Honda Element Owners Club banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was very hesitant about this installation. 20 pages of instructions, all kind of clips, tabs, screws and bolts to remove. After a few PM's with Utahrex I decided to give it a try. Especially since my dealer wanted $225 just in in labor to install it.

It is time consuming, taking about 3.5 hrsw for me doing it at night. However, the instructions are very good and complete. If you just follow them along you will have no trouble at all. I broke no clips, cracked no panels and lost no bolts. The only thing I would tell you about that is not in the instructions is the fact that the bumper was probably the hardest thing to remove and reinstall. There are a bunch of "pinch" clips all along the top edge that are not mentioned in the instructions and you kind of have to play with the tailgate position a little to get the bumper in and out.

A few observations. It's stupid this harness is not installed at time of construction. There is also a fuse in the harness that if it ever blows will require you to tear the entire thing apart again; another real dumb move. I did not disconnect the battery. You can install the hitch itself either before or after the wiring harness, no problem, it does not interfere with the bumper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
I put the hitch on, that was very easy. I have been putting off the wiring harness for a day with nice weather. Your right this is a seriously screwed up design. I have installed hitches and wiring harnesses on my previous 3 trucks with no problems at all.
Any other advice on the install?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
BlkEl, the only thing that really surpised me was how easy all the panels came out. There are only maybe 4 clips that you actually need to pry out and that was easy with a couple of small flat bladed screwdrivers. I think if are real contortionist you could do this install without taking the bumper off. The entire removal is just so you can get at that plug the harness exits the body through.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Well the sun was out so I gathered up my tools and headed out tot the driveway. It wasn't that bad. It took a few hours, but the instructions were very detailed. The bumper took a while. I didn't take it off initially and was goin to try to fish teh wire. After a few tries I took off the bumper and finished it up. I was temped to go ahead and run some power and a few sets of speaker wire while I had it all apart. I also installed some new speakers in the doors. Infinity 6.5's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Just wanted people to know where they can save some bucks for the hitch and wiring harness. You can get a Hidden Hitch made for the Element from etrailer.com. The hitch runs US$109.90 and the wiring harness US$25.20. :!:

Quite a bit of price difference than from getting the Honda hitch, and the online instructions make it look fairly easy to install.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I just installed the Hidden Hitch from www.etrailer.com $109. The instructions stated about 40 minutes install time. Took more like 5 minutes. Was just too simple. I purchased the trailer light adapter also, but have not installed it yet. Looks pretty easy from their web site.

I got this for my Bike rack, but I plan on using my 10' trailer with it when I need it.

FYI: It installs with two big bolts that go through the back frame, then a U bolt that secures the front of the hitch thru the tow loop. It really hides well. All you see is the receiver area.

This is my 3rd hitch from etrailer. I've been very happy with them.

Mike
EX 5sp
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
I installed mine Tuesday night... Just about the easiest accessory I've installed yet. Although, I did not do the wiring, because I'm mainly using the hitch for a bike rack. Looks great, it comes with a plastic cover that hides the hitch hole, and the chain mounts. No part of the metal is visible from behind the car with the plastic cover on. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
I installed the Hidden Hitch and wiring harness on my EX today. This hitch installation is very easy. It took all of twenty minutes at the most. :D However, the wiring harness installation is quite a task. Not much different in time and effort from the factory harness.

I had to take off the left rear inside panel, remove the left rear seat and seat locking strap, and drivers side door sill cover. I ran the power wire for the converter through the firewall by removing a rubber body plug located right above where hood latch cable passes through the firewall.

It took me about five hours to finish job from start to finish. :shock:

Here's a link to the pictures I took of the installation process.
http://community.webshots.com/user/rayjean1996

Hope this link works.

Later Dudes!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Am i learning from you posts here that the car wasn't pre-wired to accept a trailer wiring harness? What is that , like .68c in cost at the factory?

bummer...

I suppose I'll find out soon...

How about running the line along the underside of the car?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
bigmobrown Thanks for the excellent Documentation of the hitch and harness installation. It really takes a lot of the guess work out of doing it yourself when there are pictures. By the looks of things I assume that you only have to remove the driver's side rear panels. Is the right side harness there on the left as well?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
I bought the Hidden Hitch model other posters mentioned and it did install very easily. However, a four bike rack loaded with full-suspension mountain bikes weighs very close to the maximum tongue weight limit of this Class 1 hitch. I've tried to locate a more heavy-duty model, like a Class 2 or even 3, but it appears there are no plans to make one because the Element has such a limited towing capacity. As a last resort, I'm getting an estimate from a welder to beef up my hitch to a tongue weight more likely to resist the flex and bounce I'm experiencing. Anybody else find anything stronger than a wimpy Class 1 hitch?

Incidentally, anyone interested in a hitch-mounted bike rack should check out www.1upusa.com. There is no better rack.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Can I just hang the trailer wire out the hatch when I want to use it??

Hey There - Do you think I would be possible to just stick the wiring harness out the back door somehow instead of the permanent install?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,645 Posts
Hey There - Do you think I would be possible to just stick the wiring harness out the back door somehow instead of the permanent install?
Yup.....ghetto all the way baby! :wink:



I've been doin' it since '04 and it works just fine. I keep the end rolled up and stored in the spare tire well and just stick it between the bumper and tailgate when needed.

FWIW....
I always like to remind people that are hooking up a new trailer to a new vehile or vise-versa to be carefull of the clearance between the trailer tounge (coupler, jack,etc) and the tailgate.

I know a few people who have some nasty tailgate dings after dropping it down the first time. :oops:

Will
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,645 Posts
One man's ghetto is another man's "slick hidden wire install"
:cool:

I've got a small divot in my rear bumper cover insert (tree stump, cold, rain, ice, dark, cold, wet, etc) and I might actually get around to replacing it. When I di, I might actually remember to "fish" the wires thru the right way. Check back w/ me in 2015. :wink:

Will
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
How big is the hitch opening for those hitches on that website? My jet ski requires that larger hitch ball oposed to the smaller one. The little squares look small in the picture.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,645 Posts
My jet ski requires that larger hitch ball oposed to the smaller one.
You can put whatever size ball you want on most any reciever. I prefer a 2" reciever for strength and because they are more common (accessories and emergency swaps/changes,etc). Look for a Valley (Valley makes U-Haul hitchs too) if you want a 2" hich. There are plenty of posts on the subject.

Will
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top