DIY Towbar install with pics

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Dr_Pepper
Posts: 120
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:57 pm

DIY Towbar install with pics

Post by Dr_Pepper » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:02 pm

So due to unwillingness to pay skoda £850 for a towbar and the lack of local towbar providers who will fit to the Kodiaq yet, I decided to buy a kit off ebay for £280 (user transportsysteme24_com) and fit myself. The kit is well made in Germany, it’s the real deal - totally bespoke to the car and there’s no cutting wires or anything like that – everything fits perfectly with proper fittings. Unfortunately, while the Instructions are clear for the kit itself, and they tell you exactly which trim pieces you need to remove, they helpfully don’t offer give you any idea of how to actually remove them! There lies the hard bit – the whole process was A LOT trickier than I thought to be honest and it took me and a friend (neither with any meaningful experience whatsoever mind you) an entire afternoon. This isn’t a guide really but I hope it might just help someone. Of course, doing this is totally at your own risk!

Starts easy. Black plastic bits have a screw at the bottom on both sides, then just pull off.
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Lights come out easily enough, just the one white plastic screw on the back from inside
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The screws holding the bumper on are easy enough to find all round the edge and underneath, a couple under the plastic back lip which just pulls off. Then just give it a tug to release the clippy bits (mind to disconnect the parking sensors)
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Remove the crash bar with the 6 easy bolts, then the towbar fits into the chassis bars. We found it quite tricky to locate the 4 bolt holes as they are covered with sealant of some kind and not visible from the outside, stabbing it with a screwdriver did the trick to locate them!
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On the right hand side we did have to release one bolt to drop down what I assume is the Ad-Blue tank just half an inch just to make one of the holes accessible.
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The socket for the removable hook is easy enough to bolt in place (we didn’t do this, but I recommend fitting the electric socket to it at this stage as it’s quite fiddly to do later)
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Instructions tell you where to cut but in fact the inside of the bumper is already marked for the hole so we just cut that out.
Close enough, remember this can’t be seen really anyway.
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Remove the boot floor paraphernalia which mostly lifts out, then for the 7 seater you need to remove the rear 2 seats. We made this difficult for ourselves by unbolting them from the floor. In fact it turns out this isn’t necessary, as you can just disconnect the little struts by pulling them sideways, only found this out when reinstalling!
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To be honestIt might be possible to get this panel off without removing the seats completely, but we took them right out – for the front 2 bolts you need an annoying size ‘M’ Spline socket – or, since we didn’t have one, a large Torx socket seemed to do the trick by fitting in every other tooth, sorry I forgot to take pics of the next couple of stages

Removing the huge side panel was the trickiest part, which required a lot of guessing and tugging. There’s a few screws to undo, one behind the luggage hook, 2 low down and 2 underneath the 3rd row seat drinks holder (the cover for which pulls off leaving the drinks holder itself in place, this had us stumped for ages. You also need to release the two light-colour panel pieces on the C and boot Pillars, these just pull out but it’s a bit scary as you think you’re going to break them. In reality I think it’s just the clips you risk breaking not the piece itself, we did break one from another trim piece - I think by not pulling it out straight.
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I realise it looks really bad here but although a pain to release, it's actually really easy to reinstall afterwards. Running the electric cable behind the panel is easy enough, secure the earth there and the little control box. The kit is provided with a rubber bung to run through an obvious hole in the floor (under the side panel) out to the back.

At this point I would seriously suggest you consider ignoring the instructions and manually tying the various wires into the rear brakelight cluster (ie the old-fashioned way). Honestly, this is what I’d do if I had to do it again. All the coloured wires are marked up in the manual with what they are, and you could bypass the control box altogether, cut the wires and just splice them inline. However, instead we pressed on to connect it properly to the CAN system as it’s designed, and this means running it all the way to the front.

Again sorry there’s no photos but all the trim pieces along the floor front to back just clip out, albeit this is far from easy you think you’re going to break them but with much swearing and skinned knuckles they do come out eventually. Then remove the airbag switch panel (again just pulls out with a good tug - don't make the rookie mistake of forgetting it disconnect the battery first

Last step but you need a good sense of humour for this one. The instructions show a left hand drive car – but for RHD the bits you need to get to appear to be much harder to get to.

Despite it being in the skoda handbook how to remove the glovebox, we found this very hard! The skoda instructions are rubbish. Release the dampener on the right (it pushes away from you first then up) then BOTH sides have a stopper that you need to release (the manual says it’s only one side) we used fingers and swearing but a ruler would probably be the best tool to release the stops.

Once that’s out of the way the live wire is easy to hook up via the piggy back fuse into the empty socket. Then the fun really starts - In the manual there are 3 plugs of which you need to replace a wire in plug 1 and plug 3. It took me nearly half an hour (yes really) to find the plugs at all, as I expected them inside the fusebox somewhere but that’s not where they are.
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Instead, they are located through the side panel facing outwards from the glovebox – you can just see the white plug 3 if you use a torch and the other 2 plugs are ridiculously inaccessible behind it. The wiring itself is an absolute cinch – the instructions are fairly clear, once the plug is out take the block out of it and there’s no cutting, everything clicks into place and clicks back in after. HOWEVER, getting the plugs out requires someone with hands about a quarter of the size of mine and a lot of patience. I also found the wires leading to the plugs unhelpfully wound round each other and required a lot of pushing and shoving and loss of skin and bleeding, yes really. Perhaps there’s a better way of doing it, but I didn’t find one. The wiring part itself is easy, then it’s back to the swearing to get the plugs back in again.
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Finally, it’s all done! Getting the trim back together is A LOT easier than taking it apart thankfully. Once finished it looks great, as if it never happened! as you can see totally invisible unless you get on your hands and knees under the car, and the electrics just fold down too. Certainty a feeling of accomplishment, even if to be honest it’s probably just worth paying an expert for.

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The instructions also tell you what codes you have to ask the dealer to change for you, presumably to turn off the rear parking sensors and maybe something about traction control – I haven’t bothered yet. Even without doing that, because it’s correctly wired into the CAN system, you do get an extra flashing light on the dash when you indicate; to remind you the trailer’s there. Just as well probably because my trailer is small enough that with the kodiaq I can’t see it in the mirrors, which makes reversing with it quite hard. Anyway I hope this helps someone, if you're inexperienced like me this is a project for the brave only, good luck and let me know if I can help, I’m a total amateur but if there’s any questions I can answer I will.
Last edited by Dr_Pepper on Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.


bigboss
Posts: 592
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:27 pm
Location: York

Re: DIY Towbar install with pics

Post by bigboss » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:10 pm

Impressive that you managed all this on your own!! Some pictures will help.
Kodiaq SE L, 1.4 TSI 150 PS DSG, Magnetic Brown metallic, beige leather, 19" Triglav, towbar, Heated windscreen & washer nozzles, Heated leather MFSW, Adaptive cruise control, Front & rear parking sensors, rear view camera. Škoda ID: 98705067


User avatar
Zach
Posts: 750
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 6:55 am
Location: Waikato, New Zealand

Re: DIY Towbar install with pics

Post by Zach » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:23 pm

Hi there, it seems there's an issue with your images - can you fix them?
BW32 2017 Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI Style 5 Seater in Quartz Grey Metallic + Sirius rims, Extended Warranty, Panoramic Sunroof, heated washer jets, sleep pack, rear heated seats, 3rd key + driver profiles


Dr_Pepper
Posts: 120
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:57 pm

Re: DIY Towbar install with pics

Post by Dr_Pepper » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:25 pm

ok, that was a pain but I think I fixed the pictures - let me know. It would only let me upload 10 so here are the last 2

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bigboss
Posts: 592
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:27 pm
Location: York

Re: DIY Towbar install with pics

Post by bigboss » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:57 am

You still call yourself an amateur??? :shock: :o
Kodiaq SE L, 1.4 TSI 150 PS DSG, Magnetic Brown metallic, beige leather, 19" Triglav, towbar, Heated windscreen & washer nozzles, Heated leather MFSW, Adaptive cruise control, Front & rear parking sensors, rear view camera. Škoda ID: 98705067


RCRCRC
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:56 am

Re: DIY Towbar install with pics

Post by RCRCRC » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:12 am

I think the reason the factory retractor tow bar is so expensive is that it includes the Trailer Assist. The car parks the trailer where you want!
A huge party piece when you get to a camp sight!

You also get the self car park button together with the Trailer button with this option even if you did nor order self parking.
SE L 2.0 150 TDi, Petrol Blue,Space saver,Canton,Black Leather,Seat mem,Drive mode,Driver alert, Heated Windscreen,High Beam,Area view,Folding tow bar,Trailer assist,DCC. LED lights.
Ordered 09/02/17@Hughes, Richard in South Buckinghamshire


Jacro
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 9:56 am
Location: Belfast

Re: DIY Towbar install with pics

Post by Jacro » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:59 am

Dr_Pepper wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:25 pm
ok, that was a pain but I think I fixed the pictures - let me know. It would only let me upload 10 so here are the last 2
Is that a fixed tow bar or removeable. Also does the tow bar itself, if fixed, set off rear parking sensors?
Thanks


Dr_Pepper
Posts: 120
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:57 pm

Re: DIY Towbar install with pics

Post by Dr_Pepper » Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:19 pm

Hi Jacro, it's removable, once removed it's as if it wasn't there. Also has a lock should you wish to. Not sure if it would trigger sensors while installed since I always remove it straight away. But I will try to check for you.


Jacro
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 9:56 am
Location: Belfast

Re: DIY Towbar install with pics

Post by Jacro » Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:26 pm

Dr_Pepper wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:19 pm
Hi Jacro, it's removable, once removed it's as if it wasn't there. Also has a lock should you wish to. Not sure if it would trigger sensors while installed since I always remove it straight away. But I will try to check for you.
So doers the swan neck come off and then electrics fold up?


H2UBS
Posts: 156
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:32 am
Location: Cornwall

Re: DIY Towbar install with pics

Post by H2UBS » Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:40 pm

RCRCRC wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:12 am
I think the reason the factory retractor tow bar is so expensive is that it includes the Trailer Assist. The car parks the trailer where you want!
A huge party piece when you get to a camp sight!

You also get the self car park button together with the Trailer button with this option even if you did nor order self parking.
I thought the retractable towbar on it's own was an £850 option, but when included with trailer assist and area view is nearer £3000.
It will be a very nice surprise if mine arrives with trailer assist but I don't think so ;)
2.0 tdi SE L 4x4 190 DSG, 5 Seats, Business Grey, dark Alcantara, Triglavs, tow bar. Delivered 15th Sept.


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