Demco Tabless Base Plate Kit Installation - 2016 Chevrolet Colorado

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How to Install the Demco Tabless Base Plate Kit on a 2016 Chevrolet Colorado


Rob: Rob here at etrailer.com and today we're going to be taking a look at the DEMCO tabless base plate kit on our 2016 Chevrolet Colorado. Now whenever you're wanting to tow your Colorado behind your motor home, a base plate is going be necessary so we have somewhere solid to hook up our tow bar so we can safely get down the road.And this is what our base plate's going to look like once we have it installed. You can see it has a really clean appearance, because we're only going to see a little bit of it sticking out right here right where our tow hooks were, because it's actually going to replace the factory tow hooks. Now each side of the base plate is going to bolt directly to the frame. So we'll have a really solid connection point. And as you can see here, we're going to have this cover here.

So whenever we're not towing, it'll keep all the dirt, debris, and everything out of the receiver here. Whenever we do want to tow, we can simply just pull the plug out and we can put the draw bar inside.Now like most base plates, they do have that removable piece. Now the way this is going to work is we'll take the hole that's going to go in vertically, put it in and we'll twist it. And then we can take our safety pin here, we'll go all the way through and lock it into place. Now what I really like about the DEMCO design is the fact that we can remove it, but this arm here is actually going to be bolted on to our tow bar.

So whenever we're not towing, we can simply remove that pin, rotate it, pull it out with the tow bar and it's going to be nearly impossible to lose this arm because it's going to be attached to the tow bar.Now a big deciding factor of what base plate you're going to go with when you're looking for your Colorado, is going to be what tow bar you're going to be using. Because our DEMCO base plate is going to work with all DEMCO tow bars as well as some other manufacturers. But there is going to be an adapter needed and you can find those here at etrailer.com.Now safety's important whenever you're towing as well. So you got to make sure you have a spot to hook up your safety chains. And we have one right here on the outside of where our draw bars are going to go.

And you can see we have plenty of room to get most sized hooks on or off.I'd like to give you one more measurement and that's going to be very important. And it's going to be the height of our base plate attachment point. Because whenever we're towing our Colorado, every tow bar manufacturer has a range that they want our tow bar to be in, because they want it to be as level as possible. So we want to make sure our truck is parked on a level surface and then I'm going to measure from the ground right to the center of our attachment point. And I'm coming up with a measurement of right about 13 and 1/2 inches.

Now we're going to move over to our motor home, again making sure it's parked on a level surface and we'll show you how to measure that.Now the tow bar's already in the hitch on our motor home, but that's okay. We're going to be measuring from the ground to the inside top edge of the receiver tube opening. And right now I'm getting a measurement about 19 and 1/2". So our hitch here is about six inches higher than the attachment point on our base plate. Which means that we're going to need a six inch drop, so that they can be nice and even.As far as the installation goes, it is going to be really straightforward. We are going to have to remove the fascia, which some customers might be a little nervous about. But rest assured, it is something you can do in your garage at home with no special tools needed. Now that we've seen what it looks like and gone over some of the features, let's get it installed together.To begin our installation, we want to open up the hood and underneath you may have a cover that's going across the upper section here. If you do, that's all right. We're just going to want to remove all the push pins that are holding it in place. Now if you don't have a cover, it's going to look like this. And we're going to want to remove the six screws that are holding the upper grill part to the radiator core support. You're going to grab a T15 Torx bit and we'll pull three out from each side.Now we're going to want to move to the front wheel well right in front of the front tire. On the very bottom here, we're going to have three fasteners holding it in. And then along the side edge here, we're going to have another three. So we're going to use that same T15 Torx bit. We're going to pull all six of those fasteners out.Now you can also remove one more screw. It's going to be at the very top of the wheel well and that'll just give us a little bit more room, because we want to peel back the wheel well liner. For now we can just kind of tuck it behind the tire, so it's out of the way and we get access right here where the fender meets the fascia. Now if you look forward you'll see that we're going to have three bolts going along that edge there. We need to pull them out. So we'll grab a seven millimeter socket and remove all three of those.Now that we have all of those removed. If we move down, we'll find our fog light here at the bottom of the bumper. Want to press in on this top tab here and we'll pull out and disconnect it, and then we'll repeat that entire process over on the other side as well.Now there's two fasteners that are actually hidden inside the grill area that aren't talked about in the instructions. If we come right above our license plate in that lower opening. If we look up and inside, we're going to have this oval opening here. There's actually a bolt in there that we need to remove. There's going to be one on the other side of our license plate in the same location. So you want to grab a long extension and a 10 millimeter socket. We'll feed it in through that opening and we'll remove the bolts.Once we have this one removed, we're going to move just to the other side of it and remove the other one right here.Now if we move underneath the front bumper. Right by our wheel well liner where we removed the bottom screws. Just to the inside, we're going to have another bolt right here holding this metal bracket in place. Grab our seven millimeter socket and we'll pull that bolt out. Then we can move forward and right where that plastic panel meets the very bottom here. You'll see that we got three Torx screws holding everything in. We can remove these three. So again we'll grab our T15 Torx bit and pull them out. Once we have all these removed, we're going to do the same thing on the other side.At this point, it's a good idea to grab an extra set of hands for removing the fascia. We'll start out by pulling up on the grill section til it's loose. And you want to pull down and away right where the fender meets the fascia. We're just going to work our towards the center til everything comes loose. Just pull away, make sure there's no electrical connectors or anything else besides the fog lights. And once we get it loose, we'll set it aside where it won't get damaged.With the fascia removed, we're going to pull the foam piece from around our tow hook. And then if we look to the outside, we're going to have two bolts that are holding it in place. So we'll grab an 18 millimeter socket and pull both of those out. Now there is a nut holding it on the inside. But you should be able to break it loose and then just remove the nut by hand. With those two removed, we'll pull the bolts out and get rid of the tow hook. This is not going to get reinstalled. So we'll go ahead and remove the other one as well.We want to put this frame bushing in. So right at the wheel well area, right behind this front mount. We're going to have a hole in the frame. You want to take your bushing. You might have to move that liner out of the way just a little bit. But you want to make sure that it's going all the way through. You can kind of feel it once you put it in there. But if it's not, it maybe sitting crooked like this. We want it to go through both sides of the frame like that.And where we removed our tow hook from is going to be one of the mounting locations for our base plate. So we want to get our hardware ready. We're going to grab the half inch bolt. This is going to be the three and 1/2 inch long one out of our kit. Want to make sure we put a little bit of blue Loctite on the threads. You're going to want to do that for all the hardware that you put in. But we'll grab this one bolt and we'll slide a flat washer in place. Since we're on the passenger's side, we're going to grab the passenger's side base plate and get ready to loosely put it in place.Now our passenger side base plate, if we're looking at it, the front opening should have this section towards the outside. And they are labeled, but just in case the sticker came off. You want this section to be going towards the back of the truck. And you want this tab right here with the small hole in it to be going towards the outside. So we'll just lift it and we're going to be lining it with those two holes on the side here with the two holes that our tow hooks came out of. Just kind of want to hold it up, get it close. We're going to take our bolt and once we get everything lined up, we'll pass our bolt through. We're going to go all the way through the frame. So that it'll support itself and we can work on getting the rest of the hardware in.And both of these bolts are going to be the same hardware combination, that three and 1/2 inch long bolt with blue Loctite on it and then a flat washer on the outside. Now for the bolt that's going through that bushing, want to grab a four inch long bolt and we're going to pass it through the bracket and through the bushing. So it's going all the way through the frame. Now it's a pretty tight fit, so you may have to wiggle it around a little bit to get everything to line up. But again, you just want that bolt to go all the way through both sides of the frame.Now here's where the bolts came through the frame. We want to follow up each bolt with a flat washer first, slide it over. And we'll take a lock washer, slide it onto our bolts. Then finally we're going to grab a hex nut. And right now we just want to loosely get it on there, just hand tight so everything still has a little bit of movement to it. The same combination for the other bolt coming through.Now for the bolt that's going towards the rear, that went through the frame with the bushing. We're not going to have a flat washer. We just want to grab a split lock washer, go over our bolt and then secure it down with another hex nut. And again we'll be leaving everything somewhat loose, just hand tight for right now until we get all the hardware in place.Now on the front of our base plate, we'll have another hole right here. We want to grab the 7/16" bolt out of our kit. It's going to be the somewhat smaller one. Want to put some blue Loctite on it. We'll take a flat washer. We're going to go over the bolt. Then we're going to put it in, but before we pass through all the way, we want to make sure we grab that spacer sleeve. And this is actually going to fit in between this cross brace right here and the base plate itself. Just want to slide it in. It may take a little bit of maneuvering to get it in there to get everything lined up because it is a pretty tight fit. But once you get it in there, you want to pass the bolt all the way through and we'll be putting some hardware down on the other side. Before we can do that, you might be able to get your finger behind there. But it'll be a lot easier if we loosen up this skid plate, so we can get behind this cross brace.So we just pulled those two 15 millimeter bolts holding the front of the skid plate in. And you can see, we got plenty of room to get back here to get access to that bolt. So we'll take a split lock washer, reach behind the cross brace. Slide it over the bolt and then secure it down with a hex nut. Now that everything is loosely in place on this side. We're going to repeat the same process on the driver's side.Now once you have your base plate loosely installed. The final step is going to be putting in our permanent safety cables. Now these need to wrap around the frame as well as the base plate. So I'm going to come right above my base plate to this frame section right here. I'm going to feed it through. But I'm actually just going to have it go down. So I can reach into the bottom of the frame. And it is a little bit of a tight fit. So you just kind of need to watch what you're doing. Make sure you don't poke anything or cause any damage to the cables or wires inside. And you want to be mindful of how you route everything because we don't want it to rub against anything causing damage either.Remember to bring it down. Have it come back up. So I'm just going to take one of my quick links, open it up. Then I'll feed both ends of my safety cables around. Make sure they're not going to interfere with anything. Then we can tighten up that quick link. And again you just want to double check that your cables aren't rubbing against anything that'll cause any damage. Make sure they're not going to interfere with anything else. You want to go ahead and put the other side on as well.I'm going to come back and I'm going to tighten up all my hardware. Now for all your half inch bolts, you can use a 3/4 inch or a 19 millimeter socket and wrench to hold the nut. And for our 7/16" bolt I'm going to be using an 11/16" wrench and socket to tighten it up. You want to make sure you come back with a torque wrench and I'm going to torque all of my hardware down to the specified amount in the instructions. We're going to repeat that for all of our remaining hardware.Now that we have our base plate torqued down. We can go ahead and put our skid plate back up and we can put the fascia back in place just by reversing the steps. However, we're going to be adding wiring and a braking system. And I would suggest doing that with the fascia off, be a lot easier to route and mount everything up front here. So we're going to go ahead and do that now. But that'll finish up your look at the DEMCO tabless base plate kit on our 2016 Chevrolet Colorado.


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