Project Isuzu VehiCross Part 7: Getting Hitched With Curt Manufacturing

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Next, we have to slide the carriage bolts and backing plates into the frame rails.  Curt provides some chicken wire to do this.  There is a gap on the inside of the frame rail in front of the cross member that’s just big enough to squeeze these two parts into.  Then just fish them through with the wire.  All of the nuts and bolts are zinc plated Grade-8.  The backing plates are galvanized steel.
Once the bolts are in place, it is very important to make sure you don’t accidentally knock them back into the frame rails.  Fishing them back out would be a nightmare that should be avoided at all costs. 
The Curt hitch installed perfectly and looks great.  Yeah there’s a giant metal bar cluttering up the back of our VX’s bumper now, but at least we have the peace of mind that our hitch won’t fail when we tow.  The hitch was easy to install, only taking a few hours.  You do need to buy your own receiver as the kit does not come with one.  We picked up a 2” drop receiver with a 2” ball, putting the hitch at the perfect towing height for most trailers.  On stock VXs, a flat receiver is fine, but with the 3” lift kit we installed last time around, a small amount of drop isn’t a bad idea.

Now a hitch isn’t the only thing we need.  We also need to install a wiring regulator so our trailer lights will work.  Curt also supplied us with a wiring adapter to plug into the trailer.

 

Some cars and SUVs have a separate connector to allow easy installation of trailer wiring.  Our old CR-V had a plug behind the rear speaker that made wiring lights a 2-minute job.  The VX does not have such a provision in its harness and thus requires splicing into the harness using this box.  All the wires are clearly labeled and the instructions are very straightforward.  
First, we had to find a place to mount the box.  There is a perfect space underneath the driver’s side taillight for the controller.  Curt provided some double sided foam tape, so we just cleaned the flat part of the body and stuck it down.  

4 comments

  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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