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2013 OB Limited 2.5 CVT
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Discussion Starter #1
I installed my Torklift hitch this weekend.

The weather was still cool so I decided to not remove the bumper cover even though that looked to be the easier way to install the hitch from the reading I had done.

Well it took me less than an hour to install the hitch without removing the bumper cover. That includes getting the tools from my box and final clean up.

The key to a clean install in my mind was the use of a Greenlee 1-1/8 step bit to neatly enlarge the four holes in the rear storage compartment. The rectangular washer neatly dropped thru the larger hole and dropped into the frame without the need for the fish cable. I just positioned the washer and bolts with a magnetic pickup tool.

Trimming the rear bumper cover with a cordless jig saw was easy and I also bolted up the hitch assembly without a helper. I used an impact wrench to tighten up the 1/2 bolts so I had no issues with the heads spinning in the frame.

The instructions from Torklift made sense and were easy to follow.

I am no mechanic but have worked on my own cars and trucks over the years oil changes, lift kits and the such. If you take your time and don't rush into the install it will not take you very long to do. I am glad I did not remove the bumper cover as I have never had a lot of luck with plastic clips :)
 

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Installation w/o Bumper Removal

I'm partial to the look of the TorkLift hitch. I'm curious: did the TorkLift instructions suggest the non-bumper removal method? I've requested a copy of them.

I'm not too keen on pulling the bumper cover off. I'm guessing my wife will be even less enthused to see the back half of her car laying on the ground!

Just curious, I guess. I had not seen anyone else mention an install of TorkLift hitches w/o bumper removal. Thanks!

MY BAD: just reading pages 32, 33, 34, 35...of the Torklift thread and reading about the two methods. Apologies for un-necessary bumping.
 

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Ordered my Torklift hitch on Fri July 19 and it arrived in Akron, OH on Thurs July 25. The hitch was shrink wrapped with foam around the edges of the mounting brackets, to the foam wore through to the metal on a couple of edges. I guess that could be expected given the fact that it’s not boxed and it had to travel all the way from Washington state to Ohio.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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I utilized many of the tips and tricks I read about on here, esp WinnipegK5's lessons learned. I used tin snips and a utility knife to cut out the 6" by 6" opening in the bumper.<o:p></o:p>

I chose the 'enlarge the holes in the trunk pan' method vs bumper removal method for placing hardware in frame rails. I didnt want to mess w the plastic clips.
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I used a step bit to enlarge all 4 holes in my trunk pan to about 1". On the driver's side forward hole that is blocked by the heat shield, I used a 1/2" drill bit and drilled down thru the heat shield via the enlarged access hole from inside of the vehicle. That seemed to work pretty well for me. When complete, I re-covered these access holes with duck tape (only after the job was complete and I was re-assembling the foam pieces in the rear).<o:p></o:p>
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After placing the hardware with the fishing wire in one of the holes, I went to the magnetic pick-up tool that WinnipegK5 recommended and it worked like a charm to set the hardware in the frame for the remaining three holes. The fishing wire did not do a great job of positioning bolt upright in the hole, but the magnet sure did.<o:p></o:p>
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I backed the Outback up onto some ramps to try to hang the hitch without removing the muffler. That made it a lot easier to handle the hitch from a seated position, rather than laying under the car. I put the hitch on top of a 5 gallon bucket to get it close to the height it needed to be, then lifted from there. <o:p></o:p>
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With the muffler in the way, it still didn’t seem to be too easy for me to work the hitch into position so I went about removing the muffler. At 8 months old in Northeast Ohio, those nuts were already super rusty. So I removed the two rusty nuts on the muffler flange using some penetrating oil and an impact wrench. Once the muffler was out of the way it was very easy to get the hitch in position and start the 4 nuts by hand and then tighten with the impact wrench. None of the heads slipped in the frame rails, so the little star washers Torklift added to the set seem to have worked. Lastly, a little Dawn dish soap on the rubber muffler hangars helped get those back in position. Total elapsed time for this novice was probably 2-3 hours.<o:p></o:p>
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All in all I'm really happy with the install. It looks great! I really debated getting a uHaul hitch installed or similar, but I wanted a 1 1/4" receiver for a bike rack that I already have and uHaul only offered a 2" option. Plus I like the fact that the hitch is hidden behind the bumper so when it does inevitably start to rust, I won’t have to see it hanging beneath the car and rusting away.<o:p></o:p>
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Will put the hitch to use this weekend as we head down to North Carolina for some much needed R&R at the beach! I hope to catch some fish. <o:p></o:p>
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Thanks to suburuoutback.org/forums for all the advice. This keyboard/desk jockey couldn’t have done it without the tips and tricks learned here.
 
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