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Trailer Hitch Installation - 2008 Honda Element - Curt

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2008 Honda Element

Today on our 2008 Honda Element we're going to be installing the CURT Trailer Hitch Receiver, part number 13574. Now here's what our hitch looks like installed on our vehicle. Now we'll go ahead and give you a couple measurements in helping you choose some accessories for your hitch, such as a ball mount, a bicycle rack, or a cargo carrier. From the center of the hitch pinhole to the outermost edge of the bumper is approximately 3". From the top of the opening in the receiver to the ground is approximately 13". Now let's go ahead and install our hitch. Now we'll begin our installation here by pointing out our mounting locations underneath the vehicle. There will be a total of five mounting locations.

We'll begin over here on the driver side. There's one here and one here. We'll be using the tow hook here in the center, and over here on the passenger side we have one here, and here. Now while we're over here on the passenger side let's go ahead and point out our access holes that we'll be using to install our hardware in the two side mounting locations. We'll be using this hole here and this hole here.

It will be the same over on the driver side. Next let's go ahead and point out the hardware that we'll be using for the forward mounting location on each side. We'll be using a handle nut, a hex bolt, and two flat washers. It will go flat washer on the hex bolt, then the hitch, then another flat washer in between the hitch and the vehicle's frame, and then the handle nut will be installed and will line up with the hole. Now we will need to enlarge this hole large enough to allow the handle nut to fit in properly. This will be the same procedure and hardware used over on the driver side. Now the hardware we'll use here at the rear mounting location will be the carriage bolt, square hole spacer block, and in between the vehicle's frame and the hitch we'll install a flat washer.

Finally we'll install a 1/2" flange nut. Now in order to get the carriage bolt and spacer block into the hole using this access hole here we'll be using a pull wire or a fish wire, and again we're going to need to enlarge that hole large enough for the square hole spacer block and carriage bolt to fit through it. We're going to go ahead and take our 3/8 drill bit. We're going to drill a hole right next to the hole. We're going to start out with a smaller drill bit, put a pilot hole right next to the original hole. Then we'll step it up in drill bit size.

We went up to a 3/8 drill bit. We'll then use our round file on our drill to finish enlarging the hole large enough for the carriage bolt and square hole spacer block to fit in properly. Now to enlarge our forward mounting location we're just going to use a round file here on our drill. You can use a hand file if you want or even a grinding wheel on a rotary tool if you choose. That one's large enough. Go ahead and repeat the same process over on the passenger side. Now the hardware used at the middle mounting location or the tow hook mounting location will be a 7/16 u-bolt and a 7/16 flange nut on each side of the u-bolt. Next we're going to go ahead and take our coiled end of our fish wire, pull wire. We'll go through the hole, come out the access hole. Take our square hole spacer block, our carriage bolt; feed that into position. We'll then push our block back into the frame, followed by our carriage bolt. We'll then pull that down into position. Next we'll go ahead and install each of the handle nuts in the forward mounting location. Go ahead and repeat this process over on the passenger side. Next it's a good idea to get an extra set of hands to help you raise the hitch up into position. We're going to start by putting the hardware on the carriage bolt locations. You want to make sure that you installed a flat washer in between the hitch and the vehicle's frame. Now for the forward mounting location we'll slip the flat washer in place. We'll make sure our hex bolt has a flat washer on it as well. Go ahead and feed it up through and thread it into the handle nut. Go ahead and repeat this same process over on the passenger side. Next we'll go ahead and install our u-bolt through the safety tow hook, through the hitch, be up in there like that. We'll reach on the back side and install the flange nuts. Now that we have all of our hardware installed we can go ahead and tighten it down and then torque it to the manufacturer's specification. Once you have all the hardware torqued down, that will do it for the installation of the CURT Trailer Hitch Receiver, part number 13574, on our 2008 Honda Element. .

Bob H.


Excellent video! Accurate with no wasted time.

Info for this part was:

Employee Shane T
Test Fit:
Shane T
Employee Alan C
Video by:
Alan C
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R

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