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Old 07-17-2004, 03:02 PM   #1
russellhome
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2004 VUE 3.5L
Default I installed a Curt Class 2.5 Receiver Hitch Today...

I purchased a Curt class 2.5 hitch from www.hitchsource.com for $120 (US). They only charged me $15 for shipping from Wisconsin to Virginia and the box was the size of a small coffin. I bought the 2" hitch since there appears to be more "hitch mount" accessories for the 2" receivers.

The hitch has a 3500lb towing capacity with a max of 350lb tonge weight -- exactly matching the max specs for the '04 V6 Vue. The hitch was very well made -- one piece construction -- and all the holes lined up perfectly. It comes with all the requred mounting hardware and a fish wire (but it alone is too short for fishing the bumper bolts). The instructions are woefully inadequate -- so thanks to all of you who have posted the hitch installation process on this forum!

See new photos in my gallery

There was plenty of clearance to do the job right in the driveway. It took about 1 hour and 15 minutes to install, taking my time. After reading posts on the subject I was extra cautious so as not to lose a bolt in the frame. After fishing the 4 bolts into the frame, I used jack stands to position the hitch close to where it needed to be before I started putting on the nuts and bolts required to secure it to the vehicle (8 bolts in all).

The only suggestion I have that has not already been posted has to do with fishing the rear bumper bolts -- for me, the most time consuming part of the installation. I was worried about losing the bold in the bumper tube, so I tied a string on the head of the bolt so I could pull it back out if the fish wire came off. As it turned out, this was a very good move because there are obsticals inside the rear bumper tube -- the bolt got hung up in 2 places as I pulled it through. Having the string on one side and the fishing wire on the other side gave me the ability to wiggle the bolt back/forth and up/down to get past the obsticals. I don't know what I would have done if I'd not had the string tied on there.

As others have posted, a hitch looks good on the Vue, if for no other reason than to hide the muffler from the rear view of the Vue.
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Old 07-17-2004, 04:52 PM   #2
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2004 VUE 3.5L
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Nice - might check into that one.
...
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Old 07-19-2004, 11:32 AM   #3
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Nice looking! Never heard of a Class 2.5 but hey, if it fits the bill good stuff!

RE fishing bolts through the bumper there was a posting here about popping the bumper fascia fasteners to get rid of the obstacles. I did that and the bolts passed through just fine.

I had trouble putting the top weldnut bolts in. I ran an M12 coarse-thread tap through them and got some crap to come out -- a mix of metal shavings and dirt. I ran out of time to actually put the bolts in but will try it tonight. Hopefully that's it and I can start using the hitch properly.
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Old 07-19-2004, 06:11 PM   #4
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2004 VUE 3.5L
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Quote:
Originally posted by mr weather
Nice looking! Never heard of a Class 2.5 but hey, if it fits the bill good stuff!

RE fishing bolts through the bumper there was a posting here about popping the bumper fascia fasteners to get rid of the obstacles. I did that and the bolts passed through just fine.

I had trouble putting the top weldnut bolts in. I ran an M12 coarse-thread tap through them and got some crap to come out -- a mix of metal shavings and dirt. I ran out of time to actually put the bolts in but will try it tonight. Hopefully that's it and I can start using the hitch properly.
I thought it was the bumper fascia fasteners causing the problem. I managed to wiggle past them without too much trouble.

About the threaded holes for mounting the "non-fished" hitch bolts... Yes, I too had a little crud on the theads, even though it's only 2 months old, with no winter driving and no off-roading. With a little persuation, they went right in. But I actually wondered as I did it what they would be like after one or two years of exposure to the elements?

A tip to all you Vue owners who expect you might get a hitch at some point in the future -- you might want to crawl under there and plug the 6 or so threaded 1/2 holes on the frame, just behind the muffler. Some or all of these are used by the various hitch manufactures and it makes the installation much easier if they are not buggered up with a bunch of road gunk. I'm sure suitable plugs can be found for a few bucks at a decent autoparts store.
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Old 07-19-2004, 10:27 PM   #5
Capt Bruce
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2005 VUE 2.2L
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"Having the string on one side and the fishing wire on the other side gave me the ability to wiggle the bolt back/forth and up/down to get past the obsticals. I don't know what I would have done if I'd not had the string tied on there."

Ken,
As you said "more tha one way to skin a cat". Good tip on the back string to help get the bolts through. Thanks
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Old 07-20-2004, 09:12 AM   #6
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FINALLY got the last two bolts installed last night!!! All it needed was a little tapping out of the weldnuts and the M12 bolts went in no problem.

Well, that installation only took 5 weeks.
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Old 07-20-2004, 09:40 AM   #7
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Nice work, and thanks for the links and the pics. I'll probably copy you soon!
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Old 07-20-2004, 06:38 PM   #8
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Default wiring plut

The hitch that is available from my Saturn store has a bracket that holds the wiring plug. Has anybody found an aftermarket hitch that has that feature?
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Old 07-20-2004, 07:27 PM   #9
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2004 VUE 3.5L
Default Re: wiring plut

Quote:
Originally posted by mhrreast
The hitch that is available from my Saturn store has a bracket that holds the wiring plug. Has anybody found an aftermarket hitch that has that feature?
I havn't actually seen the Saturn hitch to know what you are talking about, but for the $100 or more dollars you save by getting an aftermarket model, I'm sure you can find something that would do the same thing.
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