Trailer Hitch Installation - 1997 Chrysler Concorde

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 1997 Chrysler Concorde

Today we are going to be installing hitch part number 36170 from Draw-Tite on a 1997 Chrysler Concorde. The instructions do not state this, but the first thing I am going to do is actually to lower the exhaust off the two hangers. There is one here at the rear and one a little bit more forward. We are going to go ahead and lower the exhaust off those two. It is going to give us a little bit more working room. To lower the exhaust I am going to go ahead and just lower the two bolts on each hanger. And now that I have got the exhaust lowered, I am going to remove the inboard side endcap bolt here on the end of the frame rail. What we are going to do is actually replace that with a new bolt and reverse it and turn where the head is on this side, as opposed to the nut. That is going to give us a little more room when we go to put the hitch up into place and drill our holes. And in that bolts place, we are going to go ahead and put the new 3/8 bolt with a conical-tooth washer. And we want to make sure the head of the bolt is on the forward side of the frame. That is going to give us extra room when we go to drill our holes later. And we are going to reuse the existing nut that was already in place there, and then go ahead and tighten that down. And then here on the passengers side, we are going to remove both the inboard and outboard side ones. Those are actually going to provide attaching points for the trailer hitch.

All right, we are inside the trunk now, and you can see I have already removed the spare tire and the jack components as well. At this time, we want to go ahead and pull back the carpeting here on the drivers side to expose the trunk pan area right here. To fully pull back the carpeting here, there is a push pin right here that you want to go ahead and remove first, and that will allow us to pull back the carpeting enough to gain access to the trunk pan. And as you can see, I am still having a little trouble getting full access without the carpeting being in the way. So I am actually going to remove a few of the screws here on the back side of the trunk to allow me to pull this section back as well. And what we are going to do is to take the template and cut out along the corrugated lines here. And what we are going to do is tape it down through the trunk area here. You can see there are markings here for the ribs in the trunk well. And if you come back down here, you can see these are the ribs that we are going to use to align the template up with. So I am going to go ahead and cut it out and then tape it in place. And then we will go ahead and center punch our holes and then drill those out. This cutout right here is going to be right where that drain plug is. So that will kind of give us three reference points for where we want to tape the template. With the template aligned, there are three points here on the template where we want to actually center punch, and then we are going to go ahead and drill a 3/8 inch pilot hole in each location. And then we will go back under the vehicle, put the hitch up into place, and then check our alignment of those 3/8 drilled holes to see if they are lining up properly.

Once we have got our pilot holes drilled, we want to go ahead and come underneath the vehicle. And we are going to put our hitch up into position to make sure that those holes align properly. Before we can do that, we need to enlarge the outboard side hole on the passengers side frame rail. These are the two holes that we are going to use to hold our hitch up into position to check our drilled hole alignment. Now we can go ahead and put the hitch up into position. I have come back over the drivers side, and it looks like our pilot holes are lined up nicely. So we can go ahead and pull the hitch back down, go back inside the trunk, and enlarge our holes to the 1/2 inch. Be careful of these wires here near the end of the trunk. If necessary, go ahead and pull them out of the way so that you do not drill through them. We can put our plate back in the trunk and align it with the holes. Put a couple in there to hold it in place, and mark out these three holes and drill them out to 1/2 inch as well.

With our plate and bolts in place, we can go back under and put the hitch back up into position. And now that we have got the hitch loosely up into position, the last thing we need to do is to go ahead and mark and drill two 1/2 inch holes here in the passengers side frame rail, where we are going to install the U-bolt. OK, then we just want to take our U-bolt, it into the one hole and then it back down through the other. And then we can put the hitch back up into place and attach it with the flat washer, lock washer and nut. And we want to leave this, again, loosely installed for the time being. It is extremely critical on the U-bolt that we tighten it down evenly so that it will lay flat inside the frame. OK, then I am just going to put my hardware back into the vertical side of the bumper flange here. Then we can go back through and torque all our bolts down. OK, and then the last thing to do, if we had lowered our exhaust, would be to put it back up into place. And then lastly, we want to go back inside the trunk and, where we had mounted our plate, we want to go ahead and make sure we seal all the way around it, and possibly around the heads of the carriage bolts as well. We just want to ensure that no exhaust fumes can come through the holes that we drilled in the trunk pan. And this will conclude the installation of part number 36170 on a 1997 Chrysler Concorde.

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Info for this part was:

Written by:
Lindsey S
Edited By:
Leah B

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