Attaching the trailer hitch to my Toyota Solara went smoothly.
I think they would sell a lot more hitches if they imparted the
message of how easy it is. Until I read t he instructions online,
I thought all the holes would have to be positioned and drilled**
me That would be a lot of effort, and maybe beyond the skill of a lot
of people who otoh could easily attach a hitch the way it is actually
The only problem was removing the rear bolt that held on the heat
shield above the muffler. No room for a socket, and my combination
wrench wasn't long enough for much leverage. I used my propane torch
but ran out of gas before it got very hot. The next day I finally
opened my new MAPP gas torch with the trigger sparker. Boy is that
nice. 3 minutes or so on and around the bolt head and when I applied
the wrench it took only one hand and barely any effort at all.
So my question is, Is the old bolt ruined by being heated like that?
It wasn't glowing red. What if it were glowing red?
At any rate, I replaced it with one of the included bolts, so all the
hitch bolts are new and have the same size head.
As to using a tap or thread chaser to clean out the threads of the 4
weld-nuts, it wasn't necessary after all. (Perhaps partly because they
are set back, welded, 1/8 or 1/4 inch from the lower face of the
frame^^) Using the included bolt, it was rather hard in all four
cases to find without looking the right angle to start the bolt.
However, once started, the two nuts on the right near the muffler
needed a wrench but showed no special resistance. The two on the
left did show resistance, but when the bolt was removed there was no
grit, just some black stuff in the threads. So I put the bolt in
again and used a wrench to get past the hard part. Strangely, backing
it out, it was hard to turn at the same spots (one per hole). I would
think bolts would get progressively easier to turn.
It was well worth the time to do all this, to clean out the threads,
before trying to mount the hitch.
^^I hear it's not really a frame, but I don't know what else to call
The Curt kit came with toothed washers for all 5 bolts, plus one spare
of each, and all the other hardware needed. Other manufacturers do
It was also expected that the installer drill two holes in the frame
on the left, but positioning was pretty easy since the hitch was
already mounted and the two empty holes in the hitch approximately
marked the place where the holes should be drilled. Then a square
u-botlt (provided) was put in though one hole, nuts added, and
tightened. So t he hitch is attacked by 4 bolts on the left and 3 on
the right. I can't find either of my 1/2 to 3/8 adapters, but when
I do, I'll torque the bolts to 36 foot-pounds.
BTW, I tend to see the same cars every day, but I've been looking at
the cars I see, and in the 3 big junkyards I've been to, and I've seen
only one passenger car with a trailer hitch. (OTOH, most of the SUVs
have them. They are often thrown in by the dealer.)
This new hitch is strangely shaped. It is normal on the left, but the
bar on the right is replaced by a thick flat piece of steel that goes
under the muffler. The picture online for this Curt hitch showed
that. Maybe the picture for Hidden Hitch and the other popular brand
showed it too.
For the Lebaron hitch, part of the bottom of the vinyl covering of
the bumper had to be cut away and the holes had to be positioned and
*, although the Class I hitch could be already clamped to the
bumper struts at the time, so positioning was pretty much done, and
the metal bumper (under the plastic) was thinner than the Toyota
frame, I assume.
*I had figured a bigger hitch (class II instead of class I) would
present bigger problems for me. But it was easier.
The instructions said it would take 45 minutes for a pro and 90 for an
amateur. It probably took me about 105, 75 for normal stuff, and
another 15 for the time spent cleaning out the threads, and 15 for the
extra time heating and removing the heat shield bolt.
Prior to the LeBarons, my cars had real, chrome bumpers, and U-Haul
would attach a temporary hitch when I needed one. Although one time
they clamped it on so tight they flared my bumper out on one side. It
didn't look that bad, but still.
Although the reason I got a permanent hitch for the first LeBaron was
that it a smaller back seat than the Buick and it had leather seats,
and I didn't want to put my bicycle in the back seat. I had found a
bike rack that screwed on where the ball normally goes. Used the same
hitch in all 3 LeBarons.