Front Mount Trailer Hitch Installation - 2012 Ford F-250 - Curt

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How to Install a Front Mount Trailer Hitch on a 2012 Ford F-250

Today on our 2012 Ford F-250 Super Duty, we're going to review and install the CURT front mounted trailer hitch part number C31018. Now with our hitch installed, here's what it'll look like. As you can see the majority of our hitch is covered behind the front air dam. The only thing we really have exposed is the side bracket. This is a full steel and welded construction. It's got a nice black powder coated finish and when installing your pin and clip, you just need to reach behind the air dam to access the pre-drilled 5/8" inch pinholes.

This is our 2" inch by 2" inch receiver tube class 3 hitch capable of up to 500 pounds max ton weight and a 5,000 pound tow capacity. The max line pull for our hitch is up to 9,000 pounds, which will be applicable when using a winch or winch-like product. Next, let's go ahead and give you a couple measurements. From the center of the hitch pin hole to the outer most edge of the bumper is approximately 7-1/4" inches. From the top of the receiver tube opening down to the ground is approximately 15-1/2" inches. This will assist you with selecting accessories such as a ball mount, cargo carrier or winch mount.

Now let's go ahead and show some of the minimal tools necessary for installing this hitch. We've got an 18 millimeter wrench, 18 millimeter socket, 3/4" inch socket, our rachet wrench, our torque wrench, a measuring device such as a tape measure, a paint pen for marking and our plastic cut out tool. Now let's go ahead and show you how to install the hitch. Now to begin our install, we're first going to go ahead and point out our attachment points. Here at the beginning or end of the front frame rail are 2 manufacturer's fasteners. These 2 fasteners will also become the forward 2 attachment points for our hitch.

The hitch is going to have a total of 8 attachment points to the frame, 4 on each side. The 2 manufacturer attachment points and then we'll use the 2 oval holes that are pre-cut out in the frame. To begin our install, we need to remove the manufacturer's bracket. We have the 2 fasteners on the outside of the frame and 2 fasteners on the inside of the frame. These fasteners are nut plates that go through the frame then through the bracket and get secure with a nut.

We're going to remove the nut, push the nut plate into the frame and then remove the bracket completely. Keep in mind, each process we do here on one side will get repeated identically on the opposite side. Here's our bolt plate that went from the inside of the frame and out to secure the bracket. . Now with the manufacturer's bracket out of the way, we'll go ahead and take our bolt plate and put it back into the frame out through the pre-drilled holes . Creating our forward 2 attachment points for the side plate of our hitch. Now with the fasteners in place, we'll go ahead and take the side bracket, lining up the forward 2 attachment points with the manufacturer's bolts. We'll side it into place and reinstall 2 nuts to secure it. Keep in mind, we'll just reinstall our fasteners finger tight til we have all of our hardware in place. Quick tech tip. For vehicles that are not equipped with the manufacturer's fasteners or brackets, supplied with the install kit will be the necessary hardware to still secure your hitch. It'll be a 1/2" inch carriage bolt block. We'll go from the inside of the frame out, through the frame, through the hitch, then get secured with a 1/2" inch flange nut. Next, let's go ahead and install our hardware for our rear 2 attachment points. Here we're going to be using the 1/2" inch carriage bolt block. We'll feed him into the frame, out the manufacturer's oval attachment points then through the side plate. Once we have the bolt block in position, we'll secure it with the 1/2" inch flange nut. Note, to get our hardware into the frame and in place, we use the 1/2" inch bolt leader supplied with the install kit. To begin, we'll take our bolt leader, feed it through the side plate and into the frame. We're then going to feed it down the frame channel and out the end of the frame where we gain access to it. Now once we have access to the bolt leader, we're going to slide on our block and thread on the carriage bolt. We'll then feed the block and the bolt into the frame separately and pull them into position. Once we have them into place, we can remove our bolt leader and install the flange nut. Now go ahead and repeat that same process here for our next attachment point. . Quick tech tip. As you remove your bolt leader, you put a little side pressure on the bolt, it'll help hold it in place so it doesn't fall back into the frame. Now with the driver's side done, we can move over to the passenger side and repeat the same process. . Now both side brackets installed, we're ready to install the center section. The center section will get secured to the side bracket using a 1/2" inch carriage bolt that will go through the side bracket, through the center section of the hitch and then get secure with a flange nut. Now with our front mounted hitch, we can put the receiver tube in 2 positions. The first one we're going to put it in, get an idea of what it's going to look like, is the lower position where the receiver tube will come out just below the air dam. Let's go ahead and see what that looks like. Note, it's a good idea to get an extra set of hands to help you hold the center section while you take your carriage bolt and slide it through the side bracket and into the hitch. Now with our hitch just temporarily put in place, we can see what it'll look like in the lower position. The hitch tube comes out just below the air dam here at the center. Next, we can actually turn the center section upside down and our hitch tube is going to be up here towards the middle of our air dam, which means we'll need to cut out the air dam in order to allow for the receiver tube. To make this cutout while our receiver tube is in the dropped position, we're going to mark here on the air dam where it's going to need to be cut. Using a paint marker with the receiver tube in position, we're just going to draw a line up to mark the width of the receiver tube. We're going to go up from the bottom of the air dam approximately 3-3/4" inches. Now once we have it marked out, we'll go ahead and lower and remove the center section to get it out of our way and make our cutout. Now to cut out the section, the air dam's a pretty thick molded plastic, so I'd recommend you use a small jigsaw hacksaw blade or if you have a rotary cutout tool, you can use it with a bit made for cutting plastic. Now with our cutout made, we'll get our extra set of hands, help us reinstall the center section, only turned over. With our center section in place, our carriage bolts in position, we'll go ahead and install our flange nuts. Again, we'll install each fastener finger tight until we have them all in place. . Now with all our hardware in place, we'll go ahead and start tightening it down. We'll secure our side bracket to frame fasteners first. . Now with the side bracket to frame fasteners tightened down, we'll go ahead and tighten down the center section to side bracket. Now with all our fasteners tightened down, we'll go ahead and torque to specifications as indicated in the instructions. . Now with everything installed, secured, tightened and torqued to specifications, we're ready to hit the road. That'll do it for the CURT front mounted hitch part number C31018 on our 2012 Ford F-250. .

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Info for this part was:

Video by:
Joshua S
Test Fit:
Nicholas E
Video Edited:
Chris R
Test Fit:
Shane H
Video by:
Michael B

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