Installing a trailer hitch isn't really a difficult task as long as you have the right tools, a spacious working area, and of course, basic automotive repair skills.
Step-by-step guideTools you'll need:
- Torque wrench
- Nuts and bolts
- Metal cutter
- Drill and bit (if your vehicle doesn't have pre-drilled holes)
Step 1: Loosely assemble the hitch.Before you level up your vehicle, it's best to loosely assemble the kit by installing the pin, clip, and drawbar to hold up the hitch in position. By doing so, you'll be able to identify if there are missing or defective parts and to have an idea of how the whole assembly will look once installed.
Step 2: Jack up the vehicle.Using jack stands, level up your vehicle to provide yourself with plenty of working space. Once the vehicle is jacked up, get under it and inspect the pre-drilled bolt holes (if there are any). Prep the existing holes by cleaning them, making sure that no traces of rust or dirt are left.
Step 3: Loosen or reposition any assembly that might slow down the installation.These assemblies usually include the exhaust system, bumper, and brackets. Once these parts are temporarily removed or repositioned, you'll have better access when attaching the hitching assembly onto the metal frame.
Step 4: Drill holes. (If your vehicle has pre-drilled holes, skip this step.)When drilling holes, center punch the positions and don't forget to drill pilot holes to serve as guides. Once you've got the right hole size, attach the appropriate bit onto the drill and drill away.
Step 5: Attach the hitch.Place it in the right position, using a jack stand as support since this part can actually weigh at least 50 pounds. Once it is properly aligned, place the nuts and bolts through the holes. Before tightening the bolts with a torque wrench, double-check if it is securely aligned and has proper ground clearance. Tighten the bolts and nuts according to the torque specified by the manufacturer.
Installation dos and don'tsDos:
- Do check your car's undercarriage for signs of excessive rust. If the attachment area is severely corroded, fix it first before installing any towing accessory.
- Do use the right tools when providing support to a heavy hitching assembly such as c-clamps or a floor jack.
- Do clean out the bolt holes with a rust remover to ensure easier installation.
- Do use the reinforcing plates included in the kit and place them where reinforcement is required.
- Don't drill holes onto the hitch for auxiliary accessories since cutting holes will weaken the metal and in some cases, void the warranty.
- Don't modify this accessory?always follow the manufacturer's instruction during installation.
- Don't weld the hitching unit onto your vehicle's frame. Doing so will affect the rigidity and durability of both the hitching assembly and your car's metal structure.
- Don't go beyond the torque specifications when tightening the bolts and nuts since this can lead to premature wear and tear.