Toyota 4Runner 1996-2002: How to Install Tow Hook

A tow hook is a great way to get your Toyota 4Runner unstuck, or to help other drivers get their cars unstuck. Read on to learn how to install it.

By Bassem Girgis - February 12, 2016

This article applies to the Toyota 4Runner (1996-2002).

The tow hook, whether it's on the front or the rear, can come in handy if you ever get stuck in a ditch—or a similar situation—with your Toyota 4Runner. It can also come in handy if another car gets stuck and you decide you want to be a good Samaritan. Installing a tow hook is a simple process, but before you purchase just any tow hook, do some research to buy the proper one for your needs. There are tow hooks that can handle heavier loads, and there are some that come in a variety of colors. Once you've picked your tow hook, read on to learn how to put it on your Toyota 4Runner.

Tow hook
Figure 1. Tow hook.
Toyota 4Runner How to Install Tow Hook

Materials Needed

  • Socket set
  • Tow hook kit

Step 1 – Locate rear latch

The rear latch is located on the back of your 4Runner. It's positioned under the bumper. This is what the tow hook will connect to.

rear latch
Figure 2. Rear latch.

Step 2 – Install tow hook

Most tow hooks come with two washers, two bolts, and two nuts. Put one washer on one side of the tow hook, then put the two bolts through it and through the tow hook. Align the washer and tow hook with the rear latch, then put the bolts through the latch. Put the second washer on the other side of the rear latch, then hand-tighten the two nuts.

washers and tow hook
Figure 3. Install washers and tow hook.

Step 3 – Tighten the nuts

Make sure the tow hook looks like it's in place, then tighten the two nuts. You will need to hold the bolts with a wrench as you turn the nuts with a socket or another wrench to tighten them.

tow hook nuts
Figure 4. Tighten nuts.

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