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Trailer hitch choices

 
Old 06-17-2019, 03:46 AM
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Trailer hitch choices

Hey friends,

I know it's no one's preference, but I'll be installing a hitch on my TL in order to trailer a street bike and a dirt bike on a 5x8 trailer. Total should be about 1500 lbs.

Like I said, it's not ideal, but it's all I've got. And given the number of others in here who have done it, I'm not expecting any problems.

But I'm seeing two different hitch mounting options, one from Curt that attaches to the tow hook and metal bumper (https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Hitch/Acura/TL/2006/11321.html?vehicleid=20066349#exp-productdetails=.all-description)

The other is by Draw Tite (Reese has the same option), and it mounts to the tow hook and the trunk pan. (https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Hitch/Acura/TL/2006/24755.html?vehicleID=20067031)

I would think the bumper would provide a more solid mount, but what do you think? Do you have any experience with either?
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:32 PM
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I have the Curt on my Type-S for about 2 years now to tow a jetski (1500lbs MAX fully gassed up) and no problems what-so-ever.

If given the two options, I'd gladly spend the extra $30 for the Curt which attaches to the STRUCTURAL bumper beam (>1/4" thick metal), rather than a stamped trunk pan (thin 18 gauge??)

Having also installed hitches on my subie, parents' CX-5's (x2) and a Lexus RX350, which all bolt to the unibody frame "rails", those hitches essentially become part of the unibody, and are going nooooowhereeeeeeee.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:04 PM
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How does the Curt mount with the bumper still on? I know it says that I'll have to drill through the underside of the bumper, but I can't find anything online showing how that works. Do you happen to have any photos?
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by CB900Fer View Post
How does the Curt mount with the bumper still on? I know it says that I'll have to drill through the underside of the bumper, but I can't find anything online showing how that works. Do you happen to have any photos?
For clarification: Does it drill through the plastic bumper cover at all? And did you have to do any trimming? (of course, I have a base, so the Type -S may be different)

And do you have a part# or rise height for which draw bar I should buy?
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:34 PM
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Here are the reference numbers for an original Acura TL 2004-2008 hitch.

Max tow load on TL is 3500lbs per KBB.
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Old 06-19-2019, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by CB900Fer View Post
For clarification: Does it drill through the plastic bumper cover at all? And did you have to do any trimming? (of course, I have a base, so the Type -S may be different)

And do you have a part# or rise height for which draw bar I should buy?

Nope you don't need to drill or trim the plastic bumper cover what-so-ever. And if I didn't need to trim on a Type-S w/ A-Spec lip bumper, you shouldn't need to with a base.
You do need to remove the bumper cover in order to drill perfectly straight into the bumper BEAM, hard metal, which took about 20mins/hole to drill, stepping up in bit sizes maybe 3 times.
But on the plus side this is the only hitch I've installed that I didn't need to drop the exhaust for.

This is the only install pic I have ATM. I'll get you a rise height of the ball mount soon, which makes my ski sit pretty damn level.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:36 PM
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So a 2 1/2" drop mount (inverted, so it's a rise mount ) has me sitting pretty, like....




I'm also dropped on H&R sports, 1.2"ish
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Old 06-20-2019, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Saving4aTL View Post




Here are the reference numbers for an original Acura TL 2004-2008 hitch.

Max tow load on TL is 3500lbs per KBB.
Saving4aTL, thanks a lot for that reference. So you're saying there was a dealer installed option for a hitch on the TL? I didn't realize that. But thanks for the reference.




Originally Posted by twokexlv6coupe View Post
Nope you don't need to drill or trim the plastic bumper cover what-so-ever. And if I didn't need to trim on a Type-S w/ A-Spec lip bumper, you shouldn't need to with a base.
You do need to remove the bumper cover in order to drill perfectly straight into the bumper BEAM, hard metal, which took about 20mins/hole to drill, stepping up in bit sizes maybe 3 times.
But on the plus side this is the only hitch I've installed that I didn't need to drop the exhaust for.

This is the only install pic I have ATM. I'll get you a rise height of the ball mount soon, which makes my ski sit pretty damn level.
Thanks, that answers my question perfectly. Depending on how the bumper is mounted (I haven't been under the rear of my car in a while) I would think that would be a much more solid mount than the Draw-Tite/Reese versions that mount to the trunk pan. And yeah, if you didn't do any modifications to the plastic then I definitely shouldn't have to.

Originally Posted by twokexlv6coupe View Post
So a 2 1/2" drop mount (inverted, so it's a rise mount ) has me sitting pretty, like....




I'm also dropped on H&R sports, 1.2"ish
That is a beautiful car, man. I've always had a soft spot for the KBP TLs. I'm on Aspec suspension with 17" tires, so it looks like mine will be about the same. Thanks again!
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:51 AM
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In another life I worked at a muffler and hitch shop. There isnt anything wrong with going through the trunk pan for the hitch as anything you'd be hauling would be well within the limits. However I'd opt for the bumper mount.
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Old 06-26-2019, 01:42 PM
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Anyone know if there is a harness for running trailer lights? On my last car, a crown vic, I made my own by just tapping into the brake lights. Turn signals didnt function but at least I had working brake and running lights.

As a means of keeping the wiring happy, I installed LED lights in the trailer that pulled something like 0.3 amps so that the added lighting didn't overload anything.
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Old 06-26-2019, 01:58 PM
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I'm using a universal harness (5-pin flat connector) that I actually took out of my subie once I took her off towing duty. Tapped into brake, driving, and turn signals and with LED trailer lights, everything remains operational.

But now I see there's an even easier harness that Tee's into each light, def looks worth the price, for the ease of install.
https://www.etrailer.com/Custom-Fit-...ID=20071169988
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Old 06-26-2019, 02:29 PM
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Oh dang, heck yes thats worth $40. I'll be doing all this to my TL soon. I have a lift so I'll be sure to take pics and upload the process here, and maybe in a separate thread.
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Old 06-27-2019, 02:03 PM
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Just installed the Curt myself for a proper bike rack mount and futurability. You'll want a set of cobalt bits to install it or to get a shop to drill the holes (very hard steel in the frame) but short of that, no modifications were needed. It fits just against the rear bumper cut out and did not require any holes in the bumper, just the frame. The bumper does need to come off for installation now. The max tow capacity of this car however is less than the bar, as we definitely do not have the frame strength for 3500lbs towed. The technical rated towing capacity is 1000lbs for the TL due to the frame and suspension strength. There's a few hundred pounds of wiggle room due to "cargo weight" (weight of shit in the trunk) but anything past 1500 is likely getting real unsafe real quick. That's what the MDX is for with its 5000lb towing capacity.
I would recommend the Curt, it's a pain to install due to the hardness of the beams; but with patience you get a VERY solidly mounted tow hook. And if you remove it any damage is hidden by the bumper.
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