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How to Fit a Tow Bar: A DIY lesson for Sydney

Posted by Bob Newman on Sep 22, 2014 - 0 Comments

tow bar sydney

Make getting away from Sydney that much easier by installing a tow bar to your vehicle.


First things first: this DIY is not for the amateurs. If you’re a little uncertain about mechanics, it’s probably best that you leave this one to the automobile experts of Sydney. However, if you consider yourself a handyman (and it has been proven so, too), then installing a toolbar is a satisfying activity that will save you some dollars at the mechanic. If you’re patient, have the right tools and have a great work space that is flat and filled with light, you’re ready to start fitting your brand new tow bar from the comfort of your own home, without having to visit one of Sydney’s many mechanics.

Here’s Carasel’s guide to doing the best tow bar fitting Sydney has ever seen (maybe).

Fitting a Tow Bar in Sydney: Where do you start?

Before tackling the task of fitting a tow bar, you will first need to see what kind of tow bar is compatible with the model and make of your car. Then, you will need to decide whether you want a car mounted or coach mounted tow bar. The basic differences between the two tow bars is that the car mounted tow bar is fitted at the front of the vehicle and the coach mounted tow bar is fitted at the read of the vehicle.

Once you’ve made the difficult choice between a car mounted and a coach mounted tow bar, you must then decide whether your towing requires a rigid or collapsible tow bar. The collapsible tow bar is easy to hook up and adjust, but is more prone to being stolen if it does not include a locking system. In comparison, the rigid tow bar is exactly that – rigid – and is not collapsible or adjustable. However, it is less expensive than a collapsible tow bar and is popular with users who do not need to disconnect and reconnect their towing system often.

Fitting a Tow Bar in Sydney: What do you need?

Before you get started on fitting your new tow bar, you will need to assemble the tow bar kit and collect the tools required to fit the tow bar to your vehicle. If the tow bar you’ve purchased does not come with a test tool list, the minimum requirements will be:

  • A socket set
  • Screwdrivers of various sizes and shank length – both Phillips head and flat
  • A torque wrench
  • A tape measure
  • Cable ties (optional)
  • Pinch weld (optional)

Sometimes, when fitting a tow bar, the tools listed above will be the only things you need. Often, that is not the case, and you’ll need more than just the tow bar, electrics and brake controller before you can take your trailer out for its very first spin.

Your tow bar manufacturer may recommend or even require you to add a stand-alone transmission cooler, as some tow vehicles may not be functional without it. Check your radiator cooling capacity – it may be insufficient for towing and may require an upgrade. If you’ve got a modern vehicle that runs off a computer system, it may require a software upgrade to accommodate for towing applications. To find that information, contact your vehicle manufacturer or dealer.


Fitting a Tow Bar in Sydney: How to do it, step-by-step

  1. Assemble the tow bar kit and the tools required. Ensure that you are working on a flat surface with sufficient space around the vehicle.
  2. Disconnect the vehicle battery and remove any components at the rear of the vehicle that may restrict your ability to fit the tow bar properly, such as the boot carpet trim or underlay.
  3. If necessary, remove the vehicle’s bumper supports. This is a common step for later vehicles with plastic bumpers – in this case, the tow bar becomes a structural support in itself.
  4. Prepare the bumper for cutting. Your tow bar kit may include the materials to do this, or you can measure the centre line yourself. Then, cut the plastic bumper with a small cutting tool, or hand cut with a fine-blade hacksaw. If you make a mistake or you’re not happy with the result, use some pinch weld and fit it to the cutout to make it look neater.
  5. Make any required modifications to any vehicle components and refit. Then, fit the tow bar to the vehicle; insert the mounting bolts and torque to the manufacturer’s specifications. You may require some assistance with this.
  6. Wire up the trailer connection. In some tow bar kits you may have a loom supplied. If there is no loom supplied, you will need 4mm gauge insulated copper wire and clip connectors. Newer vehicles may require a dedicated loom – consult your vehicle’s manual or contact your manufacturer to see whether this applies to your vehicle.
  7. Refit the bumper and other components you removed prior to bar fitment, then re-torque to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  8. Secure the trailer connector, bolt up the tow ball and secure the hitch to the receiver with lock and pin, then tighten the anti-rattle bolt, if fitted. Test the trailer connector ports to ensure they are receiving voltage.

For a tow bar to suit your needs in Sydney, contact Carasel – we’re Sydney’s favourite tow bar manufacturers, having operated for more than 45 years and being 100 per cent Australian owned. We stock tow bar and trailer parts and accessories for a range of models – click here to see if we have your vehicle make and model in stock! We can beat any tow bar quote by 10% and are happy to fit your bar while you wait at either of our two Sydney locations.

This blog was posted in TopTips and tagged in bar, Bars, Caravan, caravans, Cars, Sydney, tow, Towbar, Towbars, trailers

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