Here are a couple renderings of what to cut off the Curt Hitch, and what to weld back on.
I cut off the items highlighted in yellow, put the crossbar portion of the hitch onto the car, and held the receiver tube in place to determine how short to cut it. Beware when you cut down the receiver tube and weld back onto the cross bar, it needs to be deep enough to accept your hitch ball adaptor or bike rack. Mine is a blind hole, an improvement would be to cut the cross bar portion of the hitch to allow the receiver tube to be be open all the way thru. You'll need to also weld on a triangle brace on the upper and/or lower relocated receiver tube-cross bar joint for added strength. Finally, you'll need to weld on the safety chain loops that you cut off in a suitable location to avoid damaging the center exhaust. A good fabricator/welder could do this work for you pretty cheap, it only cost me two cases of beer!
I have some connections, so I got it powder coated in gloss black.
I COMPLETELY disagree with you on that, 100%. Towing a couple of dirtbikes or a small utility trailer does NOT require a big tow vehicle. I've got an '01 focus zx3 that I've pulled boats, pop-up campers, and utility trailers with, all safely. You just have to know how to drive, increase following distance, and give yourself more of a safety cushion. They don't have big trucks in Europe, and the pull things around all the time. Correct, if you don't know how to handle it or overload it, it can be dangerous. But it can be done completely safely. And if it wears parts out quicker, well, it's their car, they paid the money for it, so you don't need to worry about that.I'm sorry, but it has to be said. Your going to use a Ford Focus ST as a tow vehicle????? Only one thought comes to mind; ....Why????
The second thought; "that is just a bad idea." I would never consider such a thing, but I can think of all kinds of bad things, and I am saying this as someone who has years of towing experience. I would never consider using this car as a tow vehicle, it is just not built for it. I don't care how light the tow duty is that you are planning, this is just a bad idea, regardless of how cute you think your little hitch is.
The only mention of towing in the Owners Manual is how you tow the Focus, there in nothing in the manual about how to use the machine for towing something else. That's because FORD knows that the machine is not suited for such a purpose.
If you can afford the toys that need to be towed, you can afford a proper tow vehicle.
There is one ST version that goes under the exhaust, just different hitches you ca n get with them. I'm planning on modding a standard one like I believe the OP did.Looks like they have a few models that are specific to the ST. Are those the "under exhaust" versions?
There is not much of a gap between the the top of the exhaust and the bottom of the bumper. Mine is now about 1 3/4". Add in some clearance so they do not rattle against each other and then room to slide the receiver in etc, it does not leave much space. You could use washers under the exhaust brackets and space the exhaust lower.^Cool. My Non St setup should be coming in today. I prefer the "over the exhaust" setup like Mark did but ill look at my options once I have the receiver cut up.