trailer hitch install nightmare

jasper_60103July 25, 2005

I recently purchased a Draw-Tite (75270) trailer hitch for my 2000 Honda Odyssey.

Supposedly an easy 30 minute DIY installation. No drilling required, since the Odyssey already has nuts welded to the frame for installing a hitch.

The problem is the bolts they supplied with the hitch are too large for the welded nuts on my frame. The bolts they supplied are M12 x 1.25 x 35mm. This resulted in breaking one of the welded nuts loose in the frame (and the bolt is still stuck in it).

FYI. Before attempting to install, I sprayed the holes with WD-40. My neigbor, who is more mechanically inclined stopped by to lend a hand agrees the bolts are too large.

I can't remove the hitch because one bolt is stuck in the weld nut. Since I can't remove the hitch, I decided to find some bolts that will work (at least temporarily) to secure the hitch.

After several trips to my local ACE, I found 7/16" bolt is closest to the metric size specified. It works and feels secure, even though its not an exact fit. Anyway, this is just a bandaid to hold the hitch on until I find the correct metric bolt. Again, I will not tow with this.

Can anyone tell me where I can I find the size of the bolts required? I tried honda.com, but this level of detail isn't specified. Also, I'm waiting for a call back from the on-line shop that sold the hitch to me, but I'm not impressed with their customer service.

Regards,

-jasper

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earthworm

M12 is approx .48" and 7/16 is about .44" .. There is no M11 that I know of....

Curses on those fools who advocate this present mess of a so-called system of measuring !!

These aftermarket people cannot be trusted to be accurate at all, in their specs. I would have tried the screws before hand and maybe have used a tap and die to make fit, if necessary.

WD-40 does not work that well as a lubricant. PB Blaster,Seafoam or CRC are far better..

Do you have any access at all to the loose fastener/broken nut ??? If so, just break it off or away and replace or retap the nut..

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 12:58PM
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jasper_60103

earthworm: I called a honda dealer service dept, and a mechanic there gave me some bolts they use for installing hitches. A really nice guy. He must have felt sorry for me.
Anyway, I compared the bolts from honda to what I received with my hitch, and thread pitch is different! My guess is the honda ones are a 1.5 pitch, mine are a 1.25. I'm looking forward to giving it a try this evening. Also, I'll pickup some lubricant on the way home.

Regarding the broken nut. I can't get at it. The top side of the frame is sealed from underneath. I'm definitely taking my van in to my mechanic tomorrow for this part. I'm really tired. Probably the easy fix is to leave it alone and just drill a new bolt hole near it.

Anyway, this was a big mistake.

thanks much for help.

-jasper

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 3:09PM
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skagmobile

Hello Jasper, Guess we've all been in your shoes at one time or another. What you have is a prime example of Murphy's Law. Anyway, your Honda would of course have metric nuts and bolts. Go to your local hardware store and ask to borrow their metric nut and bolt gauges. One gauge counts the threads and the other gives you the size bolt needed. They probably have the size bolts you need in stock. You should be able to do this sizing in their parking lot. If not a friendly garage should also have these guages. They're really simple to use. Hope you haven't destroyed the nut thread with the bolts you used, if you have, then maybe you can use the thread chaser from whomever you borrow the guages from. Also probably the best way to get that one nut and bolt loose is with a Dremmel tool, (cut the bolt in half) they're great for small jobs like that plus they save a lot of hacksawing. Best of luck to you.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 5:10PM
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jasper_60103

My hitch is finally installed. Thanks to the good folks at Niemeyer Trailer Sales in Elko, MN. Cost me $55 bucks and money well spent.
-jasper

    Bookmark   July 26, 2005 at 11:03PM
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earthworm

All is well that ends well.

The Japanese and the Europeans use metric, but generally a different thread pitch.

I am not sure what we use(European metric or Japanese metric, or a crazy mix of all three), the Chinese seem to be using our old obsolete SAE..
Still a crazy world..

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 10:36PM
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GMC_ASE_TECH

Posted by: earthworm (My Page) on Wed, Jul 27, 05 at 22:36

All is well that ends well.
The Japanese and the Europeans use metric, but generally a different thread pitch.

I am not sure what we use(European metric or Japanese metric, or a crazy mix of all three), the Chinese seem to be using our old obsolete SAE..
Still a crazy world..
========================================================================================================================
Hey Worm, you failed to include the price of TEA !!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 2:04PM
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nanocar

i never got prob with hitches. though you really need to be careful with the weigh.. Surely, there are precautions for that, or default weigh capacity.. Hmmm.. Does that make sense? Anyway, just bumping around..

Here is a link that might be useful: Hitch

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 10:27PM
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fachagooch_gmail_com

I am in the same boat as Jasper, Except i havesuccessfully tapped 3 of the 4 side bolts and used an impact gun near the trailer hitch to mount these bolts... I am also going to talk to a buddy and will probably have him weld the sides on for added safety.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 1:09AM
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jasper60103

Funny. This old thread got resurrected. What a nightmare. Glad it all worked out for you.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 11:05AM
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