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Old 04-08-2014, 11:56 AM   #1
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Nightmare Baseplate Install

I just had the baseplate finally professionally installed on my 3 month old Ford C Max Hybrid. When I got it back I was getting a warning light on the dash. I notified the RV place that did the install, and told them I was taking it to the dealer to be checked out.

To shorten a long story, the welding work melted some of the insulation in the wiring harness causing thousands of dollars of repair work. The dealership won't remove the baseplate, so the RV place has to get the car from the dealer, remove the plate, return the car for the dealer to replace the wiring harness, then get it again and reinstall the plate.

Thankfully I'm working with both an excellent RV mechanic and a Ford dealership who are arranging it all between them. The RV mech is paying all costs, so besides some serious headache, and the loss of my car for the week, it should have a happy ending.

I simply didn't see this coming. For what every simplistic reasoning, I had assumed the baseplate was bolted in place. Now I wish I had just bought a car trailer! :-(
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:09 PM   #2
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Sorry you had that problem but at least the responsible party is taking care of it. What base plate did you have installed? I've installed four Blue Ox base plates over the years, three on Fords and one on a Honda CRV and all were simply bolt on with no welding required.
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raining Star View Post
I just had the baseplate finally professionally installed on my 3 month old Ford C Max Hybrid. When I got it back I was getting a warning light on the dash. I notified the RV place that did the install, and told them I was taking it to the dealer to be checked out.

To shorten a long story, the welding work melted some of the insulation in the wiring harness causing thousands of dollars of repair work. The dealership won't remove the baseplate, so the RV place has to get the car from the dealer, remove the plate, return the car for the dealer to replace the wiring harness, then get it again and reinstall the plate.

Thankfully I'm working with both an excellent RV mechanic and a Ford dealership who are arranging it all between them. The RV mech is paying all costs, so besides some serious headache, and the loss of my car for the week, it should have a happy ending.

I simply didn't see this coming. For what every simplistic reasoning, I had assumed the baseplate was bolted in place. Now I wish I had just bought a car trailer! :-(
Am I missing something? Why is the baseplate welded on? To my knowledge, base plates are designed to bolt on without having to modify the structure of the toad. You may have to cut Trim Parts but Never should you have to weld onto the vehicle which could alter the integrity of the chassis. IMHO.
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:22 PM   #4
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I'm also interested in what they have welded and why.
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:33 PM   #5
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I guess I'll have to inquire. As I said, I also assumed it was a bolt on deal. I wonder if I'm going to have endless problems with not being able to access the bottom of the engine.
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:39 PM   #6
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I've had five Blue-Ox baseplates installed on my different towed vehicles over the years and none of them involved any welding. Something doesn't seem quite right with your installation if welding was required.
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:43 PM   #7
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Might be time to search for a new Excellent RV Mechanic. These kind of errors can get real expensive in a hurry.
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:58 PM   #8
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Ford C-Max Base Plate for Tow Bar - 2013 | etrailer.com

Doesn't mention any welding requirements, but I didn't read the whole thing
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:10 PM   #9
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I had a Falcon tow bar, bought a new toad, called the dealer where I bought the rv, and who is an "authorized installer": they ordered the baseplate. Two weeks the parts are in we make an appointment, drive up there ( 140 miles- one way). After waiting about three hours they tell us these parts won't fit have to order new ones.
Two weeks later they call and have the right parts. Back we go, and fours later we are done and headed home.

About a year later in the Smokey Mountains. I-40, I look in the rear view monitor and see only one arm of my tow bar connected, the other swinging free! PANICK!!!.

Make a long story short, the baseplate installation resulted in the towbar at a major down angle, and the holding pin had sheared on a big dip. Had called the Falcon folks who emailed me the installation spec. When I got home I took the baseplates apart, and re-assembled it upside down from the "authorized" installers method. Came right into spec. No problems since.

So just saying, on this rv stuff, you just can never be sure of what or who is doing the work.
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:11 PM   #10
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Blue Ox site shows as being down, a check of several places offering the base plate for sale show the 13/14 as being the same unit.

So with that in mind here is a link to U Tube showing the installation with no welding required.

Installation of Blue Ox Base Plates on a 2013 Ford C-Max - etrailer.com - YouTube
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:13 PM   #11
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I'm glad I brought this up here. I'll see what my guy says.
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis45 View Post
Might be time to search for a new Excellent RV Mechanic.
dennis45
X2 !

No excellent RV mechanic would melt wires on any car.... even IF the base plate installation did require welding...... which I doubt!

BTW, if/when the RV mechanic does pay all costs to correct his incompetence it will only prove that he's a nice guy .....but the OP's nearly new C Max Hybrid will never again be like new).

Mel
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Old 04-08-2014, 03:04 PM   #13
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More likely they used a torch to loosen a bolt. that's a better answer for melted wires.
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Old 04-08-2014, 03:10 PM   #14
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OP has not confirmed what baseplate was installed.
The Blue Ox on my Equinox did require some trimming of metalwork to get it to fit.
Maybe the RV tech decided to use a torch for the cutting instead of a saw.
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