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Trailer hitch install - anyone do it themselves?

44087 Views 88 Replies 38 Participants Last post by  wasidremin
I saw the installation instructions and it looks fairly straight forward. Has anyone done this install themselves, how long did it take, was it hard and did you require another person for assistance?


Thanks
Tom
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I was at the dealer yesterday and they told me parts alone for a class III hitch is 1881.00. excluding installation. They stated that they needed to add a trans cooling fluid, and the whole trailer hit kit, ball, wire harnes, etc.. I think that is really steep. Not sure on this. Seems like fluff (price wise) to me.
 

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I wish they would ask you what you are trying to tow. Because I bought a hitch with my 2006 pilot and they installed the transmission cooler and the only problem I had with my pilot up until now was the transmission cooler blew. I had oil in my coolant and coolant in the oil. Ugh. I wish I never got it. I only towed a jetski once in a while. I probably didn't even need it.


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"Is this on an 4WD with the hitch rated for 5k lbs?"

Yes, AWD with OEM hitch.

This topic has been beat to death, but Honda's tow rating for the 2016 Pilot with OEM hitch is 3500 pounds, unless two additional conditions are met:

1) the vehicle is AWD

2) the accessory transmission fluid cooler is installed

IF and ONLY IF those conditions are met, THEN the tow rating is 5000 pounds.

( Yeah, I used to program in FORTRAN. Does it show? )
Thanks for the response. I'm a programmer too so I totally understood your pseudo code. :D Was installing the cooler pretty easy?
 

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I wish they would ask you what you are trying to tow. Because I bought a hitch with my 2006 pilot and they installed the transmission cooler and the only problem I had with my pilot up until now was the transmission cooler blew. I had oil in my coolant and coolant in the oil. Ugh. I wish I never got it. I only towed a jetski once in a while. I probably didn't even need it.


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The first gen MDXs and Pilots had a transmission cooler built into the radiator. The additional one for towing was installed in front of the radiator. The one that caused you grief was the standard one inside the radiator; this tale of woe has been told many times before. The worst an accessory cooler can do is spew your ATF on the pavement.

There are no tranny coolers lurking inside radiators on current gen Pilots or MDXs. But there does appear to be a stand-alone ATF-to-water heat exchanger. Honda calls it an ATF warmer ( not to be confused with an ATF cooler, unless it happens to be installed on an MDX instead of a Pilot, and then it's an "ATF cooler" again ). :rolleyes:

The accessory ATF cooler gets installed in addition to the standard ATF "warmer", if so desired.

"Was installing the cooler pretty easy?"

I have a Touring AWD with the 9-speed tranny. I don't have a clue how hard it is to install the 9-speed accessory cooler cuz it's not currently available. From the Honda instructions, it uses special piping and they seem to be very concerned about possible contamination of the ATF. As I understand it, that special ATF is pretty darn expensive, too. Although I'm a dedicated DIY guy, I will probably let the dealer do it, whenever the kit comes off backorder. Fortunately, I don't need to tow anything in the 3500-5000 pound weight range right now.

The accessory ATF cooler kit for the 6-speed trans looks like a pretty normal install with ATF hose and hose clamps. The hard part will be getting access to the front of the radiator to mount the thing. And then there's that whole lying on your back with oil dripping in your eyes thing...
 

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When I bought my '16 Pilot, I wanted it fitted with a Trailer Hitch. Now, I've changed my mind about that, and decided I do not want the Hitch installed.

The dealer gave me the Hitch, Harness, and ATF cooler as part of my deal.
Hitch - $440
Harness - $305
ATF cooler - $544 On Backorder

For a total discount of $1,289.

If I go back to the dealer and tell them I'm no longer interested in the Hitch install, do you think they will be willing to write me a check for the $1,289?

That would make me a happy customer.
 

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When I bought my '16 Pilot, I wanted it fitted with a Trailer Hitch. Now, I've changed my mind about that, and decided I do not want the Hitch installed.

The dealer gave me the Hitch, Harness, and ATF cooler as part of my deal.
Hitch - $440
Harness - $305
ATF cooler - $544 On Backorder

For a total discount of $1,289.

If I go back to the dealer and tell them I'm no longer interested in the Hitch install, do you think they will be willing to write me a check for the $1,430?

That would make me a happy customer.
"When pigs fly" comes to mind... but I've been wrong before.

I suspect you would have better luck taking the accessories home in the boxes and selling them. Even a casual note on this forum might elicit responses. Just don't expect to get the prices you cited. Those presumably include installation and would be about a 50%-60% markup over internet pricing for those accessories ( without installation ).

Or maybe trade for other accessories you want?

There is really no downside to the towing accessories other than a trivial amount of weight ( maybe 40 pounds? ).
 

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Hey guys.

So recently I got an entire tow package from Honda for my Elite, and last weekend installed the hitch, harness, and transmission cooler. Everything went well, but I noticed the hitch is slightly off centered to the left. I figured it would be an easy adjustment, but I remember one of the holes for the bolts is no elongated for adjustment like the other 5. That being said, I don't believe I will be able to adjust it.

Has anyone else ran into this problem and been able to overcome it?
 

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I am not sure where in the discussions I should put my questions. I cannot find the Towing Sub-forum that Wanderer mentions.

I have a 2008 Pilot EXL and recently bought a nearly new factory installed tow bar from another 2008 Pilot at a "parts exchanger" (junk yard). I used the installation instructions for a CURT unit posted elsewhere on our pages. After struggling for a few hours, I attached the driver's side bolts. But, found that when I was going to push the passenger side into place, the standard muffler and tail pipe was in the way. I tried to swivel the tow bar up and over the tail pipe, between the bumper and the tail pipe. I gave up and took the whole bar down.

With the OEM part on the 2008, it is not necessary to drop the spare tire but it is necessary to loosen the muffler itself.

I am STUCK!! What is the most efficient way to loosen the muffler? The rubber hangars are unfamiliar to me. Do I push the rod that is connected to the muffler itself out of the way? The rod has a bend in it. It looks and feels so tight that I am afraid of breaking something. If I can gently tap the rod out, do I need to slide both the front and back rods out of the hangars? How would I put the rods back into the rubber? I am accustomed to the standard "U" hangars?

I also tried to push the tow bar over the tail pipe where the bar dips down; near the center of the bar. I am guessing that I need to rotate the whole bar so the right end piece and the tab in the middle get out of the way of the rear bumper.

AAAARRGGGHHH!!

P.S. If I need to tow a 5 x 8 U-Haul, will U-Haul set up a light package? AND, with such a small trailer, do I still need the cooler, etc. installed?
 

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which curt trailer is the same as the honda pilot oem trailer?
None. Curt rides below the bumper. Honda has a bumper cut out to be more integrated into the bumper.
 

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I saw the installation instructions and it looks fairly straight forward. Has anyone done this install themselves, how long did it take, was it hard and did you require another person for assistance?


Thanks
Tom
I just completed my install today. 2 hrs and 15 minutes to install wiring harness (1st step), Tow Hitch (with included trim piece), and because I have a handsfree set up for my 2020 Pilot Touring model, I had to install the handsfree adapter kit.

Total time ink used water breaks, viewing video instructions, removal of old trim piece, installation, testing, and cleanup after. Also time for photos of the steps I took, as well as reviewing photos to make sure I matched the steps. Probably could have been done earlier if I’d had fewer breaks. Best guess is that without breaks and watching videos twice to make sure I wasn’t missing anything, is 1:45 to 2 hrs to install everything.
 

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Sorry, forgot to mention that I installed the OEM version because it sits higher off the ground. Under the bumper mounting of after market hitches would scrape on my driveway as it sits approximately 3” below the OEM version, which mounts through the existing bumper space.
 

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Hi all, I have 2108 pilot ex-l...I have found a oem trailer hitch for a 2019...does anyone know why it says it won't fit on a 2018? they look identical, sizewise....i really don't see a difference...thanks
 

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I am not sure where in the discussions I should put my questions. I cannot find the Towing Sub-forum that Wanderer mentions.

I have a 2008 Pilot EXL and recently bought a nearly new factory installed tow bar from another 2008 Pilot at a "parts exchanger" (junk yard). I used the installation instructions for a CURT unit posted elsewhere on our pages. After struggling for a few hours, I attached the driver's side bolts. But, found that when I was going to push the passenger side into place, the standard muffler and tail pipe was in the way. I tried to swivel the tow bar up and over the tail pipe, between the bumper and the tail pipe. I gave up and took the whole bar down.

With the OEM part on the 2008, it is not necessary to drop the spare tire but it is necessary to loosen the muffler itself.

I am STUCK!! What is the most efficient way to loosen the muffler? The rubber hangars are unfamiliar to me. Do I push the rod that is connected to the muffler itself out of the way? The rod has a bend in it. It looks and feels so tight that I am afraid of breaking something. If I can gently tap the rod out, do I need to slide both the front and back rods out of the hangars? How would I put the rods back into the rubber? I am accustomed to the standard "U" hangars?

I also tried to push the tow bar over the tail pipe where the bar dips down; near the center of the bar. I am guessing that I need to rotate the whole bar so the right end piece and the tab in the middle get out of the way of the rear bumper.

AAAARRGGGHHH!!

P.S. If I need to tow a 5 x 8 U-Haul, will U-Haul set up a light package? AND, with such a small trailer, do I still need the cooler, etc. installed?
I don't think anyone ever answered his questions. I'm sure they got it figure out my now? Where were the Piloteers? Ya know, like the 3 Musketers, always there when you need them LOL

PlPl will come up with a great graphic insert now I'm sure LOL
 

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Hi all, I have 2108 pilot ex-l...I have found a oem trailer hitch for a 2019...does anyone know why it says it won't fit on a 2018? they look identical, sizewise....i really don't see a difference...thanks
I ran a fitment test on 3 aftermarket hitches for the ‘18+’19 Pilot and the part# were the same. This tells me the bolt pattern should be identical. Take this for what it’s worth ..... ymmv
 
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