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Discussion Starter #1
Today I installed a hitch on our 2012 caravan. However I broke the 15mm bolt on each side. So currently it's held in with two 18mm bolts on drivers side, and just one 18mm on passenger. I obviously won't tow anything with it until this is fixed.
The 15mm bolts are the ones closest to the bumper, so I'm guessing they get more water on them and rust more.

They both broke clean off, with the rest of the bolt still in the frame.

Am I correct in my understanding that if I remove the rear bumper cover, then the bumper itself, I should be able to see the top of those bolts inside the frame?

Anyone else have this happen and have a suggestion on best way to get those out?
 

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I believe they hold your rear bumper brackets to the frame so if you take rear bumper cover off then I believe you can get bumper bracket with broken bolt out to work on or replace. Only hidden fastenesr for rear bumper cover are below tail lights so must be removed.
 

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From your description (if the 2012 is like the 2010), you must have an after-market hitch. When installing the OEM hitch, the brackets into which those bolts go are replaced, and heavier bolts are used, with stouter brackets as well. These brackets are the supports for the steel bumper frame. If you remove the bumper skin, you can then remove the steel bumper and these brackets that slide into the rear of the frame rails. I cannot recall for sure if you can remove the steel bumper frame with those supports/brackets still attached, but I think so. (I think it was a couple of years ago already when I installed a factory hitch on my 2010 GC.)

Edited to add:
I see you got another reply while I was writing this. I can take a photo of the original brackets tomorrow, and I should also still have the instructions for removing the bumper skin, because I keep everything (or so my wife tells me). I think those instructions are also available here on the site as well, and there should be photos, too.
 

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i also snapped 1 bolt installing my hitch.
on passenger side towards the rear.

i got it out by using a pick and a tiny flat head screwdriver and slowly turning it counterclockwise. a lefthand drillbit or easy out could help you remove the rest of the bolt without removing the bumper cover.
 

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U-Haul charges about $30 to install a hitch.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yea, I ordered the hitch from them but chose to install myself. In retrospect, it would have been worth the money to let them deal with it.

If weather is nice on Thursday I'll try taking apart the bumper to get those bolts out.
 

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Sorry it took so long for me to get these photos of the bumper support bracket. The first shows the top of the bracket, and the other shows the bottom. The brackets are held in the frame rails only by the bolts you also use to attach the hitch.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I finally got around to fixing this last week.
Took about half an hour to remove the rear bumper cover and the actual metal bumper underneath.
I soaked the exposed remaining tops of the bolts (sticking out about 3/4 inch) in WD40 but gave up after an hour of trying to get them loose. I tried vice grips and even grinding a slit into the top of the bolt to get a flat blade screwdriver in there, but couldn't get it loose.
Took the whole bumper to the shop on the corner. They heated it up with a blow torch and had both bolts out in 5 minutes. $10 total charge.

Picked up two new 10mm x 40mm coarse thread bolts, some washers, and put it all back together.
 

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A comedy/drama with a happy ending --- priceless :beerchug:
 

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I realize that you don't need replacement parts, but I installed the OEM hitch, which replaces all of those parts. The ones I removed are in good shape - no rust. (2010 Dodge Grand Caravan) So if someone reads this thread & needs these parts, I do need to sell this stuff, so as to make room for parts for my 46 Plymouth, which we just moved 900 miles across the country from Oklahoma to Ohio last week. (I started a restoration in 1980, and it has sat untouched since 82 or 83.)
 

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FWIW, I managed to get all the bolts out of my '10 (midwest, so yes, corrosion) without breaking any. I even got the Curt hitch to go on without removing any exhaust brackets, just popped one rubber hanger. No ramps/jack, it took about 1.5 hours (mostly due to stuck bolts), and yes, I have air tools (which sped some of it up).

The trick with the bolts is...PB B'laster, both on the head side of the bolt, AND you can spray the threaded/nut side by spraying into adjacent holes in the rear frame. Let it soak for a good half hour. I re-assembled with anti-seize coating the entire bolt. They went in much easier.
 

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Hi. I'm in the same situation. My Chrysler dealer wanted to replace the whole bracket. I figured I will try to work on it myself first. What does it entail to remove the rear bumper cover and the metal bumper to get access to the bracket? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Pretty easy to remove the cover and the bumper itself. I watched this video before I did the cover: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnVcPRA3o-0
Her's is an 08 but it's the same on newer ones too.

Once the cover is off, you need to remove the same bolts you would to install the hitch. There are 6 total, only 5 of which you remove for most hitch installs. Once those 6 bolts are out (or in your case, 4 out, 2 snapped off), you can just pull the whole bumper out.
 

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Same issue -- I'm installing the Curt hitch onto my 2011 Grand Caravan and I broke the 2 smaller bolts.
I see lots of great info here on removing the broken bolts, thanks! My question is -- where do I get replacements of the bolts I broke?
 

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Didn't break any bolts installing an aftermarket hitch last spring, but it took a lot of PB Blaster and lots of loosening until it got too hard, tightening back up, more PB, loosening some more, tightening back up, yada, yada, yada. Eventually got them all out without breaking any and got the hitch in without and other problems. Minnesota weather makes for lots of rusty bolts.
 

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Same issue -- I'm installing the Curt hitch onto my 2011 Grand Caravan and I broke the 2 smaller bolts.
I see lots of great info here on removing the broken bolts, thanks! My question is -- where do I get replacements of the bolts I broke?
Any decent hardware store would have metric bolts you could use, as long as you can get the broken ones out. If you still haven't found what you need, and cannot identify the size & thread count from the pieces you have, I could probably find mine, and take them to the hardware here to identify. (I have an OEM hitch installed, which doesn't use the smaller bolts, as it replaces the bumper brace extensions that go into the frame rails with heavier ones, and also substitutes larger bolts for greater strength.)
 
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