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Trailer Hitch Installation - 2015 Mazda CX-5 - Hidden Hitch

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2015 Mazda CX-5

Today on our 2015 Mazda CX5 we'll be installing the class three 2" receiver tube hitch, part number 87623. Here's what our hitch will look like once installed. As you can see, the only real exposure is our receiver hitch, which is our 2" by 2", our pre-drilled 5/8 pinhole, and our chain hold downs. The remaining portion of our hitch is tucked up nice and neatly behind the rear fascia. Next I'll go ahead and give you a couple measurements to assist you with selecting accessories for your new hitch. From the center of the hitch pinhole to the outermost edge of the bumper is 2-1/2". From the top of the receiver tube opening to the ground is 13-1/2".

This will assist you with selecting accessories such as a ball mount, bike rack, or cargo carrier. Now let's go ahead and show you how to install the hitch. Now to begin our install, per the instructions we can lower the exhaust. This will allow us access to our attachment points. However, because the muffler is easy to remove, we're going to actually remove the rear muffler. We'll remove the rear exhaust hangers and the two fasteners that secure it to the exhaust pipe.

We'll start with the two fasteners first. Now once we remove the two fasteners we'll just set them aside for reinstallation later. Next we'll remove the exhaust hangers. To remove the rubber isolator from the metal hanger we'll spray each one with a spray lubricant, then either use a pry bar or pliers or sometimes you can just push them off by hand. Note there are a total of four of these hangers to be remembered, two on each side. Now with the two off here on the driver side, I'll repeat the same process on the passenger side, keeping in mind that once we remove the exhaust hangers our muffler will be free.

Pay special note if you decide to remove the muffler to make sure your exhaust gasket is still on the exhaust pipe. This will get sandwiched between the two flanges of the muffler and the exhaust pipe. Now with our muffler down and out of the way we've exposed the frame rail in our attachment points. Here we have a pre-drilled hole in the frame. This is the second to last pre-drilled hole in the frame. The rear pre-drilled hole will be our access point to getting our hardware in the frame.

Then our rear hardware is going to go around the bumper bracket as it comes off of the rear frame. Provided with our install kit will be a nut plate that has two weld nuts built into it that's going to sit on top of the frame. Then we'll have bolts that will go up through the hitch and on either side of that bumper bracket to secure our rear attachment point. To get a better idea, here's what it's going to look like. We're going to have our long 1/2" bolt and a 1/2" conical tooth washer. The teeth of the washer will face the hitch as it will go up through the pre-drilled hole of the hitch, around the bumper structure, and into the weld nut. We'll have one on the inside and the outside of the bumper structure. Keep in mind, each process we do here on one side is going to get repeated identically on the opposite side, as our hardware and attachment points are the same. Now our hardware in the frame for our forward attachment points is going to be the 7/16" carriage bolt and spacer block. The carriage bolt will engage the spacer block and sit inside the frame. To get our hardware into the frame we'll use a 7/16 pull wire provided with the install kit. Let's go ahead and put it in the frame now. We'll take the pull wire, feed it through the attachment point, and then out the access hole. Once we have the pull wire in place we're going to go ahead and take our block, slide it onto the pull wire, followed by the carriage bolt that will get threaded onto the end of the pull wire. Once we have them both on the pull wire we'll feed them into the frame separately, first the block and then our carriage bolt. Once we have them both in the frame we can pull them into position and down through our attachment point. Now I'll go ahead and leave the pull wire attached to the carriage bolt, as it will assist with getting my hitch up into position without pushing the hardware back into the frame. Now once we get our hitch in place we're going to secure each one of these 7/16 carriage bolts with a 7/16 conical tooth washer and hex nut. Now that our driver side's ready I'll move over to the passenger side and repeat the same process. We're now ready to go ahead and put our hitch in place. It's good idea to get an extra set of hands to help you hold the hitch while you install the fasteners. Now as we put our hitch up into position we're going to take the driver side, feeding it up and over the rear fascia first. Then once we've gone as far as we can go, we'll bring the passenger side up to the rear fascia. You may have to flex it down just a little bit and slide it into position. Then we can move to our forward attachment points, taking our pull wire, feeding it through the attachment point of the hitch, and bringing it up tight to the frame. Once we have the hitch in place we'll go ahead and remove the pull wire and install our hardware. Keep in mind, the teeth of the washer will face the hitch. We'll just install our hardware finger tight this time. Now with our front hardware holding the hitch in position we need to get the rear hardware in place and start installing our bolts. We'll take our nut plate and feed it up above the rear bumper structure. Once we have the nut plate in position we can go ahead and install the hardware. Now with the driver side hardware in place we'll repeat the same process for the passenger side. now once we have all our hardware in place we're going to go ahead and make sure our hitch is centered on the vehicle and then tighten down the hardware. Now with the hardware tightened down here on the driver side, again I can repeat the same process on the passenger side. Now with everything tightened down we can go ahead and torque to specifications as indicated in the instructions. We're now ready to go ahead and put our exhaust back in place. We'll line the exhaust flanges back up and then reinstall our hangers. With our hangers now holding the muffler in place we can go ahead and reinstall the fasteners to resecure the two flanges back together. Now once we have the hardware reinstalled we'll go ahead and tighten it down. Just like that, with our hitch in place and secure, and our exhaust back on, we're ready to hit the road. That will do it for the install and review of our class three 2" receiver tube hitch, part number 87623, on our 2015 Mazda CX5. .

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