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hi guys,

im new here and im in the market for a towhitch. Im just curious as to which one is better, OEM or Aftermarket tow hitch mounts. If i do go with aftermarket, which brand is best?

Thanks!
 

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My 2 cents as I just installed it a couple weeks ago. Go OEM. It offers two great pluses:

1. It mounts directly to the frame with factory holes. This helps to improve the strength of the system. You're using the whole skeleton of the rig to support the tow instead of branched off members.

2. It offered the highest clearance from the ground. Most, if not all, aftermarket hitch assemblies sit below the bumper and frame. You will lose 2-3+ inches of ground clearance. Granted this only really matters if you decide to offroad, but it's something to consider.

TRDparts4u.com had/has the best price for OEM last time I checked, and I got mine from them.

One final thing... the OEM is very easy to install yourself. I only needed to "rent" a free torque wrench from AutoZone to torque the bolts. I did it in 3 hours on a Saturday afternoon.
 

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If you plan on changing the rear bumper any time soon, ensure that either hitch you are looking at will work with it.

I just did the OEM and and it was so easy and has just the same towing strength as an aftermarket with less mess. Just don't forget to order the OEM wiring kit as well as it does not come with the hitch. It is so easy to do and not very time consuming. If you are into the blackout theme, the rear panel can now be ordered in black as well. Good luck!
 

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hi guys,

im new here and im in the market for a towhitch. Im just curious as to which one is better, OEM or Aftermarket tow hitch mounts. If i do go with aftermarket, which brand is best?

Thanks!
Unless you can find an AM deisgn that fits like the factory one, definetly go OEM. As previously stated advantages are; height & strength, but also ease of installation plus wiring connections!
 

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Hidden Hitch plus the OEM harness with the stock bumper. It takes about 20 minutes to install. If you plan on going with an aftermarket bumper, they usually have their own to fit their bumper.

 

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I hate to say it - but the hidden hitch picture above kind of proves that you should go OEM. Better clearance and lighter (no crossbars needed - bolts to stel bumper which bolts to frame).
 

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I installed a OEM hitch about 3 weeks ago and love it, pictured with a receiver and locking pin.

I was going to go with an Aftermarket then saw one on another JF and really did not like it, the difference in clearance/takeoff was significant.

OEM is well worth the slight price increase, don't forget the wiring.

 

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well, I'm in the reverse camp. I installed a Draw-tite hitch on my rig and it saved my @ss from damage at wheeltoberfest last year. It worked well for me before I upgraded to an ARB rear bumper

Yes, OEM will provide better angles, but a heavy duty piece of steel a few inches lower than the rest of your bumper and tailpipe helps minimize damage on the trail. Plus, aftermarket hitches are cheaper.

As far as strength goes, you're not going to wad up an aftermarket hitch if you stay within its tow rating, so tying into the frame isn't that big of a consideration. I highly doubt you'll shear six grade 8 bolts towing anything with the FJ. If you do, you likely have larger problems present
 

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I installed the OEM hitch, knowing what I know today I would have ordered a Curt frame mounted hitch instead. JMO
 

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Not to hijack this thread, but you guys that installed the OEM hitch, was installing the wiring difficult?
 

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Not to hijack this thread, but you guys that installed the OEM hitch, was installing the wiring difficult?
Very easy... for the most part. It's basically plug and play. I had difficulty getting the factory cap off the wiring in the back. I could get the leverage, a little help from a screwdriver and it popped off. I'm a big guy, so getting under the driver side dash was interesting, but nothing difficult.
 

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Very easy... for the most part. It's basically plug and play. I had difficulty getting the factory cap off the wiring in the back. I could get the leverage, a little help from a screwdriver and it popped off. I'm a big guy, so getting under the driver side dash was interesting, but nothing difficult.
these pics show where you need to push down to release the end cap, sorry if I didn't explain myself well enough. BTW, because Toyota doesn't use water tight connectors here I used Dielectric Grease on the connector. Hope this helps some.
 

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these pics show where you need to push down to release the end cap, sorry if I didn't explain myself well enough. BTW, because Toyota doesn't use water tight connectors here I used Dielectric Grease on the connector. Hope this helps some.
Yeah, I know that... The release lever didn't have much movement and the gap was a bit tight.

Good tip on the grease, I think I'll add that to the connection this week. Didn't even think about that.
 

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I like the idea of the hitch mounted to the frame rails instead of the rear center support, that's just me though.
I don't understand your thinking here. The Curt hitch receiver (just like a Reese, UHaul, etc) mounts to the center of a cross member as well. That cross member just bolts to the frame rails, unlike the OEM receiver which attches to a cross member that is welded to the frame rails. All have the same towing capacity, so the point is mostly irrelevant, but I like weld on perpendicular load points.
 
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