Today on this 2007 Saturn Ion we are going to be installing Curt hitch part number 11447. We are underneath the vehicle looking at the drivers side frame rail, the first thing we need to do before we start installing our hitch is lower the exhaust down. Depending on your model, you may have two or three exhaust hangers to remove the exhaust off of. On this model we have just two, one here at the rear of the vehicle and one here at the forward side, just rearward of the exhaust. :25
To remove the exhaust off its hanger we are going to use a spray lubricant and go ahead and spray the studs down. An then you can take a pry bar, or set of pliers like I will be using, and go ahead and separate the two pieces. You want to do the same thing at the rear exhaust hanger. :40
With the exhaust removed, looking at the drivers side frame rail again, if you look at the forward side we have an existing slot here in the frame, which is our forward most attachment point for our trailer hitch. If you come to the rear of the vehicle there is a small oblong slot here in the overlapping section of the metal on the frame. That is where we are going to need to drill our hole. We can use this slot here as our guide to go ahead and enlarge that to a 1 /2 inch. This is going to be the same on both sides of the vehicle. We will start by using a 1/ 4 inch bit for a pilot hole, and then I will go back through and enlarge it to a 1/ 2 inch. With both our holes drilled we can start fish wiring our hardware into the frame using the 1 by 3 inch carriage block, along with the 1/ 2 inch carriage bolt. We want to start by fishing the bolts into the drilled holes first using the 1/ 2 inch bolt leader that is provided with the installation kit. What I am going to do is take the threaded end of the bolt leader and feed it up through the drilled hole and out the forward slotted hole. We will next take the block and slide it through the bolt leader, followed by the carriage bolt, which we are going to take and wrap the threads of the bolt leader around the threads of the carriage bolt. And then we will take and feed them into the frame, and then using the other end of the bolt leader, we will pull them into position. 1:57
And then for the forward attaching point, we are going to do what is called a reverse pull. What we are going to do is merge all the pieces together independent of the frame. First we will put the block on, followed by the carriage bolt, and then feed the carriage bolt into the frame, followed by the block, and then pull it right back down into position. We want to repeat that step for the passenger side. Before we put the hitch up into position I want to make note that on the drivers side the hitch is going to have to go over the exhaust stud and slide over the bolt. The only way to accomplish this is to have the bolt inside the frame as we slide the hitch into position. Otherwise you are going to have interference from the bolt, so what I am going to do is take the bolt leader and thread it back onto the bolt, and then what we are going to do is feed it back up into the frame for the time being, until we get the hitch up into position, and then we will take and pull it back down. You want to be careful when putting the hitch up into position that you do not push any fasteners back up into the frame. It is a good idea to have a second set of hands to hold one side while you are doing the other. We are aligning the forward most hole in the hitch with the forward most fastener. With the three other fasteners in position we can take and pull our bolt into position. With all the fasteners in place we can go ahead and start torquing our bolts down. You want to check with the directions to verify the appropriate torque rating for each individual bolt. 3:28
Now that the bolts are torqued down we want to take the exhaust back up into position. You are likely going to find at this rearmost hanger that the existing bolt and nut assembly is in the way of putting the rubber hanger back on the stud. If that is the case you can do one of two things, you can take the nut down and put the hanger back on and try and tighten the nut up around it or you can bend the hanger here on the vehicle just enough where you can get the hanger back on. Now with the exhaust up in position our installation is complete. Now that we have our hitch installed we want to give you a few dimensions that may help choosing your hitch accessories a little easier. From the top of the reciever tube opening to the ground is 10- 5/ 8 inches. From the center of the pin hole to clear the rear edge of the bumper is going to measure approximately 9 inches. This will conclude the installation of Curt hitch part number 11447.
Today on this 2006 Saturn Ion we are going to install part number 24734 from Draw-Tite. This also applies to part number 60989 from Hidden Hitch. Looking up at the passenger side of the vehicle the hitch is going to mount to the frame through this area right here. There are no existing holes for the hitch to attach to so we will end up drilling those out, using the hitch as a template. Now looking at the drivers side, the hitch will mount the same way as the passenger side, we will have to drill some holes in the frame to mount it up.