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Old 09-27-2015, 10:05 PM
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Tow hooks hardware and trailer hitch touchup paint

Quick question for those of you who installed your own tow hooks and/or use your hitches. Did you paint your mounting brackets, and if so what did you use? Or have you used anything to touch up bare or rusting spots on your hitch?

I ask because a few weeks ago I installed hooks on my Altitude, and after a quick look today the sheet metal brackets and spacers are rusting a lot. Plus I have some chips in my trailer hitch rings from clipping safety chains on.

I was thinking of using por 15, but have read varied results and am a bit concerned about its inability to stand up to uv. (The hitch, I think the hook hardware will be fine). Just looking for opinions, I can't be the only one that didn't want rust running down my lower facia from a few crap pieces of hardware.

Also, I installed black grill inserts today to replace the altitude silver ones, and it went pretty quick. I have read about two techniques, top down or taking the whole front off. I'll suggest another, bottom up. With the lower front facia off (7 half turn tabs, easy to remove since it was designed for quick removal), it is fairly easy to reach up and work the inserts out. It literally took me half an hour to swap them, which was a much quicker project than others i have tackled. (Still have painful flashbacks about the brake pedal cover ha-ha)

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Old 09-28-2015, 08:48 AM
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Re: Tow hooks hardware and trailer hitch touchup paint

I had the same problem with the brackets, bolts, ect. I used vinegar and a wire brush to get rid of the rust and coated it multiple times with bedliner paint (had some to spare, and figured it would do). I just replaced the nuts and bolts with new ones from Home Depot, and the top bracket I just used some steel plates and drilled new holes with titanium bits.. Seemed to do the trick.

The bracket holding the long piece of the tow hook was fine - that and the nut of the tow hook is really what matters if the situation ever arises where I need it (unlikely to be honest), but I was very disappointed with how mad everything rusted with mopar equipment


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Old 09-28-2015, 08:51 AM
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Re: Tow hooks hardware and trailer hitch touchup paint

Since you have to take off the bumper anyway for the hooks, just use that as your time to do the grill. I haven't done the top down method, but instead took off the bumper and while it wasn't easy getting the grill off, I imagine it's 10x easier than top down method.

But seriously, get ready to be super frustrated with getting the grill off. That was unnecessarily difficult 😐😐


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Old 09-28-2015, 09:40 AM
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Re: Tow hooks hardware and trailer hitch touchup paint

Thanks for the info. Yea, the fastners all look fine, its the sheet metal brackets, spacers, and steel plate that instantly started to rust. I'm just not sure what I want to coat them with.

As far as the grills, I was suggestively a new technique that I haven't seen on here. You only have to take the lower facia off for the tow hooks, so I decided to do try the grills going up through the bottom. It worked, and took less than half an hour to do. I should probably add a "how to" at some point.
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Old 09-29-2015, 07:02 PM
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Re: Tow hooks hardware and trailer hitch touchup paint

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tristar View Post
Quick question for those of you who installed your own tow hooks and/or use your hitches. Did you paint your mounting brackets, and if so what did you use? Or have you used anything to touch up bare or rusting spots on your hitch?

I ask because a few weeks ago I installed hooks on my Altitude, and after a quick look today the sheet metal brackets and spacers are rusting a lot. Plus I have some chips in my trailer hitch rings from clipping safety chains on.

I was thinking of using por 15, but have read varied results and am a bit concerned about its inability to stand up to uv. (The hitch, I think the hook hardware will be fine). Just looking for opinions, I can't be the only one that didn't want rust running down my lower facia from a few crap pieces of hardware.

Also, I installed black grill inserts today to replace the altitude silver ones, and it went pretty quick. I have read about two techniques, top down or taking the whole front off. I'll suggest another, bottom up. With the lower front facia off (7 half turn tabs, easy to remove since it was designed for quick removal), it is fairly easy to reach up and work the inserts out. It literally took me half an hour to swap them, which was a much quicker project than others i have tackled. (Still have painful flashbacks about the brake pedal cover ha-ha)
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I painted the aftermarket hitch on the wife's RAV4 with a spray on bedliner before installing it and the only spots that are rusting are right around the actual receiver part of the hitch. I didn't spray them because I didn't want to get the spray inside and screw with the ability to slide a hitch in.
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:44 PM
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Re: Tow hooks hardware and trailer hitch touchup paint

Coat it all, it will start rusting in days. Prep, prep again, clean, clean again, paint of your choice, paint again.
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