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My Curt hitch was 4 bolts. I guess with an impact wrench, I might have made it in 30 mins or less. Let's try 6 hours or more total. The video on CURT.com for the exact same RAV, the hitch is on in ten mins, if not less. It must've been a Florida car. My RAV is a NJ car, 9 winters, ok? The bolt holes looked like they were from a 1920's oil tanker rotting on a beach somewhere for 90 yrs.
I tried pipe brush. Nearly a whole can of blaster, bought 'practice' bolts to run up into the holes, jetted water. After 3 hrs, the only bolt I could drive all the way in was the immaculate hole left from removing the tie down bracket.
I searched this forum far and wide, and saw several guys mention taps. Well, I wasn't sure if that was a good idea, so I went with a thread chaser (Amazon, bought a metric set) which for me was difficult to find in a retail store, taps weren't too hard.
Another can of rust releaser, I believe WD40 brand, chased those bolt holes no less than 1hr each, and finally the three of four gave way. All this in near 90deg heat.

Now call the wife, hitch is mounted in yup, you guessed it, 10 minutes tops.

Notes: Imagine my relief when I saw an aftermarket hitch was a 4 bolt job, and imagine how excited I was to find a hitch retailer/installer WALKING distance from my work!!! WOOOHOOO, drop of the RAV, walk to work, then go get her after work is done. Went there for a quote, these are not misprints: Same hitch, installed, $349+tax ($24) for total of $373. I said to the imbecile working the desk "This hitch is 4 bolts. It retails as low as $124. You want $200 to drive 4 bolts with an impact driver? That is about $400/hr labor"

"Duh duh umm duh umm dats whut it says in dis here book, uh huh"

Take car bud.

So yes, I struggled, but theres still a lot of money in my pocket. They wanted $125 for the wiring harness, installed, and that I might consider because I get annoyed with such things and I paid approx $50 for the harness, so $75 to install might be worth it if I am flush.

Ask me any questions you want about the install.

Regards,
Adam
 

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Your hitch install looks good. You most times have to clean the threads with the proper thread tools. A wire brush doesn't always work.
I'm going to install a hitch on my fathers Jeep Liberty soon and it looks like the 4 bolt holes that I need to use are already being used. (so says the instructions anyways) So I loosen the bolts, discard them, use the hitch bolts , then done!
Lucky me! :)
The Uhaul installer said they would have only charged me 1/2 labour ($30) which is really good ,but it should be very easy.
 

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I'd call running a tap thru exposed captive nuts for a hitch install on anything but a new car standard practice. I don't specifically remember when I installed mine but using a tap avoids the bigger issue of ruining the threads trying to force bolts in using an air impact.
 

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Totally feel your pain, times seven, installing the OEM 28 bolts hitch to a 4 years old Rav4 from the salt belt. Literally it took me a week of thread chasing with hand tool, a 'test' bolt, going hole by hole. You can tell I was relieved when every bolt was eventually seated properly. The installation experience was so painful that I nixed the idea of re-torquing the bolts after a number of miles . . . . . 28 bolts ought to hold the hitch in place.

The dealer wanted CAD$1,350 for installing the hitch onto a new vehicle, including the harness hookup. I would imagine the 4 bolts version offered by the aftermarket would be considered cheap, at U$373!!!



My Curt hitch was 4 bolts. I guess with an impact wrench, I might have made it in 30 mins or less. Let's try 6 hours or more total. The video on CURT.com for the exact same RAV, the hitch is on in ten mins, if not less. It must've been a Florida car. My RAV is a NJ car, 9 winters, ok? The bolt holes looked like they were from a 1920's oil tanker rotting on a beach somewhere for 90 yrs.
I tried pipe brush. Nearly a whole can of blaster, bought 'practice' bolts to run up into the holes, jetted water. After 3 hrs, the only bolt I could drive all the way in was the immaculate hole left from removing the tie down bracket.
I searched this forum far and wide, and saw several guys mention taps. Well, I wasn't sure if that was a good idea, so I went with a thread chaser (Amazon, bought a metric set) which for me was difficult to find in a retail store, taps weren't too hard.
Another can of rust releaser, I believe WD40 brand, chased those bolt holes no less than 1hr each, and finally the three of four gave way. All this in near 90deg heat.

Now call the wife, hitch is mounted in yup, you guessed it, 10 minutes tops.

Notes: Imagine my relief when I saw an aftermarket hitch was a 4 bolt job, and imagine how excited I was to find a hitch retailer/installer WALKING distance from my work!!! WOOOHOOO, drop of the RAV, walk to work, then go get her after work is done. Went there for a quote, these are not misprints: Same hitch, installed, $349+tax ($24) for total of $373. I said to the imbecile working the desk "This hitch is 4 bolts. It retails as low as $124. You want $200 to drive 4 bolts with an impact driver? That is about $400/hr labor"

"Duh duh umm duh umm dats whut it says in dis here book, uh huh"

Take car bud.

So yes, I struggled, but theres still a lot of money in my pocket. They wanted $125 for the wiring harness, installed, and that I might consider because I get annoyed with such things and I paid approx $50 for the harness, so $75 to install might be worth it if I am flush.

Ask me any questions you want about the install.

Regards,
Adam
 

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Totally feel your pain, times seven, installing the OEM 28 bolts hitch to a 4 years old Rav4 from the salt belt. Literally it took me a week of thread chasing with hand tool, a 'test' bolt, going hole by hole. You can tell I was relieved when every bolt was eventually seated properly. The installation experience was so painful that I nixed the idea of re-torquing the bolts after a number of miles . . . . . 28 bolts ought to hold the hitch in place.
Fun, fun, fun! And remember the Owner's Manual, at least the US version, says the hitch should be removed when not in use!
 

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Fun, fun, fun! And remember the Owner's Manual, at least the US version, says the hitch should be removed when not in use!
Haha, good one :thumbs_up:

I hoped the manual meant the hitch tongue and not the 28 bolts receiver to be removed when not in use . . . . . . .

The weird thing is, Ontario highway traffic laws actually stated it's illegal to have the tongue and ball left on the vehicle when not towing. Judging by the number of tongue & ball installed for mere rear bumper protection, the law is rarely enforced though.
 

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Haha, good one :thumbs_up:

I hoped the manual meant the hitch tongue and not the 28 bolts receiver to be removed when not in use . .
Yep, 28 bolts!!
On page 313 of my 2006 Owner's Manual:
"Toyota recommends that the trailer hitch be removed when not towing to prevent injury and/or damage to the hitch in the event of a rear end collision. After removing the hitch, the installation area should be sealed to prevent entry of exhaust fumes and mud." That would mean the 28 holes, or 4 :) in my case.
 

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Yep, 28 bolts!!
On page 313 of my 2006 Owner's Manual:
"Toyota recommends that the trailer hitch be removed when not towing to prevent injury and/or damage to the hitch in the event of a rear end collision. After removing the hitch, the installation area should be sealed to prevent entry of exhaust fumes and mud." That would mean the 28 holes, or 4 :) in my case.
Oh, let me book an appointment with my stealership to do that, quoting the passage from the owner manual. Let's see what other repairs they would recommend while my car is on the hoist getting violated . . . . . . . . . :cheers:

I would likely get a customer-of-the-month plaque mounted in the greeting area for that :thumbs_up:
 

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Sounds like the 4 bolts are easy to access at least. When I installed a hitch on my truck it was 6 bolts. Took my buddy and I 5 minutes to install.

I recently helped install a hitch on a 2016 Mazda CX3. Took over 2 hours. Needed to remove the entire bumper cover to access the bolt holes. We did NOT, swore like sailors and busted our knuckles all the way through the process.

9 winters. Does that make your car an 07. I am hoping that our RAV will be easier when it comes time to install a hitch. Though I live in California, Truckee gets plenty of snow and thus cars around here see plenty of salt. I think that I am going to preemptively slather grease up in those holes.

Hitch looks good. What are you planning on towing?
 

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Sounds like the 4 bolts are easy to access at least. When I installed a hitch on my truck it was 6 bolts. Took my buddy and I 5 minutes to install.

I recently helped install a hitch on a 2016 Mazda CX3. Took over 2 hours. Needed to remove the entire bumper cover to access the bolt holes. We did NOT, swore like sailors and busted our knuckles all the way through the process.

9 winters. Does that make your car an 07. I am hoping that our RAV will be easier when it comes time to install a hitch. Though I live in California, Truckee gets plenty of snow and thus cars around here see plenty of salt. I think that I am going to preemptively slather grease up in those holes.

Hitch looks good. What are you planning on towing?
Some of the thread difficulties come from the welded nuts on the unibody being dipped in the chassis rustproofing solution and baked on to form a protective coating. I'm not seeing too much, if any rust from the 'test bolt thread during the thread chasing/cleaning process. The rustproof material decreases the inside diameter by 1-1.5mm, thus jamming the mounting bolt. I was worried air impacting the stuck bolt may cause it to shear and leaving me with a bigger mess.
 

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Oh, let me book an appointment with my stealership to do that, quoting the passage from the owner manual. Let's see what other repairs they would recommend while my car is on the hoist getting violated . . . . . . . . . :cheers:

I would likely get a customer-of-the-month plaque mounted in the greeting area for that :thumbs_up:
Yep and if you towed several times a year, say 6 or 7, you could be a significant % of their income. :wink
 

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With all of that I'm pleased that I have a 4-bolt mounted Curt hitch. Easy to remove when not being used, spends most of its time lying in our garage. I use stainless steel bolts for mounting, when the hitch isn't on my RAV I re-insert the bolts into the chassis mounting holes to protect the hole threads. Getting the hitch weight off the rear of the RAV helps with handling on our twisty mountain roads.
 

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Some of the thread difficulties come from the welded nuts on the unibody being dipped in the chassis rustproofing solution and baked on to form a protective coating. I'm not seeing too much, if any rust from the 'test bolt thread during the thread chasing/cleaning process. The rustproof material decreases the inside diameter by 1-1.5mm, thus jamming the mounting bolt. I was worried air impacting the stuck bolt may cause it to shear and leaving me with a bigger mess.
1 to 1.5mm is huge, and too much for a thread chaser. What were they thinking? I'd begin with a chaser, and if it did not work on the first try, right into a tap. Oi! 1mm is huge in a nut.
 

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With all of that I'm pleased that I have a 4-bolt mounted Curt hitch. Easy to remove when not being used, spends most of its time lying in our garage. I use stainless steel bolts for mounting, when the hitch isn't on my RAV I re-insert the bolts into the chassis mounting holes to protect the hole threads. Getting the hitch weight off the rear of the RAV helps with handling on our twisty mountain roads.
How much can that hitch weigh. 30lbs?
 

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How much can that hitch weigh. 30lbs?

I haven't weighed it (not an easy task since my wife won't let me use her bathroom scale!). My guess would be 40-45 pounds with the receiver and ball attached. There is quite a difference in our RAV's handling on our twisty mountain roads between whether the hitch is or isn't installed, but my wife complains that I take those curves at rocket speed. (She drives pretty much the same way with her CR-V!).
 

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Just did the same thing on my wife's 04 Vibe about a month ago... 30min job took about 3hrs because I had to retap the old rusty holes, and yeah that's 12yrs of winters in salty Ontario Canada, lol.

Looking forward to installing a hitch on the new Rav4, lol. :(
 

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Just did the same thing on my wife's 04 Vibe about a month ago... 30min job took about 3hrs because I had to retap the old rusty holes, and yeah that's 12yrs of winters in salty Ontario Canada, lol.

Looking forward to installing a hitch on the new Rav4, lol. :(
Why doesn't Toyota put plug those weld nuts with plastic or rubber covering, which can be tore apart when some one wants to mount into those holes.
 
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