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Discussion Starter #1
I have heard this question asked, and now I can officially answer it.

I just got my Towing Package from Tim last night (ordered it tuesday). And I installed it this morning.

Tools:
Socket Set (be ready for the larger bolts)
Torque Wrench (hitch bolts)
Screw Drivers (for getting the front bumper off and on),
Wire Cutter (for cutting off the plastic tabs)

The Hitch: This thing is very high quality, very heavy, and well designed. It installs fairly easily. All the locations you need to get the bolts into are easily accessible. Moving the muffler down a couple inches to get the hitch in there is easy as well. You simply unhook it. Best to have 2 people for installing the hitch, because it's heavy and needs to be held in place while getting the bolts started.

The Wiring Harness: How easy! You just pop off the panel under the storage area and hook it up. There is a single plugin, and gromets right on the cable to seal the holes when you run the wires through. Everything pops into place easily. Very, very easy to install.

Getting the front bumper off and back on later: This is not as hard as you would think. The instructions are very clear, and pretty easy to follow. Just make sure you keep track of which parts go where when you put it all back together. It's kind of a 2 person job, like holding the hitch in place, but not too difficult.

The Power Stearing Cooler: This may be the easiest part of all. You just unhook one and put the other back on. I even poured the fluid from the old one back in the fill hole in the engine compartment. Didn't really even lose any. Be sure to follow the instructions regarding turning the wheel with the engine off.

The Transmission Cooler: This is a little more tricky than the Power Stearing Cooler, but not too much. It's really getting the original clips off from the old hose piece that you remove. The instructions on Tim's site are for the 2001/2002 model, and the 2003 has a different transmission, so everything does NOT look the same. Fortunately, it came with updated instructions. Though each language appears to contain different diagrams... The drawings in the German section provide the best information. The new hoses are easy to get on... It's really just getting the old hose clips off that can be difficult.

This kit from Tim for $502 is very complete. The kit is a pretty easy install with good instructions. It is clearly the best hitch kit I have ever installed on any vehicle. I am very impressed with it.

Though others have mentioned getting third party hitch kits for their X's... I really urge each of these people to seriously consider getting the OEM kit.

Also, the OEM All Weather Mats are great! Perfect fit, and they attach to the existing floor mat hooks.

Hope this helps some of you...
-Dana
 

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dleasman,

Great instructions, I plan on ordering mine from Tim in the spring when the weather up here is more suitable for bike riding. Although I won't be doing any towing, only carrying bicycles, I figure the extra coolers can't hurt, and Acura won't give me any warranty grief down the road. Agree with you about the OEM All Weather Mats, I got them this past December from Tim and they have been a lifesaver.
 

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Thanks for sharing this with us dleaseman. Congratulations on the not so easy install of the tow package.:29:

I recall reading about a few other members that have installed the complete tow package but it is rare here. The install is a bit more than most of us wanted to tackle and having the dealer install before delivery makes it covered by the 5/50000 mile warranty.

I paid the high asking price to the dealer ($900+) and did all other accessories myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I agree that the install may not be for everyone...

Perhaps the install is a bit complicated for some, but I think in those cases many would have a friend that could do the work with the less mechanical person assisting. Most of it is very, very easy.

This morning my neighbor called me and said he has a WindowsXP problem on his computer, which I rebuilt for him last summer. I fixed his problem, and then said. "A good friend is someone you can trust, and who will fix your pc on a moments notice. But a best friend is someone with a big, clean, heated garage!" Implying that I was going to bring my Trucklet (SPUTE™) over to install my hitch inside. He even offered to help.

He is no mechanical genius either, and after, he commented on how he was shocked at how easy it was to install.

The hitch and wiring portion IS incredibly easy. However, it's best to have someone more mechanically enclined for the coolers, because getting the bumper off entales removing a lot of clips and screws. And those hose clamps are a little tricky too. But anyone with even minimal mechanical experience (like the mechanics at the dealership, for instance) should be able to handle it with no problems.

-Dana
 

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BaldEagle,
$900 is too much for a dealer installed hitch package. Acura.com lists the installed package in the $780 range. My dealer backed off their $975 price when I presented the printout from the Acura website. I also had to remind them that we agreed to the Acura.com price when I purchased the vehicle. Although the savings offered by a self install is nominal, I would do it just to avoid dealer bull****--even if I had to do the work in an unheated garage (it was 80 in Phoenix today).
 

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dleasman,

I forgot to ask how long it took you to do the coolers including removing and reinstalling the bumber?
 

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dleasman said:
Though others have mentioned getting third party hitch kits for their X's... I really urge each of these people to seriously consider getting the OEM kit.
-Dana
Why would I want to spend $502 for this kit if all you want to do is haul one or two mountain bikes on a hitch. I agree that the kit would be a requirement if you were hauling a boat or a trailer but not for bicycles:eek:
 

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rvehock,

I agree, but this is an outside chance that I may need to tow something in the future, and I figure the $$$ are worth the insurance.:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Time to install...

The Hitch and Wiring took little time at all. With two people, one just to hold up the other end, you can do it in less than an hour. This would include using a torque wrench to tighten the bolts to 58lbs (for the big ones). Tip: if you spray some libricant on the rubber 8's that hold the bumper up, they slide right off. There is no need to remove the spare tire. And get all the bolts started before you tighten ANYTHING.

For the coolers, it takes a bit longer. But I was really taking my time. I did not want to damage the bumper at all. And I was sure to get tight fittings, and make everything perfect. I think that 2 hours is about right for this job. Again, I recommend 2 people for this, one being more mechanically enclined.

To address one of the other questions: Why would I pay this much for the OEM hitch when I am just going to haul bikes?

My questions right back is this: Why spend $40k +/- on a vehicle like this and install a lesser hitch?

Let me throw this question out there.... How often have you regretted doing something right? Buying the better model? Spending the extra money for higher quality? Now... Have you ever regretted NOT buying the better model? Ever regretted a decision to go the minimum on the assumption that you will never need more?

For me, the answer is clear. I just got a $42k+ vehicle... There's no way I would go with a lesser hitch based on an incling that I will probably never need to tow anything, just to save $250 or so. And what about the next person to own the vehicle? Do they know that the 2" receiver on the vehicle is NOT for towing?

Now, in my case, I will be towing, and I know this. But I don't believe in cutting corners, or going the cheap route. If that was the case, I would be driving an Envoy or something.

No offense to anyone here... I am just re-stating my opinion, which is that I urge that those considering getting a hitch go the OEM Towing Package router, and get a friend to help install. I seriously doubt that anyone would regret this decision.

-Dana
 

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Re: Re: Why buy the OEM Towing Package?

rvehock said:


Why would I want to spend $502 for this kit if all you want to do is haul one or two mountain bikes on a hitch. I agree that the kit would be a requirement if you were hauling a boat or a trailer but not for bicycles:eek:
Agreed. So folks like us (I'm a mountain bike / skis only person also) go to someplace like this and hitch up for $100:

www.hiddenhitch.com
 

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Dana,

Thanks for the reply and I agree 100% with you!
 

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Re: Time to install...

dleasman said:

To address one of the other questions: Why would I pay this much for the OEM hitch when I am just going to haul bikes?

My questions right back is this: Why spend $40k +/- on a vehicle like this and install a lesser hitch?

Let me throw this question out there.... How often have you regretted doing something right?

For me, the answer is clear. I just got a $42k+ vehicle... There's no way I would go with a lesser hitch based on an incling that I will probably never need to tow anything, just to save $250 or so. And what about the next person to own the vehicle? Do they know that the 2" receiver on the vehicle is NOT for towing?

Now, in my case, I will be towing, and I know this. But I don't believe in cutting corners, or going the cheap route. If that was the case, I would be driving an Envoy or something.

No offense to anyone here... I am just re-stating my opinion, which is that I urge that those considering getting a hitch go the OEM Towing Package router, and get a friend to help install. I seriously doubt that anyone would regret this decision.

-Dana
1. The Hidden Hitch is not a lesser hitch for my needs.
2. I have no regrets.
3. I saved over $400 if I bought through Tim and lots more if I had the dealer install it.
4. If you did not want to go the cheap route why did you install it yourself?
5. How do you know that the dealer will warranty your hitch if they did not install it?
6. No offense, I am just stating my opinion.
 

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Dana thanks for the detailed post on the installation of the Tow package…

I am planning to get the OEM hitch and coolers as well and install them myself. While I have the front open I will also install the base-plate for a tow-bar. Still looking for a fried with an empty Garage….
 

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Discussion Starter #14
No offense taken...

rvehock,

I did install the hitch to save money. Everything on my MDX was there from the factory, except the hitch. I installed this myself because I simply do not trust the dealership to do it right.

Since I am using the OEM hitch, with the recommended power stearing and transmission coolers, warranty would most certainly apply if anything were to happen, unless there was fault in the installation. I am confident that everything has been installed properly, and to specification, right down to the tension of each individual bolt.

As it turns out, I did save some money, which is merely an added bonus. The addition of the hitch on my lease would have raised my payment by over $30/mo, over 4 years adds up to nearly $1450, which is a lot more than it's probably worth. Instead I installed it myself. I don't even know if Tim's price is the cheapest. I only know that he is a trusted source for parts. Again, the dealership, I do NOT trust.

I just want to point out that I am not telling anyone that they have to have the OEM hitch. I only urge that everyone considers this option in their decision. Considering everything that is included in the package, $502 is an excellent price.

-Dana
 

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dleasman,

One thing that I defintely agree with you on "Not Trusting the Dealership", as for the OEM hitch it's not for me. I will stick with my Hidden Hitch for now.
 

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BaldEagle said:
Thanks for sharing this with us dleaseman. Congratulations on the not so easy install of the tow package.:29:

I recall reading about a few other members that have installed the complete tow package but it is rare here. The install is a bit more than most of us wanted to tackle and having the dealer install before delivery makes it covered by the 5/50000 mile warranty.

I paid the high asking price to the dealer ($900+) and did all other accessories myself.
Can you give us a link where to buy the hitch package. I just bought mdx 2006 I actually bought hitch at THIS LOCATION but I'll need coolers?


Thanks much
 

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hondaacuraworld.com is a sponsor of this site, the largest Honda accessories dealer on the web, and has the best prices. And TIm is a great guy to deal with. You can purchase the Acura coolers separate from the hitch, too.
 

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Great Job:

Just my $.02:

I have posted that I installed a hitch from UHaul. Cost was $119. Installation was straight forward, less than 1 hour.

As to quality: the UHaul hitch fit perfectly and is in fact made by Valley Hitches.

Remember that the Acura hitch is not made by Honda/Acura but by an outside vendor.

The same is true for the Uhaul hitch: it was not made by Uhaul but by an outside vendor.

Of course buying it from Tim (I buy my parts there too) you know the parts will fit, etc. That is a piece of mind.

So far no trouble at all with my UHaul hitch: I have trailered a 5X8 closed van twice from Long Island to Washington, DC (had to move my daughter and pick up) my power boat, (20 foot Aquasport with 150 HP Evinrude) and my 23 sailboat.

JeffK
 

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Here is the reason why the hitch raised your lease payment so much:

Only factory installed options are residualized. All Dealer installed options are calculated into the lease at full cost, including installation and taxes.

JeffK
 

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The correct website for HAW is www.hondacuraworld.com I got my hitch kit there. If you're relatively handy, it's not that hard of an install.
 
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