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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2016 350 xlt

Picked up a gently used travel trailer and during our initial run I noticed the hitch didn't look quite right. I crawled under and took a look. BOTH sides are missing the same bolt. NO way the 330lb tounge weight snapped both of these bolts.

I'm due for 80k service next week and will be having dealership take a look at the hitch. Any discussion points, or how should I get them to address this? OR should I just bring it to another shop?

153763
 

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I have saw photo's of the entire hitch tore off of the back of the Transit, All of the steel it bolted to was full of cracks and part of that was missing too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well - I stopped by a trailer hitch specialist. He basically told me what my problem was when I mentioned I was missing a couple of bolts. Boss said they see this quite a bit (although not quite as common with factory installed hitches) where they are missing bolts. Apparently these have a specialized self-tapping bolts that are finnicky. If you don't have a skilled worker installing them they can get it wrong and ruin the receiving nut. When this happens they just skip it as normally nobody would know. They see this often enough that he believes Ford is eventually going to run into problems with it. He also said he's not going to fix it and suggested I call the dealership.

I called the dealership and they are suggesting it's out of warranty and are unwilling to fix it for free. I am going to have them take a look at it and give me a quote... any suggestions would be pretty helpful.

Thanks for listening...
-Jess
 

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2018 Transit 250 SRW HR EXL 3.7L 4.10R Dual AGM
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I am assuming this is the first time you have towed with any real mass on the trailer hitch? This would be an incorrectly assembled vehicle from factory if it had been built with a tow package from factory. If you had a tow package added after you purchased the vehicle then whichever tech installed that missed the rear bolts during assembly. I installed my own tow package and hitch system on my van after it arrived from the factory, the bolts definitely require a lot of force to install so it would be best if someone with air tools and the correct bolts do the install, the dealership can sort that out for you. If it hasn't been caught all the way until now its not going to be covered but it also shouldn't cost much to get corrected.

Having worked in a dealership for a long time I have never seen this happen on another transit but with mass production its bound to happen at some point, humans make errors unfortunately. Get the factory bolts installed properly and move on, there's little chance to get it repaired for free. If you live in the Las Vegas area I am happy to hook you up with a cheap repair, direct message me and I can try and give a helping hand.
 

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The aftermarket hitches (Curt) come with two self-tapping bolts, They have to be screwed straight in. But it is easy to get one started threading at a slight angle and you only have one chance to get it right. The threads will be damaged from the first try and they will not be as strong as they should be.
I have a Curt class III.
 

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I am assuming this is the first time you have towed with any real mass on the trailer hitch? This would be an incorrectly assembled vehicle from factory if it had been built with a tow package from factory. If you had a tow package added after you purchased the vehicle then whichever tech installed that missed the rear bolts during assembly. I installed my own tow package and hitch system on my van after it arrived from the factory, the bolts definitely require a lot of force to install so it would be best if someone with air tools and the correct bolts do the install, the dealership can sort that out for you. If it hasn't been caught all the way until now its not going to be covered but it also shouldn't cost much to get corrected.

Having worked in a dealership for a long time I have never seen this happen on another transit but with mass production its bound to happen at some point, humans make errors unfortunately. Get the factory bolts installed properly and move on, there's little chance to get it repaired for free. If you live in the Las Vegas area I am happy to hook you up with a cheap repair, direct message me and I can try and give a helping hand.
If his threads are messed up, I presume it would be ok to drill it out, and use grade 8 bolts and nuts and backer washers?
 

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That's what I would do. Looks like there's an access plug to get in there. I don't see any evidence it was ever bolted however.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well... apparently those holes aren't used to hold bolts... that's what I'm hearing...? Sounds weird so if anybody can take a quick peek I would appreciate it.

IN worse news.... between when I first was looking at trailer situation and now, the turbo started chirping. Seems like I now have this: (2) 3.5L Warped Exhaust Manifolds? | Ford Transit USA Forum **** it.
 

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I peeked and saw. Someone is yanking your chain with the 'not used to hold bolts' poopoo. My hitch looks just like yours but with bolts in those holes and the hitch is up tight to the van floor. As others have said those holes are probably for self-tapping bolts. But if it were me I'd jack up the hitch until it was up against the floor, then put drill bits up there to find the hole size, then consult my drill/tap chart and pick the correct (or close) fine thread tap and make some threads, then put a grade 8 bolt in it. It'd be better than no bolts and would hold an enourmous load.
 

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Well... apparently those holes aren't used to hold bolts... that's what I'm hearing...? Sounds weird so if anybody can take a quick peek I would appreciate it.
Sorry to hear about your Transit woes. I have an OEM hitch (2019 Transit), and there are absolutely bolts in the holes where yours are missing.

Craig
 

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In my van, the bolts you are referring to are 2 of the 4 bolts that hold the rear bumper support onto the van. Only the bottom 2 bolts connect/retain to the hitch. (These are metric threaded bolts.) The flange on the hitch sandwiches the bumper support with 2 bolts, the outer 2 bolts where one is missing does not support the hitch.

If there is a gap between the bolts I circled in the attached image and the frame rail, then you will have a big issue. Take a socket that fits the bolt head and a long ratchet wrench or torque bar and see if those 2 bolts tighten up and the gap closes.

hitch bolts.jpg


hitch mount.jpg
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well - my original service advisor was out today, so talked to his manager (they still have my van) and he said they have a pair of bolts on order. For the warped manifold and broken bolts, they've filed a claim with the extended warranty people so we'll see where that goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You guys are going to love this. So Friday I stop by over lunch to grab some stuff out of the van and check status in person as I've called about 5x a day and nothing is moving. We'll they can't find my keys. After 10min of waiting the receptionist suggests I go check to see if it's unlocked. Sure enough it's unlocked with keys in the ignition in the running position and the battery is dead. They left it unlocked and running until it ran out of gas and the battery died.

The guy is still fighting me on the warranty...

I spoke to the manager who is blaming covid. He assures me his technicians are better than his service reps.

I'm getting it towed to a new dealership on Monday.
 

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2018 Transit 250 SRW HR EXL 3.7L 4.10R Dual AGM
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You guys are going to love this. So Friday I stop by over lunch to grab some stuff out of the van and check status in person as I've called about 5x a day and nothing is moving. We'll they can't find my keys. After 10min of waiting the receptionist suggests I go check to see if it's unlocked. Sure enough it's unlocked with keys in the ignition in the running position and the battery is dead. They left it unlocked and running until it ran out of gas and the battery died.

The guy is still fighting me on the warranty...

I spoke to the manager who is blaming covid. He assures me his technicians are better than his service reps.

I'm getting it towed to a new dealership on Monday.
As a dealership tech, I've seen a lot of dumb ****, but **** that's really really bad. :( I hate hearing about customers having this type of experience, there is no excuse for this type of crap.
 

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You guys are going to love this. So Friday I stop by over lunch to grab some stuff out of the van and check status in person as I've called about 5x a day and nothing is moving. We'll they can't find my keys. After 10min of waiting the receptionist suggests I go check to see if it's unlocked. Sure enough it's unlocked with keys in the ignition in the running position and the battery is dead. They left it unlocked and running until it ran out of gas and the battery died.

The guy is still fighting me on the warranty...

I spoke to the manager who is blaming covid. He assures me his technicians are better than his service reps.

I'm getting it towed to a new dealership on Monday.
That's terrible.

I hope you have the best experience ever at the new dealership, good luck.
 
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