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Old 07-05-2006, 12:35 AM   #1
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Default Trailer Hitch for a 1990...

Just fishing for opinions. Might put a class I or class II hitch on the Bonneville. Looking at a Draw-Tite receiver hitch. Instructions online indicates some drilling required. Anybody done this yet, and how well did it fit?
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Old 09-05-2006, 08:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: Trailer Hitch for a 1990...

[quote="clm2112 Anybody done this yet, and how well did it fit?[/quote]

Follow up, went with a Draw-Tite #36132. Installation was a bear, particularly doing the driver'* side of the car where the exhaust hanger goes in. If anyone else does this, get an exta pair of M8x1.25x45mm bolts for the exhaust hanger. The original bolts are too short and the ones supplied with the hitch (55mm) are too long..they hit the rubber hanger. Drilling the holes with a 1/2 inch drill bit was pretty easy. One of the hitch bolt holes on each side lines up with an existing hole in the car frame. Just enlarge it and drill the extra holes on each side.

Here'* the finished installation. You can see why it only works on the LE and SE models as it is right up against the rear bumper cover.



Here'* the bolt holes that needed to be drilled (top right corner of the picture) Same thing on the other side of the car too. The rest of the bolts go through the stock bumper impact absorber to body holes.



And last, here'* the finished product from a higher angle. the hitch is tucked far enough under the bumper to be unobtrusive to the look of the car. While I had the back end apart, I also started on the sheetmetal damage from being rear ended a few weeks ago. I got the panel below the taillamps more or less straightened back out.

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Old 09-05-2006, 08:34 PM   #3
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Looking good.... Is that a 3000Lb rated hitch? I have thought about one of those...

And will you or have you installed the electrical pigtail for the lights?

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Old 09-05-2006, 09:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr's3800
Looking good.... Is that a 3000Lb rated hitch? I have thought about one of those...

And will you or have you installed the electrical pigtail for the lights?
Yep. I don't have a trailer at the moment, but you never know when you'll need one, especially now that the van is on the block..wife is determined to sell it soon. I figured now was the time to get a hitch for it, before they are no longer made for the car. (as it is, Drawtite discontinued it already, but there'* still some floating around in the distribution network and at dealers.)

I haven't installed the wiring yet, and don't know if I will until I need to use a trailer. Same goes for the ball hitch. It came with a drawbar, but no ball and I'm not going to mount it till I know what kind of trailer I'll be towing. Probably just have U-Haul do it when I actually need to use it.

The pigtail is a no brainer...the harness wiring behind the tail lamps is easy to get to, and the sheetmetal below it is hollow..no wonder it folded up so easily on impact. When you take out the tail lamps you can look straight down to the ground behind the bumper, so any wiring will be invisible when not in use.
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Old 09-05-2006, 09:16 PM   #5
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Very nice... I may have to conside getting one of those... I don't have a trailer either, but it would save me from getting a truck... A friend of mine a long time ago used to tow a 14 ft boat with an 87 Bonneville... Did a good job towing... But they toasted 2 440-T4'*...LMAO

I know that the 3800 does have some pretty good low end grunt for a large car with a V6, I wouldn't hesitate to tow with mine...lol

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Old 09-05-2006, 09:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
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I know that the 3800 does have some pretty good low end grunt for a large car with a V6, I wouldn't hesitate to tow with mine...lol
With a tranny cooler on the car, I'm not too concerned. I never really tow anything heavy, just a pair of sportbikes on a U-Haul "Garden" trailer. When I get that occasional "wild hair" to go barnstorming around the Smokey Mnts on a rice rocket. I probably never exceed a trailer weight of 1500lbs total.

Having a trailer hitch on my cars has become a bit of an inside joke/fashion statement. Even the '87 Camaro has one on it. It get'* laughs at the track, cause I used to load up my Micky T'* and gear on a trailer, un-hitch at the track, and have fun. Comes in handy too...I once beat a guy who blew his transmission. I ended up flat towing him back to the pits on a rope off the ball on the '87 Camaro. (hehehe.."Who'* Laughing Now, Sucker.." )
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Old 09-05-2006, 09:40 PM   #7
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Even tho I do not have the hitches, I have the large coolers on both cars... 150k on the 4T60-E and 129k on the 440T4(4T60) and both still kicking...


I think we need to make the next mods for you a rear deck wing and air struts

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Old 09-05-2006, 09:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr's3800
I think we need to make the next mods for you a rear deck wing and air struts
Funny you should mention that...there'* a rear spoiler from an SSE for the car leaning against the gun cabinet (courtesy of another Bonneville club member) I just need to prep it and repaint it white to match the rest of the car

The air ride suspension sounds like more work than it'* worth. Though I think I need to get the rear end aligned to take out the camber in the rear wheels.
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Old 09-06-2006, 09:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clm2112
Quote:
Originally Posted by jr's3800
I think we need to make the next mods for you a rear deck wing and air struts
Funny you should mention that...there'* a rear spoiler from an SSE for the car leaning against the gun cabinet (courtesy of another Bonneville club member) I just need to prep it and repaint it white to match the rest of the car

The air ride suspension sounds like more work than it'* worth. Though I think I need to get the rear end aligned to take out the camber in the rear wheels.
I was thinking along the lines of Rear air struts with Manual adjust just like I did with my 95 Bonnie SE... I got tired of the floaty rear, and installed air struts... I generally run them at about 20 PSI all of the time, it didn't really make the ride stiff, but it added a little bit of firmness back there... Even with Lots O Junk in the trunk from time to time the back end still does not sit on the ground and the car rides good...

Also do you know which sway bars the car came from the factory with? Chances are being an LE it should be a 28-30 MM front bar and a 14mm rear bar, and in some rare cases no bar in the rear....

Adding the air struts is easy and so is installing the $5-$6 line kit...

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Old 09-08-2006, 08:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr's3800
Also do you know which sway bars the car came from the factory with?
Car'* got the FE1 suspension (30mm/14mm). I was thinking you were talking about the automatic leveling stuff with the compressor up in the engine bay. Pair of air shocks in the back probably wouldn't be a bad idea. I added about 40lbs to the rear end with the hitch and the Nitrous bottle is another 35lbs on top of that. Who made your air struts?
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