Installing trailer hitch

General discussion about our beloved Tercel 4WD cars
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Mark
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My tercel:: 1984 Automatic, 1981 sedan
Location: Victoria, B.C.

Re: Installing trailer hitch

Post by Mark » Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:11 pm

Petros wrote:you might run the trailer tires on the soft side, not too low, but low enough where they will provide some damping and not so much bounce.
I'm probably just being a diva. I took it out on the highway today and it was fine. It only bounces on certain uneven streets. I've found on most streets it's fine. That's a good trick (slightly deflated tires) to keep in mind if I know I'm going to be driving on primarily bumpy roads.

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Mark
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My tercel:: 1984 Automatic, 1981 sedan
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Re: Installing trailer hitch

Post by Mark » Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:15 pm

Paultercel wrote:Where would anyone recommend getting the tongue for a trailer hitch?!
Do you mean the part on the trailer that attaches to the ball on the trailer hitch? Mine came already installed on the trailer frame. Where are you located? Princess Auto up here has them, but my usual source for stuff would be the local online classified ads.

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GLet71
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My tercel:: '87 6-spd SR5 4wd Wagon
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Re: Installing trailer hitch

Post by GLet71 » Sat Apr 16, 2016 12:06 pm

jimcrazy wrote:you will need one of these for the wiring, makes it real easy
What exactly is this adapter? I am just in the process of having a custom bumper welded up, and I am wondering how to go about wiring up a simple four pin connector for a small utility trailer I intend to tow.
'87 6spd SR5 4WD modified Wagon (Ron, the post-apocalyptic summer ride)
'87 6spd dlx 4wd Wagon (Pinkman Got Nuthin', aka Pinky)
'87 Auto dlx 4WD Wagon (Otto, temporary parts car)
'88 6spd SR5 4WD Wagon (Perry, the parts car)

jimcrazy
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My tercel:: 1985 4wd 1986fwd 1983 4wd

Re: Installing trailer hitch

Post by jimcrazy » Sat Apr 16, 2016 4:14 pm

the adapter changes the lights over to a flat 4 plug in, the Toyota has a separate bulb for the brake lights and one for the signal lights. it takes the 4 wires and converts it to 3 wires, the 4 being brake, right signal,left signal and parking lights.. the 3 coming out are the brake and signal combined for each left and right and parking lights, all the instuctions come with the adapter kit easy to up but make sure you have the ground wire hooked up or it will not work

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GLet71
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My tercel:: '87 6-spd SR5 4wd Wagon
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Re: Installing trailer hitch

Post by GLet71 » Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:00 pm

Okay jimcrazy, sounds good. Any chance you could provide me with a part number? Is it specific to our Tercels, or universal?
'87 6spd SR5 4WD modified Wagon (Ron, the post-apocalyptic summer ride)
'87 6spd dlx 4wd Wagon (Pinkman Got Nuthin', aka Pinky)
'87 Auto dlx 4WD Wagon (Otto, temporary parts car)
'88 6spd SR5 4WD Wagon (Perry, the parts car)

jimcrazy
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My tercel:: 1985 4wd 1986fwd 1983 4wd

Re: Installing trailer hitch

Post by jimcrazy » Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:26 am

i like to use the made by reese,its a few dollars more than the cheeper ones but last longer. any trailer shop or auto parts shop should have them, its reese part number 72013
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Ace
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My tercel:: '83 DLX 4WD Tercel wagon 3AC

Re: Installing trailer hitch

Post by Ace » Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:37 pm

I installed a trailer hitch on my Tercel over 20 years ago, using a piece of flat steel plate 6" x 11" x 1/4" bolted to the the underside of the rear bumper. I drilled the holes in the bumper and used stacks of fender washers to space it down to clear the flange, also used big fender washers under the bolt head inside the bumper. The bumper material is more like heavy sheet steel, so the fender washers and six bolts help spread the stress. I've hauled some excessively heavy trailer loads (for short distances) without mishap.

My usual trailer is a 4x8 Harbor Freight item. I used one of those trailer wiring converters which comes with a 4-pin connector plug. I tapped in to the car wiring inside the jack stowage compartment and stash the cable in there when it's not being used. For trailer hook-up, the flat 4-conductor wire can run through the tailgate door weatherstripping without damage.

My trailer safety chains hook into the holes on the front side of the rear bumper. I've never had them fall out.
Tercel bumper hitch-.jpg
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jimcrazy
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My tercel:: 1985 4wd 1986fwd 1983 4wd

Re: Installing trailer hitch

Post by jimcrazy » Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:12 pm

my hitch is sturdy for a bolt on, wasn't to bad the car had no motor or tranie in it
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jimcrazy
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Re: Installing trailer hitch

Post by jimcrazy » Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:15 pm

the wiring hide away
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mrdance123
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My tercel:: 84 and 85 4wd wagons

Re: Installing trailer hitch

Post by mrdance123 » Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:42 am

One very lucky day at the pick'n'pull I found this custom made receiver on a T4.
10 minutes to switch in or out with the bumper.
Someday I may try mounting the rubber shell of original bumper over it.
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84 T4 Foxy Blue, 275k, winter driver.
85 T4 Speedy Blue, SR5 + A/C, 296k, summer driver.
84 T4 Curmudgeon Copper, 293k, my first T4 in 1990, now Dad's driver.
Farewell - 86 T2 silver wagon, VIN ending 5847, 194k, cherry condition, sold to good home.
RIP - 83 Smokin' Gold T4, 270k, rusted out body, parted & scrapped
RIP - 84 Quicksilver T4 SR5, 125k, blown engine no oil, had sat 10+ years, parted & scrapped.
RIP - 80 Corolla (purchased new), 473k, 358k original engine, got rear-ended totaled 2003.

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dlb
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Re: Installing trailer hitch

Post by dlb » Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:19 pm

that's a great find! how much did the scrappers charge you for it?

mrdance123
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My tercel:: 84 and 85 4wd wagons

Re: Installing trailer hitch

Post by mrdance123 » Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:01 pm

Something ridiculous like $20 maybe, don't remember now, it was worth it!
84 T4 Foxy Blue, 275k, winter driver.
85 T4 Speedy Blue, SR5 + A/C, 296k, summer driver.
84 T4 Curmudgeon Copper, 293k, my first T4 in 1990, now Dad's driver.
Farewell - 86 T2 silver wagon, VIN ending 5847, 194k, cherry condition, sold to good home.
RIP - 83 Smokin' Gold T4, 270k, rusted out body, parted & scrapped
RIP - 84 Quicksilver T4 SR5, 125k, blown engine no oil, had sat 10+ years, parted & scrapped.
RIP - 80 Corolla (purchased new), 473k, 358k original engine, got rear-ended totaled 2003.

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marlinh
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My tercel:: 'Everett' Blue mint 4WD wagon and 'Rocky' 86 4WD Wagon
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Re: Installing trailer hitch

Post by marlinh » Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:28 am

Are the brackets homemade too? Or are they original ones that have the new bumper welded to it?

mrdance123
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My tercel:: 84 and 85 4wd wagons

Re: Installing trailer hitch

Post by mrdance123 » Sun Jun 12, 2016 11:55 am

The brackets plugging into the frame are custom made, it's just thick angle iron, you can see the end of it welded onto the corner brace, probably is stronger than original bumper hardware. Towed my dad's T4 home for repair.
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84 T4 Foxy Blue, 275k, winter driver.
85 T4 Speedy Blue, SR5 + A/C, 296k, summer driver.
84 T4 Curmudgeon Copper, 293k, my first T4 in 1990, now Dad's driver.
Farewell - 86 T2 silver wagon, VIN ending 5847, 194k, cherry condition, sold to good home.
RIP - 83 Smokin' Gold T4, 270k, rusted out body, parted & scrapped
RIP - 84 Quicksilver T4 SR5, 125k, blown engine no oil, had sat 10+ years, parted & scrapped.
RIP - 80 Corolla (purchased new), 473k, 358k original engine, got rear-ended totaled 2003.

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Mark
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My tercel:: 1984 Automatic, 1981 sedan
Location: Victoria, B.C.

Re: Installing trailer hitch

Post by Mark » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:26 pm

So an update with my trailer hitch saga... Lately when towing my small trailer with a 10' zodiac on it (in total, probably less than 500 lbs), I've noticed an occasional popping and or creaking noise coming from somewhere around the bumper or trailer when driving. Here's what I was towing:
IMG_0489.JPG
I also noticed that there is a lot more up and down play in the bumper when I push down on it. I got down under the wagon and what I saw wasn't reassuring. The 2 parts of the bumper that slide into the wagon body and bolt into it seemed to be separating from the bumper. I was worried about this originally since the bumper is just thin steel like sheet metal and it didn't seem strong enough to withstand towing a bouncing up and down trailer. I was fully expecting the bumper to tear off and my trailer go bouncing down the road. I took the bumper off and it looks like the bumper was now only attached by about 50% of remaining metal.
IMG_5141.JPG
IMG_5142.JPG
IMG_5143.JPG
IMG_5145.JPG
IMG_5146.JPG
Here's what the bumper looked like last year:
IMG_0252.JPG
I guess if I want to continue towing, I'll have to make a new bumper.
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