Tow Hitch and Muffler Issue

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Jun 8, 2009
Northern Ca.
Hi Everyone,

I just had a Curt tow hitch (model #13443) installed on my '99 LC a couple of days ago. The LC did not have a hitch before that. The reason I went with the Curt brand is because I've read some good reviews about their tow hitches and it appears to be a reputable company. However, after the hitch was installed, I noticed that the tip of my muffler is pressed against the side of the square opening in the hitch designed to go around the muffler instead of the tip being in the middle of the opening (see images).

I don't think that Curt would be selling this hitch design for this many of years if they miss measured the muffler opening, so either my particular hitch is defective or my muffler is off from where it's supposed to be. The muffler is a Toyota muffler and it came with the LC when I purchased it used. I don't know if it's the original muffler but it still appears to be in a good shape so I don't think it was knock out of position.

So here is where I need some help and input:

1) Can someone provide me with the measurement of their LC's muffler from the enter of their hitch opening to the center of the muffler tip? This way I can check to see if my muffler is indeed out of place.

2) With the tip of the muffler pressed up against the hitch and the muffler tip blowing the exhaust directly onto the bottom portion of the square opening, the hitch gets hot after driving for a while. I've only had the hitch for a couple of days so I haven't taken an extended road trip yet. But should I be concerned that in the long run the heating and cooling of the hitch from the muffler will shorten the life of or weaken the hitch or affect other nearby items, such as the spare tire that's also pressed up against the hitch?

3) Following question #2 above, I've also noticed now that as the exhaust exit the tip of the muffler, it hits the bottom of the square opening and gets deflected up towards the plastic bumper cover and gets the bumper cover hot in that immediate area. Does anyone know if the exhaust would ever get so hot as to char, melt, or warp the factory plastic bumper cover? (unfortunately it's not in my fiscal future to upgrade to a metal bumper setup anytime soon)

I don't know if I'm over-thinking this or that even if I keep the muffler tip pressed up against the hitch will really have no ill effect at all, but I wanted to get your input and opinion so I can decide if I should just take some loss right now and switch to another brand of hitch without the square muffler opening design. I didn't get a Toyota hitch to start with because this one is only $168 delivered which is much cheaper than the Toyota ones that I saw. But depending that if I have to switch, I might ultimately regret that I didn't just go with the Toyota one at the beginning.
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Youre worrying too much. Unless it is rubbing the hitch, you have nothing to worry about. If it is rubbing, bend the exhaust hanger so that it doesnt rub.
Thanks Layonnn for putting my mind to ease. I'll stop worrying now. :)
I have an OEM hitch if you want it.
Willing to ship on your dime.

If you want that oem hitch and need to have it shipped, i have some advice. I purchased a hitch from a mudder in CA and he shipped it to me in TX. He took strips of cardboard and taped (a lot of tape) those strips around the hitch until it was fully covered. I used my Fedex Ground account and it only cost me $35 for shipping. First he took it to the FedEx store and they quoted him $200 to pack and ship.

Hope that helps. I, too, wanted an OEM hitch and am glad that I have one for the additional capacity.
Texas993, I am in Utah and my cruiser never had a hitch. Just looking for one so I can drag the bikes around. Let me know the details and we can work it out. Thanks!

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