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Before we begin installing, its a good idea to inspect the vehicle first. On this particular model, or any model run into, the nuts installed in the frame can sometimes get corroded. If you look closely you can tell theyre rusted up so the paint is flaking off from the inside. We really need to clean those out before we get started. What you want to do is find yourself a lubricant like WD-40 or some other penetrate that will work to loosen up the rust in there. What you can do is use the bolts that came with the hitch, run them a little bit in a little bit out, just to get the the stuff cleaned out a little bit. In extreme cases you may have to go out and buy a tap, thats the best way if it is too rusted out and you cant see the threads at all. Well try it the conventional way first. It can take a while, we spent 20-25 minutes cleaning all 6 holes out.
Once you get your holes all cleaned out, next thing you want to do is get rid of the lubricant. You can use any good household detergent, just go in there and just break it up and flush it out of there. Let it dry for a few minutes and then you can install your hitch. After your done it would be good just to test fit a couple bolts just to be on the safe side. Next step is to go ahead and lift the hitch up into position and get a couple of starter bolts to hold it into place. You can do it by yourself, but if you can get someone else to help you to make the process a lot easier. Once you get your hitch hung by a couple of bolts, it does not matter which ones just as long as its safely up there, go ahead and snug them down just before tightening them up. That way you have enough room to adjust the hitch back and forth.
While you still have movement up there, take a moment to push it back and forth to see how much play you have. Then go ahead and snug up the other side. As you snug it up give it a couple shakes to make sure you have enough room to move it back and forth. That should be good enough, now you can start lining up the other bolts. Once you have them installed, then you can snug them up. Dont get them tight because youll have to move them around for the other side. Now I know its hard to see, but the back bolt even with the hitch kind of loose, does not want to line up. It keeps pushing back towards the center of the vehicle. If you apply some pressure to it, I am just using my hand, you can actually push it over to where you want. The hitch will flex, places you would not expect, but it will flex. One other thing you can do if you need more pressure, you could put something like a piece of thin wood or a type of pry bar to push it against.
The gas tanks going to be okay as long as you do not kill it, but it just takes a general pressure. 99 percent of the time thats all it takes to get it into alignment. Once you get the bolt into place, then you can let the hitch sit back on the bolt, and you can tighten it up from there. Before you tighten it down, you want to give the hitch one final adjustment left to right and set it the way you want it. Make sure its centered on the vehicle, I like to center it on the frame myself, but you do have leeway left to right to match the body components outside. Now its a matter of tightening up the bolts and torquing them down. On this last bolt here going towards the front of the vehicle, the exhaust pipe gets in the way. What we did is actually used a strap to pull it out of the way, just as long as you can get straight up and down to the bolt as much as possible. This is so you do not run into as many problems tightening it down. That will do it for the install of this hitch, one thing to note that the time listed to install, our actual time went a little bit longer due to cleaning out the bolt holes and the threads. That happens on a lot of different vehicles, but generally we put about an hour.
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