Front Mount Reciever Installed - Curt MFG Model 31241

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blink32
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Front Mount Reciever Installed - Curt MFG Model 31241

Postby blink32 » Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:03 pm

There have been several threads on front mount receivers. The Curt MFG Model #31241 was identified as fitting the front of the 05 - 07 Nissan Frontiers and by all accounts it should fit the Pathfinder also as we share the same frame. It was also discovered that a Reese model multi-fit could be made to fit with the correct bracketry but one would need to purchase the correct mounting bolts to attach it to the frame properly as I found out and detailed in another thread.

Last week I took the plunge and ordered the Curt hitch and today I received it. Your Mileage May Vary but here are the details of my experience. The pictures are pretty much in order of how things go. The hitch isn't that heavy but it is awkward.

What's Included:
Hitch, bag of 4 bolts, 4 split lock washers, 4 larger fender washer, instruction sheet

Tools Needed:
19mm socket, 10mm socket, associated driver, extension, floor jack (or helper), bench grinder, die grinder (explanation of the last two comes later)

Process:
1. Using the 10mm socket remove the center section of the front lower air dam.

1a. Remove tow hook if present. (I forgot to include this step and since the LE doesn't have one I am unsure of what size socket to use)

2. Using the jack or a helper position the receiver and thread your bolts. The bolts towards the rear of the vehicle are easiest to access. The front ones take more finesse and I had to use a shallow 19mm on a long extension. I don't have large hands but it was tough to get in there.

***note*** This is where it gets funky. My hitch was manufactured *too* well if that's possible. When held up in place everything looks like it lines up but I could never get more than one bolt started. Upon further investigation there were two things working against me. #1, the mounting holes in the brackets were punched out prior to the brackets being bent to match the frame. This causes the edge of the hole to bend in on its-self causing the bolt to be a little cock-eyed. #2, the inside of the bend is so close to the mounting hole that the fender washer the kit comes with contact the bracket sides. Again, this causes the bolt to be cock-eyed instead of straight on. You can see how the fender washers are bending up in the up close picture. I solved these issues in two ways. First I used a die grinder to make the whole round again. This immediately allowed the bolts to thread properly. I also flattened a portion of the fender washers to gain the clearance required. I did this only one side though. I wanted to see if I could thread the bolts w/o doing this on the other side.

3. Tighten down the bolts, done.

Results:
There is no loss of ground clearance. I had 11.5" when I started from the ground to the lowest point of the front skid plate and this sits a good 1/2" - 1" higher than that. I'm happy with the way it turned out.

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Stock

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Airdam that was removed

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Front w/airdam removed

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Front with Curt installed

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Upclose of the Curt

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Upclose of the frame to receiver mount

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Last edited by blink32 on Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:54 am, edited 1 time in total.


nissan4me
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Postby nissan4me » Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:44 pm

Looks nice !!!!!! Can you take a pic looking down the front of the hood toward the ground? I would like to see how for out it extends from the frame?

Thanks

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blink32
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Postby blink32 » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:26 am

I should be able to do that tonight after 6pm EST. But it doesn't stick out at all. The front bumper sticks out further so looking down you won't see it. I'll take one from the side though.

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Postby boogyman » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:41 am

That looks pretty stealthy. Now you can get a platform and a oversized cooler for storing the catch of the day. Of course you'll have to make the fishing pole holder mod for going on the beach.

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blink32
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Postby blink32 » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:53 am

Ha, true. But then that means I need to buy a fishing pole, and reels, and then spend more money on a new hobby. Not sure if I can pull that one off just yet. I think tonight I'll mess around with hooking up my spare cargo tray and see how it fits.

Oh, some other details to note. All the retailers I found selling this receiver listed the specifications as 9000lb Line Pull and 500lb Tongue Weight. If you dig into the Curt instructions though you will see that it is only rated at 350lb tongue and 3500lb gross trailer weight. The 9klb straight pull remains but in reality that is only a useful spec for a minority of instances. And I don't plan on towing any trailers in reverse at highway speeds so the 3500lb limit is not a big deal, but legally you shouldn't exceed the 350lb carrying capacity.

And I forgot a step, removing the front tow hook if installed.

bbermann
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Postby bbermann » Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:16 am

Hey blink32-

Wow, that is a great piece of hardware and a nice installation. It looks right at home down there. I am wondering where you got it and what you paid.

Thanks!

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blink32
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Postby blink32 » Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:59 am

I went with Fleabay. Got it from user id "gethitched". $105 + $20 shipping so $125 total. There were other retailers out there but you either had to get $150 worth of stuff to get free shipping or the shipping is like 40 bones on top of being more expensive. SummitRacing offers the receiver for like $1.50 cheaper but they have none in stock and shipping date is iffy.

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Postby NVSteve » Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:22 am

I'd like to see some pics that show the fruit of your labor. If you throw on that spare cargo tray, could you post up a pic or 2? For whatever reason, I'm having a tough time visualizing something sticking out of the front of the PF. You could always visit a wrecker & pull out the plastic seats from the old school Subaru Brat, add a bit of welding & mount those onto the front for a white-knuckled thrill ride off road.

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blink32
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Postby blink32 » Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:27 am

Ha, now that would be fun. I forget what I saw but it was along those lines. Only the woman on the front was into something kinky and it sure didn't look fun to me.

I was going to test fit the tray today so I'll snap some pics at the same time. The one thing I'm concerned about now is the height of the tray. They typically have a built in 1-2" rise but I'm not sure if that will be too low for the front or not.

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AZ_Path
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Postby AZ_Path » Wed Jun 11, 2008 2:31 pm

Please forgive my ignorance, but I don't understand exactly what this is for. Some people mentioned a platform, but why wouldn't you just put that on the rear hitch?

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blink32
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Postby blink32 » Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:45 pm

AZ_Path wrote:Please forgive my ignorance, but I don't understand exactly what this is for. Some people mentioned a platform, but why wouldn't you just put that on the rear hitch?
You are exactly correct. Usually people put them in the rear. But then there are so many options. Being from AZ if you were born and bred there you probably have never seen the front mount cargo tray's fisherman use near the coasts? Typically hold something in the 120 liter range ice chest plus 4 - 10 metal tubes for holding fishing rods while surf fishing. Plus you could do all kinds of things like a cargo tray up front and bike rack out the back, trailer out back with bikes up front, etc. It also comes in handy when parking a trailer in excessively tight areas. I haven't needed it for this purpose yet but I seem to be getting into more and more stuff every day.

My personal reasons are for capacity. I've driven cross country with the smaller 20"x48" cargo tray in the pictures below. While I made it work I could have really used the extra space as I was living out of the car I was traveling. While the path will give me more inside space, it will be great this fall to have the roof rack, 20"x48" front cargo tray and the larger 19.5"x60" cargo tray out back on my Cross-Country trip. Plus its good for keeping crap out of the Pathy that you may not necessarily want inside.

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blink32
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Postby blink32 » Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:56 pm

Here are the rest of the pictures. These are just test fits. The final fittings would have safety chains.

Looking from the side to see how far out the receiver protrudes:

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20"x48" 1 1/4" receiver tray from the front, side then looking down

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19.5"x60" 2" receiver tray from the front, side then looking down

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nissan4me
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Postby nissan4me » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:39 pm

Thanks for the pic!!!!!!

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Postby Gray » Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:37 pm

Nice looking install, if you get one if those slip in tow hitch shackles the tow bar looks stout enough to pull the truck from front and center;

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boogyman
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Postby boogyman » Thu Jun 12, 2008 7:20 am

Hey Blink, are you going to install the markers on the tray, so you can see how far you can pull into a spot? I can see it now. Oops was that your bumper I just cracked? Of course the fishing pole mod would work the same way. I know you would have to get another hobby, but it would get out outdoors and you can relax while you wait for the fish to bite.


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