Project Isuzu VehiCross Part 7: Getting Hitched With Curt Manufacturing


Did you figure it out?  It's a first gen Integra!  My parents bought this car brand new in 1986 (Acura’s first year) and when I was born a few years later, I was brought home from the hospital in it.  When I turned 16, it became my first car.  Sadly, it has a bad case of chassis rust with huge holes in the floor and lots of other rust spots dotting the body.  It needs a proper restoration from the ground up, but this is not happening anytime soon.  It actually runs and drives, but after sitting for so long it doesn’t do either of those very well.  It drove itself on and off the trailer, which was all we needed it to do for now.  I know it is going to be a ton of work, but I can’t bear to part with this old beast.  This may be the only time this car ends up on MotoIQ, so it’s getting it’s 5 minutes of internet fame now.  These cars are really hard to find since not many were sold and many that did sell have since rusted away.  Ours is an even rarer 4-door model.  This car also started my love of Hondas and pop-up headlights.
With the 'Teggy home, the 240 needed a little work before we towed it.  I bought it in 2008 and ever since I’ve been slowly hoarding parts for it, some of which have actually made it onto the car.  One item I picked up is a set of used KYB struts with Megan Racing springs.  These replaced the KYB struts with RS*R springs.  While this would normally be a lateral move, the old shocks (on the left) were completely dead and the car rode bottomed out.  The newer shocks were also assembled slightly differently.  I have no idea if that extra rubber donut goes above or below the strut mount, but by putting it below, it gives a bit more ride height.  Yes, we’re actually RAISING our S13, sacrilege in the #stancenation.  

Did this all work?  Surprisingly, yes!  We gained a whole extra inch of ground clearance.  Might not sound like a lot, but that’s about 25% more than what we were working with.  While we had the rear end in the air, we also removed the muffler.  We knew it was going to drag no matter what and our HKS exhaust has a nice, easy to unbolt joint just in front of the rear axle.  Because we plan ahead, the last time we had the exhaust out (sometime in 2011), we swapped in stainless steel hardware, so removing the exhaust was easy.
How did we know the exhaust was going to drag before we even had the car on the trailer?  We nerded out, that’s how.  A simple 2D CAD drawing with some tape measured dimensions showed us how much room we had to work with.  As you can see, the muffler is the low point.
Even though we knew this was the wrong way to do things, we still ended up loading the car backwards.  Since this is RWD, we had to remove the driveshaft or risk destroying the transmission.  Unfortunately, the nuts were rusted on fast and we could not get them loose no matter how hard we tried.  So we decided to do things slightly wrong and hope for the best.  Things went pretty well, though we did notice that over 55, we would begin to get trailer sway, since the heavy engine is at the far back of the trailer.  It was noticeable, but never dangerous.  But 100 miles into our trip, the wheels fell off this project.


  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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