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Roadmaster EZ4 Base Plate Kit Installation - 2016 Chevrolet Spark

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How to Install a Roadmaster EZ4 Base Plate Kit on a 2016 Chevrolet Spark

Ryan: Hey everybody, my name's Ryan and here at etrailer, we install, test fit, and review a lot of different parts. That way we can try to answer any questions you might have. And that's exactly what we're doing here today on our 2016 Chevrolet Spark. We're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install the Roadmaster Crossbar Style Base Plate Kit with Removable Arms.So you're going to need a total of five main components to flat tow your Spark down the road behind your motor home. The first one's going to be your base plate. And that base plate's going to be that solid and reliable connection point, that way you can hook up your tow bar to it.

That tow bar is going to be that second component. That's going to be the physical ;ink that connects the front of your Spark to the back of your motor home.The third main component is going to be safety cables, and these are there in the event of an unlikely disconnect. These are going to keep your Spark connected to your motor home. The fourth main component is going to be tow bar wiring. And the wiring is going to transfer the lighting functions from the back of your motor home to the back of your Chevy, keeping you safe and legal.And last but not least the fifth main component is going to be a braking system.

And that braking system is going to apply the brakes in your Spark whenever you hit the brakes in your motor home. And that's going to help bring you to a more safe and predictable stop. So one of the things I really do like about this base plate kit is the fact that it is a crossbar style. Now I'll be honest with you, typically I'm not really a huge fan of them. I'm more of a fan of the direct connects and that's because with the direct connects, you don't have this bar that comes across and you just have one or two less things that you need to set up.However, with that being said, on these smaller, more compact vehicles, I prefer the crossbar style.

And that's really because whenever you use that crossbar, it's going to raise your connection or attachment point up higher. So not only is it going to pull down the road better, but it's also going to be easier to hook up. You're not going to have to bend over so far practically to the ground to get everything set up. It brings it up quite a bit higher and just makes it a little bit easier. And since it does raise our attachment point up higher, that could potentially eliminate the need for a high-low adapter as well.And a high-low adapter, what that's going to do is plug into the back of your motor home hitch and offer us a rise or drop position.

But typically with these smaller cars and these large motor homes, you would need one with a drop. With that being said, since it's up higher, chances are pretty good your tow bar is going to ride nice and level like ours is today. However, to figure out if you will still need one or not, it's super easy. You can take a couple of measurements. And what you want to do is measure from the center of your pinhole here. And in our case, on the Spark today, it's about 15 and a half inches.And then you want to measure from the center of your hitch pinhole on your motor home. And you want those measurements to be within three inches. Ours is today so we don't need that high-low. But if yours exceeds that, you can find a high-low in many different sizes right here at etrailer. So this is what the base plate is going to look like whenever you're not using it. So if you're just kind of cruising around town, this is the appearance that it's going to have. And honestly, I don't think it really looks too bad. It kind of blends in and that's partly due to the fact that you don't really have to cut a whole lot of material out of the grill.And a lot of times that is the case with a lot of base plates, but not this one. So you do a little bit of trimming and it really does a great job of maintaining that factory appearance. One thing that is really convenient too, is the fact that the base plate already has brackets attached to it. So, it gives you a really good spot to mount up any of your wiring without really having to modify or pick up any extra parts. So a small detail, but one that makes life a little bit easier.And it's also going to have a bracket. It's tucked back there. You're not totally able to see it, but it's there for the breakaway switch. So if your braking system that you're going to use to stop your Spark utilizes a breakaway switch, you're going to have an easy spot to mount that up as well. And what's nice is the fact that this base plate uses removable arms. So whenever you are ready to hook up, it's going to be nice and easy, straightforward, and won't take you a whole lot of time. So the way these arms work is you're simply just going to put them into the base plate and rotate them about a quarter of a turn until they lock into place.And it's the same setup for the one on the other side as well. So the base plate is going to work with many different Roadmaster tow bars and whichever one you choose, make sure it does come with the crossbar that way you can hook it up to your base plate. The one I really like is the Roadmaster Falcon A Terrain. It's non-binding so it's super easy to use, comes with that crossbar and is this a tow bar you really can't go wrong with.However, if you already have a tow bar and don't have the crossbar section, you can also pick this up separately as well. But other than that, at the end of the day a base plate kit you really can't go wrong with. It's going to look good and be pretty easy to set up and use and live with it in general. Now, as far as the installation goes, it is somewhat involved. It's not the hardest base plate or the easiest one I've ever done, but as long as you take your time, you should I have no problems getting it done at home. Speaking of which, let's go ahead and do that together now.To begin our installation, we're going to be here at the front of our Spark and we're going to need to remove the front fascia. So we'll open up the hood and we're going to have four fasteners that we need to remove right off the bat, right along this front edge here. So we're going to have a 10 millimeter bolt just like that on each corner. So grab our socket and pull those out. And then in the center here and here, we're going to have a push pin style fastener. So you can use a trim tool or even a flat head screwdriver. But what you're going to do is kind of pry underneath the head of it. And then you're able to kind of get underneath the base and completely pull that fastener out.Now, if we move to our front wheel wells, we're going to have two plastic push pin style fasteners along the edge. There's one here and one here. Again, I'll use my trim tool or a flathead screwdriver to pull those out. And I want to mention as well from this point on anything we do to one side of the vehicle, we're also going to repeat on the other side because it will be set up the same way. Now when you're taking these out, sometimes it does make it a little easier to kind of turn your steering wheel one way or another. And that kind of just gives you a little more room to work.Now underneath the front of our Chevy, we're going to have three 10 millimeter bolts that we need to remove. And these are just holding on this splash shield to the bottom of our sub frame here. So grab my 10 millimeter socket and pull those out. Now on each corner underneath our vehicle, we're going to have two seven millimeter bolts that we need to pull out. That's attaching the fascia to our wheel well liner. So if we kind of push up on it, you can see that we're going to need to take out this one and this one here.So I grab a seven millimeter socket and get those out. Now, if you move back to our wheel wells, if you take the liner and just kind of peel it back with your hands, right there in the corner where the fascia actually meets the quarter panel, you're going to see a fastener and we need to take that out. And so the head of the bolt is on the bottom side right here. So grab a seven millimeter socket and we'll get that removed.Now, if your vehicle is equipped with fog lights, we are going to need to unplug them. And they're just behind the wheel well liner. And if you look right here, we're going to see the connector. Now, what you want to do is there's a portion on the top, you can kind of grab the sides and pull it back towards you. And then that'll allow you to push down on the center of it to unplug it. That's kind of a better look there. This is the piece right here, this light tan piece that you kind of need to push up. And right here in the center is what you need to push down on to unhinge it.Now with an extra set of hands, we can remove our front fascia. So you want to start on the corner and you can kind of grab right there where the wheel well is and kind of just start to work it out. Now you want to be careful. It is held in place with some clips. So you may have to kind of pry down on it. And that's kind of the clip I was talking about there. So once you have it released on each side, you can kind of grab the bottom, start to work it around. And then you're just going to kind of work it towards the center. You may have to lift up on the cover on top here a little bit and kind of just pop it off the front.Now, be careful. Don't pull it off too far. You want to make sure there's no electrical connectors or anything that we need to undo. In our case, we don't. So it's completely free. So I'll set it off to the side and somewhere safe. Now on each side of our air dam here on the upper portion, we're going to have one fastener that we need to take out. Just say push pin style fastener so we can use our tool to get it removed. And over here on the driver's side, it looks like there's a plastic connector right there that's kind of holding some wiring in. I'm just going to take the butt end of my tool, kind of push that through to release it.We are going to need to trim each side of our air dam a little bit. And we're just going to need to cut this top portion off. So I drew a line here to kind of give you an idea on where I'm going to cut. This is relatively brittle plastic. I'm also, I'm just going to use a pair of 10 snips to get that trimmed. You could probably also get away with a regular pair of snips or even a combination of both. Whatever is easiest for you.Over here just on the passenger side of our vehicle, we're going to have a line and it's going to be attached to our frame here by this little plastic clip. And we need to remove that clip just to loosen it up and give us some room to work. So take my tool and kind of just pry underneath it. And that will release this fastener here. So let that release, you can kind of gently just pull back on it out of the way and that'll give us the room that we need later.Over here on the driver's side, what I'm going to do is unplug our horn, which is this connector right here. You can push down on the center of that plug and disconnect it. And this wiring is going to be attached to our washer fluid reservoir. And I'm just going to separate it from that as well. You can just take a pry tool. I'm just going to kind of tuck this up out of the way. And the reason being it'll give us a little more space, because what we're going to need to do is enlarge these two holes here in our frame rail. We're going to need you to go through both sides.So to be on the safe side, what I've done that way I don't accidentally punch through and potentially hit any engine components is actually I took a piece of wood and put it behind there. That way, if I do go completely through too far, it'll hit the wood and I know to stop. With that being said though, I'll grab my half inch drill bit and go completely through our frame. Do the same thing for this hole as well. Here on the passenger side, I drilled out those same two holes just like the other side. But over here, it's really close to a lot of our engine components, a lot of hoses and lines and things like that. So you need to be really careful.What I actually found that worked really well is taking one of these side plates from our base plate, a really nice thick piece of steel. And I was actually able to wedge it up in there perfectly. That way we have a really strong and solid barrier that way when we punch through we're not going to have to worry about hitting any of those hoses or other engine components. Now we can do is take our side plates and get them bolted to our frame rails. So these two holes are going to line up with the holes that we just enlarged.Now these are side-specific so pay attention to that. One quick way to tell is that the flat edge here should face towards the front of our vehicle. What we're going to do is take the four-inch bolts and you're going to want to slide a split lock washer over them. And on the threads of the bolt, we're going to take some red Loctite and you can pick this up here at etrailer. And from this point on, all of the hardware that we're going to use to secure any parts of our base plate will receive this red Loctite.So that's going to slide through the frame rail completely. Same hardware combination for this one as well. And we can kind of move to the inside of our frame rail and get the rest of the hardware on the back of the bolts. So here where the bolts come through, what you're going to do is take one of these large washers, slide that over. And we're just going to take a hex nut and just get that started hand-tight for now. The other bolt is going to receive that same hardware combinations as well.On each side of our sub frame here, we're going to have another hole that we need to enlarge, that way our base plate can bolt to it. And it's this one right here. So we're going to go through the bottom side and out through the top as well. I'll take my half inch drill bit and get those enlarged. Now what we can do is take our base plate and get it into position. So the base plate is going to sit on the inside of our side plates and you may have to kind of work this side to side just to kind of sneak it in properly. It is a little tight.So once we get our base plate roughly into position, what we're going to do is these two holes are going to line up with these two holes in our side plates. And we're going to take these bolts and coming from the inside out, run them through. So once we have that through, I'm just going to get everything hand-tight. We're going to take a split lock washer and a nut. Don't forget your red Loctite on there. Do the same thing for this hole as well as the other side of the base plate. Now we can get our hardware installed and this attachment point right here on our base plate.We're going to use this three-inch bolt and one of these flat washers. Don't forget your red Loctite. Coming from the bottom up, we'll run that bolt through our sub frame as well as our base plate, take a split lock washer and a hex nut. We'll get it started by hand. Now that we have all of our hardware in place and hand-tight, I'm going to take a socket and wrench and snug it all down. Now what we want to do is come back with a torque wrench and tighten down all of the hardware to the amount specified in our instructions.Now at this point it would be a great opportunity to install any other of your flat towing components, such as wiring or braking system. And that's because of the fascial removed, you're going to have a lot more room to work. It'll make everything a little bit easier. And that's exactly what I'm going to do. However, if you're not installing those components or you already have them in place, you would simply trim out the fascia according to the diagram in your instructions and re-install it the opposite way that you removed it.Now, what we can do is trim out a little bit of our fascia that way our base plate will be able to pass through. Now there's a diagram and the instructions. And so, I just used a marker to kind of mark out where I need to cut. And this relatively thin plastic. And I think what I'm going to do is use a pair of snips and a couple of different types of them, whichever works best to get everything trimmed out.So once you have it roughly cut out, you can test fit it on the front of your vehicle, just to make sure everything looks like it's going to line up. And if it does, you can always come back with a utility knife or file something like that, and kind of clean up all the edges and just make it look a little bit better. If it does still hit or interfere with the base plate, you can always come back and trim out a little bit more and make it fit. So now that I have everything trimmed out, we can take our fascia, push it back into position, and re-secure it the opposite way that we removed it.And that'll finish up our look at and our installation of the Roadmaster Crossbar Style Base Plate Kit with Removable Arms on our 2016 Chevy Spark.

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