Trailer Hitch Installation - 2006 Dodge Stratus

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2006 Dodge Stratus

Today we are going to be installing Draw-Tite hitch part number 36301 on a 2006 Dodge Stratus. Okay, we are underneath the vehicle now. As you can see here on the passenger's side of the vehicle, we have the exhaust, which is going to need to be lowered. That is the first thing that we are going to need to do. And again with the bolts removed off of the bracket, I am going to go ahead and remove the rubber hangers off there as well. Before I remove the front hanger, I went ahead and added a tow strap to support the exhaust, because once we remove this front hanger the exhaust is going to come down quite a bit, and we do not want it to completely fall because it could damage the exhaust. And you can see with the exhaust down now, we are going to need to remove this bolt and then remove as the two as well from the driver's side, and then we can go ahead and put our hitch up into position.

And then, looking at the driver's side frame rail, you can see there are two existing bolts in the frame which we are going to remove. Those are going to provide the two rearmost attaching points for the hitch. And then, once we get the hitch up, one of these existing holes is going to align with the trailer hitch. That will provide our third attaching point. We will be using the forwardmost hole on each side as an access point to fish our hardware into the frame and down into position. And it is likely that we will have to enlarge these holes as well, to get the hardware in place. Before I fully tighten down the weld nut here on the passenger's side, you can see that on the forwardmost hole, it is actually supposed to align with the existing hole in the frame. On some models it may be just a little bit off, as you can see here. So what I am going to do is just go ahead and run a drill bit through there to enlarge it. You can see also at the rearmost attaching point we are going to need to drill a hole as well. Here on the driver's side, you can see with the bolt and the two weld nuts, we also have got a hole that aligns here at the forwardmost attaching point. And then we also are going to need to drill at the rearmost attaching point. I am going to start by using a 1/4-inch drill bit to drill a pilot hole, and then I am going to enlarge it with a 1/2-inch, which is necessary.

Okay, the next step is to go ahead and fish the hardware into the frame and get them aligned with the new holes that we have just drilled. Here at the rearmost attaching point, we are going to be using the carriage bolt and block up into the frame, and it is going to drop down below. To get the block into the frame, there is actually a small hole here at the end, and what we can do is actually take this and slide it right over the hole that we just drilled. And then we are just going to take a piece of fish wire that we are going to make. And then we are going to fish it up through this hole and back out through this enlarged access hole, where we are going to attach it to the bolt and pull it through the frame. At the forwardmost attaching point, we are actually going to fish this handle nut and block, as well, through this existing hole. In order to do that, you can see that this particular access hole is not big enough; we are going to need to enlarge it a little bit. We are just going to use a chisel, and just enlarge it just big enough to get the block in through the hole. In order to get the block and the frame into position, you can either just feed it directly in and align it over the hole or you can do what I am about to do -- which, I am just going to place block and the handle nut side by side and start the bolt into the handle nut. And I am actually just going to take some regular electrical tape and I am just going to wrap it around the handle nut here. And that is going to hold the alignment for me so that the two pieces are together. It makes it a little bit easier to feed it through the frame and get it into position. And we just take our handle-nut-and-block assembly now and feed it up through our access hole. And again we just want to align it, and we are just going to thread our 1/2-inch bolt right into there.

And with all of our fasteners in place for the trailer hitch we can go ahead and torque the bolts down. You want to check with your instructions to verify the appropriate torque rating for each individual bolt. And with all of our bolts torqued down, we are going to go back over to the passenger's side. We are going to go ahead and rehang our exhaust to the new bracket that is attached to the trailer hitch. To reattach the exhaust to the new bracket, we are first going to need to remove the rubber hangers off of the old bracket. And then we are going to go ahead and put them back onto the exhaust. Then we want to go ahead and take the 3-inch-long bolt. We are going to take about 10 washers here at the end, feed it through both the rubber hanger and the bracket, and we are going to place another flat washer on this side, and two nuts. We are going to do one on there, torque it down to the appropriate torque rating, per the instructions, and once it is torqued we are going to go ahead and just place a second nut on there as well, and tighten it down just a little bit. And then that is going to be used as a jam nut to keep the other nut from loosening on its own. We want to go ahead and reattach the ring terminal for the ground, as well, on that bolt. And we want to do the same thing for the other side as well. And then lastly, you want to make sure you reattach the exhaust hanger on the forward side, and your installation will be completed. This will conclude the installation of hitch part number 36301 on a 2006 Dodge Stratus.

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Info for this part was:

Written by:
Lindsey S
Edited By:
Leah B

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