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Old 11-22-2013, 09:26 PM   #1
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Chevy Equinox and Blue Ox Base Plate install

I'm trying to install the Blue Ox BX1689 base plate on my 2012 Chevy Equinox. Mine has the transmission condensor mounted in front of the radiator. Blue Ox provide some brackets to relocate the condensor about 3 inches higher than original. When I mount it as instructed, the pipes are (in my opinion) under too much stress. Even ignoring that point, there is insufficient space between the baseplate cross-member and the radiator for the condensor.
Has anyone successfully installed a base plate (any base plate) on an Equinox equipped with the transmission condensor?
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Old 11-23-2013, 09:57 AM   #2
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Crickets....

Nice to know I'm a pioneer.

I emailed Blue Ox last night but no response yet.

It seems their instructions are wrong. It says this component is a Transmission Condensor. Further research tells me it's actually a power steering cooler.

In the absence of any other suggestions, my plan is to cut the metal portion of the pipe and extend the vertical section of the pipes with a 3 inch length of rubber tube to eliminate the strain.
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Old 11-23-2013, 11:08 AM   #3
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We have a similar situation with our Captiva, we ended up just drilling a new hole in the verticle frame work an inch or 2 above the hole it originally mounted to and that works fine. You're right about there not being a lot of "slack" in the tubing leading to the condensor.
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:21 PM   #4
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I got the job finished. Here is my solution: Not pretty but so far working well.
In addition, I cut about an inch off the existing rubber hose(s). The cooler is attached to the brackets provided by Blue Ox.
I received a reply back from Blue Ox support this afternoon saying they would check with their engineers tomorrow. Too little, too late.
I expected Blue Ox to provide some support over the weekend considering many of their products are likely to be weekend installation jobs.
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chawkins99 View Post
I'm trying to install the Blue Ox BX1689 base plate on my 2012 Chevy Equinox. Mine has the transmission condensor mounted in front of the radiator. Blue Ox provide some brackets to relocate the condensor about 3 inches higher than original. When I mount it as instructed, the pipes are (in my opinion) under too much stress. Even ignoring that point, there is insufficient space between the baseplate cross-member and the radiator for the condensor.
Has anyone successfully installed a base plate (any base plate) on an Equinox equipped with the transmission condensor?
When installing the base plate on our Equinox, I also felt relocating the cooler using the brackets provided put too much stress on the lines. I just bent the brackets a little bit to change the mounting position of the cooler slightly so there was less tension. It was a lot easier than removing and cutting lines.
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:56 AM   #6
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Looks great.

I have a 2014 Equinox, and I'm just starting to look into the tow bar and other items I'll need to flat tow.

etrailer.com has a video that shows the install of the Blue Ox base plate for a 2011 Equinox, and it made no mention of the power steering cooler. I have a question - why would some versions of the Equinox have a power steering cooler, and others not? Is it a year thing, or do the ones with towing packages come with them, etc.

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Old 11-26-2013, 01:57 PM   #7
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Mine does not have the tow package but it does have the 3.0L V6. I suspect that is the difference. If you spec the tow package, it's listed as "dealer installed" so don't think there are any drivetrain mods.
I'm adding the hitch this weekend. Hope it goes smoother than the baseplate install.
Paz, I looked at several different mounting configurations but wasn't happy with any of them. The Blue Ox instructions seemed to indicate the cooler would slot between the baseplate and the radiator. I didn't think there was enough room for that and figured that would compromise air flow.
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Old 11-26-2013, 03:17 PM   #8
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That's why I went with the Road Master on my 2010 Equinox. No alterations needed!

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Old 11-26-2013, 03:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T_Van View Post
Looks great.

I have a 2014 Equinox, and I'm just starting to look into the tow bar and other items I'll need to flat tow.

etrailer.com has a video that shows the install of the Blue Ox base plate for a 2011 Equinox, and it made no mention of the power steering cooler. I have a question - why would some versions of the Equinox have a power steering cooler, and others not? Is it a year thing, or do the ones with towing packages come with them, etc.

Thanx,
T_Van
The V6 has hydraulic power steering. I believe the 4 cyl has electric power steering.
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
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That's why I went with the Road Master on my 2010 Equinox. No alterations needed!

Stano
Stano, I looked at the Roadmaster baseplate as an alternative if I couldn't solve my problem.
What amazed me was the instructions to remove the bumper core (it will not be re-installed).
What happens during a 'low-speed' impact? You now have nothing but a thin piece of plastic protecting the front of the vehicle. Other than the baseplate itself which is definitely NOT a crumple zone.
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chawkins99 View Post
Stano, I looked at the Roadmaster baseplate as an alternative if I couldn't solve my problem.
What amazed me was the instructions to remove the bumper core (it will not be re-installed).
What happens during a 'low-speed' impact? You now have nothing but a thin piece of plastic protecting the front of the vehicle. Other than the baseplate itself which is definitely NOT a crumple zone.
The installer did hand me a cross member of some sort when I picked up my Equinox! When I read the instructions for the Roadmaster, it said you had to alter/cut the frame someway. Go figure.

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Old 11-26-2013, 05:42 PM   #12
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Our Terrain is essentially the same as your equinox and Paz is correct about the difference in steering applications between the 6 and 4 cyl cars. I installed the Roadmaster baseplate on my 4cyl and was a pretty straight forward install. Re: the "bumper core". Yes, it required removal; however, the Roadmaster base plate cross bar replaced the core and it is everybit as hefty as the core it replaces. No problem there.

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Old 11-26-2013, 07:32 PM   #13
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The pictures below are before and after pictures from the Roadmaster installation instructions. The crossbar may be substantial but does not provide nearly the protection the bumper core does.
The bumper core works in concert with the foam insert behind the facia to provide low-speed impact absorption. The foam insert is also removed during install so, essentially, there is nothing between the plastic facia and the radiator.
Modern vehicles are designed to withstand impacts of up to 5mph with no damage. With the removal of the bumper core and foam insert, the bumper effectively has no strength.
Just hitting a bird at highway speeds would likely destroy the facia and perhaps the radiator.
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Old 11-26-2013, 08:51 PM   #14
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That explains it - I have the 4 Cylinder. One less thing to worry about!

Thanks for the responses!

T_Van
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