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OEM Hitch Install - 2023 Touring

1638 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Noobzy
Hey folks - just nearly wrapped up a DIY hitch install, and I am hoping it helps someone else!


A quick thank you to @viper74656 for their suggestion to use the Drawtite 76170 hitch - I was really torn, but I got a good deal from my dealer and opted for OEM. Still torn 馃槄 Sacrificing tongue weight sucks, but hopefully 350lb is enough for anything I might need in the future. EDIT: see TSQ's reply below - the vehicle is only rated for the 350lb tongue weight, so it's really only about preference (looks and an inch or so of clearance) vs cost.

I decided to partially offset the money I spent on the hitch by going with a wiring harness from E-Trailer and a connector I picked up on Amazon. I cut off the wiring harness connector, ran the wires through a grommet, and soldered the other connector on. I also needed / chose to drill a hole in the connector mount to screw it onto the hitch where the OEM wiring harness attaches.

I followed all the instructions in the OEM installation manuals, so I'll just focus on meaningful takeaways -
  1. Disconnecting the battery on this car is so much easier than my last one 馃榿 I had no excuse to be lazy
  2. When reconnecting the battery with the tailgate open, the power tailgate function stopped working - this freaked me out for a moment, but manually closing it and locking & unlocking the car fixed that hiccup
  3. Cutting the bumper was easier with a Dremel and a cutting disc, whereas cutting the 'bumper under cover' was very easy with a utility knife
  4. I struggled / am struggling with the hitch installation itself - I assumed that a brand new car (~1k miles) wouldn't need any thread cleanup, but I almost stripped one of the bolts trying to get it in, and now I'm waiting for a tap before trying again
Biggest lesson learned - always start by chasing the threads. I hope I can still make this a seamless install, and I'll update the thread on that front.

Please weigh in if you have something to add! I'm always in the market to learn new things, and I'm sure every aspect of my install could be improved.

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@Noobzy
Always help no mater if it is new or old to use a tap to verify the threads are good. Sometimes even the new bolts on the very end are damaged as well. The bolt when it is made out of rod steel has a hydraulic clamp around that makes the thread and is never rotated. The cheap bolts/screws from China have a problem with this due to them over using the clamp bodies and not replacing the. I had a few of the that the bolts almost looked triangular on length, nothing more frustrating than have bad new bolts, that need to go into a round hole and instead are triangular. Pleas insure that when you mount your bolts that they are torqued to specifications. A lot of people believe they can do this by hand touch, but when safety is on the line towing something that could come loose and injure other people, just make certain. Great job otherwise!
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Thank you, @DJVAN! I wish I knew to verify the threads on the frame before I started - the problematic one was the first I tried to screw in, and I ratcheted it just a bit before realizing and backing off. I've watched so many videos of people just installing happily without complication!

I've got both a torque wrench and a digital torque adapter so I can be 100% sure I'm tightening it to spec. I'm using both on the left side, and then only the torque wrench on the right side since there is less clearance with the muffler.
Looks great,

The vehicle (attachment points) is only rated for 350 lbs tongue weight so you are not giving up any capacity by using OEM.

The threads end up getting coated which is why they need to be tapped. If they were not coated they would rust, and you would still need to run a tap through them.
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Thanks for the insight, @TSQ!

A quick update - my tap and handle arrived, I cleaned out the single problematic nut (it was cutting all the way up - not sure why only this single nut was so bad), and I tightened the bolts to spec. Very happy with the results! I was very lucky that the problem nut was on the left side - I was struggling to get the tap in above the muffler.

While I was at it, I also installed some mudguards - I opted for something off Amazon (it felt absurd to pay OEM prices for mudguards) and they fit perfectly but were missing a required push pin. Still worth the massive difference in price, I think.

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Hey Noobzy, I just purchased the OEM Hitch from my local dealer however it didn鈥檛 come with any instructions. It all looks pretty straight forward other than knowing where to cut the bumper at. Any info on would be appreciated.
Hey Noobzy, I just purchased the OEM Hitch from my local dealer however it didn鈥檛 come with any instructions. It all looks pretty straight forward other than knowing where to cut the bumper at. Any info on would be appreciated.
See attached.

My bumper actually had some guide lines molded in to it (on the inside). Measure twice, cut once. Don't rush it.

Having a friend to remove/install the bumper, and to help position the hitch receiver, really helps.

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I found some instructions via google, so that helped some but the lines being on the inside helps. I was looking on the bumper (still installed) and was like there is no lines here. Thanks for your help.
I found some instructions via google, so that helped some but the lines being on the inside helps. I was looking on the bumper (still installed) and was like there is no lines here. Thanks for your help.
Good luck! I took my time with the cuts even though the edges aren't really visible underneath, and remember that the most important one is the center one since the edge "cover" needs an even edge.
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