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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all,
I just bought a 2011 Touring Elite. Happy so far with 250 miles on the odometer.

I want to install a Tow bar on the thing, but I am not happy paying over $1,100 that the dealer wants for an install. I understand that I would not get the Transmission cooler - I want it only for a bike rack and a very small utility trailer to take Trash to the dump. I understand that there may be warranty issues if I don't get the cooler - I'm thinking it over.

Anybody install one themselves? If so how hard was it? Doesn't look too difficult.

Anybody who had the dealer install one, how much did they pay? Also, did they cut the bumper so that the hitch is higher?

If anyone who has one installed, self or otherwise, has pics, I would be very grateful for a post, particularly in close pics of how the hitch comes out of the bumper and how the hitch goes through/into the left sided underbody plastic piece - did they cut it away? I did see the pics down below, but they don't show exactly what I need.

Many thanks for any replies,

Ben

EDIT: Just found this on the internet - Honda instructions - Answers most of my questions....Still would like to hear from anyone who attempted it themselves.
Can't paste the link to the PDF for some reason, but view the install instructions here:
http://www.handa-accessories.com/odyext11.html
 

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Hello all,
I just bought a 2011 Touring Elite. Happy so far with 250 miles on the odometer.

I want to install a Tow bar on the thing, but I am not happy paying over $1,100 that the dealer wants for an install. I understand that I would not get the Transmission cooler - I want it only for a bike rack and a very small utility trailer to take Trash to the dump. I understand that there may be warranty issues if I don't get the cooler - I'm thinking it over.

Anybody install one themselves? If so how hard was it? Doesn't look too difficult.

Anybody who had the dealer install one, how much did they pay? Also, did they cut the bumper so that the hitch is higher?

If anyone who has one installed, self or otherwise, has pics, I would be very grateful for a post, particularly in close pics of how the hitch comes out of the bumper and how the hitch goes through/into the left sided underbody plastic piece - did they cut it away? I did see the pics down below, but they don't show exactly what I need.

Many thanks for any replies,

Ben

EDIT: Just found this on the internet - Honda instructions - Answers most of my questions....Still would like to hear from anyone who attempted it themselves.
Can't paste the link to the PDF for some reason, but view the install instructions here:
Buy Honda Odyssey Accessories - Discount Genuine Honda Accessories
A lot of discussion on this thread that I started a while back. Depends on you mechanical abilities. IMHO, nothing to think about with the ATF cooler. I've already bought mine and I don't have a hitch installed...yet.

http://www.odyclub.com/forums/54-2011-odyssey/148438-anyone-have-non-honda-hitch-installed.html
 

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I got the factory hitch installed on our EX-RES. It looks great and the dealer did a great job of cutting out the rear bumper and installing a trim piece. I'm sure you could do it yourself though. I paid about $800.00 for everything (including the cooler).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
$800 is much more reasonable than the $1500 that my dealer just quoted me.

I will look into the dealers in the area.

Ben
 

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$800 is much more reasonable than the $1500 that my dealer just quoted me.

I will look into the dealers in the area.

Ben
The factory hitch is a pretty slick install with added ground clearance over after market jobs. Also, I believe Honda uses a in line fuse in case the trailer has a wiring problem. The aftermarket install on our 2008 Sienna didn't and a poor ground wire on a utility trailer I borrowed blew the control module for the lights leaving us without brak light and turn signal lights on the vehicle and a $100.00 repair bill. I'm in Canada, so dealer quotes might vary (although prices are usually lower in the US).
 

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Tow bar

Took delivery of 2011 ex and added 1500 for tow bar and backup sensors @ my dealer.

However, not everything was done well.

Appears to have no clip between receiver and bumper. Air saw went a little crazy underneath. Didn't even clean up the burrs. Not sure all bumper clips were installed.

Was expecting a cleaner looking install than got. Calling

Can anybody post / send / link some pictures of their 2011 with factory hitch and how the bumper looks for them?
 

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Took delivery of 2011 ex and added 1500 for tow bar and backup sensors @ my dealer.

However, not everything was done well.

Appears to have no clip between receiver and bumper. Air saw went a little crazy underneath. Didn't even clean up the burrs. Not sure all bumper clips were installed.

Was expecting a cleaner looking install than got. Calling

Can anybody post / send / link some pictures of their 2011 with factory hitch and how the bumper looks for them?
Here are a couple of my dealer install. The pictures aren't the best but you can see that the install is very clean and there is little hanging below the bumper. It is much better than the after market hitch we had installed on your 2008 Sienna. Some people spend $40K on a vehicle and then add (or self install) an after market job. I don't get that thinking, but to each his (her) own.
 

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Can't speak to the 2011, but I installed the OEM hitch on our 2005. It's not hard at all, the bumper, while large, is very light. Easy to cut. Hitch just bolted in. The wiring harness was more work, but wasn't really any problem. I went with an after market trans cooler, better in my opinion, and lower cost, but that's not bolt and play.
H and A, and other dealer sell parts at good prices, even including the shipping for this heavy thing, it was still better than the dealer cost to install.
Lots of threads on hitch installs, try searching, you should find all you need.
 

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If you install an aftermarket hitch like Curt it is very easy. It comes with 4 bolts that mount in pre-drilled and tapped holes. It takes about 15 minutes if you take your time or 5 minutes if you have someone helping you.

You can buy a hitch and a plug in wiring harness for about $200 delivered.
 

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The after market transmission cooler is better than Honda's OEM part how? :huh:
I used the TruCool 4454, it's a fin type cooler (like a small radiator) not just a pipe with fins on it. Has a 'bypass' feature built in so when the oil is cooler, its just in and out, and it was much cheaper than the Honda part. Also, (I'm talking 2005), when the OEM part is changed, it forces the PS cooler to also be changed, as it takes the place of the PS cooler pipe. I mounted the 4454 near the top, and left the PS alone.
It's not bolt and play, you have to fabricate a mount to hold it (or use the straps to tie it to the radiator). So it was a bit more work, but I'm pleased with it.
 

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I used the TruCool 4454, it's a fin type cooler (like a small radiator) not just a pipe with fins on it. Has a 'bypass' feature built in so when the oil is cooler, its just in and out, and it was much cheaper than the Honda part. Also, (I'm talking 2005), when the OEM part is changed, it forces the PS cooler to also be changed, as it takes the place of the PS cooler pipe. I mounted the 4454 near the top, and left the PS alone.
It's not bolt and play, you have to fabricate a mount to hold it (or use the straps to tie it to the radiator). So it was a bit more work, but I'm pleased with it.
But you still don't say how the after market stuff is better than OEM, you just explained that it is different. Keep in mind that the "fin" cooler you describe might not strike the correct balance between the needed cooling in the summer under load and the lower cooling requirement during the cooler months or during the winter. In your case, you would need a bypass, whereas in Honda's design you don't. I would think that Honda would be in a better position to test the transmission oil temperatures under all conditions than a third party manufacturer.

In my opinion, if I am relying on a warranty from Honda for power train coverage, the "better" part is the OEM part from Honda which is tested and approved by Honda, regardless of the cost difference. As to the cooler having a bypass; I'm sure the Honda engineers have figured out how to implement an oil cooler that works as needed for this model; they have been supplying them for years on Honda/Acura models.
 

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PS ... The 4454 is for a vehicle with a GVWR of 18,000 lbs. Our vehicles have a GVWR of 6,000 lbs. The combined weight weight is 8,477 pounds. Do you think you might have more cooling than you need? I wonder what the effect of having too much cooling is on the transmission? Do you think the oil will be too viscous leading to pump problems? I'm just saying, if we aren't automotive engineers, maybe we should just pay the extra $300.00 to Honda and get a part for our $40,000 vehicles that has been engineered to do the job right.
 

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If you install an aftermarket hitch like Curt it is very easy. It comes with 4 bolts that mount in pre-drilled and tapped holes. It takes about 15 minutes if you take your time or 5 minutes if you have someone helping you.

You can buy a hitch and a plug in wiring harness for about $200 delivered.
And drag it from time to time because of the few inches of less ground clearance than the factory Honda Hitch, sorry, been there, done that. Not to mention the aftermarket ones look ugly, big black thing hung under the van, where as the Honda one is higher up and far less noticeable.
 

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Keep in mind that the "fin" cooler you describe might not strike the correct balance between the needed cooling in the summer under load and the lower cooling requirement during the cooler months or during the winter. In your case, you would need a bypass, whereas in Honda's design you don't.
I clearly stated that my install is in the 2005, could be the newer models have changed the design. Actually, the 4454 HAS the bypass, whereas the Honda design DOESN'T.
It's simply a pipe, with fins. So in this respect I find it "better",
Do you think you might have more cooling than you need? I wonder what the effect of having too much cooling is on the transmission? Do you think the oil will be too viscous leading to pump problems?
Not at all, with the built in bypass, it can't get over-cooled.

In my opinion, if I am relying on a warranty ...
Warranty -- oh, you mean Honda's expression of confidence ? -- That expired 5 years ago.
 

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I clearly stated that my install is in the 2005, could be the newer models have changed the design. Actually, the 4454 HAS the bypass, whereas the Honda design DOESN'T.
It's simply a pipe, with fins. So in this respect I find it "better",

Not at all, with the built in bypass, it can't get over-cooled.


Warranty -- oh, you mean Honda's expression of confidence ? -- That expired 5 years ago.
Well we are talking about an install on a 2011 Odyssey with a 5 year factory warranty. I don't think your solution is better than Honda's as you don't know what btu rating Honda specified for the transmission. And by the way, even though you have a 6 year old van, the gvwr is not far off the current model year so you have a mismatched part in any event.

I love the forums. Your post is another example of an expert opinion ( an expert at what we don't know). Happy days for saving a couple of hundred with your "better" aftermarket part though. Hopefully your bypass valve won't fail over time.
 

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Btw, I have posted several hitch pix on the odyssey picture thread, page 7.

About the trans cooler, i briefly glanced at mine and it looked like a mini radiator on the driver side of the lower grill opening. It's not just a long pipe with some metal fins.
 

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Btw, I have posted several hitch pix on the odyssey picture thread, page 7.

About the trans cooler, i briefly glanced at mine and it looked like a mini radiator on the driver side of the lower grill opening. It's not just a long pipe with some metal fins.
Papa doesn't care. His is better because it has a shut off valve, it has more fins and cooling capacity and it was cheaper and he could secure it with some nylon cable ties for that factory installed look. :huh:

I'll take the Honda designed product - tested by their engineers to work properly on my $35,000 van. :)
 

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Papa doesn't care. His is better because it has a shut off valve, it has more fins and cooling capacity and it was cheaper and he could secure it with some nylon cable ties for that factory installed look. :huh:

I'll take the Honda designed product - tested by their engineers to work properly on my $35,000 van. :)
ha ha ha, I sense a little tension here.

For certain things, I do like aftermarket products, I think they are better and easier on the wallet. I personally don't think Honda put too much thought in the transmission cooler. It seems to be about the same size as my Grand Cherokee used to have, so it's probably just a 'standard' surface area they use for a vehicle this size.

Items like radiators, I think OEM don't spend too much effort with it. If I would need a new 'main' radiator for the car, and I was out of warranty, I'd probably look after market. I'm sure I can find a model that has better flow, better heat dissipation and cost about the same as a honda stamped one.

My cousin has modified some of his cars, and honestly the aftermarket stuff was better. (though some of it wasn't cheap).

I would be curious to know what limits the Odyssey's towing cappacity to 3500 lbs, is it the engine, transmission, chassis rigidity? My mom's ML320 bluetec is rated at 7200lbs. Anyways, I would have preferred if the van was rated at 5000lbs.
 

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Until my van is out of warranty, I wouldn't be making any mods that could create an opening for Honda to deny it. In the case of the ATF cooler, it's engineered by Honda and thus no issues warranty wise. Yea, it's overpriced, but this is one case where I suck it up and pay. I had the factory coolers on my '02, plus I used factory fluid for the same reasons. If I was going to try and get goodwill, I didn't want to give them anything to hang over my head, i.e. non-factory fluids, parts, etc. If I still owned that van today, I'd be trying some aftermarket products since the warranty and goodwill have been passed by.
 
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