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2013 Forester XT 4EAT
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
SH Forester Torklift Central Ecohitch 2" Eco Series Stealth Hidden Hitch Install

I ordered the Ecohitch directly from Torklift Central's website. They have both a 2" and a 1.25" hitch. I went for the 2".

The specs given from Torklift were 350 lbs tongue loading and a 3500 lb towing capacity. What got me interested in the hitch was that it was a no-drill installation. I've seen the competition's hitches, other than the OEM one, you have to drill the frame rails. The OEM hitch requires you to remove the bumper support, the Ecohitch retains the bumper support.

I did the install after work hours. The instructions are very detailed with diagrams on removing the bumper, etc. The pictures I'm providing are for reference, I was not able to take a picture at every individual step due to time constraints, i.e. they were going to turn the lights off on me.

The box was huge, everything was wrapped securely. Instructions were in the white hardware box...











The rear bumper has to be removed...



The rear bumper support has to be removed to access the frame rails to install the hitch mounting bolts...







All rear rubber hangers for the exhaust have to be detached from the mufflers. I didn't detach the one in front of the rear axle, but it would probably be easier if I did...









The plugs for the frame rails will have to be removed, a small screwdriver will do the trick...





One of the rear bolts fished through using their provided tool. Here's a tip, stick the threaded end of the wire into the frame hole from underneath, push the wire out of the hole at where the bumper support was, and then assemble your bolt/washer/plates at the opening of the bumper support...



A view of the bolt/washer/plate inside the frame rail opening...





 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)








When you reinstall the bumper, make sure you clip it into the bumper support correctly. If you did it wrong your hatch will not open, I found out the hard way.







Some of the bumper has to be trimmed. The amount of trimming will vary on personal preference, this is how much I trimmed...



























I am very happy with this hitch. I love the fact that I didn't have to do any drilling or notching on any metal parts of my Forester. I like the way that most of it is hidden other than the receiver section.

I do some mild off roading, so I didn't lose too much on my departure angle. I will be using the hitch for a bike carrier and a spare tire carrier for a full size spare.

I would highly recommend the Ecohitch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Here's a view of the hitch used as a recovery point. Sorry, my Forester doesn't like staying clean.



I also forgot to mention that the hitch comes with a plastic chrome cap that plugs into the receiver when not in use. It would be great for putting a sticker of your choice on it. I'll add a picture once I find a sticker I like.
 

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2010 FXT slush-box
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662 Posts
ecohitch

I just had a local U-haul place install my 1.25" hitch. It went fine, and they did not even have to cut the underside of the bumper cover. It tucks up nicely against the bumper, as in your pics.

Pretty clean install for the $$

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just had a local U-haul place install my 1.25" hitch. It went fine, and they did not even have to cut the underside of the bumper cover. It tucks up nicely against the bumper, as in your pics.

Pretty clean install for the $$

Jeff
Jeff, do you have any pictures of your hitch installed?
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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276 Posts
Machine1, thank you for taking the pictures and the time to write such a detailed post. This hitch that tucks up high while keeping the stock bumper looks to be the best of the breed. FWIW, it seems to me there are far more hitch accessories for 2-inch than 1-1/4, especially if you want a 1-3/4" screw pin shackle receiver insert for recovery.

It appears to me there's only one (left) side location in the Subaru rear bumper for the factory eye bolt (not unlike the solo factory rear tow point on Wranglers), so for canoe tie-down, a hitch in the center would probably be a better tie point, as long as there's two tie points up front to prevent yawing.

Can you confirm if there's a mount for the Subaru eye bolt on both sides of the front? or only on the passenger side where you have your tow point with the shackle?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Machine1, thank you for taking the pictures and the time to write such a detailed post. This hitch that tucks up high while keeping the stock bumper looks to be the best of the breed. FWIW, it seems to me there are far more hitch accessories for 2-inch than 1-1/4, especially if you want a 1-3/4" screw pin shackle receiver insert for recovery.

It appears to me there's only one (left) side location in the Subaru rear bumper for the factory eye bolt (not unlike the solo factory rear tow point on Wranglers), so for canoe tie-down, a hitch in the center would probably be a better tie point, as long as there's two tie points up front to prevent yawing.

Can you confirm if there's a mount for the Subaru eye bolt on both sides of the front? or only on the passenger side where you have your tow point with the shackle?

Thanks!
Your welcome Moe!

I was looking for a no-drill hitch with a 2" receiver that was hidden like the factory hitch (the body of the hitch at least), Torklift Central had one available.

The front has only one hook just like the rear. Most cars are like that, our Mercedes is done the same way.
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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Thanks for the quick response, sir. Looks like we'll need some of those straps along the hood/fender gaps for a front canoe tie-down. But that hitch is definitely on our add-on list. Best regards and have lots of fun off-road!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the quick response, sir. Looks like we'll need some of those straps along the hood/fender gaps for a front canoe tie-down. But that hitch is definitely on our add-on list. Best regards and have lots of fun off-road!
No problem! Post pics of that hitch after you get it installed, preferably with pictures of the canoe on top. Have a good one!

 

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2011 forester auto
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31 Posts
Thanks for this thorough install thread for the EcoHitch. Installed mine today on my 11' step by step including the same trim on the bumper. Went on without a hitch.

Pun intended.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@Machine1 Thanks for the detailed install log! It helped a ton when I put mine on a few week ago. I can't believe I was so intimidated to take off my bumper. I highly recommend this hitch for SH owners.
I'm glad I was able to help! Your Foz looks great! I think it's the best hitch option out there.

Here's some Austin love...

DSC_0091 by Vinay Sisoukraj, on Flickr
 

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2010 Forester
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I was checking out the Tork Lift website and they had an installation video on an 09-13 Forester. It did not appear that they removed the bumper cover at all. Is it possible to do it like that? (or am I missing something while watching the video)
 

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2010 Forester
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Never mind. Torklift sent me the instructions, and the bumper and bumper cover do get removed (as shown in the informative OP). Not sure what the deal with the video is?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
There would be no way to get the square metal plate in there if we didn't take out the bumper support to access the hole.

I think on the other brand hitches, you drill a hole big enough to fit a washer so you don't have to take off the bumper. I'm not a fan of drilling into the body.
 

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2012 FXT
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I also got an 2" Ecohitch for my SH ordered and installed at a local dealer in the Vancouver area. The product is very hefty but looks like it will last a long time. The installer charged 1 hr ($75 CAD) and it's been working great so far. Just a shout to the customer service team at Torklift. They've answered all my product questions very promptly and glad I chose it as it tucks in under the bumper very nicely.
 

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2010 2.5X Manual
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311 Posts
Well after a decade the parts don't come off quite as easy but not too bad so far. One bumper-cover-to-fender-well clip (the little ones that face forwards and are exposed) was a casualty.
 
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