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Westfalia Woes – Your Help Please


2rari
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Ok, here’s the problem…I have a new WF removable swan neck tow bar fitted to my Infiniti FX….yes there is one out there !! The issue is that is becomes loose (won’t fall out) when you rotate the release knob maybe 2 or 3 deg. Here’s where it gets interesting – Infiniti tell me they all do that - but I know they don’t – 1) as I had exactly the same basic WF system on my Cayenne & it did not exhibit a wobble. 2) because I design cars for a living & actually package WF products on OEM’s product (car manufacturers), I do know the product & the engineering principles involved. I actually rang WF & they told me not to use it & Infiniti replaced the whole system. Guess what, the second one is the same. An Infiniti/WF engineer is now coming to inspect it with me to see if it complies with their product specification.

My issue is that if you ever touched that knob leaving a field on the ground, the ball then has a float of maybe 5-8mm in every plane – effectively the ball centre can move relative to the car which will not help stability or loads in the hitch. The mechanism is not powerful enough to rotate the Knob back to seated with 70 or 80 kg on it & so would only reseat when the caravan came up at the front taking the load off the ball. This could be immediately or a mile down the road.

Has anybody come across this before - The CClub technical team had not – If you have a WF removable tow ball, can you insert it, lock & remove the key, rotate the knob a very small amount & then, grasping the ball, give it a shake….is it ridged or does it rattle with a perceivable movement in the ball?. I want to see if I am the only person with the issue, or do lots of people have this & I am the only one moaning because of my work & looking at what the failure mode could be!

Many thanks M

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Hi I as going to mention this in another thread involving one coming undone. I had a play with mine yesterday and found it would become loose but not fall out when the knob was rotated fully but there is some resistance to do this with the knob

Towing with 2. 0 darkside mk3 Ford Focus hatch named the Naked Turtle, towing a 1993 Abi Jubilee Emperor Named Michelle

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I'm now on my third Audi A6 and all have been fitted with W/F vertically detachable tow bars. All 3 have exhibited the condition you describe, but it has not been a concern to me and in 12 years of towing I have not had a sign of any problem. I would also add that all the A6 models I have owned have had quite a long rear overhang, but I have never noticed or been aware of any grounding of the tow bar, even models with lowered sports suspension.

 

However, now that you have raised this issue on a public forum, I shall be trying to remember to check my tow bar fitting after a halt in public, just to be certain that there has not been any interference from a third party wishing to see the condition for themselves.

 

John

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Hi, I also have a W/F vertically detachable, this is my third one, and none of them have had any movement at all.

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  • 2 months later...

I have used our vertical detachable for the first time this year tonight, it did show signs of play, this was down to surface rust on the machined 'triangle' flats on the reciever socket. a quick spray with gt85 and light rub with some fine wet and dry and it now sits as solid as it did when i first fitted it, with No play whatsoever.

on another note, the release knob can be turned slightly with the key removed, this causes some slight movement, but imo no way could it release fully. it has always done this.

 

Dave

A seemingly problem free 2010 model Adria Altea 542dk that has more than its fair share of use.

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