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Front Mount Trailer Hitch Installation - 2006 Ford F-350

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How to Install a Front Mount Trailer Hitch on a 2006 Ford F-350

Today on our 2006 Ford F-350 we're going to take a look at and also show you how to install the Curt Custom Front Mount Receiver Hitch, part number 31114. Now here's what our hitch is going to look like installed. As you can see it's a pretty nice looking hitch. It sits right here in the center of our already existing opening in our truck, so we don't have to worry about cutting or trimming anything there. This is going to be a 2" by 2" receiver tube opening, so there's going to be a great deal of accessories available for it, including your snow plows, some people will put front-mount cargo carries on it, winch mounts. It shares the same 5/8" diameter pin hole here, so any of your Class III accessories will work out fine.

You'll see we're going to have plenty of room there even if you wanted to use an anti-rattle device, or something like that. Now getting the hitch installed takes a little bit of work. It's not just a simple bolt-on installation. You do have to pull the front bumper, drill a couple of holes, but overall it's going to come on and off pretty easily for you. Now the hitch itself has a 500 pound tongue weight rating. That's the maximum downward force you want to put here at the receiver tube opening.

It gives us a 5,000 pound gross trailer wight rating. That would be the total weight of our trailer and anything that we we're to load up on it. As far as straight line pull, that would be most often for a recovery situation, where you've got a winch mounted here in the front, it's going to give us a 9,000 pound rating with that. Your winch, you'll have up here. You'll want to use a pull, direct pull maximum of 9,000 pounds. Now you can drastically reduce that of course by running some snatch block and things.

You got your tow hooks, which are left in place here. You don't have to get rid of those for the hitch to work. That's going to make it nice so you can double back and have a good strong connection point there. Now as a solution for your license plate mounting situation here, you can re-use the factory bracket. You would just want to bring that up, hook it back on that front side, and then just use a couple of small screws to replace those rivets. That would allow you to take it on and off.

Typically, with the snow plow it's going to be seasonal, but for other accessories you might just want to leave it off, and come up with a different mounting solution. That's completely up to you where you want that plate to go. Just make sure you stay in compliance with your local laws. Now a few measurements that are helpful when selecting accessories from your front mount hitch will be from the ground to the inside top edge of the receiver tube opening, we're going to have about 24". Then from the center of the hitch pin hole to the outer most edge of our bumper it's about 2 1/2. To begin our hitch installation we need to get the front bumper removed. Our hitch is going to mount between the bumper and the front of the frame of the vehicle. Now on each side, right here underneath the corner, there's going to be a bracket. It's going to run from this cross member plate, over to the bottom of the bumper here, so we want to take out this bolt so it won't hang up. Now, typically your '06 should have this bracket. If you're on a different year, you might not have this. Let's do the same thing on our passenger side as well. Now just outside of our tow hooks, we've got the two bolts that are going through our bumper and holding this in place. We'll need a 19 millimeter socket, or a 3/4" socket, and we're going to remove the bottom one completely. I'm going to take the top one almost all the way out. We want to have that for support though while we take care of the other side. Then we can get an extra set of hands and pull the bumper off. Now on the back side of that bolt there is a nut. It also requires a 3/4" or 19 millimeter socket. You just want to hold on to that as you remove it. You'll see that's what you'll be taking out. You just got a bolt, a couple of flat washers, and our nut. Now before we take the bumper off, if your truck is equipped with the fog lights on each side here, you want to take the plug out that's on the back side. You can just pull the bulb like that, or you can lift up on these two tabs and slide it off, whatever you prefer. Now with the help of an extra set of hands, we'll finish taking out our hardware here on both sides. Then we can get that bumper set aside somewhere safe. Now the front-mount hitch is going to require that we do away with these plugs. We're not going to be able to have the lights and the hitch at the same time, so what we're going to do is just take this harness, bundle it up, and we'll secure it up here to the frame rail so it'll be up and out of the way. Now, so you don't have power coming to these plugs, which could potentially cause a short, you will want to cover these. Also, I recommend pulling the fuse that'll control the circuit. That should keep it up and out of the way so if they ever remove the hitch and want to put their fog lights back on, it won't be a problem. Next we're going to remove this lower cross-member. We got a couple of bolts right up that we'll take out, one on each side. You're going to have four push fasteners across this top edge. You need to get those taken out so they don't do any damage to this rubber cover here. You can use a screwdriver for this, or we'll just use a little trim panel tool. Those four should be all we have to take to get that free. We'll take those bolts out and we can set that aside. Now once we have that out, what I want to do is just start it back in there, just with a couple of threads. This one, just like our bumper bolts, uses a 3/4 or 19 millimeter. Now we've got the three bolts here that hold both our cross member up but our tow hook down into position, so we need to take those three out. For these we'll use a 15 millimeter. Take our tow hook out, and then that rear bolt we left in is supporting our cross member for us. We'll take those bolts the rest of the way out, and set our cross member aside. Now there's going to be a few modifications we need to make here on the back side of the bumper. If equipped with fog lights we need to get these taken out. For the bolts here on the top, you want an 8 millimeter. Those are going to be a couple of long bolts. Then the one here on the bottom side, that needs a 10. Those are going to come off, and we just return these to our customer. Now if your license plate is mounted on the front bumper, you're also going to have to remove that and then relocate that somewhere. You want it to remain visible of course. That's going to vary state by state, but some states do require the use of a front plate, so keep that in mind. To remove it we just want to cut these rivets that come up through the bottom side here. Use a small screwdriver and just push those out. That's going to come off just as one assembly. Now we're going to place our hitch onto the rear side of the bumper here. The original bumper bolts, we'll be reusing those later. What we want those to be able to pass through our original mounting locations and the hitch. Then if we come right underneath this lip here there's going to be the original steel. We just want to make sure that we're equal distant on both sides from that. We'll have our hitch right in the middle. Then we need to mark the middle of these holes. This is going to allow us to drill out our 5/8" holes so our bolts will pass through. Now we're going to drill our holes out. We're going to start with a smaller bit and gradually work up. Now we're just about ready to get our hitch set up on our frame rails here. You can see there's a little fastener right here. If your truck's equipped with a block heater you're going to have this. What we want to do is pry that back. That way our hitch will have a place to sit nice and flush. Now this one was hidden back in here non-accessible, so that's the way we're going to leave it. If yours was ran out to the front, then run it back that same way. Now we can place our hitch right over the end of the frame rails, just like that. Get our holes lined up. Now that will rest there while we get that lower cross member in place. Slide our tow hooks back in where they came out of. Now when we pulled our bumper off we had a bolt that just had a flat washer and a nut on the back side of it. That wasn't the factory equipment that came with the bumper. This hardware came with an additional bull bar, or brush guard that was on the front. What we're going to do, because the factory did have a flange, or a plate behind it, once we have this trough the frame rail, it's going to go through our bumper, through our hitch and through our frame rail. We've got these spacer plates that we've got here. We're going to put those on, and we're going to be putting on flange nuts. You will want to re-use your factory spacer plate that goes on that backside if at all possible to help spread out the energy that we're going to generate with our bolt. Now with the help of an extra set of hands, we're going to get our bumper set back into position here. Then we'll want to be sure that we have that supported until we get on, at least one of our nuts back here to help keep it secure. We'll just leave that hand tight for now. Get our other one started, and then we can move on to our new hole locations. Now for our new hole locations we're going to take our provided bolt, want to place that conical tooth washer on there. The teeth of that washer need to face in towards the hitch. You won't really be able to see what we do behind, but we're going to slide that spacer up, right on the back side of the frame. Our bolt's going to be through that, so we'll have our bumper, our hitch, and our frame all stacked up here. We've got handle nuts. We just want to stick those up in from the back side, and then we'll thread our bolt right into that. With that through, we'll put on a spacer block. Now once we've got our first one started there, you'll want to pull that handle over towards the middle of the truck. That's going to give us enough room to get our next one in. Then we can go through and get all of our fasteners snugged up here. Once we've got this done, we'll torque them down to the specifications listed in our instructions. We'll also re-attach the bolts if applicable for our side brackets here. Once we get this done, our hitch is going to be ready for use. That's going to complete our installation of the Curt Custom Fit Front Mount Receiver Hitch, part number 31114 on our 2006 Ford F-350.

Timothy M.


I love how this looks are you able to attach a plow mount after with this is on as well??

Etrailer Expert

Jon G.


Yes you can. Just make sure that the plow installs via hitch receiver instead of custom brackets and you should be good to go!

Timothy M.


@JonG so u can't get a regular boss/western plow installed?
Etrailer Expert

Jon G.


@TimothyM I think I misread your initial comment and thought that you were asking if a plow can be used with this hitch receiver. I'm not sure how the Boss/Western plows install but from my experience the locations used for installing a front mount hitch lie in the same area that plow-specific brackets would install so they aren't compatible with each other.
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