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My 2005 Safari has one proper tow hook in the right front for extraction from deep sand (I live in the Middle East) I want to install 3 more - 1 in front and two in back. There are what appear to be the right types of bolt-holes in the right places in the chassis, front and rear.

Nissan here in Doha, Qatar, had two extra hooks of the right size in stock, which I was planning to put in the back. The Nissan people wanted to check the car first, and, after we all had a good look in back in their shop (me, 2 mechanics, accessories manager) they advised against it because it would be:

1. Expensive - some metal has to be cut out to allow the hooks to fit properly, which would involve removing the whole back bumper. Installing a second front hook also requires some metal cutting and possible bumper removal. Metal was cut to install the existing one. The Nissan people believe the Patrol can be jerked out from the front with just the single hook on the right without misaligning the chassis.

2. Unnecessary - they felt that the two existing eyes in the rear a friend identified as transportation hold-down points should be strong enough for sand extraction, plus they declared the existing towing hook on the bumper (not ball type) to also be strong enough for sand extraction. Maybe using a combination of both hold-down eyes would spread the load a bit.

3. A bad idea - they told me that the chassis metal work in the rear is designed to be a crumple zone, and that installing tow hooks would compromise this function, plus the chassis metal in the rear is deliberately built weaker for this purpose, and might all pull out if tow hooks are used for sand extraction.

Utter nonsense? One thing is for sure - it will be expensive to install the hooks if Nissan insist on removing the rear bumper before cutting the metal. The cutting will take place right next to the petrol tank.

I decided not to initiate anything just yet and go home and think about what to do.

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