We begin the installation of our fifth wheel trailer hitch by lowering the spare tire on our 2008 Ford 250 Super Duty. Next, we want to loosen the bed bolts to make it easier to install the rails for our fifth wheel hitch. Now we can slide the first rail over the frame and under the truck bed. With first rail in place towards the rear of the truck, we can then slide the second rail into place. Once we have the rails in place across the truck, we insert the bolts to level out the mounting brackets. After the rails are in place and bolts tightened, we retighten the bed bolts to make sure there will be no shifting. This ensures that all of the holes we are going to drill will align properly. Now we mark the holes where we need to drill through the side of the frame at the front and rear of the frame brackets. Before drilling your holes, check the inside of the frame rail on each side of the truck to make sure it is clear of any wiring or lines that run from the front to the back of the truck.
If present, tuck them out of the way to prevent damage while drilling. First drill pilot holes through the bracket to make sure that the holes will be aligned. Then drill through the pilot holes to enlarge the holes to the proper size. On the front hole, we then place the bolt through the bracket and the frame and secure it with a nut and block on the inside of the truck frame. On this particular hole we have to use what is called a knurl bolt. It is a bolt that goes from the inside of the frame and bolts with a nut on the outside of the frame. This is used because there is not sufficient room to install the nut on the inside of the frame. We fish the wire through the hole, and then thread the knurl bolt to the end of the fish wire. The knurl bolt can then be pulled back through the hole in the frame and bracket. When you use the knurl bolt, it attaches from the opposite side of the frame so the nut will be on the outside of the truck frame. Once all of our holes are drilled, we the bolts and washers and secure them with nuts on the inside of the frame rail. We now need to mark the bed of the truck so we know where to drill our holes. To do this, we use the pointed bolt and drill up through the rails. It creates a prick mark on the top of the truck bed. We can then go into the truck bed and check our marks. They should look something like this. We now know where to drill down our holes. After finding the prick marks we drill a pilot hole through the bed of the truck to make sure that the bolts will align. Once the pilot holes are drilled and we have verified proper alignment with the rails, we remove the rails and brackets that had been previously installed. We do this to ensure that they are not damaged when drilling through the truck bed with hole saw.
After the brackets and rails are removed we line up the hole saw with our pilot holes and drill through the truck bed. After drilling all four holes, check alignment, and then reinstall the rails and brackets under the truck bed. We then install the pucks into the holes and tighten them down with an allen wrench. Then, assemble head and legs of the fifth wheel hitch and place them into the pucks. Turn the locking mechanisms and pin them into place. Now that our fifth wheel trailer hitch is installed, we torque the down the bolts to the proper pounds per foot. To install our fifth wheel wiring adapter we remove the bracket that currently holds the four way and seven way trailer connectors. Then detached the plug, and plug our new wiring in-line with the existing wiring adapter. After the plugs are installed we remount the wiring bracket. Then go into the truck bed and drill a hole with a hole saw where the plug will come into the truck bed. We then run the wiring along the frame, securing it with zip ties. Route the wires between the exterior body and frame of the truck to the hole we previously drilled in the truck bed. We can then plug the cord into the back of the connector and attach the plug to the bed with four screws. To finish the installation of our fifth wheel trailer hitch we reinstall the spare tire.
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