Blue Ox Base Plate Kit Installation - 2013 Ram 1500

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How to Install the Blue Ox Base Plate Kit on a 2013 Ram 1500


Today on our 2013 Ram 1500 we'll be installing the Blue Ox base plate kit with removable arms, part number BX1986. To begin our install, we'll first go ahead and remove the lower air dam. The lower air dam is secured with two bolts and multiple push pin fasteners. We're going to remove the two bolts, which are on each corner. Here we have the push pin fasteners. There are going to be a total of 13 of them going across the lower portion of the bumper. To remove them, we're just going to take a flat-bladed screwdriver and pry out on the center of the push pin fastener.

Once we have it up and released, we can remove the fastener completely. An interior trim panel tool can make prying the center of the fastener up and removing it a little easier. Once we have all our fasteners removed, we'll go ahead and pull the air dam out and set it aside for reinstallation later. With the air dam out of the way, we're going to remove the tow hook. To remove the tow hook, there are a total of three fasteners, one here towards the rear of the vehicle, and two here. Next we'll remove the two nuts here at the frame that secure the bumper. It also holds the tow hook bracket.

We're going to take the two nuts off, remove the bracket and then reinstall the two fasteners. Now with the driver's side done, I'm going to move over to the passenger side, repeating the same process. Now we're ready to put our base plate into position, noting that our chain hold-down will go to the inside. It's a little bit of a tight fit. You may need to tap it to get in place. To get your base plate up into place and you can't get it past the tow hook attachment point, you may need to pull it back out and just slightly loosen the three bumper bolts.

This will allow the bumper to move out away from the tow hook attachment point and get our base plate into position. Once you re-secure the fasteners, we'll now go ahead and take a clamp to hold the base plate in position. To assist, I'm just going to use a block of wood. Once we get the base plate positioned where it's good and square, seating at the bottom of the frame and flat to the side of the frame, we can go ahead and start drilling out our attachment points here in the side of the frame. Our next step, we're going to drill out the oval slot here to 17/32 as per the instructions. Next, we're going to take the bracket that we'll install here on the outside of the base plate, lining up with the oval hole that we just drilled out. The hardware to attach our bracket, starting at the front attachment point, will be our 1/2-inch bolt that will thread into the weld nut built into the base plate. The second, or middle, attachment point will get a 1/2-inch bolt and nylon lock nut and our third attachment point is for the oval hole we pre-drilled, will be the same 1/2-inch bolt on a handle nut, or wire nut.

At this time, we will not apply the red Loctite to the fasteners until all our drilling is done. We're going to start each of our fasteners finger-tight until we have them all in place first. The wire, or handle, nut can be bent as needed to fit into place so we can secure the bolt. Now with our hardware in place, we're going to go ahead and tighten it down temporarily. We need to tighten it down enough that it will hold the base plate in position and we can remove our clamp. Now with the hardware tightened down, I'll go ahead and remove the clamp. With the hardware holding our base plate in position, we'll point out the other four attachment points. We'll have two here in the side of the frame and two going up through the bottom, through the frame. To drill them out, we're going to use a step bit process, starting with the smaller pilot bit, working our way up to our final size of 17/32. We'll use the base plate as a template to drill out these four attachment points. I'll use my 17/32 bit to find the center point for each of out attachment points. With those four attachment points drilled out, we'll need to make an access hole 1 1/4-inch in the side of the frame large enough to get our wire, or handle, nuts in place to secure those four attachment points. We're going to start with a pilot bit here, then we'll use a hole saw bit to make the 1 1/4-inch hole. With our pilot hole made, we'll go ahead and open it up with a 1 1/4-inch size. Quick tech tip: Be careful around the access hole we just created as it will have some sharp edges. For the four attachment points that we just created for the two side-of-frame and bottom of the brace into the frame, we're going to use a 1/2-inch bolt, split lock washer and handle nut. Each of these attachment points will also get red Loctite applied to the threads as we install them. Once again we'll bend the handle or wire as necessary to line up with out attachment point. You'll notice I'm putting a large loop into the wire to stay away from the attachment point that's closer to the access hole, making it easier to line it up also. We'll install all four fasteners and then tighten them down. With the other fasteners holding our base plate in position, we're going to remove the first and last fasteners, installing the split lock washer here on the front, along with the red Loctite, a split lock washer, flat washer, and red Loctite for the rear attachment point. Now with all our fasteners installed, we'll go ahead and torque it down to specifications as indicated in the instructions. With all our fasteners installed, tightened down and torqued to specifications, we're going to remove the end of our wire nuts. Once we cut them off, we can just take a screwdriver or pry bar, push the remaining pieces into the frame and out of the way. Next we use a Quicklink and safety cable going around the base plate and the frame. This completes the install of the base plate here on the passenger side. Next, I'll move over to the driver's side and repeat the same process. Now with both sides of our base plate installed, we can reinstall the lower air dam. Next, if we move to the cut-out where we installed the base plate removable tab, where the old tow hook used to be, and pull on the ring for the detent 00:10:27 and twist it to unlock it, you'll notice that it hits the plastic around the opening. We're going to have to make a half-moon shape large enough that we can twist and unlock the removable tabs. We'll take our pipe marker, mark out the area and then use a rotary tool to trim it out. After we cut it out we can give it a quick check. Again, we'll pull on the detent ring, rotate the removable tab and as it unlocks and the spring load pushes it out away from the receiver tube. To reinstall it, we'll simply line it back up with the receiver tube, push it in, collapsing the spring, and rotating it until it locks in place. This will complete the install of the Blue Ox base plate kit with removable arms, part number BX1986, on our 2013 Ram 1500. .


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Info for this part was:

Test Fit:
Joe V
Test Fit:
Nicholas E
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Video Edited:
Andrew L
Video Edited:
Chris R
Installed by:
Cole B
Video by:
Alan C

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