Nissan Murano Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
After reading many helpful postings I bought a Hidden Hitch ($129 on-line) and the Nissan wiring harness ($90 because I had a 10% discount) and did the installation myself. I hope the following will help others that may be considering the same combination. Read EVERYTHING below before attempting.

Nissan wiring harness

A nice package with excellent instructions. I recommend it, even if not using the factory hitch. Expensive, but you can take comfort in knowing it was made-to-fit. Installs well using basic socket wrenches and a putty knife in place of the recommended "nylon removal tool." No problem inside the car, although I could never tighten the supplied ground screw to my liking--perhaps I stripped it. Hopefully no problems later.

Under the bumper is another story as the wiring is designed for the factory hitch. To make it work with Hidden Hitch, I removed and discarded the Connector Mounting Bracket and the smaller metal bracket at the trailer end of the exterior harness. I fastened the harness to the hitch with black wire ties, once near the receiver and again just in from the left tail pipe, with the harness on the top so it is partly hidden by the fascia. I then routed the harness behind the fascia and through the rear-most tab gap in the hitch; this gap spans one of the muffler tiedown rods, but is large enough to also hold the wiring harness. This MUST be done before tightening the hitch attachment bolts on the drivers side, or there won't be enough room to pass the connector.

The trick next is to mount the harness in a way it isn't overheated by the muffler (probably really the catalytic converter) and the tail pipe. I did this by attaching clips C and D to the Exterior Harness Bracket per Nissan's instructions, then threading the center hitch attachment bolt through the remaining hole in the Bracket and the center hole in the hitch, and tightened it down good. This holds the harness clear of the tail pipe.

Installing the Hidden Hitch

I ran the MO up on car ramps which gave me enough working space. I found that yes, you do have to lower the muffler per Hidden Hitch's instructions. Some factory bolts, particularly on the driver's side tie-down bracket (which must be removed and discarded) were tough to remove, but eventually gave way.

The hitch was easily lifted by my knees and hands to a point it could be slid between the fascia and the top of the muffler; at that point the muffler supports it, making it easier to thread the attachment bolts. If installing the Nissan wiring harness as described before, remember NOT to tighten the driver's side hitch attachment bolts until AFTER you have threaded the exterior harness through the tab gap (see above).

I used a basic socket wrench set with extensions, and a hammer and stick of wood to remove the rubber exhaust hangers from their pins (reattachment was not hard). I don't have a torque wrench (don't even know how you'd get it in the limited working space!) so I tightened everything as best I could. I'll check them again in a few thousand miles.

What was the worst part of all this? I lowered the muffler and attached the hitch on one side, only to find the holes on the drivers side were out of alignment because one of the tabs had a major bend. The supplier, www.hitchmart.com, had a replacement hitch to me in two days! Anyone want a slightly bent hitch???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
I just installed the Valley hitch yesterday. I also had problems /w recieving bent hitches. 3rd one was a charm.

Valley instructions also said to lower the exhaust. I did this but still found clearance to be a problem. Finally, I just removed the muffler, it was only 2 more bolts at that point.

You need to get or borrow a torque wrench. True, I don't see how you will get a torque wrench in there w/o taking the muffler off. Valley called for 75ft, that's pretty tight and I doubt you will be able to hit that /w smaller wrenches and limited clearance.

What did you hiddenhitch come /w? The Valley came only /w the hitch itself, no reciever or cover. I paid $130 shipped. I got the Valley because it had a tubular design like the HiddenHitch, but it has the 2" opening.

I'm planning on getting the Nissan wiring harness. Thanks for the advice!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
mlf149 said:
I just installed the Valley hitch yesterday. I also had problems /w recieving bent hitches. 3rd one was a charm.

Valley instructions also said to lower the exhaust. I did this but still found clearance to be a problem. Finally, I just removed the muffler, it was only 2 more bolts at that point.

You need to get or borrow a torque wrench. True, I don't see how you will get a torque wrench in there w/o taking the muffler off. Valley called for 75ft, that's pretty tight and I doubt you will be able to hit that /w smaller wrenches and limited clearance.

What did you hiddenhitch come /w? The Valley came only /w the hitch itself, no reciever or cover. I paid $130 shipped. I got the Valley because it had a tubular design like the HiddenHitch, but it has the 2" opening.

I'm planning on getting the Nissan wiring harness. Thanks for the advice!
The Hidden Hitch came with the hitch, a receiver (no ball), a pin and retaining clip to hold the receiver in place, a plastic filler plug for when the receiver is not in use, a one-page instruction, and six bolts, washers, and lock washers. Shipping was free and there was no tax charged. Total: $129.95.

Good luck with the harness.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top