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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I installed the "Hidden Hitch" from or departed and much loved 2004 XC90 onto the 2008 we're driving now and thought I would post some photos for anyone who is contemplating doing this job.

I think the old style Volvo hitch that required one to cut into the rear valence is nuts. The Hidden hitch is the only way to go in my opinion. After all, once you cut the valance if you remove the hitch like I just did from our 2004, you have a car with a big old cut in the valence and then everyone wonders what you were towing and for how long, ha.

With the Hidden Hitch you first have to loosen the bolts that hold the rear section of the muffler up to the body. I'm thinking these were 13mm and guys, these will be tight and tough to get loose with a regular spanner due to the limited force you'll be able to apply, so you can either get a pipe to put over your socket wrench handle or use a breaker bar like I did, which makes those tight bolts give up quickly (and it also allows you to get them equally tight when hooking up the trailer hitch).

On the passenger side you must remove the bolts holding the tow hook.

Now with the muffler dangling but supported from dangling too far and damaging something, you can fish the hitch into position. This is a heavy piece of metal, now that it is done I can't remember if it was 30 pounds or maybe more, but it is tough to hold in position with just one hand and operate the wrench. Therefore you may want to have a support to hold one end up a bit while you get that bolt started to hold things loose, and then go to the other side.

Pretty easy, takes about an hour to get everything done and clean up.

Here is what it looks like when installed.


On my back looking up at the passenger side bolt pattern after the tow hook was removed and the hitch (black metal) is in place. Rear of the car is to the top of the image.



Here is what the other side looks lke


Here is the hitch in position, with the muffler tightened back up




Using a breaker bar like this makes working on those real tight high torque bolts easy.


Happy towing !

P
 

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P,
What did you use for the trailer lights? I have been considering using a hidden hitch with the Volvo wiring kit and module, but I have not come up with a clean way to mount the receptacles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
P,
What did you use for the trailer lights? I have been considering using a hidden hitch with the Volvo wiring kit and module, but I have not come up with a clean way to mount the receptacles.
No lights yet. First things first. I will only be towing with this rig in the event there are some short hops within the yacht club grounds from our lake house driveway to the launching ramp, or in an emergency situation. The hitch will most likely see bike rack duty for now. I didn't wire up the lights on the previous installation either as the tow weight of the boat I was pulling was too heavy for our steep driveway, after two attempts that were successful, barely, we just used the hitch for a rear mounted bike rack.

In the event I add lights I'll most likely get the volvo kit.

regards,

P
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·


Here is the hitch info in the event anyone is contemplating this kind of product.

P
 

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Here are the picts from my Curt hitch installation - very similar. The hitch sits a bit close to the rear muffler so I used a slightly longer exhaust hanger to prevent rubbing. We only plan to use this for our Thule Revolver bike rack.



I used a jack to hold the exhaust:






 

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Interesting to see that these two, similar, aftermarket hitches have different weight ratings...I guess the Canadians are...tougher! :p
 

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Interesting to see that these two, similar, aftermarket hitches have different weight ratings...I guess the Canadians are...tougher! :p
maybe they messed up the kg to lbs conversion :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Interesting to see that these two, similar, aftermarket hitches have different weight ratings...I guess the Canadians are...tougher! :p
I think it has to do with the way the hitches are made and gauge metal used, weld type, etc.
The one I bought was rated at 5000 pounds towing and 500-pound tongue weight.

The other one looks like it may have been a little lighter weight design, stipulating tongue weight when towing 3500, and tongue weight when towing 5000, able to do both but with limits on tongue weight. Therefore I like the one I bought best. It is now on my wife's 2008, being re-attached from our 2004, and having served us well


Hers's mine !! Built by tough Canadians who wear ear-flap hats.



Here is the one Chris got





Uhhh Ohhh, you can buy a Class III and a Class IV

Class III
http://hitchshops.com/i-9817415-hidden-hitch-87810-class-iii-iv-receiver-hitch.html

Class III/IV ??? Not sure but with a higher load rating on this one
http://ecustomhitch.com/i-6863062-hidden-hitch-87810-class-4-receiver-tube-trailer-hitch-03-12-xc90-rear-mount.html


There are a lot of these on the market, better check out the specs carefully and do a side by side comparison, as I don't think they are all built the same, some better than others, with obviously different load ratings too.

regards,

P
 

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I used a hidden hitch, and did the volvo wiring kit. I fabricated a mount for the connector using some 0.125 alumium plate a hole saw and a file. Painted it black and bolted to the hitch. I will try to take some pictures and post them this weekend.
 

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I just purchased a Curt Hitch 13559 which is almost exact same as the Hidden Hitch above. I was going to tackle this over the weekend, but now I am a bit nervous. I have a 2013 XC90 R-Design. Do you have to trim the bumper fascia to install the hitch? If so, what did you cut it with? Do I need a torque bar as well? Sorry for being a newb.
 

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I just purchased a Curt Hitch 13559 which is almost exact same as the Hidden Hitch above. I was going to tackle this over the weekend, but now I am a bit nervous. I have a 2013 XC90 R-Design. Do you have to trim the bumper fascia to install the hitch? If so, what did you cut it with? Do I need a torque bar as well? Sorry for being a newb.
I did not need to trim mine, but that is not to say the fascia height did not change between the model years. As far as torque, I used some blue loctite and tightened them down with an 18" breaker bar until I was satisfied. There is likely a spec in the install instructions, so you may want to use that as your guide.
 

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Thanks raymansean. The data packet gives you a diagram for cutting the fascia....I was just hoping I wouldn't have to do it. Cutting into a perfectly nice fascia just seems so wrong to me that I am not sure I can bring myself to do it. If I have to I have to though. I also wasn't sure what to cut it with, but I am probably going to use a detail blade. Yes, there is a spec in the instructions that I found regarding torque. I don't have a torque wrench so I am going to see how many of my neighbors have one and still like me :rolleyes: I will take photos as I do this and try to post anything I find unusual.
 

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Thanks raymansean. The data packet gives you a diagram for cutting the fascia....I was just hoping I wouldn't have to do it. Cutting into a perfectly nice fascia just seems so wrong to me that I am not sure I can bring myself to do it. If I have to I have to though. I also wasn't sure what to cut it with, but I am probably going to use a detail blade. Yes, there is a spec in the instructions that I found regarding torque. I don't have a torque wrench so I am going to see how many of my neighbors have one and still like me :rolleyes: I will take photos as I do this and try to post anything I find unusual.
The Volvo tow hitch requires trimming the rear plastic cover as well. I'm not sure if the cover is marked, but at least in the Volvo install instructions it describes specifically how to mark the cut lines you'll use. Maybe they'll match and/or this could help you as a guide.

http://accessories.volvocars.com/Ac...wDocument/ShowIiDocument/VCC-258165-1/NOTHING
 

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Thanks raymansean. The data packet gives you a diagram for cutting the fascia....I was just hoping I wouldn't have to do it. Cutting into a perfectly nice fascia just seems so wrong to me that I am not sure I can bring myself to do it. If I have to I have to though. I also wasn't sure what to cut it with, but I am probably going to use a detail blade. Yes, there is a spec in the instructions that I found regarding torque. I don't have a torque wrench so I am going to see how many of my neighbors have one and still like me :rolleyes: I will take photos as I do this and try to post anything I find unusual.
Good Luck. Yes the Volvo hitch requires some cutting. The Volvo instructions suggest using a reciprocating saw, and in all honesty that makes the most sense in my mind. Using a rotary tool would get the job done, but if you slip you could end up with an ugly fascia. I would test fit before cutting just to make sure it is not necessary. If you have been twirling wrenches long enough then you have probably developed a sense of when a bolt is tight enough to accomplish the task. The only time I pull out the torque wrench is when I am working on the internals of the engine and I do not want things to warp. For everything else i may look the torque up to get a sense of how tight they want something, but in general there are too many variables to drive me to using a torque wrench, such as condition of the threads, and washers, making sure that the torque wrench is directly above the bolt, etc. It is one thing to be in factory conditions where everything is new and you have direct access to the bolt. Laying under the car with an 12" extension re-using a bolt and washer, I just do not see much chance for accuracy. In fact that is why when people are serious about getting the clamping force accurate they use bolts that are instrumented with strain gauges both in the factory and in the field.
 

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Well, I got the hitch installed last night with the help of a good friend. This really is a two person job in order to get the hitch maneuvered around the exhaust tailpipes and heatshield of the muffler. Fortunately my buddy had all the great tools for an easy install. We installed the Curt 13559 hitch. The hitch has a rectilinear reinforcement plate which fortifies the tube receiver to the mounting tube. Because of this we were required to cut the rear valance. We used a variable speed oscillating multifunction tool with a slightly serrated blade attachment. This cut through the valence like buttaaaah! Nice, clean and straight lines and no worry about a reciprocating saw tearing up anything when you got to the end. The only problem we had was when we went to lower the cable to reinstall the spare tire. For whatever reason the cable jammed. No matter which way we crank it, it won't budge. Fortunately I am still under warranty, so off to the dealer for a look-see. Thanks for everything. I also found several videos on Youtube and Etrailer which show you how to install a hitch. Saved me some extra time on a few things and was easy to review on my phone and tablet while under the car. Thanks again for all the help. I did not install the wiring harness right now as I am really just using the hitch to put a bike rack on.
 

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I got mine installed and Yes I had to cut the bumper to fit it.

I got the CURT Hitch which is 500/5000lb rating. The hidden hitch is 350/3500lbs as its smaller in size but does not require for cutting.

One thing I did notice is that the CURT sits low above the exhaust pipes where the Hidden Hitch does not it tucks up high behind the frame of the plastc trim.

http://hitchshops.com/i-9817415-hidden-hitch-87810-class-iii-iv-receiver-hitch.html < This is the hidden hitch one.

http://www.curtmfg.com/part/13559 < this is the one I went with since it was 120$ and came with the harness as well. NO cutting or splicing was required.
 

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I got mine installed and Yes I had to cut the bumper to fit it.

I got the CURT Hitch which is 500/5000lb rating. The hidden hitch is 350/3500lbs as its smaller in size but does not require for cutting.

One thing I did notice is that the CURT sits low above the exhaust pipes where the Hidden Hitch does not it tucks up high behind the frame of the plastc trim.

http://hitchshops.com/i-9817415-hidden-hitch-87810-class-iii-iv-receiver-hitch.html < This is the hidden hitch one.

http://www.curtmfg.com/part/13559 < this is the one I went with since it was 120$ and came with the harness as well. NO cutting or splicing was required.
What you're describing for weight ratings are exact opposite of what the manufacturers are posting. The Curt requires a Weight Distribution hitch for the 5000/500 rating, where the DrawTite "Hidden Hitch" does not. If you look at the details for the Curt, it shows "WD" listed for the 5000/500, which means a weight distribution hitch is required for those weights. As you can see in the listing for the DrawTite (FKA "Hidden Hitch"), it's the same weight ratings for WD and non-WD. They're rated for that weight either way. The website you linked to is listing incorrect information. Nothing comes up when searching DrawTite's website for the model number "87810." It appears to be discontinued or incorrect, with no references to that number coming up at all.

https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Hitch/Volvo/XC90/2006/75152.html?vehicleid=20064379
http://www.drawtite.com/dt75152.html
 

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What you're describing for weight ratings are exact opposite of what the manufacturers are posting. The Curt requires a Weight Distribution hitch for the 5000/500 rating, where the DrawTite "Hidden Hitch" does not. If you look at the details for the Curt, it shows "WD" listed for the 5000/500, which means a weight distribution hitch is required for those weights. As you can see in the listing for the DrawTite (FKA "Hidden Hitch"), it's the same weight ratings for WD and non-WD. They're rated for that weight either way. The website you linked to is listing incorrect information. Nothing comes up when searching DrawTite's website for the model number "87810." It appears to be discontinued or incorrect, with no references to that number coming up at all.

https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Hitch/Volvo/XC90/2006/75152.html?vehicleid=20064379
http://www.drawtite.com/dt75152.html

See I cant beleive those numbers because I have both of them, and one is way smaller than the other. From online research that I did my Curt came in at 42lbs while the Hidden Hitch is listing at 29lbs... I dont know how they would be rated the same. The Curt is a beast of a hitch compared to the other one.
 

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I'm just going by what each manufacturer's ratings are. As we should know from owning Volvos, more weight doesn't always mean stronger steel... ;)

How old is your Hidden Hitch? Is it possibly a different style than what's currently sold?

The odd part is, they're not rated the same. The Curt is only rated for 5000/500 when using a weight distribution hitch (another $300), and only 3500/350 without WD, but the DrawTite doesn't require a WD hitch for the high ratings.

I will say when I installed a Curt on my former Outback, I was less than impressed that the first one arrived bent... and the replacement wouldn't line up unless I used washers on a couple of the bolts on one side to install it. If a hitch can be bent during shipping, it doesn't speak too well of the quality of steel used to make it. For that reason alone, I, personally, won't trust another Curt hitch.
 

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I think the Hidden Hitch on my 2008 was installed aftermarket but maybe by Volvo as its got a bracket with 2 different connections for trailers a 4pin and a 7pin i think.
I noticed the tubing is a little bit smaller and its bent like a bow therefore the way it exits under the bumper does not require cutting.

On the curt its straight across and the cross section of the tubing is larger which means it sits way low on top of the exhaust pipes almost in contact which im not a fan of.
Lot of thick materials used and I can tell from what I tried its got less flex or should say no Flex when you stand on a step mounted accessory vs the Hidden one. The hidden hitch seems to flex some can be felt when you stand on the step.

I think for bikes and baskets I will probably go with the Hidden Hitch since I will be doing quad exhausts soon and I hate seeing the hitch bars in the opening. On top of that the exhaust pipes cant be tucked in due to the way the hitch sits.

As for weight raitings I didnt take a picture but it had WD and no WD both were 500/5000 on that tag. Will try to photograph the thing sometime tonight and will post a picture.
 
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