I bent my 3/8" steel draw-bar hitch pulling some big stumps, need some advice on how to straighten it.
I have oxy/acet torch but do not have a press. Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated, or should I take it to a pro with a press?
Take it to a pro. That metal probably has been stressed to the point of being cracked. If so, it is probably beyond a simple repair. It may need to be welded and then heat treated May be cheaper to replace it if it is to used for such high loads another time.
You would need some type of rose bud to get enough heat into the part to straighten it. You would need to re-mount it to the tractor but insulate it to the mounting AKA add some washers in between the mounting surface/ 3 or 4 for an air gap aka maybe some longer bolts to. You need to do this if you do not have any other method to support the part while heating and straightening. If it is a 2" receiver type you would need a long pc of tubing as a lever/ moment arm maybe be 3/4/5 feet long, or what ever you can get to use as a lever arm. The part is not heat treated as new/ maybe annealed at the most but not likely. It is just some structural steel AKA like A36. This would be a 2 person job. You running the torch and your buddy standing on the tubing lever arm. It could be a good social time with a couple of beers. After you straighten it you will need to visually check the welds for cracks and re-weld as necessary. It probably will not look as new but it should be usable again. The idea is to get the receiver parallel to the ground again. Throw some paint on it after the repair. Next would be to make your own but a little more robust of a design. I forgot one thing. Grind the HD stamping off the back side because this thing is evidently not heavy duty. LOL Later
I would price out a new piece before spending a whole lot of time on this one. If it was me you asked to straighten the piece I wouldn't bother. I have the equipment to nicely cut off the bent piece. I would then cut a new piece out of heavier steel and weld everything back together. It would be faster than trying to make a nice job of straightening the bent part.
Looks to me like a job for a smithy, or someone who thinks like one.
Trying to get the two deformed ears to both wind up flat and at right angles to the hitch receiver will require some finesse of heat & forces.
The steel may have work hardened, due to cold working when it deformed.
So it's going to require heating to move it without cracking and to get flat surfaces instead of ripples when you're finished.
Could be fun forge & hammer work & would make for a good journeyman smith's examination problem.
I also like oldtimer's suggestion to use a long lever to slowly move the sections where you want them to go - allows great control.
Both oldtimer & shield arc suggest that you constrain the parts that bolt to the tractor & move the receiver.
This approach guarantees that the bolt holes in the hitch will wind up in alignment with the bolt holes on the tractor.
It's gonna be difficult to hold that thing down to bend it back. Preheat it in a roaring campfire then fish it out and beat on it, maybe re-heating with a propane roofing torch or weedburner. Maybe you can get it in the vise & continue heating with a propane weedburner.
3/8 steel isn't hard to bend when red hot but you have a compound curve there. When its back straight, you could add bracing. But it might be designed as a soft point, to save your tractor mounts. That flat plate sure wasn't intended to take the load it got. Go easy next time.
Replacing the flat plate as said above is a reasonable suggestion too if you have the eqpt to cut a new one. It's mild steel, it wasn't and can't be heat treated.