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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone-

I have searched the forum for a place to ask this question but could not find the appropriate thread. so here is my question:

For those of you who have installed an aftermarket hitch to your Acadia, outlook or enclave, did you do it your self and if so, did you use a torque wrench to tighten the bolts just right. I am pretty sure I can bolt the hitch on myself, but I do not own a torque wrench as I am not a mechanic nor am I any way even close to a mechanic in knowledge or skill. basically I am a newb. But, I think I could do this task. I am just worried that the bolts need to be tightened to a specific torque. We also have an 08 Toyota Sienna that I am going to add a hitch too since it came with the tow prep package. I saw on the hitch instructions that the bolts need to be tightened with a torque wrench as well. S, I have the same dilemma with the van as well. Thanks in advance for any replies.

Bill
 

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I didn't torque the bolts on mine and i would venture a guess and say a lot of hitch installers don't bother with it either. Most will just tighten with an impact if accessible or use a 1/2" ratchet with socket.

I know harborfreight has a 1/2" torque wrench for $14.99 right now. It's not top of the line, but for the average at home mechanic, it will work pretty good.

I would just tighten them as much as you can with your hand tools and after the first use, re-tighten them. The bolts that came with my hitch had serated washers that grip the metal when tightened like a lock washer.

That's my .02 worth. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. Your answer is what I was thinking. As long as I am mindful of tightning or checking to make sure they are tightened, I thought I should be ok. Thanks.

Bill
 

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I have installed several hitches throughout the years and I never have torqued them. I always use a 1/2 ratchet to tighten them and then take a 1/2" break over bar and tighten them as tight as I can, then after the first use I check them to see if they need tightened again. Never had a problem before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
dfrank78-

Thanks for the reply. I will go with both of your recommendations and just tighten them myself. Thanks.

Bill
 

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Out of all the trailer hitches that I have installed over the years this was the first one that ever used a torque wrench on, and the only reason I did is because this was the first one that came with instructions to do so. So I would just make the tight and the check them after your first pull.

Good luck. :cheers:
 

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You can drive on the wrong side of the road for years and never get hit head on. Only takes once.

There's a torque specification for a reason. I don't want to read about "trailer comes loose on highway, kills family of 5" and then watch the video interview of someone saying "well golly, it was never a problem before and I been doing this fer years!".

Behold, knowledge:

Nuts and bolts are designed for a specific grade of bolt/nut with a certain amount of “stretch.” Why do they Stretch? Through proper torque, which stretches the bolt, stretching is what allows the threads of the stud/bolt to tightly mate and secure to the counter part nut or threaded hole (the axle or wheel mounting hub) without working themselves loose. It’s almost like mechanically welding the nut to the bolt - except that you can remove and re-tighten it repeatedly. Yet, most bolt grades for this purpose, will retain it’s original size and properties (un-stretched) when torqued to spec. and then loosened - the properties of the bolt have a slight spring affect when loosened.
English = please torque load-bearing bolts properly, lest you kill yourself or someone else.

Remind me to post a picture of what happens when your lug nuts on your wheels aren't torqued properly.
 
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