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Can the Heat Shield of a 2016 Subaru Forester Be Reinstalled After Installing Curt Hitch  


Ive read loads of posts and watched many youtube videos about installing a hitch on a 2016 Subaru Forester. Time and again Ive read or seen where the heat shield doesnt get reinstalled when installing a Curt 12100 or 13144 hitch, and yet Ive seen also seen a heat shield get trimmed and reinstalled when a Draw-tite hitch is installed. Ive also seen a post with pictures showing the Curt hitch installed over a trimmed heat shield. What nobody has explained is why the difference, especially since all of these after-market hitches have similar hardware and installation instructions. I installed a Curt hitch on my 2-muffler Forester that didnt have a heat shield on either side, so Im guessing Subaru put the heat shield there for a reason. Im adept at metal work, and I do like the Curt Class II hitch, so my inclination is to reinstall the heat shield after modifying it as necessary to insure 4 attachment points. It does appear that the Draw-tite hitch bracket has an extra hole in it to allow access to one of the heat shield threaded holes.


Expert Reply:

Curt and Draw Tite are separate companies that came up with their own ways to install their hitches independently of each other. A lot of times there are some variances that don't really make huge differences either way. Specifically with heat shields. For your 2016 Subaru Forester Curt recommends just getting rid of the heat shield as it doesn't hurt anything to remove it. Draw Tite came up with a way to trim it and reinstall it.

With that being said, if you wanted to install the Curt hitch # C13144 and wanted to come up with a way to reinstall the heat shield there's no reason you couldn't. I am sure you could easily come up with a way to get the shield back on the vehicle.

I attached the install video for the Curt hitch on your Forester for you to check out as well.

expert reply by:
Jameson C

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