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Unread 04-27-2012, 11:08 PM   #1
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Default Basics of hitch installation?

I am looking to get a hitch installed on my 2002 Mazda Protege so I can pull a 5x8 UHaul trailer. I planned to get it installed at the UHaul shop, but they called to tell me the labor cost would be at least double what it was supposed to be according to the website. So, I think I'd rather order the parts and have our mechanic install it.

The Rock Auto catalog gives me 4 options for a hitch (screenshot attached). I think #3 and #4 will work, but I am not exactly clear on why #2 doesn't tell me the ball size or the difference between Std or Euro ball mount.

I would also like to know what parts I need to buy for my mechanic to wire it for the 4-way flat light connector that the trailer has. If you happen to know what I should look under in the catalog, that would be great.

These are the specs for the trailer: U-Haul: Equipment specs

The UHaul select a hitch guide: U-Haul: Tips: Select-A-Hitch Guide

A screenshot for the hitch options in the Rock Auto catalog is attached too.

Any help would be very much appreciated
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Unread 04-28-2012, 02:43 AM   #2
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I want to throw out there, you know the tow limit of your car is around 1000lbs....which includes people and gear. With an older car, loaded up you may seriously damage the transmission. Its probably cheap if its a one time shot to just rent the truck. Also note
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Empty weight: 900 lbs.
Most of the kits I have seen lately don't actually require splicing, they just use a large T shaped wiring harness, you remove the tail lights and unplug the wires, and plug the hitch wiring in, and plug it back together. Most of the cars I have added hitches to(cobalt, HHR, cutlass) already had the mounting points it was just a matter of bolting it in.

2002 Mazda Protege Trailer Hitches - JCWhitney
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Unread 04-28-2012, 09:30 AM   #3
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Thanks for your reply. It's a cross country move and we have two cars. The moving truck works out to about $1500-$3000 more than the trailer all told and then we'd have to make the drive twice. The UHaul site has a car model lookup and says I can haul 2000 pounds (trailer + 1100 lbs cargo). We aren't taking any furniture, but you can't fit much in one backseat + 2 trunks. So the trailer will hold clothes, our TVs, kitchen stuff, the dog's crate, etc.

So, is the wiring harness something that I can have my mechanic install ahead of time?

Thanks again.

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Unread 04-29-2012, 12:39 AM   #4
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If you search youtube you will find several easy guides on how to do this for general cars....I am not sure specifically on yours or not.(I am at work so I can't go to youtube's site) I seriously doubt 2000lbs is the limit. Just because thats what the hitch can hold, does not mean thats what it can tow, I can get a class III for my van, thats like 7500lbs I believe, which would destroy my unibody fwd van.

Remember even if it is 2000lbs, and the trailer weighs 900...you have to include yourself and everything in the car for those 1100lbs. I would really call mazda and see what they say the tow capacity is, I think it would really suck if you broke down on your way or got there and needed a new transmission. Also if your going through the mountains, the brakes on your car may not be up to par.
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Unread 04-29-2012, 04:32 AM   #5
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Thanks for sharing.

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Unread 04-30-2012, 12:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lemans81 View Post

Remember even if it is 2000lbs, and the trailer weighs 900...you have to include yourself and everything in the car for those 1100lbs. I would really call mazda and see what they say the tow capacity is, I think it would really suck if you broke down on your way or got there and needed a new transmission. Also if your going through the mountains, the brakes on your car are not be up to par.
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Towing with a small car and avoiding the cost of renting a truck is not worth the long term damage it will cause to your vehicle. Have you considered just renting a pickup truck?
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Unread 04-30-2012, 11:27 AM   #7
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I'm not interested in having any more discussion about renting a truck. If anyone can answer my questions, I would appreciate it.

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Unread 05-01-2012, 12:38 AM   #8
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Its fine if you want to get upset at our info, we just wanted to warn you of the danger. At bare minimum you will shorten the life of your transmission and brakes, but much more damage is possible. If your going on a long trip and your tranny shells out on your, your not going to be having fun either.

As to your question it appears as though the Euro style has a 50mm ball, and standard uses a standard sized ball. I don't think it matters although I would go standard.

I found the wiring its a universal, they don't make one of those nice neat easy kits for you vehicle. On rockauto.com they have it for $18.81, it requires splicing and such. My guess is your mechanic can order it from any of his suppliers as well since its universal.

Also one last thing you should ask uhaul is if they will rent to you. My friend recently was doing a quick move and was renting their smallest trailer and they refused him in his 1997 Honda Civic 5 spd, said it wasn't rated to tow it. The guy told me if they install it they will rent it, but if not they won't...which is just junk but they do that sometimes.
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Unread 05-01-2012, 05:33 AM   #9
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I'm not interested in having any more discussion about renting a truck. If anyone can answer my questions, I would appreciate it.

That is the answer. Unfortunately your car just is not suitable for towing anything, and attempting to do so WILL break and/or damage something. Maybe not on the tow itself, but it will. There isn't a single part on your car suitable for towing. The only answer to "Can I tow with a Mazda Protoge?" is "No, you will damage something, you need a vehicle rated for towing.".


Is there anything stopping you from welding a hitch on anyway? Nope. You can buy the receiver and have your mechanic install it. It's quite easy, will only take a couple of hours to install the hitch and wire the car for towing. But it isn't a good idea, it will shorten the life of your car and it won't be safe to drive while towing.
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