Ideas how to repair a non-detaching towbar?

May 12, 2014
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I've got a Brink diagonal detachable towbar on my 2014 S-Max, was fitted when I bought the car 2.5 years ago. The last time I went to fit it, it took several attempts to get the mechanism to engage properly but a bit of wiggling and in it went.

After a week of driving around with it on, I went to remove it .... no luck, the dial would push in and turn but could not feel it releasing the catch. After several attempts at this, much wiggling and a gentle caress with a rubber mallet I unbolted the receiving part of the mechanism from the car, removed, sprayed liberally with WD40 and left for 24 hours but it's still stuck fast. I live several hours away from the garage where I bought the towbar, and the only Brink fitter in my area is only open Mon-Fri 8:30 to 4:30 i.e. when I'm at work.

Anyone ever successfully repaired one of these before? I've had a look on Ebay and you can buy replacement dials (i.e. the bit you push in and turn to release the bar from the car), so presumably you must be able to remove the one that's on there - but can't see how at all!
 
Oct 12, 2013
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A friend off mine had a detachable & everytime he came to borrow my trailer i ended up sitting on the ground fighting trying to secure the mechanism :angry: That's why i always go for a fixed towbar .
 
Feb 23, 2018
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Craigyoung said:
A friend off mine had a detachable & everytime he came to borrow my trailer i ended up sitting on the ground fighting trying to secure the mechanism :angry: That's why i always go for a fixed towbar .

I was being vain... thought a fixed bar spoiled the look of the car! (You had to cut the bumper either way) But the first time I tried to fit the towball it was a struggle, but I was trying to turn the handle as I put it in the receiver, like pressing the button on the handbrake when you pull it on. Turns out you just shove it in!! Now it takes me seconds. Removing the cover and locking the release mechanism takes longer!
 
May 12, 2014
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Yes, it's very definitely lock into the receiver! It always used to fit and detach easily - and once you've unlocked it, it just drops straight out of the receiver, so no chance of getting that confused. With the receiver bit now unbolted from the car I can see the steel "tongue" protruding and fitting into the appropriate place to keep the thing locked on.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Could a mobile towbar fitter come to where you work?
Mine can be a pain as it is very low underneath the car, but at least when its not fitted you cannot see the car has a towbar. Keep trying the WD40 and soft mallet.
 
Oct 3, 2013
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I had a similar problem with a removable tow ball.After unlocking with a key couldn't turn the knob to remove the tow ball.
As it happened we were going away soon so just left the tow ball on the car.
When we arrived on site the tow ball came off easily after turning the knob,This only happened once and the tow ball always operated correctly after that.
Try towing for a short journey and see if if this frees it up.
I wouldn't attempt to repair myself but go to the manufacturer.
 
May 12, 2014
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I'd called Brink who put in touch with one of their agents nearer me. Dropped it off there and they've confirmed it's FUBARd and has gone back to Brink for repair or replacement, hopefully under warranty
 
Nov 16, 2015
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tuffty said:
I'd called Brink who put in touch with one of their agents nearer me. Dropped it off there and they've confirmed it's FUBARd and has gone back to Brink for repair or replacement, hopefully under warranty

Nice quote. , a mates Landrover Freelanders detachable had to go back through bad Fitment.

I prefer TowTrust bars, not the prettiest but, solid and good.
 
Feb 23, 2018
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tuffty said:
I'd called Brink who put in touch with one of their agents nearer me. Dropped it off there and they've confirmed it's FUBARd and has gone back to Brink for repair or replacement, hopefully under warranty

I'm guessing the internal mechanism had failed and the handle no longer operated the 'tongue'?

I've always detached the towball when not in use. I don't leave it on even when I'm away in the van.
 
May 12, 2014
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CustardAvenger said:
tuffty said:
I'd called Brink who put in touch with one of their agents nearer me. Dropped it off there and they've confirmed it's FUBARd and has gone back to Brink for repair or replacement, hopefully under warranty

I'm guessing the internal mechanism had failed and the handle no longer operated the 'tongue'?

I've always detached the towball when not in use. I don't leave it on even when I'm away in the van.

Yes that's what had happened.
Always leave it on when we're away as I'm paranoid about not being able to put it back on again, and being left with a caravan or 4 bikes I can't get home. Comes off as soon as we're home again. Maybe I'll start removing it after all.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Always leave it on when touring and removed when at home. Clean it on removal and gentle lub for lock and engagement mechanism on occasions.
 
Jul 2, 2019
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Had no trouble with one on Discovery 4, but even when locked they are apparently prone to disappearing! I always remove and stow mine when not in use, at £350 each not worth the risk.
 

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