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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't know if the 500e typically comes with a bumper tow hook/eye but my recently purchased 2017 didn't have one. I wanted to get one just in case it ever needs to be pulled up onto a tow truck, not that I expect it will anytime soon. But finding one that fit was a real journey. Mopar doesn't sell one as far as I could tell, and the only places I could find to get one online, specifically for the 500, were in Europe and shipping costs were prohibitive. I ordered a few different types and returned all but this one for a Subaru Outback, which fits perfectly: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01DXP72EU?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

Figured if anyone else was looking for one, I'd save them some time.
 

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I don't know if the 500e typically comes with a bumper tow hook/eye but my recently purchased 2017 didn't have one. I wanted to get one just in case it ever needs to be pulled up onto a tow truck, not that I expect it will anytime soon. But finding one that fit was a real journey. Mopar doesn't sell one as far as I could tell, and the only places I could find to get one online, specifically for the 500, were in Europe and shipping costs were prohibitive. I ordered a few different types and returned all but this one for a Subaru Outback, which fits perfectly: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01DXP72EU?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

Figured if anyone else was looking for one, I'd save them some time.
Great tip, thanks!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Nice! Be great to see a pict of where/how you mounted it.
Boy am I glad you asked :)
I had only tried it in the front mounting point, and it works perfectly. Just pop the cover off and it threads right in. This is the most likely place to tow it from, so I hadn't even checked the rear mounting point. Here's the front:
Grille Automotive tire Automotive lighting Hood Motor vehicle

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Hood Automotive lighting


But the rear is another story. Once you pop the cover off:
Automotive parking light Grille Automotive lighting Hood Automotive tire

Hood Grille Automotive tire Automotive lighting Motor vehicle


That hole in the sheet metal is just a little too small to let the larger portion of the shank (20 mm, or 25/32") through. But wait, there's more. I opened up the hole with a 1" drill bit that I happened to have lying around and the tow eye just went eye-deep into the hole without getting to any threads. I can see a second hole beyond the initial sheet metal hole, but of course it's hard to judge its size. So I don't know if the towing eye I have is just too short to reach the actual threads or if there's something else going on. At any rate, using this towing eye on the rear end is a no-go.
 

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I don't know if the 500e typically comes with a bumper tow hook/eye but my recently purchased 2017 didn't have one. I wanted to get one just in case it ever needs to be pulled up onto a tow truck, not that I expect it will anytime soon. But finding one that fit was a real journey. Mopar doesn't sell one as far as I could tell, and the only places I could find to get one online, specifically for the 500, were in Europe and shipping costs were prohibitive. I ordered a few different types and returned all but this one for a Subaru Outback, which fits perfectly: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01DXP72EU?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

Figured if anyone else was looking for one, I'd save them some time.
Thanks, got one in my trunk now
 

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Hmm, I just popped my front cover off on my 2014 and I don’t see any threads behind. This might be why they did not include one with car, and may indicate that it’s not permissible to tow this car at all. Make sure you actually threaded into a metal structure and not just the plastic bumper
 

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I don’t see any threads
There is no thread/nut behind the hole.
THANK YOU BOTH!!

I can see how they'd leave the access point on the rear, since it's in the body-color part that seems identical to the gas versions, but the post above indicates that they at least made the inner hole small enough to prevent accidental use.

But if there really are no proper threads on the front of a 500e, it seems downright dangerous that they added the access point to the front black plastic part which is unique to ONLY the 500e!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, I respectfully disagree. I looked back in there with a strong flashlight and I also taped a dental pick to a screwdriver so I could reach back the 6" needed to feel the threads. The tow eye screws into them securely, and feels very solid. Also, when you look behind the hole for the tow eye, it's clear that it is threading into a square support member in the frame (see crappy cell phone photos below). So, use at your own risk, and do what you want, but I would feel comfortable having a tow truck pull it up onto a flatbed using the tow eye.

View from the bottom:
Wood Tints and shades Automotive tire Metal Shadow


View from the side:
Automotive lighting Hood Tire Automotive tire Automotive design
 

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Thanks for the pics but I don’t see any proof of a threaded engage by those images. i ordered a cheesy fake race tow hook hoping to thread it in and it did not at first, but eventually was threading into the plastic bumper hole inside, giving perhaps a false sense of security. It’s possible you have a version with threads but so far I’m not convinced by your proof.
 

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Thanks for the pics but I don’t see any proof of a threaded engage by those images. i ordered a cheesy fake race tow hook hoping to thread it in and it did not at first, but eventually was threading into the plastic bumper hole inside, giving perhaps a false sense of security. It’s possible you have a version with threads but so far I’m not convinced by your proof.
Extra word of caution, it might risk injury to a tow driver or your car or both if they thinks this is a valid tow method.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the pics but I don’t see any proof of a threaded engage by those images. i ordered a cheesy fake race tow hook hoping to thread it in and it did not at first, but eventually was threading into the plastic bumper hole inside, giving perhaps a false sense of security. It’s possible you have a version with threads but so far I’m not convinced by your proof.
I probably bought that same crappy racing tow hook when I was trying different ones - was it described as "universal for most cars"? (LoL)
Threading into plastic? Yeah, that's not what's going on here, Boss. I appreciate your concern, but the reason the crappy racing tow hook didn't work is because it was too short to reach 6 inches back into the bumper where the steel threads are located in the front of that 2" square frame member (the square member is what I was try to show in my photos - not the threads). That's why the one that finally worked is 9" long. I'm not trying to convince anyone to do anything they don't feel comfortable with, but I personally feel totally confident that this is a secure way to tow my car if necessary. If I can find an affordable fiber optic inspection camera, I'll post photos of the threads themselves.
 

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I probably bought that same crappy racing tow hook when I was trying different ones - was it described as "universal for most cars"? (LoL)
Threading into plastic? Yeah, that's not what's going on here, Boss. I appreciate your concern, but the reason the crappy racing tow hook didn't work is because it was too short to reach 6 inches back into the bumper where the steel threads are located in the front of that 2" square frame member (the square member is what I was try to show in my photos - not the threads). That's why the one that finally worked is 9" long. I'm not trying to convince anyone to do anything they don't feel comfortable with, but I personally feel totally confident that this is a secure way to tow my car if necessary. If I can find an affordable fiber optic inspection camera, I'll post photos of the threads themselves.
Maybe a pic straight in from the front would help. I’ll try on mine. mine was not too short, it was just a tad large to fit into the plastic area, but with some pressure and twist it cut its own threads and now “feels” secure. I just find it interesting that a car would not come with a tow hook, as I’ve never seen that before so my thinking is that this is because they don’t want this car to be towed that way, which it says in the manual, and further evidence of that is the lack of threads. Also, don’t really need a fiber optic scope if you know how to use a phone, boss.
And yes you are promoting this dangerous idea regardless if your car somehow has threads, not all do so just consider that when handing out advice in the internet.

Liquid Fluid Water Gas Circle

Bumper Rim Automotive wheel system Automotive tire Gas
 

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There was a guy on one of the facebook 500e groups that did a lot of towing experiments with his 500e and tow hooks. I don't recall all the details, but I recall he used the regen to charge the car while towing. Point being it is possible.

Could be that some years have the threads and some years don't? Seems weird that there would be differences. Also seems weird they would mold in the tow point access hole into the 500e air dam and not have the tow hook connection features.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Maybe a pic straight in from the front would help. I’ll try on mine. mine was not too short, it was just a tad large to fit into the plastic area, but with some pressure and twist it cut its own threads and now “feels” secure. I just find it interesting that a car would not come with a tow hook, as I’ve never seen that before so my thinking is that this is because they don’t want this car to be towed that way, which it says in the manual, and further evidence of that is the lack of threads. Also, don’t really need a fiber optic scope if you know how to use a phone, boss.
And yes you are promoting this dangerous idea regardless if your car somehow has threads, not all do so just consider that when handing out advice in the internet.
Was your tow hook 9" or longer? Then it was too short. It also apparently had threads too large to make it all the way to where the steel threads are. The 9" long hook I have doesn't have that issue. It passes straight through to the back of the hole to where the threads are in the steel frame member. I tried taking a photo with my phone and I couldn't make anything out and I can't make anything out in your photo, either. I did find a borescope that was affordable and links up with a cell phone to take photos, so when it arrives, I'll post some proper photos.

I merely made this information available for people to do with it whatever they want. I never said that anyone should do what I am doing and I am not promoting any ideas or suggesting that anyone do anything they aren't comfortable with. It's possible that some 500e's have steel threads like mine and some don't, but if you're stupid enough to not know the difference between threading into plastic and threading into steel, then you deserve what you get.
 

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Was your tow hook 9" or longer? Then it was too short. It also apparently had threads too large to make it all the way to where the steel threads are. The 9" long hook I have doesn't have that issue. It passes straight through to the back of the hole to where the threads are in the steel frame member. I tried taking a photo with my phone and I couldn't make anything out and I can't make anything out in your photo, either. I did find a borescope that was affordable and links up with a cell phone to take photos, so when it arrives, I'll post some proper photos.

I merely made this information available for people to do with it whatever they want. I never said that anyone should do what I am doing and I am not promoting any ideas or suggesting that anyone do anything they aren't comfortable with. It's possible that some 500e's have steel threads like mine and some don't, but if you're stupid enough to not know the difference between threading into plastic and threading into steel, then you deserve what you get.
Okay, youve sufficiently convinced me that you have threads in your car. And that you’re an *** hat. Good luck with your borescope.
As an aside, how can you expect us to believe you can tell the difference between steel and plastic if you can’t even read (and comprehend)? Lol, your pics are nonsensical and show nothing.
 

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OK, perhaps I can help dig this discussion out of the muck... :(

Dr_Sharp did help with some valuable info about this subject. I've purchased the hooks he recommended for my car because the OE Subaru parts appeared significantly more sturdy than the aftermarket blingy "racy" things found on Ebay, etc.

Here's why:
Number 1, it's all good quality zinc plated steel, made (probably forged) in 1 piece without a bunch of weak points built into the design.

Starting @ the threaded end,
M16 X 1.5 rolled thread; 32mm of threads that taper up to the 16mm O.D. This unthreaded section is 15mm long.
From there, it tapers up to the 20mm shaft O.D. over 6mm. The 20mm O.D. is 105mm long. The tow hook's total length is 204 mm.

These details all provide higher strength by eliminating stress risers; rolled threads are stronger than cut threads and tapered transitions don't cause stress-risers like stepped transitions.
The actual eye looks forged; it looks like some attempt was made to balance it's strength to the 16mm threads.

Almost every aftermarket versions had sharp; cut threads & immediately stepped up to the larger diameter. They all "featured" a much smaller than 16mm thread on the hook side, threaded into some part with something like an 8mm cross pin (guessing size). They all seemed to have some piece of U-shaped aluminum fit to that cross pin that looked like a pathetic attempt at a D-ring shackle.

A chain will break at its' weakest link, and you don't have to be much of an engineer to figure out what that link is in this case.

OK, back to the Subaru tow hooks on a Fiat 500.
When I test fit this on my car, I found that there is, indeed, nothing to thread into. It is a nice, precise fit between the hole and the tow hook.

So, at least with my car, I'm getting some beefy 16X1.5mm nuts and locknuts as well as a beefy washer to back it up. If others would like, I'll verify fitment in a few days.

These parts are on order from Mcmaster-Carr, the best hardware store on the planet. :cool: I've never, over 30+ years of doing business with them, been disappointed with the quality of anything.
M161.52416220°DIN 985, ISO 10511194645A116
M161.52413DIN 93454391N118
9/16"0.625"1.375"0.110"-0.140"Rockwell B68__591525A339

For those of us without threaded holes in our bumpers, I guess we'll have to leave the tow hook in as a permanent feature. However - I'm willing to guarantee that the tow hook won't fail by stripping the threads on the nuts...

Some may notice that this is getting a bit expensive. However - it's a LOT sturdier AND cheaper than the "racy" ones that I've found.
 

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Well the "racy" ones would still need the same nut(s) added. Also, the cost might be mitigated by avoiding expensive damage from towing without it.

However if there really are no threads built into the car, hopefully I'm wrong about the following:

It looks to me like you can't get at the end of the eyebolt, to screw on a nut.

After seeing the @Dr_Sharp pics in post #9 above, I looked at my 2013 500e & it seems to me that the front tow eye screws into the end of an enclosed hollow square-section frame rail, with no access from which to thread on a nut inside the frame rail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for your patience, ladies and gents. I finally received the borescope and it works a treat, although focus is done merely by positioning the camera head, so don't expect National Geographic quality here. I concur 100% with ETS' comment about the location of where the tow eye screws in - I don't see any way to put a nut behind it or anything like that. So, with no further adieu, here are the photos. Prepare to be underwhelmed.

First, looking down the tube behind the front bumper cover, we can see the hole into which the tow eye threads. It's located approximately 6 inches back from the cover:
Eye Human body Automotive tire Automotive wheel system Circle
Water Eyelash Liquid Fluid Cosmetics


It looks to me like a fairly thick rim that seems to be the result of welding a short piece of tube to the frame rail. Definitely doesn't have any cut threads. But the tow eye definitely threads in firmly and easily. As indicated above by @500e*clipse, there's apparently "a nice, precise fit between the hole and the tow hook." Was that on purpose or is it just fortuitous?

The big question is, would this be strong enough to pull the car? What's the opinion of the madding crowd?
I'm considering whether I should test this out if I have time this weekend. Honestly, I'm not 100% sold on it having seen this a little more clearly now.

I have a question for @Vegas Mike : when you had your 500e towed, what did you hook the tow strap to? I'm just curious, because if I decide I can't trust the tow eye, and if I ever need to tow mine, I'd like to have some idea of how it could be done.
 
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