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Boobies!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2" receiver hitch on my Tundra--the powder coat has failed (doesn't it always) and the inside of the receiver is rusted.

Last time I went to tow, I spent a good two hours in the Home Despot parking lot with a long mill file and a few other things trying to clear out the rust flakes, failed powder coating and crap so I could get the hitch piece in.

I need to get back to it, clean it up a little more, and try to put some rustoleum or similar paint on the darned thing.

I'm looking for suggestions for a tool that will let me scrape inside the receiver (the file mostly skipped and I smacked my fingers because you can't get any weight on the nose of the file).

I'd prefer a power tool, 'cause I'm getting older....
 

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Good advice so far but instead of just painting it afterwards which only wears off. Consider using one of those rust converter solutions first that most hardware stores carry. I've used various ones & they all work well. Through a chemical reaction, it converts the rust & leaves a protective coating that can be painted for further protection.
 

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The wire brush on a drill will work fine. Spray some penetrating release oil in there first to help loosen the crap in there. Soak it for a while, wear safety glasses, and go to down with the wire brush.
 

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Quiet, daddy's drinking
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From the sounds of it you need to go more heavy duty. The wire brush will remove surface rust but to get the rust flakes and chips out, especially in the corners you need an air chisel.
 

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I had the same problem with the hitch on my '03 4 Runner. I sprayed the inside with penetrating oil, then pounded the hitch in, than side to side and up and down to break up the crap. It came right out for me. The other end of my 2" receiver tube is open, so easy to pound out if not.

I recently discovered Fluid Film, and now use that. One coat every year. Once rusted, it does not pay to try and re-paint old stuff, especially underneath or in a wear area like a hitch. Grease works OK to prevent rust, but Fluid Film is easier to apply and lasts longer than grease. Usually about $10/can at lowe's or home depot. They also sell it in gallons if you want to do the whole underneath, many people with older cars that see salt roads do this every year. It seals and stops further rust.
 

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Boobies!
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks all--fluid film sounds like the deal. I think I will try to touch up the outside of the hitch maybe and leave film only on the inside. I like the idea of the 2"-1 1/2 insert as a way to limit the crap getting in.

I do have a cheapy air chisel--I'd just need to get some longer chisel heads for it...

Looking at the underside of my poor truck, I can really see why collectors like cars from states where they don't use road salt.
 

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Frog Whisperer
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our van has the hitch plate VERY securely rusted into the receiver (was like that when I bought the van) I have tried EVERYTHING, PB Blaster, heat, banging, individually and all at once..

Torched it then chained it up to a 24 inch diameter oak tree with 10 feet of slack and let her rip...nuh uh, ain't coming out! Not related but an amusing story nonetheless
 

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Use my Apps :)
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Thanks all--fluid film sounds like the deal. I think I will try to touch up the outside of the hitch maybe and leave film only on the inside. I like the idea of the 2"-1 1/2 insert as a way to limit the crap getting in.

I do have a cheapy air chisel--I'd just need to get some longer chisel heads for it...

Looking at the underside of my poor truck, I can really see why collectors like cars from states where they don't use road salt.
Yeah, up here in New England, it is not the mileage, but the years, and specifically the number of winters driven in that are the real killers. Traded my last truck in at 8 years, and it was close to having some rust holes in it. The new one is a 2014 and has been sprayed with fluid film underneath 2x, and still looks good. Planning to apply coat # 3 this fall, as with the crazy prices of new trucks, I told myself this one has to go at least 10 years.

On the other hand, the Corvette has never been driven in rain, much less winters, and is 17 y/o. A total joy to work on, as nothing is rusted on it.
 

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( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
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A file. I had the exact same problem trying to install a hitch-mounted bike rack on my old car...the receiver rusted shut. I spent DAYS blasting it with PB Blaster to chemically loosen up the rust, then a standard ol' mill bastard file to scrape the rust off. After about a week, we had it cleaned up good enough to fit the hitch in...but wait, there's more! It only went in about 3 inches, so we had to get a longer file and clean out farther inside the receiver! We wore it down to the point where we could just slap the hitch into the receiver, and the rust would automagically stop the hitch at a point where the pin holes were lined up. It was pretty great.
 
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