Trailer Hitch Installation - 2000 Kia Sportage

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2000 Kia Sportage

Today we are going to be installing hitch part number 90186 from Hidden Hitch on a 2000 Kia Sportage. This installation will also apply to Draw-Tite part number 36266. We are underneath the vehicle now, and we are going to go ahead and point out the attaching points for the hitch. Looking at the passengers side frame rail, you can see there is a hole here on the inboard side of the frame. That is going to provide the forwardmost attaching point. And then, on this tow hook here, we are actually going to drill a hole and make that the second attaching point.

The first thing we want to do is we want to take this handle nut assembly, and we are actually going to feed this through the other hole on the outboard side of the frame so that it aligns inside the frame, like so. And then we are going to put the hitch up. And we are going to use the fastener to thread directly into it. Once we get that in place, we will swing the hitch up into position, mark our hole for drilling, and then drill our holes out. The easiest way to get the handle nut aligned is to just get it inside the frame and just take a long-bladed screwdriver, get it inside the opening in the handle nut, and just kind of pry it into position. And we want to make that setup for both sides of the vehicle. And then we can go ahead and put the hitch up into place. It is probably going to take another set of hands somebody is going to need to hold the handle nut into position, and another person will need to put the hitch up and thread it in.

The next step is going to be to swing the hitch up into position - basically, until where it looks level on the vehicle. In some instances, the exhaust will actually prevent you from getting it perfectly level, so what we are going to do is go ahead and loosen the two bolts here on the exhaust, and that will allow us to have a little more room there to move that. We can go ahead and swing the hitch up into position. Once we have determined that the hitch is straight, we can go ahead and mark the holes here, and then we can swing the hitch back down and go ahead and drill those out. What I did there was, I started with a quarter-inch pilot hole, and then I am going to enlarge to my half-inch hole.

All right, with our holes drilled, we can go ahead and swing the hitch up into position and attach our hardware inside the tow hook. We want to use the hex bolt and a flat washer. Slide it inside the tow hook and back out the drilled hole, and we are going to attach that with the lock washer and the hex nut. We want to go ahead and do that with the other side of the vehicle as well. With all of our bolts up into position, we want to double-check the alignment of the hitch to make sure it is still straight on the vehicle. And then we can go ahead and torque our bolts down. We want to check our instructions to verify the specific torque rating for each individual bolt.

With the hitch tightened up, the only thing we have left to do is to check the exhaust to see if it is actually hitting on the trailer hitch. And you can see in this instance it is, which will cause it to rattle. What we can do to alleviate this would be to actually take the exhaust hanger. and what we want to do is to actually slide the bracket back and actually push the bracket up a little bit. We can retighten here and tighten here, and as you can see I have got additional clearance space right here. OK, with the exhaust tightened back up, our installation is complete. And this will conclude the installation of hitch part number 90186 on a 2000 Kia Sportage.

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Info for this part was:

Written by:
Lindsey S
Edited By:
Leah B

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