B&W Turn Over Ball Installation

By NC4x4 on Dec 30, 2011 at 11:01 AM
  1. NC4x4

    NC4x4 Well-Known Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    When I bought my truck, a previous owner had already installed a pair of fifth wheel rails in the bed.

    This write-up covers the installation of B&W "Turnoverball" part number 1310. It should apply to any 2003 through 2012 Dodge 2500 or 3500, except for MegaCab trucks and 2010-2012 gas engine models.

    The first step is to drill a 4" diameter hole in the bed of the truck. There's no room for errors here, so I took careful measurements to locate the centerline of the bed from left to right. Then I measured 47 1/2" from the rear lip of the bed to determine where the hole went from front to back. Short box trucks will put the hitch a bit farther rearward, 45 1/2" from the lip of the bed.

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    The bed liner in this truck will be replaced,so I cut away a square of bedliner where the hitch hole will go.
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    I started by drilling a 1/4" pilot hole, then checking underneath the truck for any hoses or wires that might be damaged by the hole saw.
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    The pilot bit on my hole saw arbor was too short to clear the ribs in the truck bed, so I swapped it out for a regular drill bit.
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    Slow and steady with the big hole saw. It will try to grab the jagged edges of the bed as it cuts through, so use very light pressure on the drill and let the bit do the work. You can use cutting oil or WD-40 to lubricate the saw's teeth.
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    Emory cloth can smooth out any rough edges. Once everything is cleaned up, we spray painted over any bare metal.
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    The hitch is comprised of two basic pieces -- the center pin box (top, with turnover ball) and the frame attachment box (bottom). The pin boxes are used on several different models (this particular one is used on most of the post-94 Dodge trucks), but the frame attachment is specific to a particular model.
    The hitch is comprised of two basic pieces -- the center pin box (top, with turnover ball) and the frame attachment box (bottom). The pin boxes are used on several different models (this particular one is used on most of the post-94 Dodge trucks), but the frame attachment is specific to a particular model.

    The center section is held in place by two crossmembers. This particular kit uses a 1-1/2" angle for the rear crossmember and a 1"x1-1/2" piece of solid stock for the front crossmember.

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    You'll need to cut a notch in the pinch weld under the bed to slide the crossmembers into place. We used a jig saw, but a hack saw would work too.
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    The rear crossmember is a tight fit. It slides through the slot we cut, then it's time to lift the pin box into place. The front crossmember can be seen on the right side.
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    The pin box attaches to the crossmembers with four 1/2" bolts across the front and four 1/2" bolts with nuts across the back. No nuts are needed on the front because B&W just tapped the holes in the solid crossmember. A word of advice here -- if you have a 1/2-13 tap handy, run it through each hole before sliding the crossmember into place. The crossmember had a heavy coat of paint on it that made it tough to get the bolts in their holes. Get all the bolts started in their holes, but leave them loose for now.
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    This is the retainer for the parking brake cable. On short bed trucks, you'll need to temporarily remove it while you install the side plates. Leave it alone if you're working with an 8' bed.
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    The front of the sideplates are held in place with a u-bolt that sandwiches the frame.
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    A single bolt runs vertically through the frame rail to attach the rear of the side plates. Driver's side is shown.
     
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