Adding a 2" hitch to my Saturn Vue
April '04

I ordered this from an E-bay seller (sportztrailer) www.sportztrailers.com for $100 including shipping.  Class 3 round bar.  The item is shipped freight in a large box.  Must weight some 45 lbs.  It came with a box of bolts taped to it and installation instructions for your Saturn.  You need some big time sockets and wrenches, grease and a second helper.  Lifting up the hitch is very hard without two people or a jack as shown.  Even then, if that falls on you... make sure someone check up on you every few minutes.

WARNING: I am one capable person.  This information is for your assistance only and is not intended to assist you in performing this installation.  If you crack open your head on trying to install your own hitch or it rips off because you forgot to check the bolts... I do not hold myself responsible for your actions.

This is a two person job if you don't have a hydraulic lift.  First match up the side bolts and see where it goes.  You have to get it past the rear exhaust pipe.  Get the top side bolt in place on each side and see if the center bolt holes match up. Mine didn't, it seems that the center bar should be welded 1/4 of an inch towards the rear of the car.

After checking the fit, remove it.  You first need to put two bolts (with the square on them so they lock in place) in the two center holes.  Now after checking for 5 minutes and even removing the spare tire, there is NO WAY to get the bolts there.  The instructions state to run a wired through the hole to the end and pull the bolt through.  HA... Not gonna happen.  If you HAPPEN to have some multi strand wire and cut one of the strands bare and wrap around the threads of the nut and maybe scotch tape (electrical tape) them (that hole is a tight fit) you could have a chance.  I have installed 3 hitches and in one kit came a nice little device I have used before. See below left photo.  If you don't have this you may never get those center bolt holes nor the two on the side bolts with the metal spacers.  Maybe an auto store has this item but it DID NOT come with the kit.  It is just a stiff metal wire that is wrapped at on end that fits perfectly on the bolt end.  (you can click on some of the images to enlarge them).  Below left are the center bolt holes.

If you lose the metal spacer or bolt in the side mounts.  You may be in big trouble.  No way to get them out.  Just a warning.....  With this wonderful wire tool you can insert the metal spacer and bolt and pop it into place.  I almost lost the metal spacer before I when hunting for that wire tool. (see, never throw anything away!) The other photo below on the right,  shows the two welded in body nuts on the sides.  These are the two that didn't fit right.

 

Now..... how did I get those bolts in an inaccessible section of the back bumper?  Easy... I have network wire hanging around.  It was stiff enough to put into the hole in the middle and it ran out the side, with a bit of twisting of the wire as I pushed it in.  I then cut all but one strand and made a loop on the end of the wire tool.  I tied the two together and pulled it into the hole.  Took all of two minutes.

If you notice in the picture I have twine tied at the ends of the bolts.  A must do.  As you place the hitch in location you WILL PUSH THE BOLES UP. GREASE the bolts.  At some time you may want to remove this.  Grease them good.  The twine keeps them from getting out of the hole or enables you to pull it back in.  It's twine so you don't have to worry about removing it all after the bolts are in place.  Now you need the jack ( I work alone) and hold the hitch in place.  (WATCH YOUR HEAD, if that thing falls you are going to be sooo sorry)  As you see in the bottom right photo the center bolts are not a perfect match for the welded part.  I have a small grinder and grinded the holes a bit towards the rear.  That did not help. I used a pry bar for the driver's side vertical body bolts. I tried the jack using the body's weight.  NOTHING WOULD WORK.  The center holes were not right and kept the hitch from moving back to match up the side bolts.  Trying it by bolting the drivers side first, that gave the same problem to the opposite side.

It's been raining on my vacation days....the bolts are not fitting!  Not a happy camper here.   I tried a pry bar to get the two bolts in place.  No go. I mean I really tried to bent that vertical mount, I had good leverage.  I even called the store's 800 number.  Got in contact with them but the tech never called back in 5 hours. (They called a week later)  I have a small grinder (Dremel)  and this class 3 hitch had a 1/2 steel center bar and 1/4 steel side mounts.  I ground the center holes trying to make it fit.  I took the hitch off 3 times when grinding. Grind, grind, grind and grind just to get 1/16 of an inch of metal. Finally I spend 15 minutes and ground the vertical mount holes to the upper left and with the pry bar finally got both greased bolts in place.  I started at noon and it's now 4pm.  This is a "private brand" hitch... maybe there is a change with the '04 model.  I will contact them and note this page.  This is why I said to check the center holes when you test fit it.  That center bar is pure thick steel.... just a warning before you put those bolts in the center.  Another thing.  The new 2" hitch hole is a bit loose on my 2" rear carriage (one of the metal extender racks you can get for $80)  Maybe it's just me.  I had a 1 1/2 hitch on my former Subaru.  I saved the 2" adaptor to his extender rack (see, never throw anything away) that I bought 4 years ago and switch bars.   The old 1 1/2 hitch on the Subaru fit snug.  If you have any questions.  My E-mail is on my main page.

Additional: May 2008 -

Mike,
 
Thank you for your web page that describes installing the Saturn View hitch receiver.  I have just completed the installation of ours - which is just like yours - and I would not have done it right without your information.  I also might have hurt myself REAL BAD if not for you - the instructions that came with the receiver do not give a clear picture of what to do!  Here are some things I did:
 
After grasping what I needed to do, I searched for but could not find one of those bolt-fishing tools you have. Instead I used some thin picture-hanging wire I got at Lowes for 1.98 and some Teflon tape to help secure it around the bolts.  (I think I had a harder time getting the Teflon tape off the bolts afterwards than I did fishing them through them and dropping them into place.)  To initially feed the picture-wire through the center bolt-holes, I used a "fish-tape" reel I have had for some time. This gizmo is made for pulling wires back through walls (like network wire or cable TV wire.)  Then I wrapped the wire around the bolts with the Teflon tape and pulled them through.  (The fish-tape may have been overkill - I now think a straightened wire coat-hanger may have worked just as well.) 
 
I went out and got myself a small 2-ton hydraulic jack which - as you said - is a necessity for this.  I used two short bungee cords to help secure the receiver to the jack, on top of a small flat triangular piece of steel I found in a drawer. (I also do not throw anything away if my wife lets me get away with it.)  It was a bit of a balancing act to get the receiver to stay on the point of the jack, but I just took my time adjusting the bungee cords and kept saying to myself how I'd be "sooo sorry" if it dropped! :)
 
I did not have a problem with the center bolts fitting.  I don't know if this is because we have a 2002 View or if the manufacturer of our hitch read your article and fixed the problem!  I think the bolt holes might be a little larger on ours, though.
 
We're just looking to haul around three or four bicycles on hitch-rack for right now - there's a lot of places to ride here but it is a pain to get there if you can't easily carry them on your vehicle.
 

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