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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, I broke down and did the Valley hitch install today. While the installation was quite easy and the instructions were good, I have created the following write up.

Tools:
1/2" Drive
3/8" Drive
1/2" Extension
3/8" Extension
1/2" Torque Wrench
2-1/8" Metal Hole Saw
19mm socket
17mm socket
12mm socket
HD Drill

Parts to Order:

Note: There are many suppliers for these parts. The supplier I chose is indicated in parentheses.

Nissan OEM wiring harness (yournissanparts.com)
Valley Class 5 Receiver Hitch (etrailer.com)

Depending on what you are towing, you'll need a ball mount, ball and hitch pin. I chose the following:

Master lock height adjustable 2" ball mount (etrailer.com)
Master lock no spin 2" hitch ball (etrailer.com)
Locking no rattle hitch pin (etrailer.com)
7 pin (blade contacts) adapter to 4 pin flat

I started with the Nissan Trailer wiring harness. The directions for connecting the wiring is simple. There are two connectors located near the bumper on the left rear frame rail. You must remove the dummy plugs and connect the new harness.



The length of the harness permits mounting on the OEM hitch or mounting in the rear bumper. There are two to three relays to be mounted inside the vehicle behind the right front passenger's kick panel. Again this is covered in the directions from Nissan.

Some aftermarket wiring harnesses do not include these relays. The wiring will not work without the relays. The Nissan harness comes with relays. It also includes mounting hardware and an assortment of zipties etc.

I chose to mount the harness plug directly above the license plate light next to the license plate.



Most installations I have seen mount the plug in the driver's side of the license plate on the flat part of the bumper. The location I chose requires a bit more precision in drilling.
I started by center punching for a hole 2-1/8" above the license plate marker light. I removed the light from the bumper (keeps it from being scratched) then drilled the 2-1/8" hole. Drilling this hole with a 2-1/8" hole saw gives 1/16" clearance between the plug and license plate light. Carefully paint the exposed metal. Reinstall the light when finished.

I disconnected the plug from the harness then trimmed all the extra plastic from around the back side of the plug.

It is important to plan on mounting the plug so the cover hinge is toward the top. Once the plastic is trimmed off, the plug can be test fitted in the hole. It should be a tight fit to get the plug installed. I had to do some extra filing to get the plug through the hole. Once through, there was enough play for the bottom of the plug to touch the license plate light. Holding the plug in this position, I center-punched one of the holes. I drilled the hole with a bit the side of the hole in the plug. I repeated on the other side, using one of the supplied bolts to hold the plug in place while I center-punched the other. With both drilled, I applied locktite to the bolts and mounted the plug. For now, leave the harness hanging free behind the bumper.

Mounting the Hitch:

The mounting the hitch is easy. Nissan provides illustrated directions.

First, start by lowering and removing the spare tire. Then loosen the two lower bumper bracket bolts on each side.





Notice my version of an impact wrench. I apologize for the un-manicured toe nails. Security at Heathrow confiscated my clippers last week.

Thread the bolts provided for the hitch into their respective holes to ensure the bolts thread smoothly.



The threaded captive nuts are built into the frame. Remove the bolts when you are sure they thread with no problems. Some folks have reported having to chase the threads with a tap. I had no issues.

Next the directions call for removing the bracket holding the exhaust in place. While I did this, I do not think its necessary.



I was able to slide the hitch in without displacing the exhaust.

Now is time to position the hitch in place. Having an extra set of hands here would be helpful, but I mounted the hitch myself. I gathered the bolts, placed the hitch on my knees and slid under the vehicle. I started by positioning the passenger side of the hitch in place by slipping it over the exhaust. I then slid the driver's side into place and started the forward most bolts on both sides. I then rotated the hitch into place and installed the remainder of the bolts. Many folks have indicated trouble getting the bolts started on some hitches. I had no difficulties and managed to get the bolts mostly tightened by hand.



The Nissan and Valley hitches (both manufactured by Valley) fit the best. Other hitches don't always fit perfectly.

Once in place, there is a slight amount of adjustability, allowing the hitch to be snugged up against the bumper. I left about 1/16" between the hitch and bumper to avoid vibrations.



I then tightened all the bolts to the recommended 75lb.ft. using a torque wrench.



Remount the exhaust hanger and put the spare back. Once the spare is in place, you are done.



Some folks have stated that they need to bend the exhaust to avoid it from contacting the hitch. I had no issues with about an inch of clearance all around. I'm assuming this is an issue with other hitch manufacturers.



Here it is with the Master Lock height adjustable ball mount.



I shortened the ball mount as the receiver in the hitch is fairly short. I cut about 4" off the ball mount and re-drilled the hitch pin hole so the ball mount is as tight as possible to the hitch. This reduces the leverage that the trailer has on the rear suspension.

Overall, its an easy and worthwhile mod.

-Old Army
 

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cool. Wow that is what a clean underside of the X looks like. I almost forgot.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
S_e_X-Terra said:
Yeah, hey old army take that sucker and get her dirty. Anyway another good write up!
I haven't been in the country long enough over the summer to do any wheeling. I still have a few hundred miles until its broken in propoerly.

-Old Army
 

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Old Army said:
S_e_X-Terra said:
Yeah, hey old army take that sucker and get her dirty. Anyway another good write up!
I haven't been in the country long enough over the summer to do any wheeling. I still have a few hundred miles until its broken in propoerly.

-Old Army
Question for ya...Is the Torque Wrech the Craftsman? Do you have problems with the rubber handle twisting on you so the torque numbers are all F'd up?
 

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You get an A++ on that write up! My Grandmother can do it with these directions! And pretty funny comment on the clippers! LOL that picture is washed out and we can't tell anyways, But I was thinking, what the? Them sandals are too nice to be working on cars with.

This is great info for someone considering doing that mod.

A+
MC
 

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Xterraclamper said:
Old Army said:
S_e_X-Terra said:
Yeah, hey old army take that sucker and get her dirty. Anyway another good write up!
I haven't been in the country long enough over the summer to do any wheeling. I still have a few hundred miles until its broken in propoerly.

-Old Army
Question for ya...Is the Torque Wrech the Craftsman? Do you have problems with the rubber handle twisting on you so the torque numbers are all F'd up?
My craftsman has a lock so you can't change it. That being said, most of my numbers are wore off now so I have to count clicks when I adjust it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Xterraclamper said:
Question for ya...Is the Torque Wrech the Craftsman? Do you have problems with the rubber handle twisting on you so the torque numbers are all F'd up?
It is a craftsman. Ive never had an issue with the handle, although the ratchet mechanism once broke. I got it replaced for free. As I understand it now, the lifetime warranty doesn't apply to torque wrenches anymore.

-Old Army
 

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Discussion Starter #9
USMC XTERRA said:
Them sandals are too nice to be working on cars with...
MC
Well, not everyone can look this good when they wrench on a truck :thumbright:
 

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Nice job man.
 

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Ya know I want to add something,
Anyone buying a converter like he has plugged in the 7 pin round that converts it to 4 pin flat, for about the same price you can get a 7 pin to 5 pin flat. That includes the power from the reverse lights that will deactivate the disc brakes when backing a trailer so equipped, (Some U haul trailer also are going that way) Plus, you can use it for aux lights to the rear on your roof basket for wheeling at night / camping. Just bring two wires down and plug it in to the ground and reverse poles.

Thought I'd mention it, because I bought the converter and had to go buy a 5 pin when I got disc brakes. A 5 pin will work as a 4 pin too but a 4 pin won't work as a five.

BUT if you get into that Jam, You take the last female pin on the trailer and plug it to the male (Run) light pole on the car, turn the lights on, this gives power to the Brake release (Provided you have a ground through the hitch) and releases the brakes to back up.

Now that you read all this, it makes no difference if it makes sense, it will when you get into that jam and you'll remember.

Point is, buy the 5 pin converter instead of 4, same price or close, get more bang for your buck! MC
 

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Thanks Old Army!!! I have Pony's old hitch and now have a better idea what I will be doing soon! :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
USMC XTERRA said:
Ya know I want to add something,
Anyone buying a converter like he has plugged in the 7 pin round that converts it to 4 pin flat, for about the same price you can get a 7 pin to 5 pin flat... MC
That adapter is for U-Haul towing duties. They have that stupid 4 bullet pin setup that they use on their trailers. If you look closely, you will noitce that the 4 pin flat has been converted again to the U-Haul bullet type plug. I can't tell you how many times I've had to pay an extra $5 because I didnt have their idiotic adapter.

-Old Army
 

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Old Army said:
Xterraclamper said:
Question for ya...Is the Torque Wrech the Craftsman? Do you have problems with the rubber handle twisting on you so the torque numbers are all F'd up?
It is a craftsman. Ive never had an issue with the handle, although the ratchet mechanism once broke. I got it replaced for free. As I understand it now, the lifetime warranty doesn't apply to torque wrenches anymore.

-Old Army
My handle broke free right after the 90day warranty....I'm thinking about going back to old type so I can actually believe what I see on torque values...
 

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USMC XTERRA said:
Ya know I want to add something,
Anyone buying a converter like he has plugged in the 7 pin round that converts it to 4 pin flat, for about the same price you can get a 7 pin to 5 pin flat. That includes the power from the reverse lights that will deactivate the disc brakes when backing a trailer so equipped, (Some U haul trailer also are going that way) Plus, you can use it for aux lights to the rear on your roof basket for wheeling at night / camping. Just bring two wires down and plug it in to the ground and reverse poles.
...
Point is, buy the 5 pin converter instead of 4, same price or close, get more bang for your buck! MC
Thanks MC for the Heads-up
 

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Re: Valley Hitch and Nissan Harness Install

Old Army said:
I disconnected the plug from the harness then trimmed all the extra plastic from around the back side of the plug as directed in this write up on the Black Panther web site (aka the Black Panther Modification).

http://www.blackpantherskidplates.com/blackpanther_armor_054.htm
Anyone know another website that has a write up on modifying the plug to make it a flush mount on the bumper? What needs to be trimmed off?...
 

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I did it and all you need to do is get a 2-1/8" hole saw. If you look at the rear plug you need to shave off anything that makes it bigger than 2-1/8". I know that sounds really obvious, but it isn't too bad. I just trimmed as I went with a little coping saw, and everything worked out well for me.
 

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Why is the hitch from Evalley.com about $100 less than from Yournissanparts.com. Is teh Evalley one missing something for installation??? I could have sworn that I saw a huge price difference.
 

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Anyone know if they are the same exact hitches from Yournissanparts and evalley??? I want to purchase a hitch soon so I was looking around and noticed the price difference, so I want to make sure the one from evalley is the same as the one from yournissanparts.
 
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