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Discussion Starter #1
I've ordered a Draw-Tite 76025 hitch for my 2017 EX-L. This is the hitch that mounts behind the bumper bar and is mostly hidden.

On the etrailer.com page I've linked to below, there are 3 videos for the 76025 hitch installation. They cover the installation on a 2012, 2014 and 2016. Since the installation method in the videos is slightly different for each year, I trying to find out if there is a difference in the way the frames were built for those model years or is the difference simply based on how the installer chose to do it.

Apparently there is an issue with the bumper cover once the hitch is mounted, at least on the 12 and 14. Since the hitch mounts behind the bumper bar, the 3 U-shaped protrusions on the face of bumper bar cause visible bumps on the bumper cover.

In the video for the 2016, it looks like the installer simply followed the manufacturer's instructions, with no mention of the issue. All supplied washers are used, there is no modification to the bumper bar, etc. However, in the 2012 & 2014 videos, they deal with the issue in 2 different manners.

On the 2012, the installer violently beats on the bumper bar to flatten the three protrusions (4:40) and then installs the supplied washers behind the hitch (5:40).

On the 2014, the installer leaves off the washers (9:55) and then gently knocks down 4 "corner points" on the bumper bar protrusions (12:00) to prevent them from pushing on the bumper cover once reinstalled.

I have a 2017, for which of course there is no video. I'm wondering if there is actually a difference between the 12, 14 and 16 Ody's requiring different methods or if the 12 & 14 are basically the same (use the washers and you have to beat on the bumper bar or leave out the washers and you don't have to deform the bumper bar as much). Perhaps on the 16, the installer either didn't know about the resulting bumps in the bumper cover or didn't care...or perhaps the 16 is built differently than the 12 & 14.

The videos can be found here:

https://www.etrailer.com/p-76025.html?hhyear=2017&hhmake=Honda&hhmodel=Odyssey

Thanks!
 

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My thought would be to contact etrailer and ask them directly. Their customer service has been really helpful for me in the past.
 

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You can check for yourself! (teach a man to fish, and all that)


Other than trim differences (proximity sensors), the rear body panels and bumper should be the same for all years. (tail lights did change in 2014)

Any differences will likely be due to manufacturing tolerances and installer 'tolerances'

-Charlie
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You can check for yourself! (teach a man to fish, and all that)

The part number for the body panels and bumper bar might be the same, but if the shape of the frame or the mounting position of parts - especially the bumper bar - changed, nothing at the Honda estore would reflect that.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
2011-2017 are all the same. The bumpers, headlights, and taillights and some other minor things changed during the 2014 facelift.
OK, I'm confused. How can the 2011-2017 all be the same if the bumpers changed in 2014?

Since the bumper cover and bumper bar are the issue when it comes to installing this particular hitch, I'm not sure if you've answered my question. Are you saying that the installation methods are indeed different for a 2012, 2014 and 2016?

Specifically, do I need to worry about the bumper bar protrusions causing bumps on the bumper cover on my 2017? Do I need to leave off the washers and flatten the corners points as shown in the 2014 video?
 

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OK, I'm confused. How can the 2011-2017 all be the same if the bumpers changed in 2014?

Since the bumper cover and bumper bar are the issue when it comes to installing this particular hitch, I'm not sure if you've answered my question. Are you saying that the installation methods are indeed different for a 2012, 2014 and 2016?

Specifically, do I need to worry about the bumper bar protrusions causing bumps on the bumper cover on my 2017? Do I need to leave off the washers and flatten the corners points as shown in the 2014 video?
The front end changed significantly in 2014. The hood, fenders, grille and front bumper all changed. I don't think anything changed in the back except for the marker lights (which aren't important to this conversation). I think the back bumper stayed the same.
 

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nothing at the Honda estore would reflect that.
That link is where can look up OEM part numbers for EVERYTHING on the van, straight from Honda corporate. It is not a 'shopping' link (ie, don't buy parts there - though it will give you the MSRP of the parts). So, bumper bar, energy absorbing foam, panels, etc - check the part numbers. If they change between a 2011 and a 2017, the parts is different.

If there is an update to a part, it will also have an updated part number. Otherwise, any differences will be down to manufacturing tolerances.

The front bumper/grill design changed in 2014, but it was only the outer skin (and maybe only grill and insert pieces)... along with the front fenders and hood changing to aluminum, headlight look (but not fit) was updated too. The rear other than tail lights should be the same.

-Charlie
 

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OK, I'm confused. How can the 2011-2017 all be the same if the bumpers changed in 2014?

Since the bumper cover and bumper bar are the issue when it comes to installing this particular hitch, I'm not sure if you've answered my question. Are you saying that the installation methods are indeed different for a 2012, 2014 and 2016?

Specifically, do I need to worry about the bumper bar protrusions causing bumps on the bumper cover on my 2017? Do I need to leave off the washers and flatten the corners points as shown in the 2014 video?
Actually every single body panel on the 2011-2017 is the same. The front bumper looks different but it's only the grille inserts that changed. Basically everything bolts on the same but the look of it is different. Only thing different is the front subframe but chassis is the same. You can put the 2011-2013 subframe on the 2014-2017 if you wanted to.

They cheaped out and didn’t give us a new hood, new headlights, new front bumper, new tailgate like they did in 2008 facelift.
They cheaped out big time in the 4th gen but the prices of the vans increased for sure lol

I haven't watched any of the hitch videos but 2011-2017 should be the same.

If I'm not mistaken.
 

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I haven't watched any of the hitch videos but 2011-2017 should be the same.

If I'm not mistaken.
I did go and do a quick scan of the three videos. The differences are all down to installer choice.

-Charlie
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I did go and do a quick scan of the three videos. The differences are all down to installer choice.

-Charlie
Well, I chose not to beat the crap out of the bumper bar like the 2012 installer did. :oops: I also chose to never let him anywhere near my vehicles.

I'll go with the no washers, gentle love taps on the corner points like the 2014 guy did.

Thanks for looking them over.
 

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I'd probably leave out those washers too if I was installing it. Note that the bumper beam has the slots in the upper holes to help you install it without a helper, which is nice. The official instructions (also linked on the etrailer product page) shows the 'hammer the crap out of it' version, but I'd do the 'love tap' version first to see if that give you the clearance you need first. Loosely install, then lightly snug, then torque all the bolts to make sure the hitch gets aligned best.

I found that tin snips also cut the bumper cover material pretty well - but only where you have good access. Be careful if you use a utility knife to do the rest of the cutting... it works well but is risky for the fingers. Drilling the corners on the cutouts will really improve the look - not that you will be under there staring very often!

-Charlie
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'll have a helper and we'll be doing the ATF cooler at the same time. Having a helper to R&R the bumper covers is always a good thing. The fact that he's my indy mechanic and a former Honda dealer tech that opened his own mainly-Honda repair shop doesn't hurt. 😊 It'll be good to have him help with the ATF cooler plumbing too.

For cutting the bumper cover, I think a half moon blade on my oscillating tool will work fine. The van will be on his lift, so we'll have lots of access and can cut it before removing it from the van.
 
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