Author Topic: Trailer hitch  (Read 4621 times)

ErikZ

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Trailer hitch
« on: May 24, 2012, 10:33:29 AM »
My regular car repair place wanted 400$ to buy and install a trailer hitch for my Subaru Impreza.

I went online and bought one from Amazon for 124$ (including two day shipping)

For 275$ I will buy the tools I need and figure this out.

Has anyone else done this project?

James

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Re: Trailer hitch
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2012, 11:40:42 AM »
My subaru has an after market hitch on mine, if you run into issues I can look or take pictures if it helps.

Have you checked youtube?  There is certainly a how-to video on there, if not for your specific car at least for the hitch you are putting on.

trammatic

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Re: Trailer hitch
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2012, 01:10:37 PM »
I did this with my old S10, and it involved drilling holes into the frame to bolt the hitch to.  I think the difficulty depends on whether or not the holes are pre-drilled.  If they're there already, it should just be a matter of bolting the thing in.  If you have to drill holes, you have to clamp it so that it's straight and level and then drill using it as a frame.

After I bolted mine in, I paid a welder $50 to go around the edges for me to make it more secure.

ErikZ

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Re: Trailer hitch
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2012, 08:56:59 PM »
Right, I'm pretty sure this kit is designed to line up with the existing holes in the Impreza. But there's only one way to find out. :-)

Now I need to find a tools. To craigslist!

fwttg

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Re: Trailer hitch
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2012, 05:42:13 PM »
You probably won't need much more than a wrench and socket set if the hitch is spec'd to your vehicle. I've installed hitches on a Pontiac Vibe and a Chevy Corsica.

The Vibe was straight forward - just line up, bolt to threaded holes and go. The Corsica involved working around a shield on the exhaust and unbolting a bit of the bumper to utilize some of its bolts or bolt holes. The hitch lined up to unthreaded holes in the car frame and the hitch kit came with all of the hardware. My recollection of the shield is that it had to be removed to allow the hitch to line up and then 'persuaded' back into position.

If you're going to pull a trailer you'll also need to think about wiring. It's pretty straight forward but accessing the wires on some vehicles can be a challenge. The Vibe's wires were hidden behind panels with tight working spaces. The Corsica's were all accessible via the trunk. There are a variety of plug configurations so check what's on your trailer before buying the harness.

Good luck!

ErikZ

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Re: Trailer hitch
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2012, 02:02:23 PM »
Hm. The holes in the support beam are too small for the reinforcing washers. It going to require expanding two of them with a die grinder.

Taking a die grinder to the support beams of my new car is where I draw the line for experimenting. Anyone know of a mechanic in the N Denver/Boulder/Longmont area that isn't going to give me grief when I bring in the Hitch I want them to install?

johnnylighthouse

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Re: Trailer hitch
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2012, 09:27:18 PM »
Have you tried getting the washer inside the frame before pushing the bolt through?  Sometimes works in this kind of situation.

ErikZ

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Re: Trailer hitch
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2012, 07:04:47 AM »
That's the key problem. The washer (In this case, a 2" by 1" rectangle with a hole in it) is too big to fit through the predrilled hole in the support.

fwttg

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Re: Trailer hitch
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2012, 03:43:34 PM »
Hereís a link to an install on a Forester where the installer drills the frame. Donít know how similar this is to your situation but it looks straight forward:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECjeAPeYSCM

I would clean and spray the freshly drilled surface with paint or undercoat to inhibit rust (but thatís just me). Are there any reviews of the hitch on Amazon or elsewhere that discuss the installation?

fwttg

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Re: Trailer hitch
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2012, 04:57:27 PM »
Page 2 of this PDF makes reference to a 'reverse pull fishwire technique':

http://sitepro12.sitepro.com/masterlibrary/11120/installsheet/CM_11120_INS.pdf

I'm guessing you don't have this hitch model or you'd have these instructions. Is there a larger hole available somewhere else on the frame rail, or is it feasible to grind a bit off of the washers to allow them through the hole?

I understand your reluctance to drill the frame as per my post above - it's always easier to give advice :-). On the other hand, if it comes down to drilling it might as well be you doing it. As someone told me long ago "Any asshole can do that and I'm just as big an asshole as anyone". That doesn't apply to everyone but it fit me pretty well!