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Discussion Starter #1
I am considering purchasing a used FX35, somewhere in the range 2011 - 2013. I have seen video instructions (posted by a manufacturer of hitches) for installing a hitch which requires the removal of "appearance pieces" which are located on the underside a bit behind the rear wheel wells. They attach, I believe, to the frame, the "mud flaps" and the bumper fascia. The video leaves these pieces off after the hitch is installed (the hitch occupies the space once used by the appearance pieces). The tutorial references cutting the panels to fit or otherwise modifying them as the new hitch prohibits their direct replacement.
My question is, do these trim pieces typically go back into place with some modification or do guys leave them off? If they are left off, is the rigidity of the remaining components compromised, - any wind noise with them missing, any rattling or fatigue of the components once attached to these trim pieces?
I just want to use a Thule bike carrier that fits into a 2" receiver ( I currently have the set up on a 2001 QX4) so a class III hitch is the appropriate application.
I spoke to the service department at an Infiniti dealer and was told Infiniti no longer provides or installs hitches on the FX35.
Thanks in advance for any information about this. I appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I found a supplier who depicts how to modify one of the two underside panels affected once the hitch is installed. Curt Manufacturing has a detailed depiction of the modification needed on the passenger side trim piece. It simply involves cutting out a section 3/8" wide by 5 3/8" long - using shears. The panel can be directly re-mounted once the cut is made. The driver's side panel can be re-mounted with no modification. This is a class III hitch.
 
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