How To Remove Rusted Trailer Hitch Ball [Step By Step Guide]

One of the most essential components when hauling a trailer is the hitch. However, this is prone to rust and corrosion, which could make it useless. That's why we're here to discuss the proper way of removing a rusted trailer hitch ball and share all the important information we've discovered about it.

To remove your rusted trailer hitch ball, simply follow these few steps;

  1. Check the rust on the trailer hitch ball
  2. Use a high-quality penetrating spray
  3. Gently hammer the hitch
  4. Use a wrench

This article outlines the steps for removing rust from your trailer hitch ball. We will also go over how to properly grease your trailer hitch ball, as well as how to prevent and maintain it. So, keep reading!

Old 2" trailer ball hitch mounted on the back of a vehicle. - How To Remove Rusted Trailer Hitch Ball [Step By Step Guide]

How To Remove Rusted Trailer Hitch Ball?

rusted trailer hitch on a truck

Removing the ball mount from the trailer hitch, especially if it is already rusted, can be very challenging. But with the right technique and tools, you can do it. Below are the proper steps you should follow if you ever encounter such a problem.

Step 1-Check The Rust On The Trailer Hitch Ball

Before removing the trailer hitch ball, determine the extent of the rust and whether or not the hitch ball needs to be removed. If the ball is rusted, it could simply be surface rust from exposure that needs to be cleaned up.

Remove as much rust as possible from the trailer hitch ball if it is salvageable. Surface rust that hasn't begun to degrade the ball can sometimes be polished away. A stiff wire brush and some rust remover will get the job done.

Click to see this Wire Brush on Amazon.

Step 2-Use A High-Quality Penetrating Spray

It is important to use a good penetrating spray. Apply the penetrating spray generously to the ball mount and spray all around the hitch receiver tube; ensure the spraying straw is deep within the hitch receiver's hole while spraying. It would be best if you created as much fluidity as possible to have the best chance of successfully removing it.

The use of a penetrating spray chills the metal, giving you the best chance of breaking the rust. This is one of the most effective methods for loosening rusted-out thread areas.

Click to see this Penetrating Spray on Amazon.

Step 3-Gently Hammer The Hitch

Tap gently all around the hitch receiver to loosen anything that the spray has separated. Tap the bottom of the hitch receiver, then the top of the metal receiver. The most crucial aspect of this procedure is to hammer lightly. Rusted metal is weak and brittle, and it can easily break.

Begin hammering the hitch to loosen it gradually. Patience and more penetrating spray will be required here. When it begins to loosen, grab hold of it and pull; if it is loose enough, it should simply slide out. If it does not, you may need to use a wrench.

Step 4-Use A Wrench

Using WD-40 or a similar product, lubricate the ball nut of the hitch. Start attempting to remove it with the wrench once you've finished spraying. Use the larger pipe wrench to gain the most leverage.

Slip the open jaw over the ball nut and secure it in place. Turn the screw mechanism until it is tightly clamped around the nut. To loosen the ball nut, turn the wrench counterclockwise. Continue to turn it until the nut is loose enough to be removed.

If the nut is stubborn and will not turn or come loose, spray it once more. A pipe attached to the wrench's end can be useful. If the trailer ball spins when you turn the wrench, grab it with another wrench and turn it in the opposite direction.

Click to see WD-40 on Amazon.

How Often Should You Grease Your Hitch Ball?

a greased ball hitch for towing trailers

You should, at the very least, grease your hitch ball every spring and winter. If you reapply grease, clean the hitch ball before applying a new layer. It's also a wise idea to grease it before going on a trip because your trailer hitch ball may be subjected to harsh conditions that could damage it, such as constant road vibrations.

How To Properly Grease A Trailer Hitch Ball?

2" trailer ball hitch mounted on the back of a vehicle

There are several steps to take when ">greasing or lubricating a hitch ball. The following are some steps you could follow.

Step 1-Clean Your Hitch Ball

First, you should wipe down your hitch ball to ensure there is no leftover grease. After that, look for any signs of rust. If it is covered in rust, it should be replaced.

If there is only a tiny amount, you can try to remove it with sandpaper or a wire brush if it is not chrome. Once this is completed, you can begin applying the grease.

Click to see Wire Brush on Amazon.

Step 2-Use The Grease

When applying grease, make sure to coat the entire surface of the hitch ball. Otherwise, the exposed or uncoated parts of the ball may rust. As a result, you should use a generous amount of grease. Since grease is not toxic, you can apply it directly with your fingers or use dry-spraying lubricants onto the ball's metal surface.

Using either method ensures that grease is thoroughly applied to all surfaces of the ball hitch, including the underside taper, where the tongue of the trailer compresses onto the ball.

Click to see this Lubricant on Amazon.

Step 3-Cover Your Hitch Ball

After applying the grease, keep the trailer hitch ball covered whenever possible. The grease will protect it from the elements, but there's no reason not to take every precaution to ensure that your hitch ball lasts as long as possible. Covering it will increase its lifespan and decrease the frequency you must apply grease.

Trailer Hitch Rust Prevention And Maintenance Methods?

When your trailer hitch rusts, it simply will not connect to your trailer. It's not a difficult task to prevent rust on your receiver. It only requires a little effort, solutions, and lubricants to keep it in top towing condition.

Car's hook for trailer designs

Hitch Ball Rust Prevention

The hitch ball is positioned in the ball mount and is exposed to the most severe weather and friction-related conditions. We recommend applying ball grease to the hitch ball while it is in use to ensure it pivots smoothly inside the coupler.

When not in use, the ball mount should be removed and stored inside a bag to prevent rust on both the ball mount and the hitch ball. If you intend to leave the mount attached to your hitch, make sure to reapply ball grease on a regular basis and protect it with a ball cover when not in use.

Receiver Hitch Rust Prevention

You will need oily fluid films and covers to protect your trailer hitch parts. You can protect your receiver hitch with a non-solvent-based product such as Fluid Film. This will keep debris and moisture out. You're ready to go when you combine that with a hitch cover.

A zinc coat can be used to protect all hitch components. However, as you use the hitch more frequently, the coat will wear away, especially in fine, high-use areas such as pinholes. Rust will form wherever there is a lot of friction. To keep these areas in a good condition, apply your fluid coat early and often.

Click to see this Fluid Film on Amazon.

Ball Mount Rust Prevention

The trailer ball is attached to the receiver hitch by a ball mount. Ball mount vibration can erode the protective coating and allow rust to form inside the receiver tube if left inside the receiver. Simply remove the ball mount when not in use and store it inside your home or vehicle to prevent this type of rust.

If you store the ball mount in your vehicle, use an accessory bag to protect it.

Click to see this Storage Bag on Amazon.

It's A Wrap!

It is quite simple to remove a rusted trailer hitch ball; it is only a gentle process with the use of penetrating spray and a simple hand tool like a wrench.

However, keep in mind that it is far easier to prevent your trailer hitch ball from rusting than repairing or removing it. So, keep your trailer hitch ball out of the elements when not in use and maintain its quality with lubrication and grease.

If you found this post helpful, check out these related articles:

Should a Travel Trailer be Level When Towing?

How to Prevent Trailer Sway? (14 Steps You Can Take Today!)

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