmost bolts in trailer hitch

Postby Thebrain [OP] » April 10th 2015, 3:09am

[quote="kennyj"]Copied from the Astro owners manual:

Brown: Rear lamps.
Yellow: Left stoplamp and turn signal.
Dark Green: Right stoplamp and turn signal.
White (Heavy Gage): Ground.
quote]
excellent so there are actualle color codes. so I'll connect brown to brown,yellow to yellow,dark green to green from the Astros bundled wires to my 4 pin adapter and leave the rest alone.

I have been reaseacrhing running wires to outside of Van since mine doesn't have a outside hole I assume I have to drill one.

will remove the trim piece at rear of Van and drill a hole then run the wires I'll probablley tape the wires real well when they go though hole.

Thanks for advice TB
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Re: Please advice can't get rearmost bolts in trailer hitch

Postby kennyj » April 10th 2015, 1:33pm

FWIW, I have a flat 4-wire lead that connects to auxiliary taillights for my motorcycle carrier. When in use I just run it outside the van from under the right side dutch door; there is plenty of gap for the flat lead to run through there. After 2 years and 20,000 miles of travel I can't see the slightest trace of wear or chafing on the wires. When not in use the wire is just stored inside in the jack area.
Just keeping it simple...
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Re: Please advice can't get rearmost bolts in trailer hitch

Postby Thebrain [OP] » April 11th 2015, 1:37pm

kennyj wrote:FWIW, I have a flat 4-wire lead that connects to auxiliary taillights for my motorcycle carrier. When in use I just run it outside the van from under the right side dutch door; there is plenty of gap for the flat lead to run through there. After 2 years and 20,000 miles of travel I can't see the slightest trace of wear or chafing on the wires. When not in use the wire is just stored inside in the jack area.
Just keeping it simple...
yes I've read this wire out the door on the other forum

maybe I start off this method, can allways come back and drill. advantage would be not bending over as much to connect wires to trailer.

I cruised by harbor freight and checked there 10" slide bar that has a 2" ball and a 1 7/8" ball due to how far the hidden hitch is tucked under the bumper both balls are real close to the bumper.

due to how low the van is I'm thinking I may need a 4" bent upward Hitch think I stack 250LBs of my workout weights just above the hitch to simulate the trailer then mearsure and observe any sag, mite need air shocks.

I'll post up images later.
Thanks TB
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