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Old 04-10-2008, 10:52   #1 (permalink)
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2008 hitch pin to electrical connector interference problem

Love my new Explorer BUT...

I bought it for towing. I like to use locking hitch pins. I had two types, first one with a large lock standard key and a second circular key type with matching keyed coupler lock. BOTH slide the key in on the end.

The 2008 factory class 3/4 towing hitch receiver has the 7 pin electrical connector <2" from the 2" hitch square and will NOT allow the long end of the hitch pin OR the lock with key into that area. AHA! I thought. I found a Brinks brand version where the lock is in a plastic barrel and keyed at right angle to the supplied pin. Will it fit? It should, BUT (again)...

The 7 pin factory connector is installed in a designed hole inside the hitch receiver, held by a bracket that is BOLTED to the receiver BETWEEN the connector and the 2" square tube. The bolt sticks out far enough to make it impossible to even use this locking hitch pin. Partly because the hitch pin hole is TOO close to the crossbrace.

WHAT were they thinking on this hitch design? It is a real clusterfred (you have to know Fred).

I also bought a standard hitch pin that uses a spring clip to retain it. It's a tight fit for the spring clip!!!

Boomerweps
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Old 04-11-2008, 15:52   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 2008 hitch pin to electrical connector interference problem

I had same problem on my 2002 XLT with same size receiver hitch. Maybe your rig's specs are different, but I find that if I flip and hold open the pin connector cover, I can then slide the hitch pin from that side with just enough clearance, and place the locking mechanism on the other side of the reciever.
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Old 04-17-2008, 07:55   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 2008 hitch pin to electrical connector interference problem

Got the exact same vehicle with the exact same headache. I was looking at it more closely last night and after some thought, to me it looks like a possible/cheap solution would be to take out that stupid, bulky bolt and drill all the way to the rear of the hitch frame. Then replace the bolt with a stainless steal stove-bolt of the appropriate length and put a washer and a self locking nut on from the back. Wouldn't that provide adequate clearance? I'm going to sugest that to my dealership's service manager. It's still under warranty so I'd rather have one of their mechanics do the job. A standard pin with a clip fits just fine. But with all the theives in the world, I'd prefer to be able to use a lockng pin. Have you received any responses yourself as to possible work-arounds/solutions? NCVinVT's 2002 XLT has a different hitch. This one that's more problematic has been in used since 2006. I just got done talking to the salesman that I've been dealing with and have a service appointment set up for 3 days from now. Hopefully it'll be as easy to fix as it looks. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Last edited by Lurch in MN; 04-17-2008 at 08:17. Reason: addition comments
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Old 04-20-2008, 06:22   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 2008 hitch pin to electrical connector interference problem

Only thing I've done so far is make a similar post on sites known for towing. One guy suggested locking the safety chains to the receiver, a so-so idea. I have thought about getting a standard hitch pin that has the clip pin go through it in a hole and drill that out for a small padlock. The newer pins that I find are cut away in a circular area and the pin go around it instead of through it.

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Old 04-20-2008, 14:33   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 2008 hitch pin to electrical connector interference problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCVinVT View Post
I had same problem on my 2002 XLT with same size receiver hitch. Maybe your rig's specs are different, but I find that if I flip and hold open the pin connector cover, I can then slide the hitch pin from that side with just enough clearance, and place the locking mechanism on the other side of the reciever.

Won't work with the new electrical connector. It has a bracket to not only hold it in place, but the bracket extends below the hitch receiver and holds a permanently mounted 4 pin connector. Doesn't require the 7 into 4 pin adapter of earlier models (which I have a spare of ;>)

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Old 04-24-2008, 13:34   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 2008 hitch pin to electrical connector interference problem

Just wanted to mention Lurch in MN's Ford dealer found him a MasterLock #2866DAT lock that is a barrel type with a right angled key that is much thinner than the one I found earlier. I'll be ordering one of those soon.

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Old 06-07-2008, 03:01   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 2008 hitch pin to electrical connector interference problem

i went to walmart and purchased a master lock #2854dat locking hitch pin and it works. plus it was only $11.00
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Old 07-16-2008, 19:31   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 2008 hitch pin to electrical connector interference problem

I ordered a Masterlock 2866DAT, $11.07 from Northeast Marine Industries, Inc. (found on an internet search for the lock, got a spare tire for my trailer, too ;>) and it does work well. I could not find one that fits at out Wally-world.

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