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Galant VR-4 Forums » Galant VR-4 » How To and Info Archive » How to: Make a Tow Hitch, (Detailed Step by Step instructions).
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How to: Make a Tow Hitch, (Detailed Step by Step instructions).


JamesFoster
Infamous BMX Master
674/1000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1079736 posted 08/07/12 04:32 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
So I've been wanting to make a hitch for my VR4 (852/2000) for a while now to tow my dirt bike trailer. After looking into it a bit, I realized that there are a few ways of doing it, but I decided to start from scratch and do it the way that made the most sense to me. And I figured that I should take pictures of how I did it, along with detailed instructions on how to duplicate the hitch I made.
Keep in mind, I do not have the inner steel bumper, and I removed my tow hooks to make this hitch. You can probably retain your inner steel bumper, but you may need to modify it.

I also have a wiring tutorial at the bottom of the page, wire colors, where to find them hand how to properly hook up and wire your hitch wiring on the VR4.

Materials needed:
3/16" thick 2x2 square tubing, cut it to 39 3/8"
1/4" thick angle iron, with 1.5" wide flanges, you'll need two pieces cut to 7"
9" trailer ball mount receiver. You can find one at any trailer supply place. You will cut one inch off of it to make it's total length 8"
Four grade 10.9 metric bolts I believe they are M10x1.25
220V Mig Welder, assorted metal cutting and grinding tools.


You will need to drill two 7/16" holes in each piece of angle iron for the bolts to go where the tow hooks would go. The center of top hole should be 1/2" from the top of the angle iron. The center of the bottom hole will need to be 1 5/8" from the center of the top hole. You may need to notch the corner of the top of the angle iron on the driver side slightly to clear the bolt holes. Once done drilling the holes in the angle iron, bolt them to your car, They should hang down like in the picture.





And here's a preview of basically what we will be doing.


The next step, is to clamp the 2x2" tubing to the angle iron that is bolted to your car. I used locking pliers and a C-Clamp. If you cut it to 39 3/8" it should be just the right length and be flush with the sides of the angle iron. You are going to want the bottom of that 2x2" tubing to be flush with the bottom of the angle iron.



Now that the 2x2" tubing is clamped, go ahead and tack weld it together. I recommend putting two tack welds on opposite sides of each piece of angle iron, so it doesn't move when you un-clamp it. Also, mark the center of the 2x2" tubing so you know where to weld the ball mount reciever. You will have cut the reciever to 8" and line up the rear of it flush with the rear of the 2x2" tubing. Make sure it's in the center of the car!

Once your tack welds are in place, take off the clamps, and unbolt the hitch. Now weld every together and you should end up with something like this:
(This is my first time MIG welding, I looked up "MIG welding techniques on youtube, watched some videos and took some practice passes on some scrap metal before welding on the actual hitch. I'm pretty happy with how it came out. I was using a Lincoln 180T 220V welder with Argon/c02 gas mixture.)





This is the rear of the actual receiver, flush with the back of the 2x2 tubing




Once it's welded up, this is what it will look like when bolted to the car.




I then removed the hitch, and welded up some gussets to support the receiver, I drilled holes in the gussets to hook my towing chains to.









Now that your new hitch is completed, paint it with whatever paint you choose. I went with Rustoleum protective enamel.



I mounted these little tabs to keep my rear bumper cover from sagging.


And this is what your completed hitch will look like when mounted!




Here's the tabs I put on there to keep from sagging







Now that your new hitch is attached, all you have to do is wire your trailer lights and you're ready to start pulling stuff!

You will need:
wire strippers
wire crimpers
electrical tape
small zip ties
big zip ties
4 prong trailer harness
converter for 4 prong trailer wiring to cars that have separate brake lights and turn signals. It essentially converts a 4 prong trailer plug to a 5 wire on for our cars. You can get one at autozone for 15 bucks.

all the wires you need to tap into are located in the harness below your driver side rear tail light.

Take a razor blade and cut off the tape that's wrapping the wire loom around the harness, where the wires from the left rear taillight go into it.
Now you will connect the wires from your 4 to 5 wire converter like this:
Wire color codes:
Left signal: Green w/ yellow stripe - connect to yellow wire
Right signal: Green w/ blue stripe - connect to green wire
Running lights: Green w/ white stripe - connect to brown wire
Brake lights: Green - connect to red wire (the stop light wire on my converter is red, yours may be different)
White: ground to vehicle chassis.

The CORRECT way to attach wires to existing ones is as follows:
Strip back about 3/8" of insulation of the wire you want to tap into, DO NOT CUT IT!
Strip off about 1" of insulation off end of the wire you are going to attach
wrap the bare wire around the bare wire
take 1" of electrical tape and wrap over the connection tightly
then take a small zip tie and tie it over the electrical tape
voila, you have a long lasting connection, soldering is overkill for a situation like this.


I just dropped my wire through the existing bolt hole of where the steel bumper would go since I don't have one.


You are now ready to start towing!





Any questions feel free to ask away!



#674/1000 760hp/630tq street car, broken transmission at the moment.
Social: @Jamesfosterbmx


Edited by JamesFoster (08/07/12 04:38 PM)

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transparentdsm
I have to say something dumb Member
138/2000


152/1000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1079763 posted 08/07/12 06:34 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
this is absolutely amazing i love the way it came out.. looks so so perfect. i have a question... you wanna make me one?? haha.. i will def. be getting me some metal pieces very very soon and i like how you used the hitch to bring the rear bumper up and straighten it all out. A+++ 100% also for your first time welding thats amazingly done as well.



138/2000
152/1000

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citymunky
Fake Title
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1079767 posted 08/07/12 06:52 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
I really need to learn how to weld.



1990 MMC GVR-4
733/2000 (R.I.P. TurboRen) Sold.
1505/2000 (Loves strippers) Sold.
832/2000 (parts car) R.I.P.
923/2000 (my 1st) R.I.P.

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EMX5636
Carbon Fiber Cage
108/2000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1079775 posted 08/07/12 07:15 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Looks great! I wonder if some upper bumper cover supports could be fabbed into the hitch. Almost to replace the crash beam without any sagging like I built for my front one. I guess I'll have to add this to my list of stuff to do after my trans/clutch stuff is done. Thanks!



91 #108/2000- link
97 Kawi ZX7R Street/Track
03 Kawi KLX400R Supermoto
05 CTS-V Stealth Grey
09 Hummer H3T

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JNR
5 star (English Professor) member Has extensive pop up picture book collection
20/1000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1079776 posted 08/07/12 07:29 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Nice writeup and good job on the hitch! Not my thing on the car (have a truck for towing), but it's good to see it done. Is that a class III receiver?

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QnzMostWanted
Shifter Mercenary


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1079794 posted 08/07/12 09:15 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
wow impressive...looks really good and a nice clean install



Denver
1992 Galant GS
EVO 8 ECU Powered N/A
Daily Driven

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JamesFoster
Infamous BMX Master
674/1000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1079890 posted 08/08/12 11:33 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Quoting EMX5636:

Looks great! I wonder if some upper bumper cover supports could be fabbed into the hitch. Almost to replace the crash beam without any sagging like I built for my front one. I guess I'll have to add this to my list of stuff to do after my trans/clutch stuff is done. Thanks!




You definitely could fab some upper bumper cover supports into it, It's something I'd love to do down the line.

Quoting JNR:

Nice writeup and good job on the hitch! Not my thing on the car (have a truck for towing), but it's good to see it done. Is that a class III receiver?




Thanks! I think that yes it's technically a class III receiver, however the rest of the hitch may not be... We should test it!

Quoting citymunky:

I really need to learn how to weld.




It's pretty easy to MIG weld, this hitch is the first thing I've made. Just look up MIG techniques online, and take your time. Do lots of practice passes on scrap metal. For me it was all about taking my time and learning as much about how to do it by watching videos before diving into it.

Quoting QnzMostWanted:

wow impressive...looks really good and a nice clean install



Quoting transparentdsm:

this is absolutely amazing i love the way it came out.. looks so so perfect. i have a question... you wanna make me one?? haha.. i will def. be getting me some metal pieces very very soon and i like how you used the hitch to bring the rear bumper up and straighten it all out. A+++ 100% also for your first time welding thats amazingly done as well.




Thanks so much!



#674/1000 760hp/630tq street car, broken transmission at the moment.
Social: @Jamesfosterbmx


Edited by JamesFoster (08/08/12 11:34 AM)

Posts: 582 | From: Moreno Valley, CA | Member Since: 10/14/08 | IP: (76.93.234.71) | Report this post to a Moderator

alansupra94
Excuse the retarded question.
4/1000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1080049 posted 08/09/12 01:54 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Wow, that looks amazing.

I guess my question now stands, what kind of class do you think that hitch is?



1992 Galant VR4
1996 Toyota Supra TT

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JamesFoster
Infamous BMX Master
674/1000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1080051 posted 08/09/12 02:11 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Quoting alansupra94:

Wow, that looks amazing.

I guess my question now stands, what kind of class do you think that hitch is?




I would say class I, mainly because it's only using 4 of the available 8 mounting bolt holes. There are two more bolt holes on each side where the tow hooks would mount.
I would say that class II would be fine, if you use the additional 4 bolt holes that are underneath. The only reason I didn't, is because it would take a little more fabricating as the bolt holes are located perpendicular and higher up than the ones I used, making it a little more difficult to build. However I think down the road I might go ahead and do it, just to do it.



#674/1000 760hp/630tq street car, broken transmission at the moment.
Social: @Jamesfosterbmx


Edited by JamesFoster (08/09/12 02:14 PM)

Posts: 582 | From: Moreno Valley, CA | Member Since: 10/14/08 | IP: (76.93.234.71) | Report this post to a Moderator

alansupra94
Excuse the retarded question.
4/1000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1080057 posted 08/09/12 03:02 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Awesome dude. I definitely think I will try and use the 8 holes to get a class II. I would like to use this hitch to tow supplies for the race track and possibly my Supra (not on all 4 wheels, on just two).



1992 Galant VR4
1996 Toyota Supra TT

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JamesFoster
Infamous BMX Master
674/1000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1080091 posted 08/09/12 09:22 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
I think for towing supplies it would probably be good. Class I is up to 2000 pounds, so I'd assume you'd be alright. But yeah if you're planning on towing a car you should definitely use all the mounting points.



#674/1000 760hp/630tq street car, broken transmission at the moment.
Social: @Jamesfosterbmx

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89Mirageman
Senior Member


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1080430 posted 08/11/12 10:06 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Very nice, looking to do something similar on my Summit wagon in the near future.



89 SWB Montero V6/manual (for sale)
95 Eagle Summit DL coupe
15 Mitsubishi Mirage ES hatch

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VR_IV_MR
Used To Have A Pussy
591/2000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1081155 posted 08/15/12 08:18 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
I will do this one day! Nice job



King of "nevermind I just searched the forum"

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Chicago1
Junior Member
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1082052 posted 08/22/12 09:35 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
I been dying to get a hitch so I can tow little things. I have made a few threads and even tried to get the lazy folks in AZ to get a FREE one but noone has stepped up. What is the possibility of you making me one? No bs pm me a price. Tired of searching and hoping.



01 Corvette
96 Jeep Cherokee Sport
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jepherz Galant VR4.org Moderator
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1082185 posted 08/22/12 07:22 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Only thing that scares me a bit is the 2 mounting points on the car. Seems like there's going to be a lot of torque on those areas. Maybe you can also come up with a way to attach a torsion/compression rod just forward of the hitch location? This would reduce the torque on those mounting bolts.



-Jeff
1881/2000
50/1000

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iceman69510 Galant VR4.org Moderator
Turn Right Racing
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1082214 posted 08/22/12 09:51 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Agreed. Needs some kind of triangulation. But I like the concept. I may have to do this to haul Sprees to the race track.



91 VR4 855 Nile Black
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91 VR4 115 Nile Black -SOLD

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alansupra94
Excuse the retarded question.
4/1000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1086178 posted 09/19/12 12:48 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Quoting jepherz:

Only thing that scares me a bit is the 2 mounting points on the car. Seems like there's going to be a lot of torque on those areas. Maybe you can also come up with a way to attach a torsion/compression rod just forward of the hitch location? This would reduce the torque on those mounting bolts.




What do you have in mind? I can't seem to visual what you are saying.

Also, would it be good or stupid idea to possibly run bolts/nuts to help hold the welds in place like at the two corners and on the reciever?



1992 Galant VR4
1996 Toyota Supra TT


Edited by alansupra94 (09/19/12 01:11 PM)

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DR1665
Kill him in the face with Wilson Phillips


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1086194 posted 09/19/12 03:36 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Kudos for the effort, the documentation, the fit, finish, and attention to detail. TOP SCORE.

Now make a small trailer to haul tires/spares to the race track.



Brian | 98 Pajero | Gearbox Magazine

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JamesFoster
Infamous BMX Master
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1086657 posted 09/23/12 02:35 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Just wanted to post a quick update on this thread, the hitch has been working perfectly!

I've been towing this all around Southern California, and have not has a single issue or problem at all. I've probably put close to 1000 miles towing already. with that said, I still plan to add some triangulation to the mounting points, just for fun, which I will document in this thread when I do it.





#674/1000 760hp/630tq street car, broken transmission at the moment.
Social: @Jamesfosterbmx

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JamesFoster
Infamous BMX Master
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1086658 posted 09/23/12 02:37 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Quoting alansupra94:

Quoting jepherz:

Only thing that scares me a bit is the 2 mounting points on the car. Seems like there's going to be a lot of torque on those areas. Maybe you can also come up with a way to attach a torsion/compression rod just forward of the hitch location? This would reduce the torque on those mounting bolts.




What do you have in mind? I can't seem to visual what you are saying.

Also, would it be good or stupid idea to possibly run bolts/nuts to help hold the welds in place like at the two corners and on the reciever?




That would be unnecessary. If it's welded properly you wouldn't need any additional bolts. And if it wasn't welded properly I wouldn't trust it at all.



#674/1000 760hp/630tq street car, broken transmission at the moment.
Social: @Jamesfosterbmx

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feil8409
Junior Member


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1087800 posted 10/01/12 12:25 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
I love it. Did you wore up a electronic brake controller?

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G Galant VR4.org Moderator
JDM Unit
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1091484 posted 10/27/12 10:14 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
For the awd eclipse curt makes one that mounts to the crossmember and bumper, not sure if it would work with the vr4 but it might be close >> click >> click



www.japanesenostalgiccar.com
www.nostalgic.co.jp

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EMX5636
Carbon Fiber Cage
108/2000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1091555 posted 10/28/12 11:25 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
That looks similar to the one that used to be offered for the Galant. But it would probably require the rear bumper cover to be cut. That and James' setup should work with a JDM bumper, or for people who have removed the rear crash beam.



91 #108/2000- link
97 Kawi ZX7R Street/Track
03 Kawi KLX400R Supermoto
05 CTS-V Stealth Grey
09 Hummer H3T

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JamesFoster
Infamous BMX Master
674/1000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1098661 posted 12/17/12 10:57 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Just a quick update to this thread, I have been towing my motorcycle trailer around loaded up with stuff in the toolbox and with my dirtbike and it's been working great! So I can safely say up to 1000lb is safe without any extra mounting points other than what I did on my hitch.



#674/1000 760hp/630tq street car, broken transmission at the moment.
Social: @Jamesfosterbmx


Edited by JamesFoster (12/17/12 11:03 PM)

Posts: 582 | From: Moreno Valley, CA | Member Since: 10/14/08 | IP: (76.93.234.71) | Report this post to a Moderator

MellowVR4
5" too short
372/2000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1104229 posted 01/22/13 11:47 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post   
Can this thread be switched to the HOW TO section??



89 RAIDER V6 5speed
90 GALANT GSX SOLD
91 372/2000 making it pretty again
91 578/2000 sold
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87 4RUNNER LS400 SWAP SOLD:(

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