Sorta DIY Folding Front Tow Hook - no rice - 8th Generation Honda Civic Forum
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Sorta DIY Folding Front Tow Hook - no rice

Had a few questions on how I did this front tow hook, so here it is.

By the way, it is NOT meant for show but intended to actually help get me pulled back to the paddock if needed. In fact, I only install this hook on track days. Fortunately, this has not been put to the test (so far), so try this at your own risk.



Started with a Godspeed Project folding tow hook ($40), but the install bolt it comes with is a left hand bizzare thread that must fit Porsches or something that already has a built-in mount in the bumper. That part was wasted for me.



The folding tow ring itself happens to take the same thread size as our wheel studs/nuts (M12x1.5), so I just needed to get that bolt with a stout attachment to the bumper. After doing the engineering thing, came up with this, using a Grade 10.9 (high strength) 110 mm length bolt (BelMetric Hardware online, $12):



Mount uses a 2" long piece of 1.5" x 1.5" x 1/4" angle steel, with the bolt welded on one leg, then trimmed. You should not use the Home Depot 1/8" thick angle steel commonly available, which is only borderline on strength for this application. Doubling up on the thickness provided lots of safety factor and weld surface for the M12 bolt.

The mount was done for me - no welding equipment anymore, and plenty of good quality shops nearby. $50, and really nice workmanship.

I bolted all the way through the bumper with two long 3/8" bolts (3"? don't recall). Beware when drilling through the bumper since there is a middle plate of aluminum to go through (so top, middle and bottom layers to drill through) - so you need to be very straight.



One other thing - the bumper curves, so if you want the hook to be pulled in alignment with the car, you need to line up your mount with the car, not the bumper (unless you mount it dead center which would keep it all hidden behind the license plate, but I have an oil cooler there). Use a laser/level thing.

The 1.5" legs are the perfect height when mounted under the bumper to clear the front grill, but keeps the moment arm small (torque when pulled). And the length keeps the bolt end from sticking out beyond the face of the car, but still plenty for full thread engagement by the tow hook ring.



Primed the bracket to reduce rusting, and also coated the bolt threads with copper anti-sieze (just like the wheel studs), then cap with a little plastic piece I had kicking around to protect the threads for the 99% of the time when this is not being used.



All in, this was about $100, and as usual I had fun doing it.

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Old 06-03-2013, 11:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Super nice! I always loved this type of tow hook and this clean.

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Old 06-03-2013, 11:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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This is pretty cool I like that actually serves as function not form. I may do this some day.
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Old 06-03-2013, 04:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Awesome job! I was going to do a similar thing except have the main bolt go through the bumper. Your way is much less intrusive and reversible so that is good. I purchased the mugen tow hook so I will be making a hole in my bumper anyway. More info on the oil cooler please
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks guys! Yeah, I'm a big fan of the folding style - the fixed ones stick out farther and I know I'd be smashing my knees into it.

And here's that oil cooler DIY, which was a fun little project too. https://www.8thcivic.com/forums/autoc...il-cooler.html
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Old 06-04-2013, 03:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Nice tow hook mod, I like.

Regarding the mounting point (just trying to clear some confusion) it's only bolted to the bumper and not to the actual bumper support/frame? Have you tested it yet? I need a tow hook as well for track events and I like the looks of this particular hook.
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Nice tow hook mod, I like.

Regarding the mounting point (just trying to clear some confusion) it's only bolted to the bumper and not to the actual bumper support/frame? Have you tested it yet? I need a tow hook as well for track events and I like the looks of this particular hook.
Good question - I looked at doing that and had a couple problems with it:

*It might be fine, but the bolts are small - 8mm each I think? with a bunch of 'em so I would've had to fabricate something very funky to use enough of them to work against the tow hook, plus it puts the bolts in tension (not shear) so harder to set up right

*Wasn't thrilled about cutting through the bumper facing either. Considered some kind of little access panel in the face like some cars have, but the first item above still killed it for me.

I've seen plenty of those fixed style (non-folding) tow hooks bolted to the bumpers in about the same location, but you are correct that my version is untested! Very confident it will work fine though. I'll let everyone know how it works out if I'm unlucky enough to need it.
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I bolted all the way through the bumper with two long 3/8" bolts (3"? don't recall). Beware when drilling through the bumper since there is a middle plate of aluminum to go through (so top, middle and bottom layers to drill through) - so you need to be very straight.

image
I think the wording of my question may have confused you. What I meant to ask is the tow hook support/base (for lack of a better term) only held/mounted by the bumper? From my understanding of your DIY, if you were to be towed it would be pulled by the bumper alone. I'm sure I'm wrong on this part that's why I'm asking for clarification or perhaps I should just pull my front bumper off to see which aluminum plate you're referring to. Sorry for the confusion, I'm just really interested in this DIY
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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No worries, I think I follow you now.

The bracket thing I had fabricated for me is bolted through the aluminum bumper, #4 in the illustration below. Notice that it has three layers if you look at the end of this piece. The bumper is bolted to the frame of the car through a couple of connecting parts (#5's) which is what I had briefly considered using, but instead went directly to the aluminum bumper.



Hope that helps!
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jrickerm View Post
No worries, I think I follow you now.

The bracket thing I had fabricated for me is bolted through the aluminum bumper, #4 in the illustration below. Notice that it has three layers if you look at the end of this piece. The bumper is bolted to the frame of the car through a couple of connecting parts (#5's) which is what I had briefly considered using, but instead went directly to the aluminum bumper.

image


Hope that helps!
Ah okay I follow you now, thanks for clearing that up for me. I believe your method should be stable as I've seen the other type of tow hook mounted in the same area of the aluminum piece. Someone else has a DIY on here cutting and bolting the flat shaped tow hook to the same spot you used. Anyways if you ever get it tested let us know how well it works out for you
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Tow hook got tested and then some...

Crashed front on into a tire wall at the track last month at about 50 mph. My tow hook worked (so did the airbag!), but took some abuse since the bolt end stuck out beyond the bumper...





So its now "proven" and would work fine for, say, an engine failure or something. But if I ever take another header into a wall (not planning on it or anything) I'd prefer the tow hook survive the impact better, so decided to replace it with something that is flush with the end of the bumper and won't get mashed, but still has that 1 1/2" offset below the bumper to pass through the bumper cover lower grill.

Went with a tow strap and a 1.5" square steel tube, 2" long, 1/8" thick, and bolted up as shown. It might be a little tougher to hide the strap to stay stealthy on the street, but I'll figure some way to tuck it away and wrap it in something black when not on the track.









New bumper cover still has to be painted so no photos yet with that reinstalled.
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Old 09-05-2014, 05:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Where did you get that strap?
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Amazon under SPARCO tow strap. $15

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Old 09-05-2014, 08:06 PM   #14 (permalink)
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this will be the new "racing harness" on stance cars. see what you did?!?!
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:24 PM   #15 (permalink)
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this will be the new "racing harness" on stance cars. see what you did?!?!
This^

I've already seem them on several hard parked cars around town. A few even doubled and tripled up. Factory tow hook + big steel tow hook + tow strap. Triple redundancy

Perfect mod for the hellaflushers. Its dirt cheap, and takes very little effort to install. I anticipate that unlike jrickerm's strap, most will be installed incorrectly and rip right out if they ever try to use them.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:58 PM   #16 (permalink)
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looks good congrats
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:47 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Yippee, I'm a trendsetter. :sly:

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Old 10-08-2014, 10:16 PM   #18 (permalink)
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tow strap looks amazing...
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Old 10-09-2014, 03:21 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Looks great, where did you get that square steel tube from that you mounted the tow hook on?
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Old 10-09-2014, 04:06 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Looks like it was cut off of a shelving rail

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