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Discussion Starter #1
Links to Hitch threads:

Hitch Discusion
http://www.nissanmurano.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=468

Nissan Hitch
http://www.nissanmurano.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=490

Valley Hitch
http://www.nissanmurano.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=831

Hidden Hitch
http://www.nissanmurano.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1023

Draw Tite
http://www.nissanmurano.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=848

Wiring
http://www.nissanmurano.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=382

A note about the wiring, there is a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) about problems where people have probed wires trying to install a hitch. Don't probe those wires. There was also a post about aftermarket interface modules causing problems.
 

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Just a note to all the Canadians who order a Nissan Factory Hitch. For some strange reason the hitch offered by Nissan in Canada is exactly the same as the Hidden Hitch (probably is) and not the cool model which is offered in the States. Just so you know and are not dissapointed when you do recieve it. I would therefor purchase the Hidden Hitch elsewhere than at the dealer where you will get a much better price.

EDIT: It is the hidden hitch model, even the ball has it stamped on it. The wiring is the type you have to pull out of the trunk and not the fixed outside type as on the US model. This is probably much better for us Canaidians, as road salt will damage the connector in a fairly short time by having it mounted outside and from past experience, the cap does not offer very good protection. Best solution on the outboard type is to smear it with dielectric grease annually to prevent corrosion.
 

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Yes, I just got my quality S hitch from Ebay.
Me and my boys put it on in about an hour. I had one last bolt in the middle on the right side I could not get a torque wrench on. I gave it the ole end wrench calibration hammer tightening. Hey, it works!
Pics later.
It had one side bent 3" out of square during shipping. I took it out to my dogwood trees and bent it true easy enough though. The exhaust hangers came off very easy.

And I have to say this:
I found a ratchet that has no click the other day at northern tools. It was a God send. Don'tcha just hate it when you don't have enough room to click your ratchet? Or the dang thing turns the bolt out before clicking? This ratchet is smooth as silk in one direction, locks instantly the other.
:)
 

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Hitch Cargo Hauler

I had been thinking of taking my utility trailer with me on vacation to Florida this year as my Mo is a slick top--no rails.
We have a car top thing from sears that fit our needs perfectly on top of our venture van the last time we went.
The trailer needs tires for any extended pull. Plus, it would be kinda clunky and effect the mileage on the way down. It got me thinking of an alternative.

I went to Northen tools and got a hitch hauler 24x60 to put the stuff out back of the Mo. $79, not bad.
Then I started thinking of what the heck I was going to put the stuff in on the hauler. Hmmmm....huge ice chest?
Then I found a Hitch Haul Cargo Bag. 20x60
I eventually found it at Bass Pro Shop up the way from me. It was all over the web from $41 to $59. Bass Pro had it for $39. So I got it.
While I was there I saw the actual hitch hauler 20x60 for $48.

Learned some lessons here:

Northern Tools is NOT the cheapest place to buy things.
It pays to stop and surf rather than drive. On my googles I did not see Bass Pro anywhere in the listings. Had I looked for the bag first, I would have found the carrier much cheaper.

Now I have to fashion some heat shields due to the hauler being on the same level with the exhaust. It won't be a problem, but, had I stood there for a second when I was dreaming this up, I would have seen this problem and got a hauler with a bent neck so it was up above the exhaust.

Ya live and ya learn!
:D
 

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Factory Hitch Install -

Hello All,

I just installed the Nissan factory hitch on my 2004 SE this weekend. I wanted to write this post so that others that are considering installing the hitch themselves could get a better feel for what it takes.

Here's some background: I've spend weeks, if not months, researching hitches for the Murano. Mostly, it's been me dwelling on the right decision and coming to terms with the investment. The factory hitch is expensive. It cost me $353 for the hitch and $75 for the armature assembly. The wiring was $99, but I didn't buy it since I'm only going to use the hitch for a bike rack. The dealer wanted about $700 total for the parts and installation (including the wiring), so their install cost was around $250. 3rd party hitches are in the $150-$200 range w/o wiring. A couple of local dealers stated that they would install a 3rd party hitch for about $225 total including the hitch but w/o wiring. The problem with 3rd party hitches is that they don't look as good as the factory hitch. Some argue otherwise, but it's clear to me which is better. I decided that I wanted the benefit of the looks of the factory hitch but I would not give the dealer another $250 to install it. Was that the right decision? For me it was, but it may not be for everyone - read on!

As far as my abilities or mechanical inclination are concerned, I enjoy building and wrenching on things from time-to-time, but I am by no means highly skilled in auto repair (BTW, I push a mouse for a living in the computer industry).

Here's the summary: The hitch took me 6 hours to install 100% by myself. I know that other members have installed it in far less time, but that's what it took me. My time was measured starting at the point where I turned off the TV and my ass left the couch until I was able to restore my ass back to the couch.

Here's the gory details: Unlike others, I don't have my tools / workspace at the ready. In this case, it took me at least 30 minutes just to get the cars out of the garage, Murano rear wheels up on the ramps (~$30 from pep boys), tools out and ready, workspace cleared off, hitch box opened and parts removed, and lighting in place (I did my install in the evening which gave me the benefit of fewer interruptions, but made it more difficult to see so I needed my flourscent light and flashlight).

I spent another 30 minutes pre-reading the instructions, emptying out the 2nd row (I have 2 kid car seats in the 2nd row) and rear of the Murano (more kid stuff), folding down the rear seats, cleaning the bumper, and puting masking tape on the areas of the paint likely to come into contact during disassembly. Many of these steps are called out in the instructions. Mind you, I would never have guessed that a hitch install would affect the contents of the 2nd row seating in my car, but it did. It turns out that the instructions state that you use the interior of the Murano to hold the rear bumper (facia) while you're installing the hitch. The interior of the car is an effective and safe place to keep the bumper safe. Of course, you can skip this if you've got a clean, soft location to store the bumper (like an old piece of carpet).

Jumping ahead for the moment to when the install was done, I spent about an hour on cleanup. More importantly, I spent even more time having to charge the battery on the Murano because I let the battery run down too much by leaving the rear hatch open for over 5 hours (interior light on)!

The "main" steps to the install are fairly straightforward. The following is a summary (and not a detailed list) but should give you some idea of what's in store:

- Pop off covers/inserts for tail lights
- Unbolt / pop off tail lights
- Unbolt / pop off rear bumper (facia)
- Remove interior foam bumper (energy absorber)
- Unbolt / remove armature
- Unbolt / remove heat plate
- Unbolt / unfasten and remove muffler
- Install hitch L-brackets (2)
- Install hitch
- Re-install muffler
- Install new heat plate
- Install new armature
- Re-install foam bumper
- Re-install rear bumper
- Re-install tail lights
- Re-install tail light inserts

During the install, most steps went very smoothly. The steps that did not go smoothly, how much extra time I spent on the step, and why are listed below:

Tail Lights (+30 minutes): These are a big pain. There are 2 bolts, and then there are a number of plastic bosses (tabs) that require you to pull hard at the proper angle (back and to the outside of the car) and hope for the best. I spent a lot of time trying to pull these out gently. In the end, I just had to keep applying force until they popped out. I got the first light OK, but one the second I broke one of the very small plastic alignment pins features. The bolts are still the primary holding force, so in the end I have no real concern. It was frustrating, though.

Rear Bumper (+30 minutes): I was really careful on this step no to scratch anything. I spent extra time trying to make sure I wasn't missing anything in the instructions.

Install Hitch (+1 hour): When you get to this step in the instructions, it tells you that 2 people should hold the hitch in place while it's being bolted to the frame. I agree that 2 people would be easier. I got around this by using a large cardboard box to prop up one end and bolt the other end. However, this was not my problem. The problem was that the holes in the hitch did not line up to the frame. The hitch is mounted with 14 bolts. Of those, there are 2 holes that bolt to the vertical wall of the frame (on the passenger side) that would not line up. What's worse is that these bolts are install *after* it's been mounted by other bolts. In my case, I had the hitch mounted and my "support rig" already put away when I realized that I had to take it all apart and re-install the bolts in a different order just to make it fit. I lost about an hour on this step alone.


In addition to the above, here are some other random thoughts regarding the install:

+ Nissan did a bad job with the standard armature assembly. We are basically forced to buy another version of a part that we already own. The differences between the standard armature and the hitch armature are some small cutouts for the hitch. If you had more time and had something to cut aluminum, I believe that you could modify your standard armature to fit around the hitch.

+ Removing the muffler was a lot easier than I thought. It's only a couple of bolts and some soap & water to allow the elastomers to slide of easier.

+ Have someone around to help you install the hitch. If you can't, then be sure to have some boxes or wood to help support one end of the hitch while you bolt the other end of the hitch. Also be sure to install all hitch bolts (loosely) before you go too far, just to ensure that the hitch assembly fits.

+ Buy masking tape ahead of time. I happened to have some art tape that has very low sticking force (to make it easy to remove), but you might need some tape if you didn't already

+ Be sure to check the tool list. You need some important tools like a torque wrench to ensure the proper install torque. Others have suggested an air wrench. I agree that would be best, but I would only use it for removal and to get bolts started. The torque specs in the instructions should be followed carefully.


So, there you have it. Anyone attempting to do this on their own may be able to take advantage of my experience.


Cheers,
-Alan
 

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:claphead:alanmeyer:claphead:

Great write-up!

-njjoe
 

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I think the interior lights are supposed to go out after 5 minutes to keep the battery from discharging.


Homer
 

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Re: If I had a hitch.....

Mr3Putt said:
This grill would be the first thing I would tow....
Nice grill, too bad it costs $300. However, it does come with a 3 year / 36,000 mile warranty (I am not kidding, it's on the website.).

-njjoe
 

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Does anyone have a photo of the Quality S hitch installed?

What about the Reese?

Both of those look as though they won't be as visible as the HiddenHitch or Drawtite. Any advice?
 

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Just throw down for the stock hitch assembly and wiring. On a verhicle as good looking as the MO, you don't want something that looks like a growth off of the back end. Not everyone in this forum agrees but to each his/her own. You'll spend a bit more, but it will look better and function the same.

The stock setup is the way I'm going anyways.
 

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Apparently we have the same thoughts about most aftermarket hitches. The 2 I mentioned looked as though they aren't going to be obtrusive since they have a different shape.

Just trying to find an acceptable (to me) version without having to spend the extra money on the factory hitch.

I let you know if I find out anything.
 

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Although the person on the phone at Quality S confirmed the hitch has the more appealing look of the bent tube, it does not. It looks exactly like all the other hitches available for the MO, just looks as though its not as high quality.

The Reese is not a different shape either.

Factory is the only visually appealing way to go. Too bad it costs so much more.
 

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Well...at the very least you won't have an eye-sore looking thing hanging off the back of your MO. The stock receiver looks good. The others that hang off below the rear bumper look odd.
 

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I see this thread is several months old yet if someone is reading I have a picture of my "non" factory 2 inch receiver (09 LE) hitch install in my gallery.

I will agree with Warhammer above that the factory hitch is a very nice and robust hitch - I went and looked at one. But it weighed a ton and was much more than needed unless you were going to max every ounce of towing capacity from your Mo.

The one I installed was less than a third of the cost and took me less than 45 min to install. Same as stock look from the rear.

Cheers
 

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This thread is primarily talking about hitches for pre 2009 muranos. The 09 has some decent looking aftermarket hitches, the earlier version do not.
 

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Krush40,
I posted my remarks due to most looking at or "stumbling upon" this thread now days are probably or very likely considering a hitch for a new Mo. That's why I specified (09).

It's all good.

Cheers
 
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