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Had my first Rondo towing experience today - loaded up my dirt bike and the kid's. Total towed weight was probably around 700 pounds. The V6 worked beautifully, I hardly knew the trailer was back there. The 1,000 pound rating seems very conservative. No great competetion I know, but my old Mazda MPV struggled a bit towing the same trailer that the Rondo towed effortlessly today.
Anybody looking to pull something like a 3 rail dirt bike trailer and some gear, have no worries. The Rondo makes a fine light duty tow vehicle.
I did not remove the heat shield or drop the muffler. I just removed the end bolt of the shield and bent it just a little. I have small but strong hands, "handy" in a tight spot
The undercoating was liberal for a new car, not bad since they salt my roads more than it snows.
Tows like a champ too!!
My MPV was not impressive towing either.
Last edited by psycosmyth; 03-14-2008 at 10:34 PM.
I tried installing the Hidden Hitch on my '07 Rondo, and I would like to mention a few things for others who are considering doing this:
1) Windex certainly loosened up the rubber muffler mounts, but I could not get them off. Is there some trick to this? Please share if you know. I pulled as hard as I could and they wouldn't make it over the little metal nubs holding them on.
2) I would caution against doing what psychosmyth suggests unless you are sure. The bolts holding the heat shield are not very strong (since the heat shield is light), and I broke the bolt off when I was removing it without first removing the muffler (see #1) due to the slightly off angle I was turning it from, even though the bolt wasn't in very tight. The bolt might have been over-torqued at the factory, because it was pretty loose to begin with, and I'm definitely not an expert, but I'd suggest removing the muffler or being very careful.
3) Your local garage will install it for about $50 (the Kia dealer will probably charge more of course).
Anyone think the heat shield being 1 bolt short is a problem? The mechanic didn't think so unless it starts rattling.
Lot of windex, especially on the "nub" a bit of wiggle wiggle to work it into the rubber and then it came off reasonably easy.
The exhaust system has a lot of wiggliness in it as it hangs from those doughnut thingies it's whole length. You can push the exhaust in the opposite direction of the "nub" to take up the slack, that way you will fight it less and it should come off a little easier.
Taking the heat shield off is very easy - 3 10mm bolts. It is a lightweight thing. Can you get a vice grips on the nub of the broken bolt and work it out or is it a nubless nightmare.
Faced with your problem and if getting the bolt out is too much trouble, I would put a big blob of RTV or ordinary caulk on the back of the heat shield in the area of the snapped bolt. That should adhere it and damp out possible irritating rattles.
I sprayed quite a bit of windex and pulled basically as hard as I could. I did wiggle it around a lot, but it was probably a combination of being afraid to rip the entire muffler off and assuming that there was some other trick to it that kept me from getting it off.
The rest of the bolt is recessed about 1/2" into the frame. So far the heat shield has been silent, it seems relatively stiff from the two remaining bolts... so for now I'm just leaving it alone.
Duken4evr, not sure if you knew about this already, but there's a short video on the website where you bought your hitch showing the installation procedure on the Rondo. It's a good complement to your already excellent pictorial guide.
my hitch and wiring were installed by dealer at time of purchase.Had no problems till last week had no power at the plug. took it back to dealer and they had to replace the control box. What is the purpose of the control box,I don't recall a control box on any other car I had with trailer wiring.The plug was just wired direct and that was it.
Thanks for Duken4evr for providing great details about install.
But again, it seems it is very trivial install, which should not take more than 30 min to install just Hitch.
Anyways, I ordered hitch from etrailer, got it yesterday, and install yesterday evening. I am not sure why we need to drop the muffler at all. I did it without dropping muffler like psycosmyth did.
It was little tight space there to while installing bolts, but not bad at all. Based on psycosmyth comments, I thought Hitch is going to heavy and I need help, but to my surprise it was light ( probably 25lb without drawbar), I did not need any help at all. As psycosmyth said simply remove last heat shield bolt, bent it little bit and get the bolts. Insert the muffler side first , then bolt it on driver side, then complete muffler side. If want some space you can remove the bumper bottom half. IMHO It is not worth trying to remove those rubber things muffler is hanging.
Just did mine. Dropping exhaust gives nice working room IMO. Has anyone routed the wiring inside the car? I'd like to keep it as protected as possible. Thanks! Got mine on eBay from storechampion; $132 delivered. Ordered Friday, got it Tuesday. Can't ask for more than that!
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