Hitch operation and rebuild
I bought an LR3 with a hitch. The key was broken in the lock and the hitch was frozen in place. Even with the lock removed, I could not get the Main Pin to retract. In the end I had to hammer the Main Pin into the housing to remove the hitch (with the lock mechanism removed). The hitch came out, but the Main Pin was then stuck in the retracted position! Operating the small top "Retaining Pin" had no effect. For a month, I soaked it in penetrating oil, heated it with torches, beat it with hammers, and still no joy.
To remove the Main Pin, I had to drill a hole through the rear of the housing, and hammer a nail in there to push the Main Pin out. There was surface rust in the Main Pin Shaft. It took some cleaning/sanding to get the Main Pin to slide well again. I managed to disassemble and recondition the entire hitch, it works fine now, tight and solid with my 2750lb boat trailer.
I was never able to find adequate info on how the hitch is put together. I was flying blind and made mistakes, so I've put together this write up for others. Note the position of everything to make reassembly easier.
1. Remove the Lock Mechanism
Push out the tiny pin that holds the green handle on its shaft and remove the green handle.
Remove the 2 hex bolts that hold the Red Doo-Hicky in place and remove that. (The Red Doo-Hicky interacts with the key cylinder and acts as a bearing for the Lock Mechanism shaft )
Clamp the Main Pin in place before you remove the Lock Mechanism's Shaft! (Or the Main Pin may shoot out violently)
Pull the Lock Mechanism shaft and spring out.
2. Remove the Main Pin
Be careful, it's spring loaded, and theres a Ball Bearing with a small Spring in the top of the Main Pin that will launch out. Do this operation in a box in case things go flying.
I find it easier to hold the Main Pin in place with a clamp. Slowly releasing the clamp allows the Main Pin to come out under control. A thumb on the ball bearing when it became visible keeps it from launching.
A clamp on the ball bearing helps keep it inside the Main Pin during reassembly.
3. Remove the "Retainer Pin"
This is the little pin at the top of the hitch. It pushes the ball bearing into the Main Pin to release it when installing the hitch.
There's a threaded sleeve that keeps the Retainer Pin in its shaft.
Unscrew the sleeve, remove the pin.
4. Clean and lube everything, then reassemble. All internal components appear to be stainless steel. Given the corrosion and gunk I found, seems a good idea to include hitch degunking in regular maintenance. Now for some pics...
Last edited by CoopLR3; 09-06-2017 at 08:24 PM.