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2009 Honda Fit:
Roadmaster #521190-1 baseplate installation tips

I worked from the Roadmaster installation instructions (PDF). If you haven't already reviewed them, it's a good idea. The job is almost as simple as they claim. There were just two things I ran into that they didn't mention.

1. After you remove all the round plastic fasteners and screws, step 4 says "Pull out and forward to remove the fascia (Fig. F)." Not quite! There are about half a dozen snap-together plastic clips on each side, inside the seam shown opening up in figure F. You must release these before you can pull off the upper fascia. A flat-blade screwdriver works pretty well; carefully insert it into the crack and use the tip to depress the movable part of each clip. When you get them all unsnapped, you can pull off that side.

The same is true on the underside of the fascia: in addition to the round plastic fasteners and screws described in the instructions, there are hidden plastic clips holding the black part of the fascia in place, and you'll have to carefully lever them open with a screwdriver.

2. You may run into a misalignment problem in step 7. That hole in figure I is extremely difficult to get to because of the proximity of the alternator and other engine parts—and in my case, the threaded hole in the baseplate didn't quite align with it, so I was unable to start the 5/8" bolt that was supposed to go through that hole into the baseplate bracket.

I ended up using a ball-shaped grindstone bit on the end of my Dremel tool to grind away about 1/8" of the forward edge of the chassis hole, enlarging it enough to get the bolt through. The ball-shaped stone let me shove the Dremel tool down almost vertically, parallel to the plate with the hole; a cylindrical stone wouldn't have worked.

By the way, you'll need a 1" wrench for that bolt head. The less clearance it requires, the better! Especially on the passenger's side, there's so little room that a socket wrench won't fit. Ideally, a 1" ratcheted box wrench would be perfect, because it's nearly flat and has a built-in ratchet. Considering how much money you'll save by installing the baseplate yourself, it'd be worth buying one just for this job, if you can find one.

Hope this helps. Good luck, and enjoy your Fit!

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