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Tow hooks on a 3rd gen

Old 07-22-2003, 03:29 PM
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Question Tow hooks on a 3rd gen

I have a keeper clip that I want to install on the factory tow hook as well as a new tow hook to install on the driver side to replace the existing tie down. I just want to know what to expect when I get those bolts off. Are they threaded into the frame, are there lock nuts inside the frame or what?

I know you guys with TJMs had to take these off to install your bumper. I'm hoping that they were self tapping bolts otherwise I think I'll have to take the whole bumper off so that I can access any nuts that are inside the frame rail.
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Old 07-22-2003, 04:10 PM
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I don't remember any nuts inside the frame rail but I remember that the bolts were very tight. Try to use 1/2" socket if you have it otherwise it's almost break your 3/8".

Did you pick up a 2nd tow hook online?

Mick
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Old 07-22-2003, 04:17 PM
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The nuts are welded into the frame. One thing to know is that you will need to buy some different bolts to put the tow hook on the left side. The bolts that hold the tie down on will not be long enough for the tow hook. You should use Grade 8.8 12mm bolts with 1.25 fine pitch thread.

If you are interested in getting hooks you can get tow hooks at Lowes for like $6.99 each, but these too will need the new bolts stated above.

Last edited by Albuquerque Jim; 07-22-2003 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 07-23-2003, 10:13 AM
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RidgeRunner,

I've heard the horror stories about getting these bolts off. I have a long arm 1/2" socket wrench ready to go and I will be dousing those bolts in WD40 starting several days ahead of time.

I got 2 new tow hooks with keeper clips and bolts off of EBay for $6.
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Old 07-23-2003, 10:17 AM
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Albuquerque Jim,

Thanks! That helps a lot knowing that the nuts are welded inside the frame. The tow hooks I have came with bolts so I hope they fit the nuts already inside the frame.

Also I think they are grade 5 bolts. I've heard that grade 8 have stronger holding power but are more brittle so they have less shear strength. It seems like for the application of a tow hook most of the force on the bolt is shear force. Do you still think that grade 8 is better?
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Old 07-23-2003, 11:13 AM
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I would bet that the bolts that came with the hooks are SAE not a 12mm Metric thread. At-least the ones I got were.
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Old 07-23-2003, 02:17 PM
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So assuming I'm buying new bolts, any thoughts on grade 5 vs. grade 8?
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Old 07-23-2003, 02:28 PM
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The bolt heads are 17mm. That's what size socket you'll need. It took just about all my energy to get one of them off when installing my skid plate.
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Old 07-23-2003, 02:42 PM
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Originally posted by 00Runner
So assuming I'm buying new bolts, any thoughts on grade 5 vs. grade 8?
Definately use the Grade 8 bolts!!!
It is true that the grade 5 yields more but you are not interested in yielding the bolt at all. Same goes with shear....grade 8 bolts have a higher shear strength over all than grade 5 do so go with the highest strength bolts you can. I do doubt even if you lifted the entire truck by the tow hook that you could shear through them. Best bolts are made by unbrako but they are total overkill for this application.

Use an inpact gun if you got one.......takes a ton of strength to get em off.....4' pipe can help too!

Last edited by MTL_4runner; 07-23-2003 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 07-24-2003, 06:27 AM
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Thanks for all the help guys. I'll definately go with grade 8 bolts.
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Old 07-24-2003, 06:40 AM
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Originally posted by Albuquerque Jim
The bolts that hold the tie down on will not be long enough for the tow hook. You should use Grade 8.8 12mm bolts with 1.25 fine pitch thread.
How long do they need to be? Also, where is a good place to get these bolts?

Chris
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Old 07-24-2003, 10:26 AM
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Length depends on the hook. As a good rule of thumb the bolt should always extend through the nut so you have as many threads as possible grabbing. If you are not sure take one of the stock toe hook bolts out and take it with you to the store and get more just like it.

I got mine at a Sears hardware store, but if you look in your phone book you will find several bolt shops I'm sure. True Value is a good place as well.
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Old 07-24-2003, 11:12 AM
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Originally posted by pfdaxe
The bolt heads are 17mm. That's what size socket you'll need. It took just about all my energy to get one of them off when installing my skid plate.
When the going gets tough, the tough borrow their dads air tools
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Old 07-24-2003, 12:21 PM
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Just make sure the bolt has six lines on its head which indicates a grade 8 bolt then paint the head when you are done so it doesn't rust. You can get stainless bolts too, but in general they are only about half the strength.
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Old 07-24-2003, 02:08 PM
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I added another hook on the other side also. I don't remember having a hard time getting the stock bolts off. I just bought the stock hook and two bolts that matched the other side from Toyota. I have used the hooks extensively as sliders on rocks. Highly recommended. One of them actually bent the frame rail back in on a hard hit. The hook was not affected.
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