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Trailer Hitch Installation - 2009 Ford Escape - Draw-Tite

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2009 Ford Escape

Today on our 2009 Ford Escape we're going to take a look at and show you how to install the Draw-Tite Max-Frame Custom Fit Class 3 trailer hitch receiver offering the 2" by 2" receiver tube opening opening. Its part number is 75751. Now here's what our hitch is going to look like installed on the Escape. See our crosstube meets at the middle at our receiver tube opening. Portion of this crosstube is going to be hidden where the brackets go up to the frame, but you will be seeing this center section on the rear of your vehicle. Now this is a Class 3 hitch so it has the 2" by 2" receiver tube opening. That's going to make it extremely versatile.

This is going to work out great for your bike racks, cargo carriers, ball mounts. Just about any type of hitch accessory that they make probably comes in a Class 3 variety. They finished off the receiver tube opening with a rounded reinforcement collar here. Kind of cleans up the look of it. Our safety chain connection points, you'll see those are a plate style. Good size large oval there, so whatever size safety chain you have, you shouldn't have a problem getting those connected. We have two holes on the receiver tube of the hitch.

We always want to choose the one located closest to the front of the vehicle, the larger of the two. That's where we'll secure all of our items. The smaller one located closer to the rear is for use with the j-pin stabilization system, which is a type of anti-rattle device. You will notice there's plenty of room around the larger hitch pin hole, so whether you're using just a standard pin and clip, anti-rattle device, or locking hitch pin, you should have more than enough room to get that installed. Just choose something rated for Class 3. Now when it comes to weight capacities for the hitch, we have a 675 pound tongue weight capacity.

That's the maximum downward force that we can put here at the receiver tube opening. We have a 4,500 pound gross trailer weight rating. That's going to be the total weight of your trailer and anything that you would load up on it. The hitch is also rated for use with weight distribution. When using weight distribution, the tongue weight stays the same at 675.

The gross trailer weight rating, it's going to go up to 5,250 pounds. You do definitely want to check the owner's manual on your Escape, though, to see what it's rated for and not exceed its tow rating. Now a few measurements that will be helpful for selecting your ball mount, bike rack, or hitch cargo carrier, will be from the ground to the inside top edge of the receiver tube opening we've got about 15". Then from the center of our hitch pin hole to the outermost edge of our bumper, it's about 1-1/4". Now to begin our installation we'll take a look at our attachment points that we're going to have on the frame. You'll notice this is the Escape without the OEM hitch. If you have the OEM hitch, you'll be using the same attachment points, you'll just use different hardware. We'll look right in above the exhaust. On the inside of the frame rail we've got two holes here. We'll get our bolts in position here after the hitch is in place. Then just forward a little bit where this crossmember comes in, we've got a slightly elongated, more of an oval-shaped hole. We're going to be using that one for our forward attachment point. Now while it doesn't say so in the instructions, we are going to lower our exhaust down just to give us more room between our bolt and the top of the exhaust here. Allows you to torque it down better. You've got two hangers. We've got one that's right here. Then if we follow forward, we'll have one located right here in front of our muffler. Now to remove these, we'll hit them with a little bit of spray lubricant and then just a big screwdriver or a pry bar. That will come down; it's going to rest on top of that arm. We're here on the driver side. Without that exhaust, we'll have a little bit more room to see what's going on. This is going to be our access hole here in the rear. What you want to do is put your fingers inside of there and check for any of this expanding foam. You can see there's a little bit of it right here. Basically, that's going to be inside of the frame rail there. You want to clear out as much of that as you can just to allow for our spacer block and for our bolt to pass through. Now we'll take our pull wire, we'll go through the forward attachment point. We want that to come out of the end of the frame rail just like that. Our spacer block's going to go on. Then we'll thread on our bolt. Now we'll feed the block in separately, and then our bolt. We can bring them through and out of the attachment point. Now we'll head over to the passenger side, we'll do that exact same thing. Now with the help of an extra set of hands, we're going to lift our hitch into position. Now on the driver side you want to use caution. We'll guide the hitch up over the AC lines there. Now as we put our hardware in place, we'll use our conical tooth washer. We want the teeth of that to face up toward the hitch. Then we're going to thread on our hex nut. You want to get these pretty good hand tight. That's going to support our hitch while we get our other hardware in place. Now with our hitch held up in position, we're going to do the same procedure for the next two holes. We're going to use the same hardware. We've got our spacer block. That's going to go up in, then our bolt. Bring it down and through. We'll add on the same hardware, again with the teeth on that washer facing toward the hitch. Now we can head over to the driver side and we'll repeat the same process there. Now we'll use a 17mm socket. We want to go through and snug down our hardware. Then once we have all six of our fasteners snugged up, we'll torque them down to the specifications listed in our instructions. Now with a little bit more spray lubricant, we'll get our exhaust put back in place and our install will be completed. That's going to complete the installation of the Draw-Tite Custom-Fit Max-Frame Class 3 trailer hitch receiver, part number 75751, on our 2009 Ford Escape.

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