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Thread: Looking for Recommendations for Removing Welded A-Frame Coupler on Horse Trailer

  1. #1
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    Looking for Recommendations for Removing Welded A-Frame Coupler on Horse Trailer

    I'm kind of new to metal working so I thought I'd ask a question concerning a repair I need to make on a horse trailer coupler. I broke the coupler on an A-frame sleeve lock. I don't believe the current coupler is repairable so I need to remove the current A-frame coupler and replace with a new one. Unfortunately, the current coupler is welded to the trailer A-frame. Would anyone provide a recommendation on the best way to remove the current welded coupler using an angle grinder. Would I use a cutoff wheel and slice the plate above the weld to remove the coupler? Once removed would I then use a grinding wheel to grind off the weld and excess material so the new coupler can be installed on the A-frame? Looking for guidance as I don't want to proceed with my limited metal working knowledge and screw up the trailer. Attached are a few pictures on the welded coupler that needs to be removed. Thanks for your help!

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  2. #2
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    Re: Looking for Recommendations for Removing Welded A-Frame Coupler on Horse Trailer

    I would use the cut-off wheel in the center of the weld (not too deep as to get into the base metal), cold chisel and a big hammer driven between them to split everything apart, and then a grinder to remove the 1/2 of the weld that remained...

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  4. #3
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    Re: Looking for Recommendations for Removing Welded A-Frame Coupler on Horse Trailer

    If those are your only choices, then I would use a cutoff wheel, also. As you thin the weld the color of the metal will change (blue) when it is thin. Be careful, there could be energy bound up in the metal as you thin the metal something could jump.


    Snow?

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    Re: Looking for Recommendations for Removing Welded A-Frame Coupler on Horse Trailer

    I usually cut across the upper corners and down the front with a torch so that the top and hitch come off. Once it's out of the way, I drive a cold chisel down the sides to pry the sides away from the tongue material and then cut it off with the torch. A little grinding and you're ready for the new hitch.

    Sorry, didn't notice you don't have a torch. You probably shouldn't be doing this as the welds really matter on a hitch.

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  7. #5
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    Re: Looking for Recommendations for Removing Welded A-Frame Coupler on Horse Trailer

    Maybe I didn't see the obvious but what's broken on the hitch?
    Ol' Stonebreaker
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  8. #6
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    Re: Looking for Recommendations for Removing Welded A-Frame Coupler on Horse Trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by mla2ofus View Post
    Maybe I didn't see the obvious but what's broken on the hitch?
    Looks like the lower part that captures the ball is gone... I usually just go in to the weld center at an angle.. just deep enough to get through the top then grind the rest flat and have a competent weldor put the new piece on

  9. #7
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    Re: Looking for Recommendations for Removing Welded A-Frame Coupler on Horse Trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by mla2ofus View Post
    Maybe I didn't see the obvious but what's broken on the hitch?
    The assembly where the ball goes into, broke.

  10. #8
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    Re: Looking for Recommendations for Removing Welded A-Frame Coupler on Horse Trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    I usually cut across the upper corners and down the front with a torch so that the top and hitch come off. Once it's out of the way, I drive a cold chisel down the sides to pry the sides away from the tongue material and then cut it off with the torch. A little grinding and you're ready for the new hitch.

    Sorry, didn't notice you don't have a torch. You probably shouldn't be doing this as the welds really matter on a hitch.
    I have a friend, who welds for a living, will be able to weld it for me. I just need to get the coupler off the trailer.

  11. #9
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    Re: Looking for Recommendations for Removing Welded A-Frame Coupler on Horse Trailer

    Well, without a torch you'd better stock up on cutoff discs. A scarfing tip would make short work of that and leave a lot less grinding to do. BTW tell the trailer owner a little oil or grease on the new hitch in the winter will help keep all that rust away and make the latch sleeve move easier
    Ol' Stonebreaker
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  12. #10
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    Re: Looking for Recommendations for Removing Welded A-Frame Coupler on Horse Trailer

    If you're worried about getting too deep into the frame material just cut a bit above the weld at a slight upward angle and try not to let the disc go any deeper than the thickness of the metal... you'll know when you're through the coupler since you'll be above the weld it won't interfere with your cut... then once you got everything cut and knock the old coupler off just grind down the welds.... this way takes a bit longer than cutting through the welds but is probably easier and more foolproof for a beginner just take your time and you'll probably need 3-4 good 5 inch cutoff discs... more if they're cheepies just make sure you do a 'score' cut to get you cut lie where you want it before going full depth... and keep a good hand on the grinder because the quickest way to eat up those discs if let them chatter

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  14. #11
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    Re: Looking for Recommendations for Removing Welded A-Frame Coupler on Horse Trailer

    Replace with a similar style Bulldog coupler. They are designed to take more tongue weight (lifting up on the tongue) when loading than a standard coupler and is why they are used on horse/stock trailers.
    Last edited by Welder Dave; 3 Weeks Ago at 12:47 AM.

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  16. #12
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    Re: Looking for Recommendations for Removing Welded A-Frame Coupler on Horse Trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by BaTu View Post
    I would use the cut-off wheel in the center of the weld (not too deep as to get into the base metal), cold chisel and a big hammer driven between them to split everything apart, and then a grinder to remove the 1/2 of the weld that remained...
    This is the method I just used to remove a coupler on my utility trailer.
    Didn't have near the weld yours does though, only used 3 cutoff wheels.
    Worst part came later when putting the new one on, had a large gap on both sides underneath the sides.
    Good luck and be careful, cutoff wheels can grab and take the grinder for a wild ride.

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