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want to buy a tow hitch for a hitch type bike carrier for 02 ody, I am thinking buying a 3rd party tow hitch instead of Honda tow package. Does anyone ever install a 3rd party (like hide-hitch, draw tite) hitch on ody?

Honda's tow hitch installation guide require removal and replacement of bumper cover while other brand does not demand so.
 

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I am not sure if all are this easy, but I went with Hidden Hitch, the round type. I got it shipped for $130. Move a rubber exhaust hanger, put in 4 bolts, 20 min. later your done. It looks sweet, too.:)
 

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You can install the Honda hitch without removing the rear bumper (you can make the recomended cuts to the underside of the bumper while it is still attached with a box cutter), however to route the wiring harness the way the instructions guide you, you have to pull the bumper.
 

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Will the intallation of a third party hitch void the Factory Warranty? I have contaced an excellent hitch company and they say that it is a joke to install the Honda required coolers (tranny and PS) if you are towing less than 3,000 pounds. They will install hidden hitch and tranny cooler for very low price. I am worried only about voiding factory warranty. What if the tranny fails and you have non-factory tow package? It could get ugly with a $2,500 repair bill. Also, has anyone been able to purchase the Honda tow package off the web for about $500 bucks and get it installed at a local hitch place? This would save tons of money as the dealer markup is absurd. Thanks
 

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I just bought the official Honda tow kit (coolers, hitch and wiring harness). If you price out the parts (hitch, draw bar, pin, wiring harness, trans cooler, etc.) it isn't a whole lot more than typical after market stuff - probably $300 versus the $450 I paid for Honda approved stuff.

I'll be putting all of this on this weekend - it doesn't appear to be too difficult. A number of threads describe the installation.

By the way, the trans cooler is always a good idea. I have burned out transmissions in full size vans when towing as low as 1500 pounds. It all depends on the conditions and wieght you are towing. Add in air conditioning and strong winds and any towing is hard on the trans.

I, too, struggled with this decision. I was quoted a figure of $250 to install a hitch, generic trans cooler, and wiring harness. Another thread in here describes the legalities of warranty. Basically, per the thread, Honda cannot "duck out" on the warranty unless the modification can be proven to have caused the damage.

I just figure the extra couple hundred is worth not having to argue if anything goes wrong. Plus, everything fits and mounts where it is supposed to. I burnt one transmission on a full size Chevy simply due to a hose kink in an aftermarket trans cooler - I don't want things like that to happen here.

I want everything done right on my new Honda!!!
 

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Just put the Honda hitch, wiring, trans cooler, PS cooler on last night. It took about four hours total time. I had to take extra time to figure out how to take off the front and rear bumper covers - I didn't want to pull too hard and mess up any of the hangers or clips.

Also took a little more time since I have the mud flaps - they have to come off to get the rear bumper cover off.

The 2002 seems to be a little different than the instructions that came with the kit - particularly when it comes to taking the jack plastic panel out of the rear interior for the wiring harness.

Minimal PS and trans fluid loss during the install. Topped up both. The PS system is very sensitive to level of fluid - at first I didn't put enough in (the new cooler was dry, so the level went down when the engine first started up), I immediately heard a wine noise from the system. This was easily corrected by topping up with fluid.

I had a hard time getting the trans lines off the radiator. There isn't much room and I just used a pliers to loosen the hose clamp - really awckward.

Looks good. Try it out this weekend towing my boat!
 

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Way to go jada! Did you purchase the Honda Tow Package off the web or from your dealer? Also, would your dealer install it if you bought it off the web and for how much? I am hesitant to install myself and for the dealer to do everything will run me at least $1,100 - thanks for sharing your experience with us.
 

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Bought the tow package from Handa-Accessories (on the web) for $429.60 plus an additional $35.90 in shipping. It got to me (illinois) in about 5 days.

My local dealers were quoting prices of $900 to $1350 for the pakage installed.

I didn't ask my dealer about installing it if I supplied the parts. Based on my doing it myself (about 4 hours) I can't believe it is more than a 3 hour job for a dealer/mechanic that knows what they are doing.
 

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Bumper Clips

Congrats on the install. We just picked our TW EX up this week and are looking at installing the tow package. Our dealer wanted around $1400 for it. My only concern is removing the bumper. The bolts don't sound to bad, but what about the clips. My experience with clips (GM Products) are that they are hard to remove and usually get destroyed in the process. How bad was it to remove them?

Thanks..
 

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i haven't decided on which hitch to buy the honda or aftermarket but i did remove the rear bumper to install a ROSS reverse sensor. the only clips that will be destroyed will be the two that are in the rear wheel well/rear mud guard areas, they were about $2 each from honda and i toasted both when i tried to pry them out. Chuck has suggested to remove the bumper with them in place then push them out afterwards, wasn't sure if that would have worked but another member mentioned to just get a couple of new clips and go with that. all the other clips come out very easily and can be reinstalled no problem Ken
 

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Thanks for the info kanadary, it would be a good idea to have some of those clips handy. I will more than likely wait a bit before trying to do this. We just picked up the vehicle this week and would be upset if I messed something up this soon.

Thanks,
Mike
 

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I'll second what kanadary said. Honda uses two piece plastic clips everywhere (front and rear bumpers, engine cover, etc.). THese remove easily by gently prying the center piece up with a small screwdriver. The whole clip will pull up then, as this relieves the outward force holding the clip in the hole.

The two bumper clips going into the fender are one time use push pins. I salvaged one, but not the other. My mudflaps hold the body panel into the wheel well effectively. Could also use a small screw in its place. Might worry if it falls out and gets a tire, though.

By the way, towed my boat yesterday. Weighs 1750 pounds (trailer and boat), toungue weight is 135 pounds. The Odyssey bumper went down one inch when I hitched up (measured before and after). Everything worked well. The engine pulls this kind of load just fine. I did notice more road noise, an irritating noise from the draw bar in the receiver (I'll put some sort of material to shim it for a tighter fit). Braking is impacted more than acceleration. Anticipating stops helps a lot - the engine then helps with braking.
 

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jada, I bought an antirattle device for the drawbar for my other car. It prevents the drawbar from moving around, its basically a rectangular sleeve that you insert the drawbar into with a bolt on one face that you clamp against the thing that you insert your drawbar into. If you look at this website and search under product number 51943 you will see what I am trying to describe.

http://www.hiddenhitch.com/Products/
 
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