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Old 12-18-2003, 01:43 AM   #1
flyingmachine
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2003 outback
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Default DIY hitch installation on a OBS?

on the current models, how tough is it? Are the wiring for the lights a pain? Thanks!
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Old 12-19-2003, 02:42 PM   #2
ITWRX4ME
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I can say that doing my WRX was not hard, just tedious. The hitch is easy. It will mount into stock bolt holes. You may have to temporarily unhook the hangers for the muffler and tailpipe because the hitch is probably going to mount above the muffler.

The wiring is a little more involved. Usually, you have to get a lighting controller, which is a little box that mounts in the trunk. Being my first time doing anything like this, it took me a couple of days to sort it all out.

The controller accepts the 12v feed direct from the battery (10 or 12 guage wire). It has also wires that must be spliced into the existing lighting circuits and has the harness that connects to the trailer. You'll need a wiring diagram for the splicing part to be sure you're splicing the right wires. The controller will come with generalized instructions but they leave it up to you to know how to find the wires for the turn signals, back up lights, brake lights and parking lights.

The hardest part for me was figuring out how to run the wire from the battery all the way back to the trunk. I ran my wire from the battery, through the driver side fender well (removed the fender), through a grommet to the inside under the dash, under the plastic trim that covers the door thresholds, behind the rear seat, into the trunk. Sounds more complicated than it is. It took more time finding a suitable route than actually running the wire.

Just make sure that anywhere you run wires protect them from rubbing on sharp metal edges with tape or something. If you pass wire through the firewall, choose a hole that has a rubber grommet already. Just cut a small slice in the center of the grommet and pass the wire through that. The grommets just pop in and out. Don't be afraid to claw at them with your fingernails.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-22-2003, 02:02 PM   #3
flyingmachine
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Thanks for the reply, which brand hitch did you choose? I was thinking about a hidden hitch(~70 saving from dealer cost) The dealer wanted 266 installed, I figure, I could save some $$ if I do it myself. If anyone got one for sale, I maybe interested. BTW, are there differences btn the hitches for the impreza, forrester, and the OBS? tks!

Last edited by flyingmachine; 12-22-2003 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 12-23-2003, 05:48 AM   #4
WRX03
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OMGHi2U

Go to www.scoobymods.com for your wiring and install info, it may be the same. 03 wrx wagon had a wiring harness connector already, I would think the outback should have one too?


Last edited by WRX03; 12-23-2003 at 07:21 AM.
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Old 12-23-2003, 01:38 PM   #5
gpd323
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I bought a Drawtite hitch that fits perfectly on my WRX Wagon. It bolts right up in the same holes used to secure the tow hooks at the back.
I used a Drawtite wiring kit that uses exsisting wires for brake, turn and running lights in the back. No need to run a 12v line from the battery at all.
I tapped into the wire harness at the left rear tail light for all the lights except for the right hand turn signal which I got form the harness at that side.
When you pull off the left rear taillight you will see 2 unused rubber groments. I popped out one of them and then used a long bent clothes hanger and stuck it down inside the hole and into the rear cargo area at the tire/car jack. I used the hanger to fish the trailer wiring harness up out the groment hole and then pushed the wires thru a small hole in the groment so its water resistent. Then I wired up the harness with solder and shrink tubing. It took me a couple of hours, and it looks factory OEM.

The SOA factory hitch has some fitment issues with the WRX and some bumpers have to be trimmed for it to fit. The Drawtite fits fine and tucks very neatly under the bumper skin.

I have the COBB 3" exhaust which bumped up against the hitch so I had to lower the muffler about 1" or so by altering the rubber muffler attachment on the drivers side of the hitch. I just drilled a new hole lower on the hitch. It appears that with a stock muffler you will not have this issue.

The DT hitch was $115 and the wiring kit was $14.

Have fun, I tow a 4x6 enclosed trailer (~1000lbs+ loaded) and a small open trailer for my race tires. The Car drives fine and tows this easily.

Greg Downing
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Old 12-23-2003, 01:42 PM   #6
gpd323
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One last note,
I was told the Outback already has the trailer plug for the harness like most SUV's and trucks. Its located at the far right, near the strut tower on the floor under the cover. 1/2 way between the strut tower and taillight. You will see all the wires when you pull off the rear cargo cover.
So its supposed to be plug and play with the SOA harness. The WRX Wagon/Sedan does not have this for some reason.

Greg Downing
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Old 12-23-2003, 02:32 PM   #7
WRX03
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FYI: All 02 WRX's doesn't have the wiring harness. 03 wagon does, sedan(haven't heard anyone say).

In scoobymods there's a picture of the area where you'll find the wiring harness. Type in trailer hitch for a search, "any date". On the WRX the trailer hitch wiring connector was a little hard to find. It was tucked up under the corner panel inside the car. Your outback may be the same, you might have to do some finger fishing to find it.

Here's a Link I forgot the color codes were different between an 02/03 but were similar. But if the connector is already there, you can figure it out.

Or here's Subaru's Impreza install instructions. pdf file

Last edited by WRX03; 12-23-2003 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 12-23-2003, 02:38 PM   #8
gpd323
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[quote]Originally posted by WRX03
[b]FYI: All 02 WRX's doesn't have the wiring harness. 03 wagon does, sedan(haven't heard anyone say).

That would explain why my 02 WRX Wagon does not have the P&P harness connector. I was told/heard that the 02 Outback did have this P&P harness plug.

Glad SOA got their act together and included the P&P connector on the later models.

Greg D.
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Old 12-23-2003, 07:00 PM   #9
flyingmachine
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found the drawtite for the 2k4 obs for $64, it's a class I rated at 2000lbs and 200lbs tong weight. Doesn't look quite as nice as the dealer one, Hope it works. I got a gokart to tow.
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Old 12-23-2003, 11:52 PM   #10
skinart76
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I had a hitch on my wagon for a while. Bought it from Uhaul for wayyyyy too much $$$. Anyway, long story short, the fit was very lousy, I've had to do tons of modifications to it. Bumper had to be cut at one end; the arch around the exhaust won't fit, so I had to have someone cut, bend and re-weld the arch; when installed, the exhaust would tilt down on one side, so it looked crooked, had to re-drill another hole and grind parts off. Very, very dissatisfied with the hitch. I was actually just using it for my hitch-mount bike rack, but the whole system was so flimsy I had to get rid of it. Now I just stuff my bike in the hatch, more work due to lack of quick releases. (Thru-axles on both ends) But, tolerable.

Stan


ps- sorry for the rant
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Old 12-24-2003, 04:24 AM   #11
armand1
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Looks like the direct connect to the battery isn't usually needed, but I'll mention the safety warning anyway: whenever connecting directly to the battery +12V (or some other connection that isn't already fused), be sure to include an inline fuse as close to the terminal as possible (within a few inches). That way, if the line ever shorts to chassis ground, the fuse will blow instead of the short causing a fire and carbeque.
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Old 12-24-2003, 07:09 AM   #12
WRX03
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Quote:
Originally posted by flyingmachine
I got a gokart to tow.
Me too. I have a CRG on one of my picture hosting pages. I had 3 karts but I'm down to just one (1 dirt oval, asphalt oval, & sprinter-CRG). I sold the enclosed trailer and bought a fold up trailer off Harbor Freight tools. http://www.msnusers.com/vcochran/shoebox.msnw
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Old 12-24-2003, 11:06 AM   #13
flyingmachine
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Yeah, can't beat the harbor freight trailer. I built up one of a smaller 4X4 one w/ a foot high box to store all the supplies. I've seen people store 3 karts and karting goods on the fold up one. It's my first year karting, and I'm running a HPV on a arrow chassis. Is that a deep seat in your CRG? Been fighting rib pain lately in my Arrow, I think I need a different seat.
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Old 12-24-2003, 12:52 PM   #14
gpd323
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The Harborfreight untility trailer with 12" wheels is what I use to tow my race tires and tools. I have even taken it on a 1300 mile 2 day trip w/o any problems. Have to really grease the bearings though because out of the box they don't have much grease. I bought mine for $189 and took a couple of hours to put it together including the sheet of wood and tool chest bolted to the trailer.

Cheers, Greg Downing
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Old 12-24-2003, 12:57 PM   #15
ITWRX4ME
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Quote:
Originally posted by flyingmachine
Thanks for the reply, which brand hitch did you choose? I was thinking about a hidden hitch(~70 saving from dealer cost) The dealer wanted 266 installed, I figure, I could save some $$ if I do it myself. If anyone got one for sale, I maybe interested. BTW, are there differences btn the hitches for the impreza, forrester, and the OBS? tks!
Hidden-Hitch doesn't make a hitch for anything after '01, unless they just started doing it. I actually ordered a hitch from JC Whitney, which has them dropped shipped from Hidden-Hitch. At the time, JC Whitney incorrectly listed the same part number as fitting Imprezas through '03. It didn't fit so I called Hidden-Hitch directly and they said they didn't make a hitch for '02 and later.

I ended up ordering one from a manufacturer in FL, but I can never remember their name. Sorry. I think I paid about $140. BTW, the I still got the controller from JC Whitney.
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Old 12-24-2003, 01:00 PM   #16
ITWRX4ME
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Quote:
Originally posted by gpd323
The Harborfreight untility trailer with 12" wheels is what I use to tow my race tires and tools. I have even taken it on a 1300 mile 2 day trip w/o any problems. Have to really grease the bearings though because out of the box they don't have much grease. I bought mine for $189 and took a couple of hours to put it together including the sheet of wood and tool chest bolted to the trailer.

Cheers, Greg Downing
I have the same trailer but where you have the wood cross pieces, I left it open. The tires stand in that opening nicely and I can fit four across.
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Old 12-24-2003, 01:24 PM   #17
gpd323
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The wood pieces are there so I can take my Mazda 323GTX trannys to the shop and back.
When the wood is off, my tires slip right into the trailer frame and I secure them with a tie-down ratchet harness.




Picture of the drawtite.

Greg Downing
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Old 12-25-2003, 05:28 AM   #18
WRX03
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Quote:
Originally posted by flyingmachine
Yeah, can't beat the harbor freight trailer. I built up one of a smaller 4X4 one w/ a foot high box to store all the supplies. I've seen people store 3 karts and karting goods on the fold up one. It's my first year karting, and I'm running a HPV on a arrow chassis. Is that a deep seat in your CRG? Been fighting rib pain lately in my Arrow, I think I need a different seat.
Yep it's a deep seat, I'm getting old and the old body doesn't get along with a regular seat anymore. It actually hurts to get in, but once in place-ahhh!

If you look real close you'll see 2 illigal(WKA) items. The seat struts have a locking collars, I can just give a them a twist to lock/unlock them. The other is a remote adjustable rear torsion bar, the adjuster is next to the left side of the seat.

Last edited by WRX03; 12-25-2003 at 05:44 AM.
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