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Discussion Starter #1
A family friend recently came over with an outback and I made a comment about her hitch. Turns out she’s not using it anymore and she said if I can remove it, it’s mine! Super happy as I’ve been wanting to get one to tow my bikes. I briefly looked underneath and it looks like it may be a little more complicated than just loosening 4 bolts. It was installed by U-Haul and I noticed wiring attached. She’s gonna come back over Friday and said I can remove it then. My question for you guys is, can I just simply support the hitch with some wooden blocks and then loosen the bolts? For those that installed hitches yourself, do you think I’ll be able to reach the bolts without removing the exhaust? I know for installation you need to lower the exhaust but it was hard to tell if I need to for removing. Just want to make sure I’m prepared for when she comes over. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
 

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A family friend recently came over with an outback and I made a comment about her hitch. Turns out she’s not using it anymore and she said if I can remove it, it’s mine! Super happy as I’ve been wanting to get one to tow my bikes. I briefly looked underneath and it looks like it may be a little more complicated than just loosening 4 bolts. It was installed by U-Haul and I noticed wiring attached. She’s gonna come back over Friday and said I can remove it then. My question for you guys is, can I just simply support the hitch with some wooden blocks and then loosen the bolts? For those that installed hitches yourself, do you think I’ll be able to reach the bolts without removing the exhaust? I know for installation you need to lower the exhaust but it was hard to tell if I need to for removing. Just want to make sure I’m prepared for when she comes over. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
If your sure you can at least see ALL points of attachment then it should be relatively easy if you have the tools and are prepared to cut off what you can’t undo. Cut and terminate each wire separately.


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Remove the spare tire and follow the wiring to the left side of the cargo area. It should unplug from the factory hardness. If the hitch is bolted to the frame would be best to just drop the muffler from the hangers. Just pry the hanger off the rubber grommet. When I installed a hitch on my Forester had it balanced on a floor to line it up. Your going need new hardware, not sure how to get the loose bolts out of the frame and a fish wire to install the new bolts. Watch this how to
 

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You did not state what year model cars you are dealing with and what brand of hitch, if known.
There are several designs available and some are very straighforward to install and remove, but some are more involved. By your description, I suspect it may be like the one I installed and it required placing retainer plates inside the frame rails. This required removing the bumper cover and bumper rail for installation (or drilling an access hole). To reverse the installation would also require accessing the frame rails to retrieve the load plates. You'll need to them to install into your car and it would be deficient to leave them rattling around in her car.
For uninstalling the hitch, muffler removal may not be required if you can access the mounting bolts/nuts.
 

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Bengal,

I put the Curt hitch on my 2017 OBW Premier and it was exactly as the video above. The special wire they use is a guitar G string that has been spun around the threaded section of a smaller bolt diameter (3/8 " perhaps) for about 5 revolutions. When it is spread open abit, it can then be threaded onto the actual mounting bolt for 5 or so threads, and it will grip it for the reinstall on your car.

BUT, you can wind it on the mounting bolt on her car and push the bolt up and to the rear opening they enlargened to retrieve it. If you put a square hook on the other end of the guitar string, after you get the bolt out, you can go back and hook the reinforcing plate back to the opening and fish it out. Be prepared to be frustrated getting the reinforcing plates out .... but you will need them for your car!

Don't install the hitch on your car if you don't get them out of her car!!! They will rattle in her car and drive her crazy, and the hitch will fail on your car without them, GUARANTEED!

Go buy yourself one of those step drill bits that goes to an inch or inch and a quarter. It'll make your life so much easier on this job. And use a Torque wrench set for whatever specs the hitch company set for those mounting bolts. Search CURT online for the pdf file that shows install and also get the separate pdf for how to find the wiring harness connector. There both on their site.

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You did not state what year model cars you are dealing with and what brand of hitch, if known.
There are several designs available and some are very straighforward to install and remove, but some are more involved. By your description, I suspect it may be like the one I installed and it required placing retainer plates inside the frame rails. This required removing the bumper cover and bumper rail for installation (or drilling an access hole). To reverse the installation would also require accessing the frame rails to retrieve the load plates. You'll need to them to install into your car and it would be deficient to leave them rattling around in her car.
For uninstalling the hitch, muffler removal may not be required if you can access the mounting bolts/nuts.
Thanks for the reply! She has a 2015 2.5 and the hitch is a U-Haul one (also installed by U-Haul). Do you think I’ll have to remove the rear bumper cover and rail?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bengal,

I put the Curt hitch on my 2017 OBW Premier and it was exactly as the video above. The special wire they use is a guitar G string that has been spun around the threaded section of a smaller bolt diameter (3/8 " perhaps) for about 5 revolutions. When it is spread open abit, it can then be threaded onto the actual mounting bolt for 5 or so threads, and it will grip it for the reinstall on your car.

BUT, you can wind it on the mounting bolt on her car and push the bolt up and to the rear opening they enlargened to retrieve it. If you put a square hook on the other end of the guitar string, after you get the bolt out, you can go back and hook the reinforcing plate back to the opening and fish it out. Be prepared to be frustrated getting the reinforcing plates out .... but you will need them for your car!

Don't install the hitch on your car if you don't get them out of her car!!! They will rattle in her car and drive her crazy, and the hitch will fail on your car without them, GUARANTEED!

Go buy yourself one of those step drill bits that goes to an inch or inch and a quarter. It'll make your life so much easier on this job. And use a Torque wrench set for whatever specs the hitch company set for those mounting bolts. Search CURT online for the pdf file that shows install and also get the separate pdf for how to find the wiring harness connector. There both on their site.

Good Luck!
Thanks for the response! This sounds like it may be a little more complicated than I was hoping. I didn’t mention but it’s a 2015 2.5 premium with a U-Haul hitch. I would only have a short window to remove it tomorrow, so I may just actually not bother anymore, or at least wait until I’m back in town and I have can bring all the proper tools. I could easily get new mounting hardware for my car but I’d had to leave any loose parts rattling around for her. Thinking it might not be worth the trouble or cost of just buying a new hitch? Any thoughts? Thanks!
 

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Bengal,

You'll never get a cheaper hitch .... at least take it off her car and keep it.

To prevent rattles for her, just remove the 4 mounting NUTS, drop the hitch, and put the 4 nuts back onto the bolts and tighten them up.

Then contact Curt for 4 new bolts, nuts and the backing plates (ask for the wire for pulling the bolts through the frame), and a new wiring harness.
 
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