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Old 08-30-2013, 09:56 AM   #1
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Tow ball gets scratched

I'm pretty new to towing, so I thought I'd seek some advice. I have a little harbor freight trailer that hooks up to a 1-7/8" ball. I used to tow it with a Subaru, and the ball got all covered in copper marks that seemed like scratches- mostly on the left and right sides of the ball.

With the Tacoma, I got a new hitch tongue and ball, and hoped that this time now that I was better with lubricating the ball and getting the hitch to the right snugness, I wouldn't scratch up the ball. Yet here I am today, towed the damn trailer maybe twenty miles and the ball already has those copper markings.

Does anyone know what they are? What they are from? Do I need to care about them? I'm not sure they actually are scratches- the ball could easily be plated, that part I buy, but the only copper-colored metals I know of would make terrible hitch balls.

Right now I use a very light coating of hi-temp axle grease.
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:16 AM   #2
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Normal and nothing to worry about. I have 3 recently purchased hitch balls and all have had the chrome surface scratched to show copper-like scratches. Reese, Draw-Tite, Curt balls have all scratched.

Keep some grease on them and all will be good.
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:16 AM   #3
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Ever noticed well-used tow balls are rusty? There's a reason...

The chrome plating process is smooth, polish, copper, chrome. What you're seeing is the chrome wearing off. It happens... no big deal. If it realyl bothers you, buy a stainless steel ball.

Personally, I run my balls dry and don't worry about it
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:19 AM   #4
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balls can be easily and cheaply replaced.....well... you know what i mean
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:25 AM   #5
mr2mki [OP] mr2mki is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManMan View Post
It happens... no big deal. If it realyl bothers you, buy a stainless steel ball.
Oh, I don't care about the cosmetics. Just making sure it doesn't represent a real problem.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:22 AM   #6
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I keep my balls dry too. Just had to say it.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:30 AM   #7
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I keep my balls lubed, I think it helps cushion the constant day to day jerking motions that they endure. They aren't as good looking as they were when they were new, but considering the wear and tear they still work just fine.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:34 AM   #8
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Don't worry your balls will be fine! But if it makes you feel better put grease on your balls and they last
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Taco View Post
I keep my balls lubed, I think it helps cushion the constant day to day jerking motions that they endure. They aren't as good looking as they were when they were new, but considering the wear and tear they still work just fine.
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:06 AM   #10
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Don't mind me, just here for the comments
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:09 AM   #11
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I keep my tow ball greased. I never understood why people run them dry, just seems like unnecessary and excessive ball chaffage.
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:56 AM   #13
mr2mki [OP] mr2mki is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
I never understood why people run them dry
IDK, laziness?

It can definitely get a little annoying. Heavy grease like the axle grease I use picks up dust & grime like crazy and needs to be replaced often, and also freezes & falls off the ball in winter. ()
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:04 PM   #14
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I would never grease my balls. They are usually exposed and to the elements, but what do you do when you want to put that greasy ball away? Won't it stain your seats or your carpet?
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jethro View Post
I would never grease my balls. They are usually exposed and to the elements, but what do you do when you want to put that greasy ball away? Won't it stain your seats or your carpet?
I try to make sure my balls get used at least once a day. With two different ball dependent apparati around the shop that require my two different size balls it's almost a sure thing. If I didn't lube my balls I'm almost positive that they would experience severe chaffing possibly to the point of having to get an aftermarket set. And my Wet Okoles do a good job keeping my balls from staining my seats, carpet however can be a different story.
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:03 PM   #16
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When I don't have anything to lube my balls I sometimes have my wife spit on them. Works surprising well!
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:15 PM   #17
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My balls are scratchy.
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:21 PM   #18
Drive it like a 4WD
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Sub for more cracks at the mans balls
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:24 PM   #19
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Pugga is one of the sharper tools in the shedPugga is one of the sharper tools in the shedPugga is one of the sharper tools in the shedPugga is one of the sharper tools in the shedPugga is one of the sharper tools in the shedPugga is one of the sharper tools in the shedPugga is one of the sharper tools in the shedPugga is one of the sharper tools in the shedPugga is one of the sharper tools in the shedPugga is one of the sharper tools in the shedPugga is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jethro View Post
I would never grease my balls. They are usually exposed and to the elements, but what do you do when you want to put that greasy ball away? Won't it stain your seats or your carpet?
I bought one of those kits so it came with the ball mount, locking pin and ball in a hard plastic container. I did the redneck tennis ball cover. If the ball mount is in place between tows, I slip the tennis ball over the ball so if you rub against it, you won't get covered in grease. When not in use, I pull the ball mount and it stays in my back seat in the hard plastic container so it doesn't get grease on anything.

I've also only applied one layer of grease. It hasn't rubbed off or frozen off. Leave a tennis ball over it when not in use and it won't go anywhere, I promise...
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:27 PM   #20
Drive it like a 4WD
Gabassman is one of the sharper tools in the shedGabassman is one of the sharper tools in the shedGabassman is one of the sharper tools in the shedGabassman is one of the sharper tools in the shedGabassman is one of the sharper tools in the shedGabassman is one of the sharper tools in the shedGabassman is one of the sharper tools in the shedGabassman is one of the sharper tools in the shedGabassman is one of the sharper tools in the shedGabassman is one of the sharper tools in the shedGabassman is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Whats the point in greasing it? ive been around people towing my whole life and not seen or heard if a single person greasing their tow ball.
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