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Trailer Hitch Installation - 2002 Buick LeSabre

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2002 Buick LeSabre

Today we are going to be installing Draw-Tite hitch part number 36309 on a 2002 Buick LeSabre. This hitch application will also apply to the Hidden Hitch part number 90140. Okay, underneath the vehicle, we are going to go ahead and take a look at the frame rails and point out the mounting location for the trailer hitch. Looking at the passengers side frame rail, you can see we have got the exhaust here that is mounted to this bracket here at the end of the frame. We are going to need to lower that down. The weld nut that this bolt is attached to, which is holding our exhaust bracket on, is going to provide our rear-most attaching point for the trailer hitch. And that is going to be the same on both sides of the vehicle. Our more forward attaching point we are actually going to have to drill. So what we will do is put the hitch up in position with our rear-most attaching point, and then we will use the hitch as a template to drill the hole out on each side.

So the first thing we want to do is go ahead and lower the exhaust down here on the passengers side. Okay, you can see here on the drivers side, our weld nut has a lot of corrosion built up in there, and when we try to install our 10-millimeter bolt, it is not wanting to start at all. In fact, it almost seems like the bolt is too big. It is a common misconception, again, when the weld nut has got a lot of build-up in there. So, to go ahead and clean that out, we are going to use a spray lubricant, like a WD-40, and go ahead and soak that up, let it sit for a second. And then you can take a wire brush I am using actually the top of a battery terminal cleaner here. And just run that in there a few times. What that is going to do is help loosen up all that debris and road grime that is in there. And then you can repeat that process a few times. And then once we have got that all nice and loosened up, we can actually go ahead and take our bolt now, and we just need to get it started - use our ratchet or our air gun, and run it in and out a few times. And that will help to further clean it out. Now that we have got the weld nuts thoroughly cleaned out, we can go ahead and hang the hitch up by those weld nuts using, again, the new 10-millimeter hardware that is provided with our installation kit.

We are just going to snug these bolts up for the time being, just long enough to get our holes drilled out - because, at least here on the passengers side, we are going to need to bring this bolt back down, because our exhaust bracket is going to need to go back up. Next, we are going to go ahead and drill our holes out. I am going to start by using a 1/4-inch drill bit to drill a pilot hole, and then we are going to enlarge them to 1/2 inch. Okay, if you are having trouble over here on the passengers side trying to get your drill bit up around the exhaust, I recommend using an extra-long drill bit. Again, I am going to start off with a 1/4-inch and then use a 1/2-inch one after that. Now that we have got our holes drilled out, we want to fish our 1/2-inch carriage-bolt-and-block assembly in through the frame and down through the hole that we just drilled. To do that, the instructions state to enlarge one of these oblong holes here at the forward side of the frame to get our hardware in place. But on this particular model, we have actually got here on the side of the frame a very large access hole that we can use. Our hardware fits perfectly through there. So I am actually going to be using a 1/2-inch bolt leader here that we do sell here at, and I will feed it through the hole that we just drilled. And we will bring it out the access hole. Next we will take our block and feed in onto our bolt leader here, and then we will take our carriage bolt and wrap the threads of it with our bolt leader. And then we will just take and feed them through the hole. And we will be attaching that bolt with the lock washer and hex nut. Okay, and then we will repeat that procedure for the passengers side, as well.

Okay, next we want to take our exhaust bracket and remove it from the rubber hanger. What we will be using is, again, the new exhaust bracket, which is provided with the installation kit. What we are going to do is, the square hole is going to be fed onto the rubber hanger with the carriage bolt that is provided. We are just going to slide that through here, feed that through. And we will attach that with the locking flange nut that is provided, again, with the installation kit. We are going to tighten that down, but we want to make sure we do not overtighten. It is a lock nut, so it will stay in place. Okay, that should be good enough there. Again, we want it just enough where it is tight, but not too tight where it will not still allow the rubber hanger to rotate on its own. Next, we are going to go ahead and torque down our 1/2-inch carriage bolts. You want to check with your directions to verify the appropriate torque rating for each of the individual bolts. And again, if you do happen to have a model that has dual exhaust, obviously you are going to want to repeat both of these procedures for both sides of the vehicle. Okay, now I am going to go ahead and pull the bolt back out of the rear-most attaching point. And we will go ahead and reinstall our exhaust. And we want the bracket where the carriage bolt is facing up, and then, obviously, this flat piece resting against the bottom of the hitch. What this is going to do is, it is going to provide the additional clearance we need to make sure that the exhaust system does not rattle against the hitch. Okay, and then we can go ahead and torque our 10-millimeter bolts down now. Okay, and now that we have got all our bolts torqued down, our installation is complete. This will conclude the installation of Draw-Tite hitch part number 36309 on a 2002 Buick LeSabre.

Info for this part was:

Employee Andrew K
Video Edited:
Andrew K
Employee Shane T
Test Fit:
Shane T
Employee Alan C
Video by:
Alan C

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