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I'm a dude in a box!
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The following is for a 2006 Scion xB, though I imagine the information should work for any xB.

Legal-ish bit: I'm not responsible for any loss or damage that could result from your following the instructions that are to follow. I'm not sure if anyone has ever tried to sue someone because of a DIY post on a forum, but everyone else puts the disclaimer...

I've been wanting to put a receiver on my xB for a while, so I did a little research and saved up a bit of cash. I did mention that this post would be about how to install the hitch frugally. I managed to save a considerable amount of money over letting someone else do the work, which is to be expected. Here are some numbers:
Code:
U-Haul Quote:
$ 174.95 - Class I 1.25" receiver
$  16.95 - Wiring adapter
$  23.95 - Hitch ball and mount
$   1.39 - Hitch pin
$  78.00 - Misc labor
$  16.46 - Tax
   Total - $311.70

Cheapskate Method:
$ 129.28 - Class I 1.25" receiver, ball mount, and hitch pin
$  16.95 - Wiring adapter
$   8.95 - Hitch Ball
$  38.30 - Misc labor [optional, see below]
$   2.20 - Tax
   Total - $195.68
That comes out to a $116.02 savings, if you don't take your own time into consideration. To be fair, for $15 dollars more, U-Haul will throw in a lifetime warranty on the hitch, and a 2 year warranty on the wiring. I, however, am not afraid of cutting wires and am cheap to a fault. If you're still reading, then god help you. Let's get started!

Here are the parts I used:
Curt Manufacturing 11487 Class I Receiver
2" Hitch Ball, 1-15/16" Shank Length
U-Haul 4-Way Flat 2-to-3 wire converter
Scrap wire (I think 18AWG)
Shrink Wrap
Electric Tape
Extra scotch blocks

There are better wiring solutions for trailer lights. They're much more expensive than the 16 dollar adapter shown here, but they let you run bigger lights directly from the battery of the vehicle, which offloads some of the work from your existing lighting system. I went for the cheap option because the biggest thing I will ever be towing with a Class I system on a 103hp car is a motorcycle trailer, which will have few / small enough lights as to never really push the limits of the electrical system. Also, the U-Haul adapter has a built in tester that lets you make sure that everything is hooked up correctly without having to buy a separate tester or wait until you've hooked a trailer up.

The easy part is ordering / attaching the trailer hitch. If you're like me and don't own an impact wrench, you'll probably want to let a mechanic attach your trailer hitch. My vehicle had tow-loops attached and my shmiddy little ratchet set was unable to dislodge the existing bolts, so I went to a local mechanic (I guess there's really no such thing as a non-local mechanic...) and negotiated to pay 1/2 hours worth of work for them to attach it, which they were quite happy to do. If you're confident that you can bolt the hitch on tight enough for it to not rattle off of your car, then by all means, DIY.

Next up, another easy one: attach the hitch ball to the hitch mount. This will require some serious elbow grease, but nothing so bad as to require professional help. I mounted my ball with a lift rather than a drop because my xB is already kind of low. Not slammed, but you get the idea. Here's a superfluous pic:



So now all the happy fun stuff is over. Wiring the tail lights isn't that bad, but you do need the brace yourself for some wire routing. I went into this with no extra scotch blocks (stupid) and without having thought out how things would be connected (stupid).

The most important thing to have is which wires go to where. DO NOT START ANY OF THIS UNTIL YOU HAVE ALL YOUR SNIZZ TOGETHER AND UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU WANT TO DO. If you do, you'll end up going outside at midnight because you're impatient, taking 2 hours because you didn't have a plan, and then posting a comprehensive DIY thing on some forum because you wish you had seen one yourself.

To that end, you'll probably want the pinout for the xB tail lights, which is where the trailer wiring adapter will be connected. If you're here because you googled 2006 Scion xB tail light pinout, 2006 Scion xB trailer wiring, or any variant of that, you're welcome.


Code:
Originall posted by snowromance on ScionLife.com

Tail    - GREEN
Brake   - GREEN/WHITE
R Turn  - GREEN/YELLOW (right side only)
L Turn  - GREEN/BLACK  (left side only)
Reverse - RED/BLACK
Ground  - WHITE/BLACK
Now, those names match up *pretty* nicely with the names of the leads on the wiring adapter that you bought. I'll leave it to you to match up the colors, as they may vary. One thing to look out for is wire length. On my adapter, the wire that goes to the right turn signal was too short by about a foot, so I ended up splicing a little bit of extra wire on.

To get to the wires that you'll be tapping into, you'll want to remove the neato little covers near the left and right tail lights on the xB. They're the ones normally meant for servicing burnt out bulbs. On each side, there should be little plugs with tabs that you can press in order to remove. The plugs will need a fair bit of gentle wiggling and a firm tug before they'll come out. Mine was covered in shrink wrap, so I couldn't see any of the wires until I cut back some of the shrink wrap.



Connect all the appropriate wires on the left side, being sure to keep things tidy, double check before you tap, and to leave enough space between the connector and your taps so that you can easily access the plug in the future. You're also supposed to ground the wiring adapter to the body of the car. To do this, grab a 10mm socket and loosen one of the bolts on the back of the tail lights enough that you can push the little connector in behind it and tighten it back up.

To hide the cables for the wiring adapter, I ended up pushing the right-turn-signal wire and the towing connector down over the wheel well and out onto the floor of the trunk. I removed my spare and my extra-space-area-thing, as well as the rear-hatch-sill cover in order to better access the trunk.





Connect your right turn signal wire now. If you didn't have an extra scotch block and yours broken then you'll have to burn off insulation and do one of these:



Khokay, you've got your signals hooked up and you're ready to get the towing adapter outside. One option is to put everything back together with the towing adapter inside. You *could* just flop it out when you need to tow. If that sounds good to you, then you're probably an underachiever. The awesome way to finish this hacky install off is to route the towing cable outside of the car.



Around the right side of the rear sill of the 2006 xB is a little hole with a grommet behind it in another hole. This grommet is a sunofagun to get out and worse to replace, but this is where I chose to route my trailer connector. Before I started, I already knew that I would have to lengthen the trailer connector, because (a) it was a little short to begin with and (b) that big end wasn't going to make it through the grommet.





After hacking the connector off from the main unit and crudely attaching spare wire to the leads, I shoved the now shove-able wires through the small grommet opening.







If you're ok this far then you're kind of home free. This grommet drops the wires off just behind the bumper fascia and right above the hitch receiver. Connect the trailer connector to your scrap wires (and probably make liberal use of shrink wrap to pretty things up). Replace any trim you removed, clean up your trunk, and you're golden!





At this point, you can actually test your signals and brake lights, which will cause little green led's to light up on the wiring adapter end.

I really hope that someone finds this useful. I'll check back and report on the performance of this setup, but I'm not expecting any issues as I don't intend to stress anything.

Here's a link to all of the pics. I apologize for the quality, but these were taken around 2 am under the light of an led headlamp.

Booyah.

---------- Post added 02-15-2012 at 04:29 AM ----------

Links got bunched up in the original post. My bad.

Here are the parts I used:
Curt Manufacturing 11487 Class I Receiver
2" Hitch Ball, 1-15/16" Shank Length
U-Haul 4-Way Flat 2-to-3 wire converter
Scrap wire (I think 18AWG)
Shrink Wrap
Electric Tape
Extra scotch blocks
---------- Post added 02-15-2012 at 10:50 PM ----------

Ok. Something here is seriously not agreeing with me. The images aren't showing up, but you can view everything from the link at the bottom. Here it is again: http://www.dropbox.com/gallery/3767097/1/xB Hitch?h=455d4f
 
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