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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,
Did you guys notice the front tow hooks for the Ascent? It looks feeble to say the least. Could this be used for a Recover Strap or rather a D-ring to attached to it? Checking to see if anyone tried it? I have some D-rings but not sure if the tow hooks will support a pull and wonder if a heftier piece will have to be created and installed. Also I noticed they don't seem to be symmetrical to each other. The passenger side seems a bit farther back than the driver's side. Thoughts?
 

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We have a member of our off road club that has a Crosstrek, those hooks are not meant for recovery, he found out the hard way.

To be sure, I'm talking about the screw in round headed bolts that go into the bumper, under a plastic cover. hmmm, checking the owner's manual, page 418, nope, we don't have those on the front but we do have one on the rear. The front just has eye underneath.

Our guy bent the rod one, not the underneath one.

Right now I don't see a realistic way to perform an off-road recovery with an Ascent. One tow truck driver in our club has had some success using soft recovery webbing through the wheels or, if you need to, through a front control arm. The issue with the front control arm is that you need to avoid a tie rod of CV shaft, that would be an expensive mistake. (He thought rear controls arms were too weak.)

A rear trailer hitch can be used, just don't use a ball, get the dingus that lets you put a D-ring through it.

The problem with these hooks up is it assumes that you are pulling with a winch, which is a nice gradual pull. If you are extracting with another vehicle you'll be putting an uneven force, which may have bad consequences.

The general consensus with our club was that traction mats, and people pushing might be effective. The conjecture here is that muck and mild high centering are the obstacle that you're facing, often, when off-road rigs get stuck it is something much worse and more force is needed.

Also, if you don't know what you are doing, it is really easy to damage your vehicle. So join a club and learn from others, which is hard for us non-truck people.
 

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We have frame attached tie down points in the front. We have no front hook hole, and, while we have a rear one, installing the hitch deletes it.
 

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We have frame attached tie down points in the front. We have no front hook hole, and, while we have a rear one, installing the hitch deletes it.
I don't think the tie down points are good enough for recovery points. Tie means they are built for a downwards force, not a front force.

And the rear tow hitch is perfect, just get something like this:

Learn more: Amazon.com : I_S IMPORT Heavy Solid Shank 10K LBS D-Ring Receiver Hitch Tow with 5/8" Hitch Pin : Garden & Outdoor

That's just the first google hit, I'm sure there are others out there. I use one of these on my off road jeep all the time.
 

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I don't think the tie down points are good enough for recovery points. Tie means they are built for a downwards force, not a front force.

And the rear tow hitch is perfect, just get something like this:

Learn more: Amazon.com : I_S IMPORT Heavy Solid Shank 10K LBS D-Ring Receiver Hitch Tow with 5/8" Hitch Pin : Garden & Outdoor

That's just the first google hit, I'm sure there are others out there. I use one of these on my off road jeep all the time.
That's exactly the type of hook I use.
3378
 

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We have frame attached tie down points in the front. We have no front hook hole, and, while we have a rear one, installing the hitch deletes it.
Page 414 of the pdf manual shows a "Front towing hook" in addition to the two front tie down tabs, which are shown on page 415. I just checked and mine does have a tow hook (it's a tab).
 

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Page 414 of the pdf manual shows a "Front towing hook" in addition to the two front tie down tabs, which are shown on page 415. I just checked and mine does have a tow hook (it's a tab).
Yes, the hook hole refers to the screw in threaded holes other Subies have like this one on my former Outback. I should know what it's called, ugh, but I am referring to this...
3379

3380

We have one for the rear if the hitch hasn't been installed. But, we don't have one in the front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good information guys. Looking briefly underneath I saw these 2 holes thinking those might be utilized in recovery. Sounds like tie-downs though. When I get a chance, I'll post what I'm talking about just to be sure we are on the same page. It wasn't like in an Outback that is located on the front of the bumper. And if they aren't for recovery, has anybody heard of any aftermarket part to install to become one? (that 1 in 10,000 chance lol) Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So I see that the other holes ARE tie downs except for the left side. I didnt go fully under but I see there are 2 bolts. I wonder if there's a third or more. But in any case the metal doesnt look strong enough for a real recovery. Any thoughts like if we can use another brand for some other vehicle?
Automotive exterior Bumper Auto part Vehicle Car
 

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So I see that the other holes ARE tie downs except for the left side. I didnt go fully under but I see there are 2 bolts. I wonder if there's a third or more. But in any case the metal doesnt look strong enough for a real recovery. Any thoughts like if we can use another brand for some other vehicle? View attachment 3390
Just to clarify, is that a picture of one of the two tie-downs, or is that a third point you were able to locate?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just to clarify, is that a picture of one of the two tie-downs, or is that a third point you were able to locate?
This pic is the only Tow hook on the front of the vehicle. The other 2 I found were tie down eyelets only. So in a recovery exercise, those other 2 would be of no use or else break if attempted. But I wonder if the holes are similar in distance to a Toyota Tacoma as i have seen the older ones putting aftermarket Dring mounts. Wish I could find a place close by that could figure it out.
 

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Since installing the LP bumper guard I am not intimately familiar with the underside of the front of the vehicle. I only found the two down pints other are referring to. The eyelet with two bolts had to be removed to put the skid plate on.
I now have a solid bumper to tie down a kayak. However there still appears no way to recover with a winch or another vehicle at the front. Is that the consensus? That’s a real shame. Other than the control arm any other solutions anyone tried?
I’m thinking of tiring a piece of synthetic recovery strap around the frame where the bumper attaches and keeping it there semi permanently?
 

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5242
I ended up scraping this exact tow tiedown on a steep driveway. The scrapped portion of the hook is beginning to rust, I am concerned that the rust may spread and will potentially impact other metal parts connected to the tie down. Should I replace/repair the rust or am I just being overly paranoid?
 

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View attachment 5242 I ended up scraping this exact tow tiedown on a steep driveway. The scrapped portion of the hook is beginning to rust, I am concerned that the rust may spread and will potentially impact other metal parts connected to the tie down. Should I replace/repair the rust or am I just being overly paranoid?
It is a bolt on hook. It shouldn't affect anything else.
 

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You could always make it beefier.......
 

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so where are the recommended tow points in the front?
Ugh, so sorry. I was on my back putting my skid plate back on when I'd checked them out last. Tow point is driver's side.

I was in a rush when I made this video on lunch break, so, let me clarify a few things I muddled in my rush (thanks @Wangle).
  1. (if you have the skid plate) Do NOT use the skid plate or its mounting points to TOW the car.
  2. (if you have the skid plate) I would not use the skid plate as a tie-down point - as I said in the video, drilling holes into it will weaken it, just like drilling holes in anything else.
  3. (if you have the skid plate) You could use one of the cross bolts as a tie down point (NOT as a tow hook) and loop a strap around the front lip of the skid plate.
  4. The TOW locations are the two places I showed. The front factory hook attached to the frame rail, and either (a) the rear screw in for the eye-bolt, or (b) the rear OEM hitch.

  5. Tow locations CAN be used as tie down locations.
  6. Tie down locations CANNOT be used as tow locations.

 

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You could always make it beefier.......
@MikeCav
 
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