Author Topic: Replacing AT35 Tow Hitch  (Read 20478 times)

Offline Robbo

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Replacing AT35 Tow Hitch
« on: April 10, 2012, 08:14:40 PM »
We tow a 2009 Canning with a Prado and are looking to replace the AT35 hitch with the Do 35 hitch after experiencing some difficulties with the AT35 hitch pinching/ sticking during disconnecting when the Tvan is not level withe Prado.( especially when bogged) It looks much simpler to use.
Has anyone done this ? Can anyone tell me if the bolt hole pattern of the new hitch is the same and can the new hitch simply be bolted on.
Robbo

Offline Mikees

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Re: Replacing AT35 Tow Hitch
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2012, 11:09:58 PM »
G'day Robbo, mine bolted straight on. Your timing is good. Vehicle Components has just released an upgrade to their DO-35 hitch with further improvements including a dust cap which can only clip down when the hitch is locked. Provides a visual check that the hitch is hooked on properly. Paul White from VC can tell you more about it. 07 3624 3800
cheers
Mike
Mike Pavey
The Dirt Off Road Campers
http://www.thedirt4wd.com.au

Offline The Hueys

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Re: Replacing AT35 Tow Hitch
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2012, 07:48:25 AM »
The older DO35 is a bolt on swap with the AT35, however the new revised model uses a slightly different bolt pattern in standard form that is not interchangeable, for easier manufacturing (and other technical reasons) the square tube that the main pin rotates in is now welded directly to the base plate rather than via a spacer in the older units which requires a wider hole spacing at the front (now just a hole in the outer position rather than the slot in the previous designs). When I found this out mid last year I asked vehicle components what could be done about it so that AT35 customers (and others) who wanted to change over to the new hitch as I was seeing about 5 or 6 a month doing so. After a while they came back and said they would offer (as special order) a new style DO35 with the old style mounting (the same body with spacer and slotted front mounting as the older DO35 and AT35).

Track made a change to their drawbar mounting plate to accommodate the new coupling so there are no issues on new vans fitted with the new coupling when it becomes available but if ordering a replacement unit you need to make sure you are getting one that is interchangeable with the AT35 (Vehicle Components website has images of both types in the DO35 section but no mention of the different types).

All this assumes that Vehicle Components have not changed back to the older mounting on all new couplings as the only ones I’ve seen in the flesh were retro fitted to older Track products.
Craig Hewitson
Former Track Trailer Service & Sales Manager - 2005 to 2011
MkII Tvan behind a Mazda BT-50

Offline Alpaca

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Re: Replacing AT35 Tow Hitch
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2012, 09:07:52 AM »
Does anyone have a price on the new style hitch?
Alpaca
The Tug: 2000 model 100series Now Turbo'd Woo hoo Diesel even more woo hoo, now with intercooler
The Barge: 2006 Tvan

Offline boobook

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Re: Replacing AT35 Tow Hitch
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2012, 12:29:39 PM »
There are 2 versions of the new DO35 for bolt mounting ( plus a weld on version).

Which one to use depends on the location of the front holes as per Craig's description.

In the photo below you will see that the bolts for the front holes are on the inside of the slotted holes in the hitch mount. This is how my MK 111 late Jan 12 Build Tvan is, and I guess AT 35's (from Craig's comments above), so Track must have changed after about 20th Jan this year if they did at all.



For this configuration you need to buy the "High" version as per this photo. The "high" version has a spacer between the plate and the shaft and allows the front mounting bolts to be closer. The one in the picture below is the High version. it is the same height as the V1 DO35 and will mount with the holes for the old one.



If the front bolts are at the outside of the slots in the current hitch then you can use the "Low" version that Craig described. This is about 15mm lower ( for Pajero's and Prado's apparently) but requires that the front bolts are at the outside of the slotted holes.

The High version is the same height as the DO35 V1 and is $392.76 inc gst, it is in stock.
The low version is $376.26 and out of stock for a few weeks.

I asked if they will do an upgrade for this group where the shaft is swapped over, they said it is not possible.

If we did a group buy of 10 they would do the high one for $340.38, low for $326.08 with mix and match.

Maybe Track would consider a juicy upgrade price too.

« Last Edit: April 11, 2012, 12:38:44 PM by boobook »
Tony,
Landcruiser 200
MK 111 Canning Tvan
VKS 1523
VK3TON

Offline Robbo

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Re: Replacing AT35 Tow Hitch
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2012, 06:27:50 PM »
Thanks everyone for the great feedback.
Great to have accurate detail Craig and good photos Tony.
I will now contact vehicle components. However, before I do is anyone else interested in being part of a package purchase?
I am in Queensland and can easily go to the factory and arrange.
Robbo

Offline davandeb

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Re: Replacing AT35 Tow Hitch
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2012, 02:55:45 PM »
G'day Forum
I would like to hear from those owners of older Tvans that have made the change from the AT35 coupling to the DO35.  Is it that much easier to connect and disconnect?  Unfortunately, I  broke my leg a couple of weeks ago and we are only about 6 weeks away until we leave for 3 months in the Kimberleys.   :(  I am considering changing the coupling if it is going to mean I don't have to wrestle the Tvan those last few centimeters to line up the coupling and pin which is usually the case with the AT35 coupling (assuming I have healed sufficiently to make the trip)   :-\ 

The information on this string is terrific.  The existing AT 35 coupling has the bolts through the slotted forward holes close in to the coupling body.  I believe I would need the D035-V2-R with the TP-S standard tow pin. 
2005 Landcruiser TD Sahara<> 2007 Murranji MkII

Offline lexm

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Re: Replacing AT35 Tow Hitch
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2012, 07:03:13 PM »
Do it.
 
I did and I still have the old AT35 because I haven't found anyone I hate enough to sell or give it to.
 
The DO35 is infinitely better and easier to use. The AT35 is a monster by comparison.
 
(If you really need to make it totally easy, get a maco mule jockey wheel.
Worth every cent.)
 
Cheers
LexM

Offline The Hueys

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Re: Replacing AT35 Tow Hitch
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2012, 08:30:25 PM »
The DO35 is light years ahead in ease of coupling and uncoupling when compared to the AT35 but the maintenance is higher, it must be kept clean and lubricated to work well. The newer model should alleviate much of this but they still need more than an AT35. You also may need to get the jockey wheel modified as the coupling now has to go up and over the pin rather than into so you need a couple of extra inches of travel. If your jockey wheel does not have enough it is a case of getting the tube welds cut of the swivel mechanism and having it welded back on at a more suitable height.

All that said I'm personally sticking with my AT35 and I'm in the process of changing both my other trailers to it as well, but it is just a personal choice as with all our years of using them Kathi and I have gotten the operation down to a fine art and see no need to change.
Craig Hewitson
Former Track Trailer Service & Sales Manager - 2005 to 2011
MkII Tvan behind a Mazda BT-50

Offline obeeone

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Re: Replacing AT35 Tow Hitch
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2012, 08:45:17 PM »
G'day Craig

I'm with you, never had a problem with the AT35 and we've had the mighty Tvan for 10 years now.  I must also say I don't think I would like it so much on the Topaz.

Carl
« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 08:50:38 PM by obeeone »

Offline Eelezy

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Re: Replacing AT35 Tow Hitch
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2012, 09:30:11 PM »
We also changed our TVAN at35 over after nearyy squashing/severing a finger when I stupidlyt ried to "guide" the coupling together as my wife slowly reversed..and we also found it hard to couple up in sand etc...
Slightly off topic, but our 'new' eagle has a tiger coupling with hydraulic brakes. Seems a great hitch to use so far..no longer made apparently...does have a bit of grease here and there but pretty robust. Best of all, the hydraulic brake lever has an adjustment knob on the top of the handle so you don't have to fiddle with the bolts/adjuster on the wires..just turn the knob!
Chris and Sue
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 09:36:05 AM by Eelezy »
2014 Mark Three Canning with extras, 76 series V8 Landcruiser...(you know you want one!)

Offline Crockett

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Re: Replacing AT35 Tow Hitch
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2012, 01:13:22 AM »
Slightly off topic, but our 'new' eagle has a tiger coupling with hydraulic brakes. Seems a great hitch to use so far..no longer made apparently

I'm new to this, whats a Tiger Coupling, have you got a pic. Just want to add it for my personal memory bank  :)
Cheers Dave
C.I.A.

Offline The Hueys

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Re: Replacing AT35 Tow Hitch
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2012, 04:47:05 PM »
The tiger wad used prior to the at35 until it became unavailable
Craig Hewitson
Former Track Trailer Service & Sales Manager - 2005 to 2011
MkII Tvan behind a Mazda BT-50

Offline whisky_mac

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Re: Replacing AT35 Tow Hitch
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2012, 09:59:21 AM »
G'day Forum
Is it that much easier to connect and disconnect? 
I have a 2005 Tvan and made the DO35 change last year. It is a lot easier for me. Having said that I have an old Range Rover P38 with the air suspension. I just drop my suspension down and back into postion, then just air up the suspension and on it goes. When disconnecting, I just lift the suspension up to it's greatest height, drop the jockey wheel, chains and plugs, drop the suspension down and pull away. I love the combination.


Jim & Sheryl
2005 Tvan pulling a 1998 Range Rover

Offline davandeb

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Re: Replacing AT35 Tow Hitch
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2012, 05:44:48 PM »
Got the quote today from Vehicle Components for DO35 Coupling V2-R and DO35 Bi-lock Pin Assembly  $357.05 + $89.58 + $30 Freight + GST = $524.29.   ???  Serve me right for breaking my leg!!  :-[  Refer to For Sale Section for AT35 Coupling and key lock assembly.
 
2005 Landcruiser TD Sahara<> 2007 Murranji MkII