Ball mount rusted stuck into trailer hitch receiver

i bought a used dakota from a guy that left the ball mount in the trailer hitch for years. now the thing is rusted stuck in there. i’ve tried tons of wd-40 and liquid wrench. i’ve even tried wrapping a chain around a big tree and the ball mount (with the pin out of course)and driving as fast as i dared only to have the truck jolt to a stop without the mount coming out. anybody have any ideas how i can get this thing out? thanks

Try a can (or several cans) of PB Blaster. Spray liberally all around where they join, and find a nice big sledgehammer to separate them…this would probably be easier if you remove the tow bar from the truck first.

don’t do the chain to the stump thing. you’ll be looking at a frame straightening soon if you keep that up!

sledge. drive in in, and out. little at a time. PB blaster NOT wd40 and heat the outside of the receiver a little to get the pb in there. see if there is room if you remove the spare to get at it from the front to whack it that way.

I had someone come over with a rusted in receiver. It took the blue wrench (oxy/acetylene torch) to heat it up enough to break the rust bond between the mount and receiver.


The way Tester said, but attach a come-along to the ball and the other end to something real immovable.
Block the vehicle wheels and with the torch, heat up the receiver almost white hot and hit the outside (all four sides) of it with a two pound hammer. (You won’t need a sledge hammer when doing this)

All the time keeping a lot of tension on the come-along.

It’s going to take lots of ‘elbow grease’ but it will come apart.

White hot, eh? Anywhere near the gas tank? Better have a fire extinguisher handy for whatever catches fire! It might be a good idea to remove the whole hitch assembly while doing this.

you dont want white hot that will change the temper on a small square sheet steel that will also remove all the paint and under body protection there.

small amount of heat just to draw the pb blaster into the receiver socket. the pb blaster will do the hard work, and the sledge will ‘knock’ the rust loose.

the whacking in and out will let the rust get pushed out to give more room for the rust to get out of the way.

i would second the removal of the whole shebang, but if one cannot get one part unstuck, what are the chances of getting 8 bolts out?

Un-huh, unless you use power wheel cutter (what’s the name for this?) (Dremel?) you’ll still need the torch.
Don’t forget lots of mufflers and pipes/brackets get cut off with torches every day.

If it’s rusted so bad that you can’t give it a couple wacks with a 9 lb hammer and knock it loose, take the whole hitch off and replace it. Heating it up and all these gyrations are going to destroy the temper of the metal it’s made of and from there, the hitch will be junk because it won’t be able to handle the weight it’s supposed to be able to handle.


I agree with skipper…if you need to heat the metal to break the bond then you may compromise the metal to the point that it may effect it’s tow rating. It would be far safer to just replace it.

I had a friend stop by last spring with the same problem. It was stuck but good and no amount of cold pounding was going to free it. They had tried beating it out previously. We soaked it with B’Laster PB and drank a beer to allow the penetrant time to work. Repeated this process 3 times. Pulled out the 5lb sledge and banged it out hammering against the nut on the ball with a sacrificial chunk of slightly softer steel in between.

sometimes my best work has been while drinking a beer and waiting for something to develop!

That tactic often results in parenthood, Cappy!

I’ve had great luck using DOT-3 brake fluid on rusted bolts and such. Especially on my bush-hog blades.

Brake fluid is also an excellent paint remover so I wouldn’t consider applying it to anything painted that I wanted to remain that way.

Heat works but “white hot”? Hells Bells, just back it into a volcano. It would be better to remove the hitch. Remove the ball and use the hole to attach. Don’t put a hook at the bottom or neck of the ball. It may (IT MAY, most likely won’t) snap the ball off.

I had this problem once. I backed the truck up to a cement wall and had a friend put a block of wood between the hitch and wall. I then just lightly backed it up. it broke the rust’s hold, but it still wouldn’t come out easily. I put a small bottle jack on the back side of the rear facing side of the receiver and jacked it into the ball. That pushed it out no problem.

Whoops! You’re right. I didn’t think that one through. That much heat would compromise the metal strength. My bad.