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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all. Been combing through search results with little luck. Just bought my first Crosstrek this winter and I'm planning to upgrade my bike transport to a hitch mounted tray rack. Based on reviews and what I found on the forum, the Curt hitch seems like the best buy in terms of budget, appearance, reliability etc. But I have some concerns about rust proofing and the requirement to make the small notch in the holes in the frame.

I'm sure notching in more hospitable climates doesn't create much worry in this regard but I live in Western New York so ~half the year there's a ton of salt spray on the bottom of the car. I'm curious to know if there are any other WNYers or people living in similar climates who can speak to the Curt rack and if they've had any issues with that area of the car rusting quicker. I know I could go with something like the Draw Tite which doesn't require any notching on the frame but there doesn't seem to be as many positive reviews on the Draw Tite nor does it come with the added benefit of being mostly obscured by the rear bumper.

Would greatly appreciate any feedback on the matter.
 

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2021 Crosstrek Base 6MT PYP
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I would just notch the holes(I did mine by hand with a file), clean them up, scuff the paint around the area with a scotch brite pad, then liberally apply some automotive seam sealer on the inside, on the outside and on the edges your notches. Then maybe add an extra squirt around the bolt before fastening the hitch to the vehicle.

This should take care of things but I may be underestimating the power of road salt as I'm from Texas. If the salt is truly bad enough to beat automotive seam sealer, I would consider cars in the north to be disposable as car manufacturers use quite a bit of the stuff
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That’s also my assumption. some sort of clear cost or other rust inhibitor ought to provide enough protection once the hitch is on and the bolt, nut and hitch are secure. The notch will be pretty well covered and the touch up won’t be subject to the elements directly. But at the same time my mind keeps going to the worst possible scenario
 

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live in Iowa for stuff like this I just hit it with multiple coats of what ever kind of spray paint I have left over from other projects. obviously with any painting project it’s 95% prep & 5% painting.

somebody mentions in this thread that it can be installed without enlarging the holes if you’re willing to remove the bumper cover & support bar?
 

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I live in New Hampshire, put a Curt on my '16 about 4 years ago. I think I may have dabbed a little paint over the holes. However, the hitch itself extends quite a bit beyond the holes, so they are well protected. There is absolutely no rust issues near the holes. However, the hitch itself is getting a bit rusty and is going to need a touch up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the feedback guys. I was fairly confident that it wouldn't be too big of an issue but was hoping to get some insight from a few people who deal with a similar climate as me. My mechanic is very trustworthy and he expressed zero concern as well but just wanted to cover my bases. Cheers.

I live in New Hampshire, put a Curt on my '16 about 4 years ago. I think I may have dabbed a little paint over the holes. However, the hitch itself extends quite a bit beyond the holes, so they are well protected. There is absolutely no rust issues near the holes. However, the hitch itself is getting a bit rusty and is going to need a touch up.
live in Iowa for stuff like this I just hit it with multiple coats of what ever kind of spray paint I have left over from other projects. obviously with any painting project it’s 95% prep & 5% painting.
 

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live in Iowa for stuff like this I just hit it with multiple coats of what ever kind of spray paint I have left over from other projects. obviously with any painting project it’s 95% prep & 5% painting.

somebody mentions in this thread that it can be installed without enlarging the holes if you’re willing to remove the bumper cover & support bar?
Correct, once you remove the bumper and crash bar, you can access the bolt holes.

You can always slather silicone caulking, paint, grease, whatever right before torqueing everything down. It seems like a layer of something between the frame and the hitch would make corrosion pretty unlikely.
 

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Spray a little fluid film on there, wouldn’t be bad to do the whole underside of your car either, great stuff.

 

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'21 Subaru Crosstrek Sport
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I didn't need to notch on my '21. The forward plug hole was larger than the rearward hole. The hole is a hair larger than the carriage bolt head, which allowed me to fish the rearward bolt through the front hole, then the front bolt through the front hole. It was pretty easy with the fishing wire setup. No grinding necessary.

305656
 

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I didn't need to notch on my '21. The forward plug hole was larger than the rearward hole. The hole is a hair larger than the carriage bolt head, which allowed me to fish the rearward bolt through the front hole, then the front bolt through the front hole. It was pretty easy with the fishing wire setup. No grinding necessary.
DigDug, are you using the Draw Tite hitch? They use smaller bolts and washers than the other hitch manufacturers.
 

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2021 Base CVT Crosstrek
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Nope, Curt C13382 Class III 2" hitch.
That is interesting. I just did an install last month with the same conifg (2021 Crosstrek, Curt Class III 2").

Perhaps Curt has a new design with narrower plates AND smaller bolt heads. I needed to create a notch large enough that both the plate and the bolt could fit.

Or, perhaps the Sport has larger holes? Unlikely though.

305660
 

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Just ordered one of these, boy prices have increased. Curt #13382 says in the fitment section where I bought it "No Hole Enlargement". So either they changed the width of the plate or the listing is wrong. No car yet but will post back when I get it installed.
 
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