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Trailer Hitch Installation - 2003 Ford F-250 - Draw-Tite

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2003 Ford F-250


Today on our 2003 Ford Super Duty, we'll be installing a Draw-Tite front hitch, part number 65022. Here's what our hitch looks like installed on our vehicle. Now in this case we'll go ahead and just give you one measurement to help you choose some accessories for your hitch. From the center of the hitch pin hole to the outer most edge of the bumper is approximately 3 3/4 inches. Now, because this truck has a lift kit on it, we are unable to give you a factory height from the top of the opening in the receiver to the ground. Let's go ahead and install our hitch.

To begin with on this particular vehicle, there was a light bar that was mounted with part of the bumper mounts, as well as having four lights.Ordinarily you wouldn't have this on your vehicle, but in this case we've already gone ahead and removed them and just zip-tied them upout of the way. Next, we're going to need to go ahead and remove a total of six bolts; two on each side near the tow hooks that hold the bumper on as well as one on each fender well that connect the side bumper structure to the frame of the vehicle. The two bolts that hold each of the center sections on near the tow hooks, they have a backing plate that have well mounts as part of the backing plate. When you remove the two bolts, the backing plate will probably come down. We will be reinstalling these bolts as well as the backing plate. It's also a good idea to get an extra set of hands to help you remove the bumper. This vehicle also has factory OEM foglights, so when you remove the bumper, you will need to unplug them as well.

It's a good idea to get something to support the bumper when you first slide the bumper off of the vehicle as you will need to get in behind it and unplug each of the fog lights. To do this, we'll simply raise up on the locking tabs with a flathead screwdriver and simply pull it apart. Now that we have each of our OEM fog lights disconnected, we'll go ahead and set the bumper off on a cart or on the ground; somewhere that it won't be damaged. We'll go ahead and put it with the face down as we'll need to do some stuff on the backside. If you do have factory fog lights, these will need to be removed and will not be able to beput back on as where these we're mounted is exactly where the new front hitch is located. To remove these, we'll removed three screws from each of the lights.

With the three screws removed, we'll take the weld nut clips off of each location on the bumper. For now, we'll justgo ahead and tape up the factory harness and connections in case you decide later you want to remove the front hitch and put your original fog lights back in place. Now that we've got our bumper laid down with the face down, we need to go ahead and take our hitch and set it in place. With our hitch in place we'll go ahead and line things up. We're going to need to drill a total of four 5/8 holes. The holes that we'll be drilling are the two inside holes on each of the front mounting locations.

We'll go ahead and center up the hitch on the factory holes of the bumper bracket, and then we'll mark the center of the other four holes that we'll need to drill. We'll go ahead and start out with a smaller bit, and then step up to our 5/8 bit. Now that we've got all four of the holes drilled, we're ready to go ahead and remove each of the toe hooks from the front of the vehicle. To do this, there's a total of three bolts located underneath each of the toe hooks that will need to be removed. Now that each of the tow hooks have been removed, we can go ahead and set the front hitch up into place. With the hitch sitting up in place, we can go ahead and slide the tow hooks back through the hole in the hitch and put the bolts back in that we just removed. We'll then go ahead and tighten down all the bolts that hold the tow hooks in place. With that done, we're ready to put our bumper back up into place. Again, it's a good idea to get an extra set of hands to help you do this. Once you have your bumper held up into place, we're going to go ahead and put the single bolt that's located up in the fender well that holds the outer bumper structure in place. By doing this, it will help keep the bumper in place so it'll allow us to line up the eight holes on the front that we need to. Again, when putting your side bolts in, just keep them in there enough that it'll hold the bumper, but don't completely tighten them down yet as you may need to move the bumper around a little bit to get all your holes to line up properly. In this case, we're going to go ahead and putour light bar back on, as these will be in the two outer holes for the front mounting location. Now that we have each of the bolts and the factory weld nut plates back on, we need to install the hardware that goes on the two inner holes that we just drilled. The hardware we'll be using at these four locations is a half-inch hex bolt by an inch and 3/4 long, a half inch conical tooth washer, making sure that the teeth are facing towards the hitch. We'll be using a spacer block as well as a half inch handle nut. The spacer block and the handle nut will go back behind the bumper, so on the outside you'll see the conical tooth washer and the hex nut. You'll feed these through the holes that we drilled as well as lining up with the holes in the bumper and the frame of the vehicle. When installing all the hardware, it's best to leave everything a little bit loose as you may need to move the bumper around just enough to get all the holes to line up properly. As you can see here, you will need to bend the handle nut just a little bit to allow it to fit up there properly. You also want to make sure when you're tightening it down that it does not turn and damage the condenser for the A/C. This is especially true over here on the driver's side. I did find that a 3/4 inch wrench will fit around the nut part on the back side of the handle nut and help you hold it while you tighten it down. This will keep it from turning. Now that we have all of our hardware installed, we'll go ahead and tighten everything down once we've made our adjustments to make sure it's even on both sides. Now that everything hasbeen tightened down, we'll go ahead and secure the factory wiring harness that was up underneath that we removed from the OEM factory fog lights. A zip tie or two will help secure this and keep it out of the way. With that, that'll conclude our installation of the Draw-Tite front hitch, part number 65022 on our 2003 Ford Super Duty. .


Info for this part was:

Employee Joe V
Test Fit:
Joe V
Employee Nicholas E
Test Fit:
Nicholas E
Employee Joshua S
Video by:
Joshua S
Employee Dustin K
Video by:
Dustin K
Employee Chris R
Video by:
Chris R
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Chad S
Video Edited:
Chad S

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