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Old 06-16-2009, 01:45 PM   #1
SonicWRX
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Default DIY: Front Tow Hook

Disclaimer: I found the seed of this idea deep in a thread on another forum and wanted to improve upon what I saw. I have not tested this for safety so if you perform this mod, I am not responsible for you using it to tow a vehicle.

I love Prova stuff, but I hate their prices. I saw a few pictures of their front tow hook and its $200 cost and wanted something similar, but figured I could make something for 10% that.

This mod uses the stock tow hook and a readily available chain shackle (cleaned, primed and painted red). The shackle's crossbolt is replaced with a 5/8-11 x 2" Socket Head Cap Screw (SHCS). I fabbed a stainless steel spacer to take up the space between the SHCS, added two washers so the stock hook would not gall and to make things tight enough so the shackle would not rotate unless it is forced.

Here's a look at all the hardware you need:




Here's the complete assembly (you probably don't own a 1/2" Allen wrench; they cost $5 or less):




To install, first remove the bumper plug (or whatever exists for your year car) and screw in the stock tow hook. Wrap its threads with about three rounds of teflon tape to give it some rotational resistance. Screw it in so the hole is perpendicular to the ground.




Now insert the spacer into the stock hook, place a washer on each side, put the shackle in place and thread in the SHCS (with one split washer). Make sure and hold the shackle still while tightening the SHCS so it stays at the proper angle and does not scratch your paint.

All done!




Closeup:



This would be even cleaner with a couple of brass plugs to take the place of the spacer and washers, but I don't own a lathe and didn't want to bug my buddies who do.
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Old 06-16-2009, 01:52 PM   #2
Sil3nt_Ch4os
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awesome! add this to the DIY sticky?
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Old 06-16-2009, 01:52 PM   #3
J_Vengeance
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Looks good. Great and cheap mod.
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Old 06-16-2009, 04:54 PM   #4
Mechie3
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I like the framing of the pics! Nice idea too! Only thing I would change is to grind/dremel/sand off the lettering to make it smooth.
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Old 06-16-2009, 05:39 PM   #5
Dena
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looks cheap.
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:20 PM   #6
FunkRider
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Do you know what all of the hardware used is rated for in breaking strength or do you not plan on using it?
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:23 PM   #7
NOboostSUBIE
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I might try this out, for <$20 or $30 you can't beat it.
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:23 PM   #8
SonicWRX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FunkRider View Post
Do you know what all of the hardware used is rated for in breaking strength or do you not plan on using it?
Shear strength of the SHCS is just over 31,000 lbs

Tensile strength of the shackle is rated at 4,000 lbs

I would guess looking at the cross section of the stock tow hook that it would be in 15,000 lbs tensile range.

I will see if I can get the assembly into SolidWorks and break it with an FEA analysis to give a better answer.
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:27 PM   #9
SonicWRX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mechie3 View Post
I like the framing of the pics! Nice idea too! Only thing I would change is to grind/dremel/sand off the lettering to make it smooth.
Thanks! I took your suggestion and ground off the letters. I also painted the head of the stock hook black to give it more sexy.
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:41 PM   #10
Drunkinchef
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Looks like there are only letters on one side of it. If you look at the first picture then the fourth pic you can see that. The smoother side still looks like it could benefit from some grinding, just not as much as if you were to grind down the letters. If you plan on using this hook id leave it as close to oem as possible. Grinding the crap out of it may weaken the metal used to produce it. Excellent mod none the less. Good work
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Old 06-16-2009, 09:34 PM   #11
habitatxskate
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where would one find the stock tow hook? ('06)
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:07 PM   #12
Mechie3
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Look in your trunk for the little pouch that has the tow hook and the lug nut wrench.
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:13 PM   #13
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subbed
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:17 PM   #14
SonicWRX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by habitatxskate View Post
where would one find the stock tow hook? ('06)
In the little compartment on the left side of the trunk; white plastic bag w/green lettering.
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:32 PM   #15
Blowby
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looks good...I have thought about this also. Now I just might have to.
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:34 PM   #16
habitatxskate
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thank you.
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:50 AM   #17
Tomato_88
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Very nice. Good idea.
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:43 AM   #18
bcWRX-02
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very cool. I was skeptical about the strength of it but after reading your above post, it sounds like you took that into account. Nice DIY, it would be cool if you could find a bigger diameter shackle though.
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:47 AM   #19
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No offense..
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:32 AM   #20
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What's going to stop someone from stealing the cheap version let alone the $200 version?
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Old 06-17-2009, 06:45 AM   #21
SonicWRX
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Quote:
I was skeptical about the strength of it but after reading your above post, it sounds like you took that into account. Nice DIY, it would be cool if you could find a bigger diameter shackle though.
I'll put the assembly into SolidWorks and break it with an FEA to see how strong it really is. Not sure about a bigger shackle. The side bosses would be proportionally larger in diameter and would probably hit the bumper. It's close now.

Quote:
No offense..
None taken though it's probably more in the "racer wannabe" category as tow hooks litter all the German, Italian and English car forums, too. Either category is purely subjective.

Quote:
What's going to stop someone from stealing the cheap version let alone the $200 version?
Nothing, but I would be way more upset if some jackass stole my $200 Prova versus this $15 DIY.
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:19 AM   #22
Jack
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Better than spending a gazillion dollars on some fancy pants thing. My racecar had a $1.29 I bolt from a hardware store and it worked fine. You can sort of see it here....driver side in the bumper mount.



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Old 06-17-2009, 08:31 AM   #23
SonicWRX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack ffr1846 View Post
Better than spending a gazillion dollars on some fancy pants thing. My racecar had a $1.29 I bolt from a hardware store and it worked fine.
Absolutely! I was reading "Grassroots Motorsports" last night and there was an article about a couple of guys who landed multiple podiums with an old $500 Sentra-R. As they say: "It's the Indian, not the arrow".
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:53 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonicWRX View Post
In the little compartment on the left side of the trunk; white plastic bag w/green lettering.
and if your used 02 wrx didn't have that bag in the trunk? I looked on subarugenuineparts and found a part called "tow hook", but the diagram shows it's the rear. There's another part called "hook", but there's no diagram for it. Is that it? Is there a reason the stock one won't work for track days? If not, I'm just going to paint them red and call it done (once I hunt down a front, that is).
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:04 AM   #25
brumby
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Nice design, better look than the stock one.

Last edited by brumby; 06-17-2009 at 11:05 AM. Reason: none
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