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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I just bought our 2nd Subaru; a 2006 Atlantic Blue Tribeca 5 pass Ltd w/ tan int. Had been looking for other options (pilot, murano, etc...) but settled on this. Got a decent price on it used w/ 33,000 miles on it, and have been happy so far. Our previous first/now second Subie is an '01 White/Tan Outback with 150,000 miles and still running strong.

Found this site while checking around for hitch options, as I traded in my '96 Toyota truck for this, and need to be able to pull a small utility trailer. Hope to learn a lot, and maybe even help a soul out now and again. Thanks in advance!
 

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Congratulations on your Tribeca. I have a factory hitch on mine. You should be able to have a hitch installed at a lot of places in the Twin Cities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Steve. I'm looking at a Class III hitch (2") as there seem to be more options for accesories if you have a 2" receiver. Looks like the Hidden Hitch/Valley/Reese options for around $150.00 from etrailer will be the way to go. The only drawback for all of those options (they seem to be almost identical) is that they all hang so low. I saw one installation here that had actually modified the hitch to go no lower than the rear bumper flap. Unfortunately he hasn't elaborated much more on that, and I don't think I'm confident enough in my metal-working abilities to do that mod myself.

I'm pretty sure I can wrench it on myself, along with the tranny cooler. I'm always up for a little garage bonding time.
 

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Congrats on the purchase.

I opted to find a Tribeca with the small Subaru hitch installed. Looks a lot cleaner and I only really need it to hook my bike rack into.

I have found that installing hitches is a 3 person job unless you install them for a living and have a nice garage. One person holds the hitch in the right postion, one person runs the socket wrench, and one person reads the instructions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
3 people??? I don't know how we'd all fit under there! I hear you on the weight of the hitch and getting it up while feeling for boltholes, but I'd welcome the challenge. The other 2 guys could probably critique my performance while they drank a few beers, I suppose.

I agree on the clean look of the OEM hitch, but would rather have the 2" receiver. That is why I am intrigued by Blackmax's install in the exterior section. His hitch looks to be about 3" shorter than stock, but still a Drawtite hitch. Cutting, grinding, welding, and painting looked to be on the list of things he did.
 

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The wife was standing off to the side reading the instructions. That was on a Forester I owned years ago. I did my own lift and install on my current Impreza (lighter hitch). That involved taking apart the exhaust brackets to fit it in there. I am also certain that one of the mounting bolts will never come out since it went in hard (possible stripping).

The sister in law lives in Minneapolis so we are looking for a hitch seller and hopefully installer on a 2009 Impreza. Let me know of any recommendations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I installed a 2" receiver hitch, lighting harness, and OEM tranny cooler this weekend on my '06 Tribeca. Not too tough, and this is repeated from the Exterior section:

"The hitch went on easy enough, but was a bit cumbersome on my back by myself. It went in fine, though. The toughest part was getting the bolts routed in the right locations as the instructions misled me. After feeling around I found the correct access holes. Once all 4 bolts are in and ready, it's just a matter of holding it up and getting the bolts started. Don't mess around guessing how tight the nuts are torqued on; get a $20 torque wrench and some 1/2"-drive sockets and get it done right the first time. It is recommended that re-torque all 4 nuts after your first tow, also. I didn't modify it as Blackmax had done, and it does hang down below the rear shroud. I like his install better, but this will work fine for now.

Pulling out the jack tray was very easy to access the OEM harness plug, but I had to cut a hole in the tray to get the plug and wires inside. As far as the "clips" that you need to pull out, there are 4 of them, and you can use a philips screwdriver to get the center plug started, and then they pull out very easily. Once they are out, the tray comes right out. I zip-tied the wire to existing cables in a couple of spots, and on each side of the converter box after attaching it so it shouldn't come loose. The harness sits in the jack tray, and for now I'll simply drop the wire under the hatch when needed.

The OEM tranny cooler was pretty simple, too. The instructions are very detailed, and all of the parts are included. The toughest part is checking your transmission fluid level after the install, as it is under the cosmetic engine shroud and way down there on the driver's side. You are supposed to get it to operating temp (drive it a few miles) and then check it at the "Hot" range. The odd thing was, I initially checked it cold, and it was beyond the "Hot" range. After installing it and warming it up, it was still above the "Hot" range even though it should have dropped as there was more space to occupy with the cooler in place. I'll check it again after using it some more. If it is low, I am assuming I'll fill it by running a tube down to the dipstick neck and running fluid down that."
 
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