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Adding the towing hitch, have the dealer do it?

Discussion in 'Towing' started by akjone02, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. Aug 4, 2010 at 12:29 PM
    #1
    akjone02

    akjone02 [OP] Active Member

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    So I'm getting my Tacoma today. It's been about a week since I went in to first pick it up, but it's been delayed over and over again because I asked the dealer to install a towing hitch and they keep running into problems (sent the wrong one, mechanic out sick, sent the wrong one again, etc). Finally I just said heck with it, I'll do it some other time, I want my truck.

    Now my question is, do I have to bring the taco in to another local dealer and have them install a trailer hitch for me, or is this something I could do myself? Is this something I shop around for at auto shops in the area, or is it a dealer only buy/install?

    For some info, I've got the 4x4 access cab 4 cylinder manual. I'm talking about towing only small stuff (like a jetski), so don't worry about my lack of a v6. I have no experience working on cars :) Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Aug 4, 2010 at 12:34 PM
    #2
    afd23a

    afd23a Well-Known Member

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    It's fairly easy to do yourself with basic mechanics tools (metric socket set, torque wrench, etc.) but if you don't feel comfortable doing it or don't have much experience then you can always go to uhaul. They sell and install hitches and the wiring.
     
  3. Aug 4, 2010 at 12:34 PM
    #3
    98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 is gooder 'en chicken Moderator

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    They are pretty easy to install yourself. Or call a buddy over and split a 6-er on the install.
     
  4. Aug 4, 2010 at 12:37 PM
    #4
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    x2. Very easy install. You used to have to drill the frame but now most aftermarket hitches use existing holes in the frame. Hardest part is the wiring unless you're getting the plug-n-play 4-prong wiring harness.
     
  5. Aug 4, 2010 at 1:35 PM
    #5
    Primersinmyshoe

    Primersinmyshoe Old Sheepdog

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    Go to U-Haul and have them do it.

    Do you have a tranny cooler yet?
     
  6. Aug 4, 2010 at 2:05 PM
    #6
    scottri

    scottri Well-Known Member

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    The after market ones are simple to install yourself if you have basic and tools and a driveway. If not, as was mentioned, Uhaul sells them and installs them. Probably cheaper than a dealership as well.
     
  7. Aug 4, 2010 at 5:10 PM
    #7
    Taco.Tim

    Taco.Tim Well-Known Member

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    Very easy to do. Wiring is simple if you use the plug-in harness, but it just does tail and brake lights. Four 12mm x 1.25 bolts, about 25 to 35mm long will do the frame bolts (nuts are already welded to frame).

    Two bolts at the bumper, I used 3.5" long 3/8-16 bolts. Little plastic caps on the bumper are easy to pry up.

    Mine was a bit harder to do being a cheapskate, and using a Gen 1 hitch that I had laying around to put on my Gen 2 truck.

    Tim Glover
     
  8. Aug 5, 2010 at 5:58 AM
    #8
    akjone02

    akjone02 [OP] Active Member

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    Thanks for all the responses. I'll definitely go ahead and try to install it myself then. I'm handy enough with tools, just not experienced with cars in general and I hate welding. I was worried installing the hitch would involve the latter. If it's just bolt on then I can do it myself.

    In a followup set of questions, is there a particular hitch I should look for, or maybe a particular quality in a hitch?

    Also, someone mentioned a transmission cooler above. Can I get one of those for a 4 cylinder manual? I know they're available for the v6 automatic but (again, inexperienced with cars) I didn't think manuals used them.
     
  9. Aug 5, 2010 at 6:19 AM
    #9
    Pugga

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    Look for a quality brand of hitch - Uhaul, Reese, Hidden Hitch, something that is proven when it comes to towing. You can pick them up through a local autoparts store or online at JCWhitney, Autoanything, etc. If your trailer doesn't have brakes on it, you can get away with a 4-prong wire harness, these are available as a plug-and-play add-on and plug right into your tail lights, no soldering or wire splicing required. If your trailer has brakes, you'll need a 7-prong wire harness with a brake controller. This gets a little more involved but still isn't terrible. I haven't installed one of those in a long time so they may make a plug in model by now for all I know.

    If you're just towing light things like a jet ski, you'll be fine without a transmission oil cooler, especially with a manual transmission. Don't get me wrong, they're not a bad idea and couldn't hurt, but they're really needed for towing heavy loads for long distances. They're also a more welcomed addition to an automatic transmission because of the heat the torque converter creates.
     
  10. Aug 5, 2010 at 6:21 AM
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    98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 is gooder 'en chicken Moderator

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    No cooler for a manual.

    I have several hitches from Wal-mart with no issues. As long as it's rated for your towing capacity or higher, you should be good.
     
  11. Aug 11, 2010 at 3:09 AM
    #11
    Jimsc

    Jimsc Well-Known Member

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    If all your going to tow is a jet ski you don't need a hitch. You can tow that with a ball on your rear bumper.
     
  12. Aug 29, 2010 at 2:22 PM
    #12
    Incognito

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    Just want to bump this up for a question...

    Will U-haul install a hitch that you buy from somewhere else? Also, will they offer the $5 lifetime warranty for it also?
     
  13. Aug 29, 2010 at 2:30 PM
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    Primersinmyshoe

    Primersinmyshoe Old Sheepdog

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    :eek:

    Let me guess - probably not.
     
  14. Aug 29, 2010 at 2:32 PM
    #14
    Incognito

    Incognito μολὼν λαβέ

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    Oh come on, the thread isn't THAT old... :p

    Just wanted to see if anybody else had done what I was thinking about.
     
  15. Aug 29, 2010 at 2:35 PM
    #15
    Primersinmyshoe

    Primersinmyshoe Old Sheepdog

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    Would you take your own steak to a restaurant and just pay to have them cook it for you?
     
  16. Aug 29, 2010 at 2:40 PM
    #16
    Incognito

    Incognito μολὼν λαβέ

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    No, that's a bit easier than installing a hitch... :eek:

    The more I think about it, it was a stupid question. I looked online as to which hitches they had available for sale, and they had a Class III tubular-framed hitch... Any pros/cons to that as opposed to a conventional square-framed hitch?
     
  17. Aug 29, 2010 at 3:38 PM
    #17
    Barnone

    Barnone Guest

    Nope, either one is fine. What ever floats your boat.
     
  18. Aug 29, 2010 at 5:30 PM
    #18
    Incognito

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    Got it, thanks Vince.
     
  19. Aug 30, 2010 at 6:15 PM
    #19
    Isthatahemi

    Isthatahemi Well-Known Member

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    The Uhaul hitch is made by Valley, it hides the best and seems tough, why not just have them put on their hitch? Tell the tech to not throw away the bumper caps, as they can be trimmed and hide the bolts nicely.
     
  20. Aug 30, 2010 at 6:52 PM
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    Incognito

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    That sounds good, didn't know about the quality of their hitches compared with others. Thanks for the info!
     
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