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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
And I’m wondering the obvious:

  1. Should I buy the hitch itself from Volvo? Or go with an aftermarket hitch?
  2. If I get the hitch from Volvo, is it ok to have someone else install it? My dealer is quoting 4+ hours of labour, and that seems like a lot.
  3. Is it ok to add the wiring later? My immediate need is to mount a bike rack that doesn’t need wiring.

Thanks!
 

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2011 Volvo V70 D5 AWD GT R-design, 2004 Volvo V70 D5 Black Edition
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But this does not look very nice with the always visible adapter or?

@raganwald
I would always prefer a detachable towbar.
In Europe/Germany companies like Westfalia or Thule are quite common for trailer hitches.
I do not know where you are from :)

There is no need to buy it directly from Volvo as they do not produce them by their own. Maybe you can find out which made they would put to your car and look if you can get it somewhere else.
The wiring is just the socket for the trailer hitch.
But more important with the hitch comes also an software update for your XC70 at the Volvo dealer. When a socket is plugged in the rear Park Distance Control is automatically switched off and the stability program recognizes a possible trailer.
So when you installed somewhere else I would go at least for the software update to your Volvo dealer.
But in general it is also working without the software update.
 

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Well I started on the whiskey pretty early this morning. That's alright, I was up all night. But I passed out before the sun came up I really wanted to see one of those.
I know that's no way for a man to behave with a mortgage due and a baby on the way. But somehow I made it to where I'm at, back at Swedespeed. Software update? Makes sense ofcourse. Never even thought of it. Good info! May consider a hitch myself, at least they wont damage my car from the rear in the parking garage with it installed.


(XC70 D5 2011 Polestar IPD Sway)
 

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I had the same questions a few months ago when I bought a new-to-me '09. After much deliberation, I decided to go aftermarket for the hitch and factory for the wiring. The Volvo hitch is not only more expensive than aftermarket (by a lot), but it looks like it is significantly harder to install, requiring separation of the exhaust. It also requires more cutting of the bumper, which I didn't like.

I ordered a DrawTite Class III model from AutoAnything for $115 and installed it myself with no problems. Imo, it doesn't look any worse on the car than the OE one and I didn't have to mess with the exhaust.

I went OE for the wiring and it was expensive, but buying from Volvo webstores saved a bunch of money. I installed that myself too but had to have the software update done by the dealer. The one disappointment with that is that apparently they removed the trailer turn indicator on the dash. It doesn't really matter, but since the light is there, it bothers me that they removed its functionality. To answer your question, yes, you can admit (or not) whenever you want.

Both the hitch and the wiring are doable on your own if you are decent with tools. There's even a video guide online for the hitch (EDIT: which CC has already linked above), though I found a couple things different on my own car.

And I’m wondering the obvious:

  1. Should I buy the hitch itself from Volvo? Or go with an aftermarket hitch?
  2. If I get the hitch from Volvo, is it ok to have someone else install it? My dealer is quoting 4+ hours of labour, and that seems like a lot.
  3. Is it ok to add the wiring later? My immediate need is to mount a bike rack that doesn’t need wiring.

Thanks!
 

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I had the same questions a few months ago when I bought a new-to-me '09. After much deliberation, I decided to go aftermarket for the hitch and factory for the wiring. The Volvo hitch is not only more expensive than aftermarket (by a lot), but it looks like it is significantly harder to install, requiring separation of the exhaust. It also requires more cutting of the bumper, which I didn't like.

I ordered a DrawTite Class III model from AutoAnything for $115 and installed it myself with no problems. Imo, it doesn't look any worse on the car than the OE one and I didn't have to mess with the exhaust.

I went OE for the wiring and it was expensive, but buying from Volvo webstores saved a bunch of money. I installed that myself too but had to have the software update done by the dealer. The one disappointment with that is that apparently they removed the trailer turn indicator on the dash. It doesn't really matter, but since the light is there, it bothers me that they removed its functionality. To answer your question, yes, you can admit (or not) whenever you want.

Both the hitch and the wiring are doable on your own if you are decent with tools. There's even a video guide online for the hitch (EDIT: which CC has already linked above), though I found a couple things different on my own car.
Can you post the part numbers for the wiring you ordered? Any install tips?
I have the hitch already but no wiring.
 

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Can you post the part numbers for the wiring you ordered? Any install tips?
I have the hitch already but no wiring.
Sure. The parts I bought are below, along with the lowest prices I could find at a Volvo "webstore." I paid a little more because I hadn't found this one (which amazingly is my LOCAL one) yet. Boston Volvo Village has prices that are close.

From VolvoPartsCounter.com (Mitchell Volvo, Simsbury, CT):
31346554 wiring harness $30.82
(wires that go from the car connector to the module)

31407107 towbar/trailer module $134.41
(the module itself. it also includes a fuse for one of the rear fuse panels)

31346065 towbar-wiring $89.01
(the wiring that goes from the module to the hitch. this particular part number is for a flat 4 + 7 round connector. there MAY be other ones that work, like a flat 4 only, but I couldn't get a definite answer from the parts guys)

Since I have an aftermarket hitch with no provision for mounting the connector, I also bought a universal 7 round mount at AutoZone or Advance or something.

Installation is dead simple if you can remove your spare and plug things together.

-mount the connector wherever you can/want.
-remove the existing grommet in the spare well and feed the wiring through (there's a new grommet on the wiring)
-route the wiring toward the left side under the tiedown rail and install ground
-find the connectors at the front of the trunk on the left side (grey/green, iirc - possibly under a bit of sound deadening)
-plug the other wiring harness into them and route it along the existing wiring toward the same spot as the other
-plug the three plugs into the module (there's an order for this - follow the order)
-mount the box
-put the fuse in the fuse panel
-go to the dealer and have them deal with the software (<$100)

The installation instructions are number 31428784. I have the .pdf if you can't find it, but I got it online somewhere. Note that it shows removal of the trunk floor and tray under it. I didn't do that and found it not needed at all.
 

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Sure. The parts I bought are below, along with the lowest prices I could find at a Volvo "webstore." I paid a little more because I hadn't found this one (which amazingly is my LOCAL one) yet. Boston Volvo Village has prices that are close.

From VolvoPartsCounter.com (Mitchell Volvo, Simsbury, CT):
31346554 wiring harness $30.82
(wires that go from the car connector to the module)

31407107 towbar/trailer module $134.41
(the module itself. it also includes a fuse for one of the rear fuse panels)

31346065 towbar-wiring $89.01
(the wiring that goes from the module to the hitch. this particular part number is for a flat 4 + 7 round connector. there MAY be other ones that work, like a flat 4 only, but I couldn't get a definite answer from the parts guys)

Since I have an aftermarket hitch with no provision for mounting the connector, I also bought a universal 7 round mount at AutoZone or Advance or something.

Installation is dead simple if you can remove your spare and plug things together.

-mount the connector wherever you can/want.
-remove the existing grommet in the spare well and feed the wiring through (there's a new grommet on the wiring)
-route the wiring toward the left side under the tiedown rail and install ground
-find the connectors at the front of the trunk on the left side (grey/green, iirc - possibly under a bit of sound deadening)
-plug the other wiring harness into them and route it along the existing wiring toward the same spot as the other
-plug the three plugs into the module (there's an order for this - follow the order)
-mount the box
-put the fuse in the fuse panel
-go to the dealer and have them deal with the software (<$100)

The installation instructions are number 31428784. I have the .pdf if you can't find it, but I got it online somewhere. Note that it shows removal of the trunk floor and tray under it. I didn't do that and found it not needed at all.
Thanks man! I'm ordering those parts now. Getting them from Tasca instead though since the prices are basically the same but shipping is a ton cheaper for whatever reason.
Could you email that PDF to me? dadolphson at gmail dot com
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Since I have an aftermarket hitch with no provision for mounting the connector, I also bought a universal 7 round mount at AutoZone or Advance or something.
Thanks for the terrific reply!

I’m up in Toronto, I ordered a third-party hitch from Canadian Tire. It was more than US$115, but way less than CAD$700 or whatever insane amount the local dealer quoted me (not including labour). Buying from a store gives me an easy way to return it for a full refund if it doesn’t fit for some reason. Of course it ought to, but if they screw up and ship me the wrong one or some such, it’s really easy to get my money back.

I’ll have my local garage do the installation. For now, I don’t need wiring, as I will only be carrying bicycles.

When I do get the wiring, I seem to recall that there is a way to put the connector in the bumper, and there is a Volvo piece you install that actually covers the wiring port? Does anybody know what I am talking about?

Thanks in advance, and thanks again everyone for the highly educational thread!
 

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Thanks for the terrific reply!

I’m up in Toronto, I ordered a third-party hitch from Canadian Tire. It was more than US$115, but way less than CAD$700 or whatever insane amount the local dealer quoted me (not including labour). Buying from a store gives me an easy way to return it for a full refund if it doesn’t fit for some reason. Of course it ought to, but if they screw up and ship me the wrong one or some such, it’s really easy to get my money back.

I’ll have my local garage do the installation. For now, I don’t need wiring, as I will only be carrying bicycles.

When I do get the wiring, I seem to recall that there is a way to put the connector in the bumper, and there is a Volvo piece you install that actually covers the wiring port? Does anybody know what I am talking about?

Thanks in advance, and thanks again everyone for the highly educational thread!
I think the Volvo hitches have a mount for the wiring built in. Even my old 240 hitch did. The aftermarket one I bought for the XC70 didn't though, so I mounted the 7+4pin connector to the bumper with an aftermarket bracket. I used something like THIS, available pretty much everywhere.

IIRC, I used one of the screws that attaches the silver part to the bottom of the bumper, then I drilled another little hole to attach the other side. The Volvo wiring just screws into the bracket. I'm mostly fine with the install, but since the bracket is attached to the plastic bumper, it isn't as sturdy as I probably should be. I just support the whole thing when I plug the trailer connector in, but if there's a better option I'm open to it. I was in a bit of a hurry after buying the car to get the trailer stuff installed so I could go on vacation.

I'm not home and don't have a pic of what I did but I can get one later this week.
 

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Installation is dead simple if you can remove your spare and plug things together.

-go to the dealer and have them deal with the software (<$100)
Thanks for the overview. I'm torn on which hitch to get. I know the OEM hitch is much more labor intensive to install but I like that it uses the factory designed mounting method.

Are most Volvo dealers generally agreeable to install VIDA software downloads for customers who did not purchase the trailer module from them?
 

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Thanks for the overview. I'm torn on which hitch to get. I know the OEM hitch is much more labor intensive to install but I like that it uses the factory designed mounting method.

Are most Volvo dealers generally agreeable to install VIDA software downloads for customers who did not purchase the trailer module from them?
My dealer didn't question me at all.

Aside from money (which admittedly was a big one), my decision to go aftermarket was based on the apparent need to cut the exhaust for the OE hitch. I never have good luck with exhausts, so I don't like to mess with them anymore than necessary. Keep in mind that I was doing all of this myself though. If you're taking it to a dealer, it might be a different thing.
 

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I think the Volvo hitches have a mount for the wiring built in.
I'm assuming the XC70 uses the same hitch as my XC60. I just had the OEM hitch installed and can confirm that there is a built in bracket for the electrical connection.



 

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This might be too late to be useful to anyone, but I finally remembered to take pics and was actually home at the same time. Hopefully it'll give people an idea of the aftermarket option with OE wiring.

I realize now that I should have taken off the split links that I keep on there ('cause my safety chains are short), but just ignore that part.

EDIT: I have no idea why the photos are different sizes. Photobucket is being REALLY annoying. There are pics that I just couldn't get to resize at all.

This is all that needs to be removed for installation. It's really quite easy once you get over the idea that you just have to pull really hard to unsnap your bumper. Note that I didn't bother to unplug the sensors. It was easier to just set the whole thing to the side on a box.


Here you can see the minimal cut required. None of the silver was cut, just the width of the hitch out of the black plastic was needed.


Here's the other side, including the Volvo plug(s) mounted in the aftermarket holder.


Here you can see more of the holder and how/where I mounted it. The screw on the left was already there. I used it and put another through the black plastic (with nut on back). I figured that that required the least drilling. It's not a really solid place to mount the plugs, but I usually support the mount when plugging in my trailer.


From behind:


The whole deal:
 

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Did not like the look of that when the hitch is removed.
Here is a picture of my car when it´s removed, clean and stylish.
 

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Did not like the look of that when the hitch is removed.
Here is a picture of my car when it´s removed, clean and stylish.
That looks great, of course, but I don't think we get the same hitch options as you (at least not easily). All of ours (OE and aftermarket) have the big square bit that hangs down to some extent.
 

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Digging up this older thread, but posaune thanks for the great info. I have an 2015 T6 and installed curt hitch last January to carry my bikes. Now I want to tow a small a-frame camping trailer. So I need the wiring install and I think you covered all the bases. The only question is how much does the reflash cost? Are we talking $100 or $500 or $1000? I also need a brake controller and probably will get a remote one. http://www.etrailer.com/Brake-Controller/Tekonsha/90250.html to minimize the connections.

Trailer dry weight is going to be 1800 to 2000lbs and will not be more than 3000.
 

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Digging up this older thread, but posaune thanks for the great info. I have an 2015 T6 and installed curt hitch last January to carry my bikes. Now I want to tow a small a-frame camping trailer. So I need the wiring install and I think you covered all the bases. The only question is how much does the reflash cost? Are we talking $100 or $500 or $1000? I also need a brake controller and probably will get a remote one. http://www.etrailer.com/Brake-Controller/Tekonsha/90250.html to minimize the connections.

Trailer dry weight is going to be 1800 to 2000lbs and will not be more than 3000.
Getting just the programming/flash for the OEM trailer brake/lighting wiring module thing is around $150 I think.
 
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