Thursday, March 31, 2011

Base Plate for the Toad

I have been doing some research on base plates to add to the new Honda CRV.  What I was looking at was the installation instructions for installing the things.  Not that I want to try and do it myself, because I think that should be left to the professionals, but rather to see how much butchering is necessary to get them installed at all.

By butchering, I refer to the act of chopping the crap out of the front end steel and fascia of the car in question.  But also, in some cases the instructions require the removal of the actual steel bumper that is underneath the models rubber fascia.  Just seems to me that removing the heavy steel cross bumper mounted on the front of the steel unibody work is not in my best interest.

Now I understand that this bumper piece is replaced with the cross bar of the base plate that is installed, but my concern is that the car was crash tested with the manufacturers steel bumper in place.  And has not been crashed at all with the aftermarket base plate in its place.

But there is no perfect world, as leaving the original steel bumper in place then requires it to be remodeled with a saws all.  I wonder if folks understood what took place with the installation of these plates, they would allow it to proceed.

Anyway, I decided to use and purchase a Blue Ox base plate.  They leave the original bumper in place, but cut both ends off about a 1/4 of an inch.  But also they cut away two of the mounting blots on each side were the new plate is slid in along the sides of the frame structure.  They do add four heavy mounting bolts thru the frame to secure the base plate.  It adds a cross member of solid steel below the original bumper that is in addition to the original structure.  Some of the original bolts are reinstalled thru the plate and into the original nut plates as well, making the assembly become  one piece.  Not something that was hung on as an after thought.

It is my opinion that once installed, the plate needs to be left on the car for the rest of the car's life.  Removing it, does not replace the mounting structure that was cut away to install it in the first place, and therefore leaves the front bumper much weaker in a head on crash.

I was even thinking I could almost do this myself, until I read that there were oil cooling lines that needed to be repositioned, and that an airbag sensor needed to be removed and reinstalled in a different location.  OK, that does it, setting off the air bags in a brand new car is not an option!! I don't have any liability coverage that would cover that kind of thing.

Well now that that decision is made, where do I get it installed?  I called Blue Ox up in Nebraska.  And no I don't want to come up there 4 hours each way to get the work done.  Well low and behold they use a trailer sales place right here in Olathe, and they assured me they had much experience with the work.

Calling the shop here revealed that their man has thirty years of experience in all things related to hitches and towing.  The deal was cast and the order is in to Nebraska.  Once it arrives, we will set up the time for installation.

In the end, it only cost about $250 more including the sales taxes to have it done professionally and the peace of mind that brings is worth it several times over....

Retired Rod


  1. Base Plate? Are you planning on doing some heavy duty off roading next winter in Arizona?

  2. Some things are better left to the professionals than doing at home, even with a complete shop and all kinds of car and hot rod experience, there are jobs where I say hey I know my limits and this is going to e farmed out. Just makes good sense.Especially if the car was to separate the insurance company will be looking for a handy way out.Wise choice Rod, Be safe out there. Sam & Donna..

  3. Smart move to have the base plate installed by pros who have done it before - and, are liable for accidental discharge of air bags. Sounds to be a nice, secure setup once it's all done.

  4. This post is way over my head, but glad you are satisfied wih whatever it is you are doing. :)

  5. Good choice to go with the Pros......Thanks for the research on base plates. I have had several installed over the years and never really thought about the mods....interesting and informative.


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