When something is reverse threaded, it essentially means that it has a left-handed thread. The purpose of reverse threads is to ensure the application’s pressure does not force the screw to come undone. Reverse threads are typically only used for specialized purposes today, begging the question, “Are they used on hitch balls?”
Most hitch balls today have right-handed threads, which means they are not reverse threads. Even so, hitch balls require a lot of torque to unscrew, explaining why these items stay secure even when on the road. If you are having trouble undoing your hitch ball, it’s likely because it is rusted and needs extra torque to remove, not because it is reverse threaded.
Keep reading to learn more about reverse threads and why they are not used on hitch balls.
Are Hitch Balls Reverse Threaded?
Threads can be described as right-handed or left-handed. Most threads today are right-handed, which means they turn clockwise. Some items are left-handed, meaning they are turned counterclockwise. Left-handed threads are also called reverse threads. Tire bolts, heating and plumbing bolts, and safety bolts are sometimes reverse threaded for safety purposes.
Even though hitch balls need to stay tight and secure, most are right-handed threads. So, the trailer hitch ball should be turned clockwise to tighten and counterclockwise to untighten, just like a regular bolt. The only difference is that a lot of torque is required to move the ball.
How Do You Unscrew a Hitch Ball?
Many individuals believe that their hitch ball is reverse threaded because of how difficult it can be to remove it. However, unscrewing a hitch ball can be tough because it requires so much torque, especially if it is rusted in place. Even in cases of severe rust, it is possible.
If the hitch receiver is rusted, get penetrating fluid and spray the hitch ball. Spray generously, and make sure to spray the hitch receivers opening.
Ensure that the corners of the hitch receiver are sprayed too. After you have finished spraying, you will want to use an air hammer to loosen it further. You may need to repeat the spraying and hammering steps for incredibly rusted ball mounts.
After you have thoroughly sprayed the area and it is now coming loose, use a wrench to dislodge the nut. It will come slowly out, but you may need to spray more if the nut is not moving as much as you would like. Eventually, you should be able to unscrew the ball hitch in this manner.
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Can You Reverse the Hitch Ball?
Whether you can reverse the ball hitch depends on the manufacturer. Many hitches designed today are made in such a way that you can reverse the ball hitch, but there are some models where reversing the hitch ball is not permitted.
You will need to confirm whether or not the manufacturer approves of reversing the hitch ball before you do so. It should be relatively easy to discover this information. If there is both drop and rise information about your hitch ball, then you can reverse it.
If you still aren’t sure whether or not you can reverse your hitch ball, you can call the manufacturer. This is a pretty standard question and one that is not difficult for them to answer. The call shouldn’t take too long either because of how easy this question is.
Today, most hitch balls are not reverse threaded. Reverse threads are reserved for highly specialized parts, such as those on your tire or heating and air equipment. Instead, most hitch balls have standard threading that runs clockwise.
Even though most hitch balls have standard threads, it still requires a lot of torque to properly secure and loosen the bolt. In fact, it can be very difficult to remove a hitch, especially if it has rusted. With lubricant and an air hammer, you should be able to loosen the ball.
Though it is difficult to remove rusted hitch balls, it isn’t difficult to find out if you can use the ball mount in reverse. Most ball mounts today can be used in both positions. You can learn about your ball mount by reading the manufacturer’s specifications or calling the manufacturer directly. Good luck!