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I don't need it removable, but I'm not sure that welding is the solution. The mating surface does not seem like it's completely flat, and I'm not sure how the steel would weld to aluminum. It seems like the potential failure is due to the thickness of the sheet metal.

Thinking about it some more, I wonder if you could remove the rear bumper and crash beam, and then access the tops of the holes through inside the frame. Then just use much larger washers to spread the load out more. That would also save me from needing to buy new hardware from eTrailer, which is $60. I paid $128 for the whole hitch the first time, so I'm not excited about that price.
You can't just weld steel to aluminum, you can friction weld it though. lol

You can remove the rear bumper then crash bar behind it and access that opening where the hardware sits. I personally didn't do it for my install, but some people don't like to enlarge the holes in their car, so they do it that way. I am sure you could hit up a tractor supply store or something like that and get some decent sized carriage bolt washers and a new bolt as well if you need it.

If I were in you situation, I would get some big rectangular ones if you can. That way it covers more surface area, I am guessing the ones that come with the Curt hitch are just the right size to not fail and to make install easy from under the car.
 

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Needs a Butch car
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Discussion Starter #62
Yeah that's what I'm thinking. I'll need to get in there and measure first to find out how big I can go.
 

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Discussion Starter #63
For the record, the rear rail is about 2.5" or a little less ID. I'm not sure a 2.5" plate would fit flat.

I ended up talking to one of the tradesmen at work and he was adamant that a square steel washer for unistrut would be more than enough. I believe they're 1-5/8" x 1-5/8" x 1/4" I have all the hardware I need now so I'm thinking I'll reinstall the hitch this weekend. I'll be removing the bumper and crash bar and plan on installing hex bolts instead of carriage bolts.
 

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For the record, the rear rail is about 2.5" or a little less ID. I'm not sure a 2.5" plate would fit flat.

I ended up talking to one of the tradesmen at work and he was adamant that a square steel washer for unistrut would be more than enough. I believe they're 1-5/8" x 1-5/8" x 1/4" I have all the hardware I need now so I'm thinking I'll reinstall the hitch this weekend. I'll be removing the bumper and crash bar and plan on installing hex bolts instead of carriage bolts.
I completely forgot about the plate washer they use for unistrut, I use that stuff almost daily at my work. Hopefully the hex bolts work out, the plus side of the carriage bolts is the square under the head that locks it into the hole/washer. But if you can get a wrench on head of the bolt, you should be able to get them torqued down good. Just make sure you are using at least grade 8 for imperial or 12.9 I think for metric. Don't want to shear off a bolt while hauling/pulling something. lol
 

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Discussion Starter #65
I bought stainless steel bolts, washers, and hex nuts with the vinyl insert. I hope they're good enough. I don't plan to tow anything, just mount the spare tire.
I tested with a wench and it'll fit in there, it's really not even that far back. I'm actually kind of surprised that none of the hitch manufacturers have you install it that way, you'd be easily able to fit a big washer back there. This way does require two people though, one to hold the hitch up in place and thread on the nut, and one to put the bolt in place and hold it steady.
 

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Discussion Starter #69
I bought and installed a Rigid Armor spare tire carrier the other day. I'm happy with it. It doesn't come with a license plate mount, which I was not clear on when I made the purchase. It does not rattle or wobble at all. The backup camera is almost completely useless now, and the tire blocks the rear window in just the right size and shape to hide a car behind you on the freeway.

Went camping this weekend near Mt Baldy. Met a horny toad who posed for pictures.

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Prefers non-orange cars
'18 and '19 Crosstrek Limiteds
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Any improvement with the lift?
 

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Discussion Starter #72
Any improvement with the lift?
Yeah about 2" vertical ;)

I didn't do any very interesting driving on this trip, just washboard gravel forest roads. Stuff that a minivan could do. The ride quality feels exactly the same with the lift. I expected it to be floaty and feel more top heavy, but it honestly just feels the same.
For what I do, mostly getting to trailheads and remote spots to camp and/or climb, I have found that pure ride height has been a limiting factor. I've already had to bang out my skid plates a couple of times. The .4" of lift that I got from the bigger tires helped noticeably. Approach angle is a limiting factor, but I find ways around that. It's hard to find a way around a field of head sized rocks in the road.
 

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Reinstalled the hitch today with the new hardware. It feels sturdy so I'm optimistic. Install is so much easier with the exhaust and bumper removed. Here's a couple pictures:
What were you hauling with the Draw Tite hitch? Just the spare tire?
 

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Did you contact Draw Tite? In my opinion that puny poorly designed plate washer was the wink link in the design. They might refund your money.
 

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Discussion Starter #78
Did you contact Draw Tite? In my opinion that puny poorly designed plate washer was the wink link in the design. They might refund your money.
I did try, calling, sending emails, and by leaving a bad review on Amazon. I never got a response. At this point, I think all I can do is bad mouth them at every opportunity.
It's not worth my time to file a civil suit.
 

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I tried to track down a rear rattle today and got a rude surprise: My Draw-Tite hitch had blown out both forward frame holes and was working on the rear holes. I uninstalled it. See my pictures below. The damage does not look reparable to me, and clearly I couldn't mount a different hitch there even if I wanted to. This is very frustrating, because I also have a full size spare in my hatch that I need a better home for.
Sorry to hear this happened to you but thank you for posting the information (and for your advice). I'm guessing the hitch company limited themselves to replacing the hitch, which is laughable of course.

I saw the bolt plates and was puzzled by why they did not center the bolt seat hole. Looks like bad design.

Because it was the forward bolt holes that ripped, the hitch must have been torqued upwards. Did you hit it on an incline at any point, or were you towing a trailer and went over a nasty bump?

In any case, sorry :(
 
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