Project Isuzu VehiCross Part 7: Getting Hitched With Curt Manufacturing


Job one is to remove the factory tow hooks.  Simply unbolt them and toss them aside (but keep the bolts, as you will need them later).  The Curt hitch includes towing chain loops, so tying down the truck is still possible if we decided to ship it for any reason.
Next, we bolted up the hitch using the tie down bolt holes.  We did this install when we replaced our rear bumper so we would have extra room to work (because accidentally gouging our new bumper would have SUCKED).  It’s not strictly necessary to remove the bumper, but it does make working under here a lot easier.
Before we drilled, we mocked up the rear bumper to make sure everything fit properly.  It did.  Phew!  This might actually go smoothly for once.
Here, you can see how the hitch mounts,  We used a center punch to mark our holes, then drilled a pilot hole before dropping the hitch to step up the drill size  The holes requires are 7/16” so it’s best to do the drilling in stages (or use a step drill if you have one handy).
Since I actually had help on this project, here is a rare shot of me working on my own car, specifically drilling one of the pilot holes.  Cheap Harbor Freight magnetic lights are really useful when laying on the floor and drilling in the dark.
With the hitch out of the way again, it’s drill baby drill.  After we deburred the holes, we hit them with a shot of primer and satin black to prevent the newly exposed metal from rusting.  After all, we really don’t want our chassis to rust from the inside out!  Isuzu frames are notorious for rusting near the gas tank, so protecting the metal is doubly important.


  1. Have you installed auxiliary transmission cooler? I’m going to install trailer hitch in my VX to tow my small boat (2000lbs with trailer). I’m not sure if the factory coller will be enough.

    1. We used the factory trans cooler. If you’re towing over steep grades or in high heat then it would be a good idea to do so. It’s not difficult if you want to, there’s a nice spot opposite the A/C fan behind the grille. You can fit a 17″ wide cooler in there with some basic brackets and splicing into the soft lines that go from the trans to the OEM cooler is easy in that area. Should take a couple hours to install.

      The transmission really isn’t the weak point. This exact same drivetrain is rated to 5,000 lbs in the Trooper. The Trooper’s longer wheelbase gives it a higher towing capacity. That being said there are a LOT of horror stories online about the 4L30E and its reliability, so it would be a wise investment to put together and install a trans cooler kit if you’re going to do a lot of towing.

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