Curt MV Weight Distribution System Installation - 2018 GMC Sierra 1500

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How to Install a Curt MV Weight Distribution System on a 2018 GMC Sierra 1500


Today on our 2018 GMC Sierra 1500, we're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install the Curt MV Weight Distribution System with Round Bars.Overall, our weight distribution system is going to even the amount of weight over both of our truck axles giving us back that level smooth ride that we expect. It's going to cut back on the tire wear on both our truck and our trailer, as well as help with our steering and braking, when we're going down the road. Every hitch is going to be a little bit different, but for the majority of them when they're used with the weight distribution system, it's actually going to allow you to maximize the full capacity of your hitch. Now, it's always a good idea to check with the manufacturer of your hitch to find those weight capacities as well as your truck's owner's manual to make sure your truck and hitch can handle that amount of weight.This system is designed for quick and easy maintenance. Right here on each side there'll be a grease fitting, so that way it'll be really easy to keep everything lubricated. The bars are actually made from a forged steel which is really strong and much more durable than your typical cast steel bars.

It's really easy to use. All you simply do is put your chain onto your hook, use your tool to pull it up, secure it with this pin, and then you're ready to hit the road.Here we have our trailer connected to our GMC. Now, there's a pretty significant issue we have. The weight of the trailer is causing the truck's rear end to sag, which in turn is lifting the front end of the truck up, so it's going to go down the road like this. Now, there's a few problems with that.

It's going to affect our truck's braking, steering, tire life, and just overall performance of how it goes down the road. Even with an adjustable ball mount, it doesn't solve our problem. Something I want to point out is you can see how close our safety chains are to the ground.Now, before we install our weight distribution system, I'm going to give you a few measurements with the trailer hooked up. That way once we have it on, we can see the difference it makes. From the ground to the bottom edge of our wheel well here, that sits about 35-1/2".

At the front of the truck from the ground to the bottom edge of the wheel well, that's about 37-1/2". Now, I went ahead and unhooked our trailer from the truck and we'll take those same measurements. Here at the back it's about 39-1/4". Here at the front of the truck is going to measure a little over 36-1/2". So, what that means is when this truck is hooked to this trailer without the weight distribution, it's going to ride about a little less than 4" lower than it would at its factory height.Now, the front is going to sit about 1" higher than the factory ride height.

Like I said earlier, that's going to cause a few things. It's going to cause premature tire wear since there's more weight on the rear of the truck than the front. The problem with that is your tires' not going to have the proper contact pattern, so when you go to apply the brakes or steer it's not going to have that factory performance that you would expect. Also, since the front's going to be sitting higher, your headlights are going to be pointed up and not at the road where you need them, not only affecting your visibility but possible other motorists as well because your lights will shine in their windshield. Next, we'll go ahead and install our weight distribution system and show you what it's like with it on.Now with our weight distribution system set up, we can go around and take our measurements again to see how much it helped. The measurement here at the back of the truck is 36-1/2, at the front we also have 36-1/2. So what that weight distribution system did is it actually kept the front of the truck at its factory ride height, and at the rear of the truck, it did come down a little bit, but it came down at the exact same height as the front of the truck. What that means is our truck is riding perfectly level, as opposed to beforehand without the weight distribution, it was sitting like this; the front was higher and the rear was weighed down. And, as you can see, we also gained quite a bit of clearance with our safety chains, so now we don't have to worry about them dragging on the ground as we go down the road.To begin our install, we're going to need to take and record a couple of measurements. First one we're going to do is our trailer. Now, we want to make sure our trailer is level, so what I did is actually put a level on the tongue here and got it straight. Now what we're going to do is measure from the ground to the top of our coupler. That's going to be about 18-1/2". Now we can put on our shank, our hitch head, and our ball. I went ahead and snugged everything down. It doesn't have to be super tight. We're just trying to get it in place so we can take our measurement.Now, you do want to make sure that the hitch head is pushed against the shank like this. Now we can measure the height of the ball and make our adjustment. Now, it's a good rule of thumb if you don't know the weight of your trailer tongue to just set the height of the ball the same as the height of the coupler. Our trailer tongue happens to weigh about 800 pounds, so we're going to go 1/8" higher for every 100 pounds. So we're going to set our ball at about 19-1/2".Now that you have your measurement for your ball height, we can then put our hardware back in and tighten everything down. This time for the top bolt hole we're going to use our conical tooth washers. Now, you want to make sure that the teeth are going to face the hitch. Next, we're going to tighten this lower hex bolt use enough to make contact with the shank. All right. At this point, we can go ahead and make sure our ball is torqued down. You're going to want to be sure to use a torque wrench to torque your ball mount to the proper specification. You can find that torque specification either in the ball's instructions or packaging.Now we can put in our spring bars, but before you do that you want to make sure to grease the end of it here. I just used some wheel bearing grease and put on a medium coating. Once you have that done, you can take it and push it up, and you'll know it's fully seated once you hear a click like that. Now, we're going to just repeat that same process for the other one.I went ahead and backed up, and what we're going to do is connect our trailer to the ball. Now, you don't want to lower it completely. You actually want the trailer jack to support most of the weight, but you want to get it down enough to where the coupler is fully seated and we can lock it. Now with everything connected, we actually want to use the trailer jack to lift the trailer and our vehicle up about another 3" to make it easier for the next step.All right. Now we can install our lift brackets. These are just going to clamp to our trailer's frame by using this bolt, so we'll back this off enough to set it over our trailer frame. You want it to sit nice and flat against this side and the top, so we'll do is just loosely tighten the bolt just so it barely butts up against the frame but not tight enough to where we can't move it. We still want to be able to move it a little bit.Now, to find the correct position, what we're going to do is take our bars and line it up parallel with the side of the trailer frame. Then what we'll do is grab the chain and hold that straight up. Now we're going to line up our lift bracket, the center of it, with the center of the chain to about right there. What we're going to do is come back to our bolt and tighten it up by hand. Once again make sure everything is sitting nice and flat. Then once it's hand tight, we're going to tighten it one-quarter of a turn. Now, you don't have to but what I like to do is just put a little mark on the trailer along the sides of the lift bracket just to have a reference point from where it needs to be. Now we're going to repeat the same process for the other one.Now we can go ahead and connect our chains to our lift brackets. What you're going to want to do is take the bracket and lower it like this and then take your chain, and what you're going to want to do to start is put it on a link where there's going to be some tension to push it up. You don't want to just be able to do it by hand, or you don't want to really have to crank on it. So we'll take our provided tool and push it forward, and once it's sitting flat can then take the provided pin and slide it through to lock it in.Once you have done that to both sides, as I said, you're going to want to make sure that the amount of links are the same on both sides. You can then raise your trailer jack. That way the only thing supporting the trailer is the truck itself. Then you can go to the front and back of the truck and take your measurements to make sure that everything is level. You're also going to want to make sure that your trailer is level. If it isn't, then you need to make an adjustment. You can jack the trailer back up to take the tension off of it, lower these down and change the amount of links that you're going to be using, once again, recheck it all until you find that sweet spot.So, now using a torque wrench, we can torque all of our hardware down to the proper specification. You can find that torque spec in your instructions. That'll do it for our look at and installation of the Curt MV Weight Distribution System on our 2018 GMC Sierra 1500.


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Info for this part was:

Video by:
Joshua S
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Installed by:
Cole B

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