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I used some Super Glue Gell to hold the washers in place on mine. Put a couple of drops on each one and stuck them to the frame. They stayed right there until I got the hitch in place and screwed down. 3 Tubes for $1.00 at the Dollar Tree.
 

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finished hidden hitch on '09

Installed this http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120480521608 package today in about 1:30. The time could have easily been cut down to 1:15 had I not been parnoid about the tube spacers being centered in the washers and had the ubolt fit into the hitch so I didn't have to file the holes a bit.

I will post a couple of photos of the finished product later this evening as well as compiling the wonderful bits I pulled from the threads to help the install go smoothly.





yetiquatch's post #82 with the bumper removal diagram was a huge help. Removal of the bumper and routing the rear harness and putting the bumper back on was 15-20 minutes working solo

Even though I had read all the posts about safety glasses, I didn't pull mine out. Fortunately nothing ended up in the eyes but there was plenty of stuff falling.

My bumper is pushed up about an inch but I don't know that I would notice it if I wasn't looking for it.

I used some painter's tape to hold the washers in place but a couple moved a bit lifting the hitch into place. I like the Super Glue Gel suggestion.

I saved about $100 over what Uhaul was going to charge for a hitch and wiring installed. Didn't regret the decision for a moment. Dropping the rear wiring in the spare tire well and not being paranoid about the washers would have cut the job down to about 45 minutes or less from start to finish.

Thanks for all the great info!
 

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U-Haul hitch installation

Got my U-Haul trailer class III hitch about a week ago for 135.00$, with wire harnesses about 161.00$. The U-haul guy gave me 353.58 for everything:hitch, wire harnesses and install them. I said i'll do it myself.
And here i am after 1/2 hour job.
I pretty much follow the instructions here http://www.etrailer.com/instructions.aspx?pn=87506 but in different order
-First istall U-bolt over vehicle trunk pan tie-down hook and down through center hitch bracket.
-Put the 3/8'' hex locknuts on u-bolt and let the hitch hangsjust like in pics. took some pics w/ my phone, not the best quality but u get the idea

-follow the steps 1,2 and 3 from the instructions linked above


-use red loctite on each bolt
-tighten all 1/2'' bolts

-I tighten u-bolt last , looks like this

Job done


Tools i used :
-1/2'' ratchet
-3/4'' socket
-3/4'' wrench
-3/8'' ratchet
-9/16 deep/regular sockets
- red loctite

That was pretty much all, about 1/2 hour work , do drilling , no hammering.
Untill is gonna get warmer i'll figure how to do the electrical part (wire harnesses)
Good luck
Kion
 

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I just installed the exact same hitch as in KioN pics.
Easy for sure.. the large 3/4 washers dont really get tightend down . It seems the just get pinched between the chassis and the upper portion of the hitch side plates. The whole thing seem to "float" between the frame rail on the large tubes slid over the 1/2 bolts. There is no side to Side or Up-Down play.

This is such a diffeerent mounting system than any other Class 3 hitch I've seen. Considering I'll only ever tow a bike rack or a small 12 alum row boat.. it should be fine.

..TJR


Got my U-Haul trailer class III hitch about a week ago for 135.00$, with wire harnesses about 161.00$. The U-haul guy gave me 353.58 for everything:hitch, wire harnesses and install them. I said i'll do it myself.
And here i am after 1/2 hour job.
I pretty much follow the instructions here http://www.etrailer.com/instructions.aspx?pn=87506 but in different order
-First istall U-bolt over vehicle trunk pan tie-down hook and down through center hitch bracket.
-Put the 3/8'' hex locknuts on u-bolt and let the hitch hangsjust like in pics. took some pics w/ my phone, not the best quality but u get the idea

-follow the steps 1,2 and 3 from the instructions linked above


-use red loctite on each bolt
-tighten all 1/2'' bolts

-I tighten u-bolt last , looks like this

Job done


Tools i used :
-1/2'' ratchet
-3/4'' socket
-3/4'' wrench
-3/8'' ratchet
-9/16 deep/regular sockets
- red loctite

That was pretty much all, about 1/2 hour work , do drilling , no hammering.
Untill is gonna get warmer i'll figure how to do the electrical part (wire harnesses)
Good luck
Kion
 

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Class 3 Hitch and Thule Bike Rack

I had U-Haul install a class 3 hitch and then I mounted my Thule bike rack. There is not much clearance between the tailgate and the rack - about .25 inches. It is a great combination. You need to slit a notch in the bumper cover - removing it is optional - I did not.
 

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U-Haul Install with Thule Rack

I had U-Haul install a class 3 hitch and then I mounted my Thule bike rack. There is not much clearance between the tailgate and the rack - about .25 inches. It is a great combination. You need to slit a notch in the bumper cover - removing it is optional - I did not.
 

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Thanks for the pics and walkthrough - definitely something I'll go to do myself if I put a hitch on - wonder if I can pay myself the $200 install fee somehow? :razz:

Got my U-Haul trailer class III hitch about a week ago for 135.00$, with wire harnesses about 161.00$. The U-haul guy gave me 353.58 for everything:hitch, wire harnesses and install them. I said i'll do it myself.
And here i am after 1/2 hour job.
I pretty much follow the instructions here http://www.etrailer.com/instructions.aspx?pn=87506 but in different order
 

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Kion...What year Element do you have?

The reason I'm asking is that I had the U-Haul dude install my hitch on my 2009 Element and he was drilling the holes to get it fit. It took him a good 30-40 minutes, and he had my Element up and he was sitting on a rolling stool that had him eye level to the hitch, and he was working his A$$ off...hahaha
it was pretty hot today in NC so it made me :roll: b/c I was watching from inside. He definitely had the ideal situation to be working in, but he did alot of drilling :|
 

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U-Haul Hitch on '08 SC

I installed the U-Haul hitch on my '08 SC this past Thursday. It would appear that the hitch is a Valley and the hardware is Hidden Hitch. The install was super easy. The hitch fits on the outside of the frame rails and the hardware included long bolts that go all the way through the frame. Heavy metal spacers go over the bolts inside the frame with large washers covering the larger holes to keep the spacers in place. This way there is absolutely no "squashing" of the frame rails.
The longest part of the install was measuring and carefully cutting the bumper fascia. I covered the area with green painter's tape, measured and marked the area to be cut. I hung the hitch with rope from the tow loop to get the measurements correct. I then used a jig saw with a 24pt blade to make the cuts. It came out very neat and clean looking.
I was back at U-Haul yesterday to rent a trailer and the hitch installer looked at it and wanted to know how I had done it so he could do the same for future customers.
So, don't hesitate to take the plunge and add a hitch to make your 'E' even more versatile. The whole thing only cost me about $200 including the plug-in wiring kit. Doing the wiring took less than 10 minutes. You do have to look carefully for the under-dash plug. It is tucked to the left and back toward you as you as you crane your neck to look up under there. The rear connection is just lying there under the tire cover with a protective plug in it.
Thank-you to everyone who posted pictures and information here. It was all really helpful to me in making the decision to add the hitch.
 

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Question: does anyone here have experience installing an electric brake controller, and the install kit with the 7-pin plug?

Had the hitch installed the other day at UHaul. Only $35 for the install, $170 total (+tax) so I had them do it instead of lying in my driveway in a 97 degree sweatbath. I'm planning to order the T-one harness, brake controller, and brake controller install kit from etrailer. The install for the basic T-1 seems pretty straightforward, but I'm trying to assess the PITA factor in installing and routing the line from the dash back to the T-1 harness. I'm wondering if it might be worth paying to have it done.

Thanks in advance!!
 

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I just installed my Uhaul hitch-it was easy. It would have been easier if I had read page 17 first! That u bolt was a bear because I had the other bolts a wee bit too tight!
If anyone is considering paying to have this done-don't! An hour's work-tops and that's with a big pregnant belly in the way!
 

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So, I am guessing there is still no Class II or Class III hitch for the Element SC?

Can someone tell me how much a Class I hitch can tow? Looking to pull a small trailer for house stuff like mulch and crap, small furniture purchases etc.

Any advice appreciated!
 

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So, I am guessing there is still no Class II or Class III hitch for the Element SC?
Sure there is. All it takes is a little trimming on the bottom of the plastic bumper. Well worth it to have a real hitch on your SC. A few on the Forum have done it, look around.
 

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If anyone is considering paying to have this done-don't! An hour's work-tops and that's with a big pregnant belly in the way!
Depends. I paid $185 all in (2" inch hitch, install, warranty, taxes) at U-Haul. They were done in 30 minutes.


Just a FYI, my trusted SoCal dealer was charging around $500-$600 for purchase and install - the dealer is beyond fair, but this is just standard dealer prices I presume.
 

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Depends. I paid $185 all in (2" inch hitch, install, warranty, taxes) at U-Haul. They were done in 30 minutes.


Just a FYI, my trusted SoCal dealer was charging around $500-$600 for purchase and install - the dealer is beyond fair, but this is just standard dealer prices I presume.
$185?? Really?! Wow that's a good price. You just go to a U Haul shop and they sell you everything there?
 

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Yep or you can order the parts online as others have pointed out and DIY.
I did fiddle with their online store, Ill pay them to install it but I get $10 off installation for ordering online. Bad part is the store 10 minutes from my house closed a while back, the next available U Haul place is for some ungodly reason almost 2 hours away :twisted:

Some DIY is a must, like when the dealerships cost for labor is almost $400, but installing a trailer hitch, something I know nothing about for around $12, sounds like a good deal to me :)
 
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