Installation instructions
warning: never exceed your vehicle manufacturer's recommended towing capacity
Keep the socket-mounted ends of the spring bars and
the lock pins in the head assembly free from dirt and well
lubricated. Excessive wear in this area may indicate an
overload or inadequate lubrication.
Keep the head assembly exterior clean. Do not allow dirt
or stones to lodge between the spring bars and the head.
Keep hitch parts painted to prevent rust and
maintain good appearance. Do not paint over labels.
Keep lift brackets clean and lubricated
to ensure ease of operation.
CAUTION: The tongue weight rating of the spring bars
represents the capacity of a pair of bars, not an individual
bar. Always use a pair of spring bars and be sure they are
of the same weight rating.
The loaded ball height should never be greater than the
uncoupled ball height. Front wheel overload and loss of rear
wheel traction can result and can lead to unstable handling.
It can reduce braking ability and create a tendency to
jackknife when turning or braking at the same time.
If the loaded trailer ball height is greater than the uncoupled
height, reduce take-up on the spring bar chains, re-measure
and adjust until the proper height is obtained.
Gross Trailer Weight
Tongue Weight
Without Spring Bars
Not to exceed 6,000 lbs.*
Not to exceed 600 lbs.*
Not to exceed 8,000 lbs.*
Not to exceed 800 lbs.*
Not to exceed 10,000 lbs.* Not to exceed 1,000 lbs.*
Not to exceed 14,000 lbs.* Not to exceed 1,400 lbs.*
Not to exceed 10,000 lbs.* Not to exceed 1,000 lbs.*
Not to exceed 14,000 lbs.* Not to exceed 1,400 lbs.*
CAUTION: If the lift chain is angled fore or aft at the top
within the lift bracket, it may catch on the bracket when
turning. This could damage the lift bracket or pry it open.
With Spring Bars
5,000 - 6,000 lbs.
500 - 600 lbs.
6,000 - 8,000 lbs.
600 - 800 lbs.
8,000 - 10,000 lbs.
800 - 1,000 lbs
10,000 - 14,000 lbs.
1,000 - 1,400 lbs.
8,000 - 10,000 lbs.
800 - 1,000 lbs
10,000 - 14,000 lbs.
1,000 - 1,400 lbs.
* When spring bars are not used, the weight rating is dependent
upon the trailer ball manufacturer's weight ratings. Do not exceed
the maximum weight rating of the trailer ball.
PAGE 1 • 1.800.798.0813 • NEED ASSISTANCE?
Measure the tow vehicle
For vehicles with air springs, air shocks or automatic
leveling systems only, check the vehicle's owners manual
or other instructions on these items. Unless otherwise
indicated, air springs and air shocks should be deflated
to their minimum recommended pressure before
assembling and adjusting the weight distributing hitch.
Front bumper to pavement
Figure 1
Pick reference points on the front and rear bumper of the
towing vehicle. Measure and record height to pavement.
Rear bumper to pavement
Determine the 'target' uncoupled
ball height for the tow vehicle
Tow vehicle's uncoupled ball height will be set higher
than the coupler height measured in Step 2 to allow
for vehicle squat when coupled to trailer.
Hitch head
For passenger cars, add 1/8" for each 100 lbs. of tongue
weight. Record ball height
Adjustable shank bar
Install shank, hitch head and ball
Spring round bar
Snap-up bracket
Step 1
Insert adjustable shank bar (#2) into receiver tube on tow
vehicle and secure with hitch pin & clip (#11, #12). NOTE: To
obtain proper ball height on high ground clearance vehicles,
shank may be inverted as shown in Figure 3. If shank is used
in the inverted position, check for adequate ground clearance.
Pipe handle
Lift chain, 8mm x 400mm
Bolt, 5/8" - 11 x 1 1/2" long
Hex bolt, 3/4" - 10 x 5" long
Conical washer, 3/4"
Nylock nut, 3/4" - 10
Hitch pin, 5/8" x 3" long
U-bolt, 3/8" - 16, 3/4" thread length
Nylock nut, 3/8" - 16
Bolt, 1/2" - 13 x 2"
Bolt, 1/2" - 13 x 4"
Clip for snap-up bracket
Flat washer, 1/2"
Measure trailer coupler height
Line up the tow vehicle and trailer on level pavement, in
a straight position. Use the trailer tongue jack to level the
trailer. Measure the distance from pavement to the top
of the coupler socket and record here
Top of coupler
to pavement
Figure 2
Figure 3
Step 2
Select 1 1/4" threaded-shank hitch ball to match trailer
coupler and load capacity equal to or exceeding the gross
trailer weight. Attach the ball to the head assembly (#1) using a
lock washer and nut. NOTE: If a 1" threaded shank hitch ball
is desired, a CURT reducer bushing #21101 must be used.
(ordered separately)
Step 3
Position head assembly on shank. Slide head up or
down to the nearest bolt hole alignment position which
corresponds with the target ball height determined
earlier. Mark the position on the shank. See Figure 4.
Closest position to
height determined
in Step 3
Figure 4
• 1.800.798.0813 • PAGE 2
Step 4
Place six 1/2" flat washers (#19) on pin (#18) and insert pin
into the unthreaded hole in the upper portion of the head
channel. See Figure 5. The number of washers may have to be
adjusted later.
Attaching the trailer to the ball
Using the trailer tongue jack, lower the coupler onto
the trailer ball and close coupler latch. Do not retract
jack fully at this time. Allow the jack to support some
of the tongue weight.
Raise the front of the trailer and back of the tow
vehicle approximately 3" with tongue jack. This
will allow easier installation of the chains on to
the hook of each lift bracket.
19 9
Figure 5
Step 5
Install the head on the shank at marked position. Insert the
3/4" - 10 x 5 hex bolt (#8) through the 3/4" conical washer
(#9) and then through the lower hole in the head channel.
Rotate the head forward as far as it will go. The ball should
be vertical or tilted slightly back. If it is not, remove the 3/4"
bolt, change the number of washers on the pin and reassemble. Install the remaining 3/4" - 10 x 5" bolt (#8) with
3/4" conical washer (#9) through the upper slotted hole.
Install a second 3/4" conical washer (#9) on both bolts.
Start 3/4" - 10 (#10) nylock nuts and finger tighten only.
Installing the chain lift brackets
The following applies to trailers with an 'A' frame tongue.
Step 1
Position the spring bar, which has been attached to
the hitch head, parallel with the trailer tongue. Hold the
lift chain vertical up alongside the trailer tongue. Position
the lift bracket on the trailer tongue so that the chain is
centered between the lift bracket, as shown below in
Figure 8. Some trailers may have an obstruction on
one side of the frame. Order the offset lift bracket kit from
your local dealer. Follow the installation instructions
supplied with that kit for proper installation.
Pull up
on chain
Step 6
Tighten top 3/4" - 10 x 5 hex bolt (#8) just enough to hold
head tight against the pin in the head channel. This bolt
will be tightened later.
Step 7
Place head assembly back into
hitch assembly on towing vehicle.
Assemble, lubricate
and install spring bars
Ensure the lift chains (#6) are assembled to the tapered
ends of each spring bar using the 3/8" U-bolts (#13) and
the 3/8" nylock nuts (#14) as shown below in Figure 6. Let
two or three threads of the U-bolts extend out through the
bottom of each locknut. The chain must be free to move in
the U-bolt. Apply a heavy, fibrous grease on the round end
of each spring bar and push end up into the head socket
until you hear a click, as shown below in Figure 7. This will
indicate that the spring bar is locked into place. To release
spring bar, lift up slightly on spring bar and gently pull out
on the retaining pin in the hitch head. The spring bar will
drop free of the hitch head.
Figure 8
CAUTION: If chain is angled fore or aft at the top within the
lift bracket, it may catch on the lift bracket when trailer is
turning. This could damage the lift bracket or pry it open.
Step 2
Mark the location of the lift bracket on the trailer tongue.
Step 3
Depending on the width of the frame, install a 1/2" - 13 bolt
(#15 or #16) into the threaded hole in the lift bracket. Turn the
bolt in until it contacts the trailer tongue, then tighten a 1/4
turn with a wrench. Do not overtighten.
The amount of leveling is adjusted by engaging different
spring bar chain links with the lift unit. Follow the steps below in the "Lift bracket operation" section.
surface up
2 to 3 threads
Figure 6
Figure 7
PAGE 3 • 1.800.798.0813 • NEED ASSISTANCE?
Lift bracket operation
Before raising or lowering the lift bracket, raise the front
of the trailer to reduce the spring bar chain tension. This
will make the lift bracket operation easier and safer.
WARNING: Keep clear of the pivot path of all moving parts
when there is tension on the spring bar chain. Maintain
control of the lift handle at all times when raising or lowering
the spring bar. Be sure that the locking hair pin is in place
once lift bracket is in the up position.
To raise lift bracket
Step 1
Slip the marked chain link over the hook on lift bracket.
See Figure 9.
Step 2
Insert lift handle onto heavier rod above lift chain attachment.
Check vehicle height and
adjust spring bars if necessary
Vehicle should settle evenly, within 1/2". Re-measure the
front and rear bumper reference points. If the front has settled
much more than the rear, increase the number of chain links
between the lift bracket and the spring bar. The spring bars
should be nearly horizontal when correct height is achieved.
When even settling and correct spring bar position have
been achieved, mark the spring bar chain at the hooked
position with paint for future hook up reference.
NOTE: Figures 10 and 11 show the correct and incorrect
hook-up position of the spring bars. To allow movement
when turning, there should be at least five links between the
lift bracket and the spring bar. The number of links should
be the same on both bars. Adjust head tilt to accomplish
correct chain length.
Step 3
Using the handle, raise the lift bracket up and over center
so that it is fully seated against the mounting bracket.
Step 4
Secure by inserting clip through the lift bracket
and mounting bracket. NOTE: Be sure the chain
is not twisted and hook extends through the link.
5 links
If fewer than 5 links, the chain
and snap-up bracket will bind
Figure 10
Figure 11
Tighten 1/2" head attachment bolts to 75 ft. lbs. torque.
Failure to tighten bolts may result in fastener loss or failure.
Lift chain
Figure 9
Insert the locking pin through the
lift bracket and mounting bracket.
To lower from fully raised
and locked position
Tighten head fasteners
Step 1
Remove the locking pin from lift bracket.
Step 2
Insert lift handle onto the rod above lift chain attachment.
Step 3
Carefully lower bracket with handle. It will require effort
to bring the bracket over center and then to resist the
chain tension as the bracket rotates downward.
• 1.800.798.0813 • PAGE 4
Tighten 3/4" bolts and locknuts to 200 ft. lbs.
Tighten set-screw to 50 ft. lbs. Failure to tighten
bolts may result in fastener loss or failure.
Check all connections before towing
Check the following:
Pin & clip securing shank to receiver
Head to shank fasteners
Trailer ball nut
Coupler latch
Snap-up bracket bolt
Safety chains
Lights and turn signals
Braking system, including breakaway switch
Driving a tow vehicle
Good habits for normal driving need extra emphasis when
towing a trailer. The additional weight of the trailer affects
acceleration and braking. Extra time should be allowed for
passing, stopping and changing lanes. Signal well in advance
of a maneuver to let other drivers know your intentions.
Severe bumps and badly undulating roads can damage your
towing vehicle, hitch and trailer, and should be negotiated
at a slow, steady speed. If any part of your towing system
bottoms out or if you suspect damage may have occurred in
any way, pull over and make a thorough inspection. Correct
any problems before resuming travel.
Towing vehicle and trailer
manufacturer's recommendations
Review the owners manual for your towing vehicle and trailer
for specific recommendations, capacities and requirements.
Pole tongue trailer
If your trailer has a straight (pole) tongue,
instead of an A-frame tongue, as shown in the
illustrations in this instruction manual, it will be
necessary to use a pole tongue adapter for hook
up of the weight distributing hitch lift brackets.
Check your equipment
Passengers in trailers
Periodically check the condition of all your
towing equipment and keep in top condition.
Trailers should not be occupied while being towed.
Most states enforce this regulation.
Trailer loading
Trailer lights, turn signals
and electric brakes
Proper trailer loading is very important. Heavy items should
be placed close to the floor near the trailer axle center line.
The load should be balanced side to side and firmly secured
in the trailer to prevent shifting. Tongue weight should be
10-15% or the gross trailer weight for most trailers. Too low
a tongue weight often produces tendency to sway.
Sway control
A sway control device is recommended, as it can help
minimize the effects of sudden maneuvers, wind gusts and
buffeting caused by passing vehicles. Use of a sway control
device is recommended for trailers with a large surface area,
such as travel trailers. This head assembly will accept two
sway control attachment balls.
Always hook up all of the trailer lights, electric
brakes and break-away switch connections
whenever trailer is being towed.
Tire inflation
Unless specified by the towing vehicle or trailer
manufacturer, tires should be inflated to their maximum
recommended pressure.
At the beginning of every tow day
Coat the clevis pins in head assembly with a fibrous grease.
Clean ball and coupler socket. Coat ball lightly with grease.
Check all trailer to towing vehicle
connections for security and operation
Check spring bar chains and U-bolts for wear and security.
Replace if they become worn.
Surge brakes require a small amount of fore and aft movement
for their actuating mechanism to function correctly. To avoid
restricting movement, it may be necessary to increase the
number of chain links between the lift brackets and spring bars,
by tilting the head down. Tighten the two 3/4" bolts to
200 ft. lbs. torque once head angle is set.
Check to see that all trailer balls are properly tightened
and that the locking pins in the lift brackets are securely in
place. Also, check that the hitch pin is in place and secure.
Surge brake actuators not designed for use with a weight
distributing hitch may bind and not operate freely. Check
surge brake operating instructions for specific requirements
regarding their use with weight distributing hitches.
Remove hitch when not towing
Remove weight distribution hitch from the trailer hitch on
towing vehicle when not towing a trailer to the reduce chances
of striking weight distribution hitch on the driveway or other
objects. This also reduces the chance of parts being stolen.
Check to see that all electrical hook-ups are in working
order and that the security chains are securely connected.
Some states require a clear view of license plates.
Remove trailer ball when not in use if it restricts view.
This product complies with regulation V-5, C.S.A.
Standard D-264 and safety requirements for connecting
devices and towing systems of the State of New York.
PAGE 5 • 1.800.798.0813 • NEED ASSISTANCE?
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