Level: Easy – Intermediate (requires welding)
Total project time: 2hr
~4inch section of 2” OD steel square tubing (wall thickness does not matter)
~1.5inch section of 1.5” OD steel square tubing (or whatever size will slip into 2” OD tubing)
This isn’t necessary, but it creates a step down in size that allows the hitch insert to be solid on the end, rather than allowing you to see through the tube.
Hitch pin and clip
5/8” drill bit (and smaller sizes for stepping up to the largest size)
Drill press (handy, but not necessary) or hand drill (necessary if drill press isn’t available)
Hammer + scrap wood block (2×4 is perfect)
Primer and paint
- Measure the distance inside your vehicle’s hitch tube from the backside of the hitch pin hole to the outermost lip. This will be the length of your 2” OD tube.
- Cut 2” tube to length measured in previous step. Slide the tube inside the hitch and mark the location of the hitch pin holes on both sides. Allow enough room on the end of the tube for the entire area of the hole you’ll drill for the pin.
- Drill hole for hitch pin (11/16” hole for 5/8” pin, 9/16” hole for ½” pin), preferably using a drill press and secure clamping device to hold the tube perfectly horizontal. Start with a small pilot hole and step up sizes to preserve the drill bits. If the drill bits and the drill press’s stroke are long enough, drill all the way through both sides of the tube at once to ensure its alignment.
- Once the holes are drilled, dry fit the tube into the hitch receiver with the hitch pin to make sure the holes are aligned. Bore out holes with a die grinder or make the holes bigger if needed. The tightness of the pin’s fit is not critical.
- Measure the distance from the end of the 2” tube required for the horseshoe to clear the bumper. This will be the length of the smaller-diameter tubing.
- Add a half inch to the previously measured dimension, and cut the smaller-diameter tubing to this length.
- Place the 2” OD tubing in a tabletop vice, vertical with the holes to the bottom.
- Align the smaller-diameter tube with the opening in the 2” tube. Use the spare wood block and hammer to carefully tap the smaller-diameter tube roughly a half inch into the 2” tube.
- Ideally while still in the tabletop vice, weld the joint where the two tubes interface. Weld all the way around, and grind off excess weld when cool.
- Align the horseshoe so the space above and below the web of the shoe is roughly equal. This area will be filled with weld. Use the large C-clamp to clamp the horseshoe into place, with the hitch insert vertical on the table. Make sure the horseshoe’s orientation is correct with the holes you drilled in the tube for the hitch pin.
- Carefully tack weld the horseshoe to the tube. Remove the clamp and weld all interfacing areas of the horseshoe.
- Fill the empty areas above and below the horseshoe with weld to create a solid tube end. Grind off excess weld when cool.
- Prime and paint! I ended up getting some touch-up paint at an auto parts store that matches the color of my truck to repaint the horseshoe. It looks pretty cool!