So I was installing a Thule Ridgeline 4-Bike Hitch Carrier on our 2003 VDC Outback H6 3L 1 1/4 in. hitch receiver (“Draw-Tite” brand that came with the car rated to 300 lbs) and couldn’t slide the Thule Ridgeline Hitch fully into the Subaru Draw-Tite Hitch Receiver (needed to get the hitch another 1-2 in. in to lock the hitch with the hitch pin).
Felt around with my fingers inside and it was feeling a little rough (no big bumps, just not fully smooth surfaces), and I was sure there was a bit of rust inside.
Worked around a rag and got out some dirt debris.
Then gave it a good spray with WD40 and worked around a rag - sure enough it came out very rust colored. Did this several times.
Now I’m letting the inside walls of the hitch soak in a good spray of WD40 for a few hours.
I want to get it to the point where I can not only get the hitch fully into the pin-lock position, but so that I’m confident I can remove it when I want to! The way it is now, if I pounded it in it might be extremely difficult to remove it.
- After soaking in the WD40, should I also clean the inside walls of the hitch receiver with a stiff metal brush?
- Should I apply any coating to the inside walls of the hitch receiver once clean in order to prevent rust? If I coat it and there’s any rust at all left under the coating, will it continue to rust? Will the rust coat interfere with inserting and removing the bike carrier hitch?
- What should I lube the inside of the hitch receiver with? Teflon bike spray, WD40, auto grease? I want to be able to regularly put the hitch on at the beginning of a weekend and remove it Sunday evening.
The local guys at our local Rack N Road store who are supposed to be experts only murmured WD40 and they seemed like they didn’t have a clue.