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Curt Hitch Install Question

nayr14

Member
Mar 18, 2019
103
86
Chicago, IL
I'm nearing the end of the Curt hitch installation for the Model 3. I cut the 3in by 2.5in cutout, but I'm realizing now that I can't fit the bumper back onto the car because the chain loops that are welded to the bottom of the receiver. Do I need to cut a much wider hole to get the chain loops through the underskirt? Any other way seems overly complex/not possible, like trying to attach the underskirt to the bumper while it's on the car. Just seeing if anyone has run into this so I can wrap up this project tonight!

upload_2019-12-22_18-56-28.png


upload_2019-12-22_18-57-43.png


https://assets.curtmfg.com/masterlibrary/11571/installsheet/CM_11571_INS.PDF
 

Kuhz

Active Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,901
2,071
Mars
You can’t slide the cover over the loops from the back? Since it looks like the cut is made all the way through the edge of it?
 

nayr14

Member
Mar 18, 2019
103
86
Chicago, IL
You can’t slide the cover over the loops from the back? Since it looks like the cut is made all the way through the edge of it?

That's what I thought at first, but then I need to attach all the clips and two fasteners to lock it in place to the bumper. The fasteners go in from the underskirt into the bumper (toward the rear of the car) I after test fitting the underskirt alone, I'm not sure how I'd secure that. I believe the underskirt and bumper are designed to be installed onto the car together.
 

TomLee

Member
May 26, 2019
279
62
Vancouver
That's what I thought at first, but then I need to attach all the clips and two fasteners to lock it in place to the bumper. The fasteners go in from the underskirt into the bumper (toward the rear of the car) I after test fitting the underskirt alone, I'm not sure how I'd secure that. I believe the underskirt and bumper are designed to be installed onto the car together.

Hi there

I’m looking to install a hitch on my 3 and found your post. Did you finally get that on and how’s that look? What do you like & dislike it the most? Do you mind to post few pic of it?

TIA!
 

nayr14

Member
Mar 18, 2019
103
86
Chicago, IL
Hi there

I’m looking to install a hitch on my 3 and found your post. Did you finally get that on and how’s that look? What do you like & dislike it the most? Do you mind to post few pic of it?

TIA!

Interesting story... I reached out to Curt regarding the issues I experienced with the hitch. This included the cutting of the underbody panel, the hitch not fitting the car correctly without grinding, and the fitment of the hitch with the bumper which made installation difficult.

Curt brought in another Model 3 and confirmed that the fitment was not correct on some models. They redesigned it with better tolerances and sent me the updated design, free of cost, in early April. I installed it last weekend. Here are a few things to know if you go with the Curt hitch:

  1. The updated design fits without grinding the hitch.
  2. You will have to cut away more of the bumper underpanel than they indicate. I know they say approximate, but that assumes you don't need the chain loops (you can cut them off before install if not needed and their measurements will likely work).
  3. The ears of the hitch push against a section of my bumper on both sides causing a slight bulge between the bumper and the underbody panel (see pictures below). I was hoping they would fix this, but perhaps it's something to do with my build?

I went with the Curt because it was more than half the price of the EcoHitch and I didn't care about hiding the hitch - I actually like the look of it. If you have to cut your underpanel, I don't see the point of purchasing the EcoHitch except for cosmetics. After installation of the Curt, I drove from Chicago to Houston and back. I didn't notice any increase in wind/road noise or a quantifiable affect on range.

I am annoyed that they didn't correct the issue I have with the underbody panel being bulged out. It makes the bumper installation more difficult - while someone holds the top in, I pulled the bumper/underbody panel down so it clears the hitch. If I didn't do this, the bottom rear of the bumper was pushed out and all the bolts wouldn't align. Once I cleared the hitch, everything popped into place. My recommendation is have someone start from the center top of the bumper next to the trunk, and someone under the car works to align the bolts of the underbody panel.

I believe that Curt designed the hitch correctly for their example vehicle, however this is Tesla's first foray into mass production. They likely had tolerance issues and changes mid-production compared to experienced automakers, causing fitment issues Curt doesn't experience on other vehicles from established automakers.

See my photos below. With the exception of the bulging (which is only visible if you lay down next to the car), I'm happy with the updated design.
 

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TomLee

Member
May 26, 2019
279
62
Vancouver
This might be the first ever Curt hitch for Tesla review I ever saw on the internet. Much appreciated! My TM3 is 2019 built so has an existing opening on the bottom. Since you cut all the way to the edge of the piece, I might need to cut a tiny piece in addition to the existing opening.
 

TomLee

Member
May 26, 2019
279
62
Vancouver
Interesting story... I reached out to Curt regarding the issues I experienced with the hitch. This included the cutting of the underbody panel, the hitch not fitting the car correctly without grinding, and the fitment of the hitch with the bumper which made installation difficult.

Curt brought in another Model 3 and confirmed that the fitment was not correct on some models. They redesigned it with better tolerances and sent me the updated design, free of cost, in early April. I installed it last weekend. Here are a few things to know if you go with the Curt hitch:

  1. The updated design fits without grinding the hitch.
  2. You will have to cut away more of the bumper underpanel than they indicate. I know they say approximate, but that assumes you don't need the chain loops (you can cut them off before install if not needed and their measurements will likely work).
  3. The ears of the hitch push against a section of my bumper on both sides causing a slight bulge between the bumper and the underbody panel (see pictures below). I was hoping they would fix this, but perhaps it's something to do with my build?

I went with the Curt because it was more than half the price of the EcoHitch and I didn't care about hiding the hitch - I actually like the look of it. If you have to cut your underpanel, I don't see the point of purchasing the EcoHitch except for cosmetics. After installation of the Curt, I drove from Chicago to Houston and back. I didn't notice any increase in wind/road noise or a quantifiable affect on range.

I am annoyed that they didn't correct the issue I have with the underbody panel being bulged out. It makes the bumper installation more difficult - while someone holds the top in, I pulled the bumper/underbody panel down so it clears the hitch. If I didn't do this, the bottom rear of the bumper was pushed out and all the bolts wouldn't align. Once I cleared the hitch, everything popped into place. My recommendation is have someone start from the center top of the bumper next to the trunk, and someone under the car works to align the bolts of the underbody panel.

I believe that Curt designed the hitch correctly for their example vehicle, however this is Tesla's first foray into mass production. They likely had tolerance issues and changes mid-production compared to experienced automakers, causing fitment issues Curt doesn't experience on other vehicles from established automakers.

See my photos below. With the exception of the bulging (which is only visible if you lay down next to the car), I'm happy with the updated design.

I end up installing it today. Figured it something went wrong, I can leave the car in the garage in this special pandemic period. I have the 2019 model so that opening for the hitch already exists. It made things easier than you described. That hole fit the hitch very well. However, I’m having difficulties installing the rear bumper now. I have pushed one side in already and the other side is really hard to push. Are you suggesting line up the center, bolt the nuts under the car, then line up both sides? Any other tips to put the bumper in? Thanks a lot!
 

nayr14

Member
Mar 18, 2019
103
86
Chicago, IL
I end up installing it today. Figured it something went wrong, I can leave the car in the garage in this special pandemic period. I have the 2019 model so that opening for the hitch already exists. It made things easier than you described. That hole fit the hitch very well. However, I’m having difficulties installing the rear bumper now. I have pushed one side in already and the other side is really hard to push. Are you suggesting line up the center, bolt the nuts under the car, then line up both sides? Any other tips to put the bumper in? Thanks a lot!

It's good to know the cutout fits!

So look at my photos from post #5. Make sure the bumper isn't getting hung up on those marked spots. To be sure, undo the bumper again and have someone push in the bumper from the center of the trunk. Don't fasten the bumper on the taillight clips or around the sides yet! Go under the car and ensure that the bolts that go in the underpanel align and run those in first. If the bolts don't align, then it's likely you're hung up on those spots. With someone still holding/pushing on the bumper from the center of the trunk, try pulling down the underpanel so it slides over those spots... that's what did it for me.

Then work around and push the clips near the tail lights and then the sides should go in with a few good pushes on the bumper. I hope that helps!
 
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kujts

Member
May 2, 2020
8
7
KC
Installed the Curt yesterday, had a heck of a time getting the bumper facia back on, but eventually everything clipped back in, but now have a bit of panel gap on the drivers side, anyone else have this issue? I have a 2020 with the lower cutout, hitch fits fine through existing hole. Thinking about trying to cover the cutout a bit though.

A78B97B2-76FF-4B60-B809-1AAF1CF9F699.jpeg C23C2494-F841-4A38-8774-CF8EB975EF01.jpeg
 

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nayr14

Member
Mar 18, 2019
103
86
Chicago, IL
Installed the Curt yesterday, had a heck of a time getting the bumper facia back on, but eventually everything clipped back in, but now have a bit of panel gap on the drivers side, anyone else have this issue? I have a 2020 with the lower cutout, hitch fits fine through existing hole. Thinking about trying to cover the cutout a bit though.

View attachment 542464 View attachment 542465

Did all the bolts align on the underpanel? If so, give it a fist bump to knock the rest of the clips in.
 

TomLee

Member
May 26, 2019
279
62
Vancouver
It's good to know the cutout fits!

So look at my photos from post #5. Make sure the bumper isn't getting hung up on those marked spots. To be sure, undo the bumper again and have someone push in the bumper from the center of the trunk. Don't fasten the bumper on the taillight clips or around the sides yet! Go under the car and ensure that the bolts that go in the underpanel align and run those in first. If the bolts don't align, then it's likely you're hung up on those spots. With someone still holding/pushing on the bumper from the center of the trunk, try pulling down the underpanel so it slides over those spots... that's what did it for me.

Then work around and push the clips near the tail lights and then the sides should go in with a few good pushes on the bumper. I hope that helps!

thanks, bud! I read that but not until I do it, those words started to make sense! I work on it by myself so I had to find creative way, see below pics, to do it. I had to slid the underneath piece in first, put something under it so that won’t slid out, and then work from the bottom, pull the bumper up in order to clear the hitch inside, then work from centre to the side. The reason I’m doing it from bottom is that there were two pieces on the bumper right in the way where the hitch goes. You can see two lumps each side in my pic, that’s because I pull down the bumper to pass the hitch. So I guess the fitting problem you have is still there. But I did the cutout part pretty good. The cover fits pretty good and makes installation much easier.
7E45B5E9-0C52-483F-AFCA-853E86AB1A54.jpeg
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TomLee

Member
May 26, 2019
279
62
Vancouver
Installed the Curt yesterday, had a heck of a time getting the bumper facia back on, but eventually everything clipped back in, but now have a bit of panel gap on the drivers side, anyone else have this issue? I have a 2020 with the lower cutout, hitch fits fine through existing hole. Thinking about trying to cover the cutout a bit though.

View attachment 542464 View attachment 542465

I noticed the gap too, just not as big as yours. Yours more like the clips not in the right place. I believe it’s due to the fitting problem, it somehow distorted the bumper a little bit, at least for me. For the bottom cutout, I have it cut very well. It’s a tight fit. See the pics in my above post.
 

kujts

Member
May 2, 2020
8
7
KC
I noticed the gap too, just not as big as yours. Yours more like the clips not in the right place. I believe it’s due to the fitting problem, it somehow distorted the bumper a little bit, at least for me. For the bottom cutout, I have it cut very well. It’s a tight fit. See the pics in my above post.

Thanks for posting the cutout, looks great. Cut mine out in 4 minutes using your pics as a guide, fits well.
 

Z28diddy

Member
Sep 23, 2019
68
16
Texas
Hey, you don't have the model number of the newer (or older) hitch by any chance, do you? They have two on their website. Looks like 11581 replaced 11571. I messaged Curt on their website weeks ago and never received a response. Looks like etrailer has 11581 for like $180. Thought I'd give this a go.
 

TomLee

Member
May 26, 2019
279
62
Vancouver
Hey, you don't have the model number of the newer (or older) hitch by any chance, do you? They have two on their website. Looks like 11581 replaced 11571. I messaged Curt on their website weeks ago and never received a response. Looks like etrailer has 11581 for like $180. Thought I'd give this a go.

I have the 2" version which is 13449.
 
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Z28diddy

Member
Sep 23, 2019
68
16
Texas
Strange... I was looking at etrailer on my phone and missed the model # on there is C52VR.... which doesn't show up on Curt's website at all. I guess for $180 I'm just going to take a chance on it.
 

kujts

Member
May 2, 2020
8
7
KC
Hey, you don't have the model number of the newer (or older) hitch by any chance, do you? They have two on their website. Looks like 11581 replaced 11571. I messaged Curt on their website weeks ago and never received a response. Looks like etrailer has 11581 for like $180. Thought I'd give this a go.
I installed the C45FR, looks identical to the one you mentioned other than I went with the 2” receiver.
 
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kujts

Member
May 2, 2020
8
7
KC
pleasure to help! Did you fixed the gap thing?
Not yet, it hasn’t bothered me enough yet to pull everything back off and try the “start in the center and work your way out” method you suggested. I’ve given it a few nudges as I walk by in the garage, but those haven’t lessened the gap significantly.
 

Z28diddy

Member
Sep 23, 2019
68
16
Texas
Thanks for your pictures and pointers on getting the bumper back on. I spent way too long trying to get the bumper on with it pushing against the hitch rail. Had to take a frustration break, had some pizza and a couple beers and I figured it must have been something hitting the hitch bar. Pulled up your post, 10 minutes later it was on.

I only needed 2 sockets I didn't have:
15mm deep to remove crash bar
11/16 deep to attach crash bar with equipment from Curt.

20200524_193231.jpg
20200524_125857.jpg
 

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