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Trailer Hitch Installation - 2016 Subaru Forester - Draw-Tite

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2016 Subaru Forester

Today on our 2016 Subaru Forester we're taking a look at and installing the Draw Tite Max Frame Class 3 trailer hitch receiver, part # 75876. You have that nice sleek tuck design where it's going to be underneath the back side of the vehicle where it really isn't going to be visible. The only thing you're really going to see from the back end is going to be that receiver tube. You're going to have a fully welded design with a black powder coat finish. It's going to help prevent any kind of rust and corrosion. Also plate steel brace across the bottom which is also going to double as your chain tie down on either side.

Offering a 2" by 2" receiver tube that's going to have a 525 lb. tongue weight capacity and 3500 lb. towing capacity, with a 5/8" pin hole and a 1/2" J hook stabilization hole. Now I'm going to give you a few measurements to assist you in selecting from hitch accessories. From the center of the pin hole to the outer most edge of the bumper is going to be about 4 3/4". From the top of the receiver tube to the ground, it's going to be about 14".

These measurements will assist you in selecting from hitch accessories such as cargo carriers, bike racks and ball mounts. Now let's go ahead and see how it's installed. The first thing we're going to do is attach a safety strap to our exhaust before we go ahead and lower it down. We'll find a good spot to locate that strap by attaching it to the sides in front of the axle. This is going to be a safety precaution, that way the exhaust doesn't fall underneath of it's own weight. We'll take a little bit of spray lubricant and spray down our exhaust hangers.

There's going to be one hanger located here and one on the opposite side right behind the rear passenger tire as well as one just in front of that rear axle. Now I'll go ahead and use a flat pry bar to go ahead and slide them off just like so. That should give us plenty of room to work and operate underneath the back end of the vehicle. Next we'll remove the heat shield. There's going to be 4 bolts securing the heat shield.

It's either going to be a 10 mm or a Philips head screwdriver. Now that we have the heat shield removed, we'll next move over to removing the plugs. There's going to be 4 plugs that we're going to remove here on the driver's side and on the passenger side. They're both going to be the exact same so we'll use a flat blade screwdriver to pop out the rear plug and we'll have one large one here at the front. We'll keep these plugs in case if we ever decide to take off our hitch. In our instructions, it tells us that we're going to enlarge this middle hole and we're going to have to take out quite a bit of material. It will be easier to just widen out this back hole. You can either do a die grinder, some sort of cutting wheel or use pry bars like we're going to do. We'll take 2 pry bars, place them back to back and we're just going to widen out this hole a little bit. Now I'm going to go ahead and take our fish wire with the coiled end, insert it into the furthest hardware hole and towards the access hole that we made. Once we get it here at the access hole, just feel for it, you may need to help it out the hole just like so. Then take your block, insert it over the coils and into the hole. Thread on your bolt until it's all the way at the end and insert it into the access hole. Pulling it out of your hardware hole. Then we'll take our fish wire and go to the next hole repeating that same process and bringing it out the hole. Now I'm going to repeat that same process on the passenger side. Now I'll go ahead and put our hitch up in place. I'm going to get an extra set of hands to do so while we fish our wires through our hardware holes. Keeping the fish wires attached will ensure that the hardware doesn't go back up into the frame before we get it up into position. As we have it raised up in position, we'll go ahead and grab our hardware to put in place. Take your conical tooth washer and place it over your bolt. Take your nut and thread it on. Go ahead and go hand tight and then we'll take our power tools and tighten them down. Now I'm going to torque them down to manufacturer's specifications. Now with our hitch torqued out, we'll go ahead and trace out and trim our heat shield to put it back in position. Go ahead and hold it up until the holes line up. You'll only be able to line up these outside holes but it will give us an idea of where we need to go with it. I'm just going to follow this line here, all the way back, and then I'll go to right here. We'll just take that edge off and we use a pair of tin snips to go ahead and take it off. All right, with our aluminum heat shield trimmed up, we're going to put it back in place. Go ahead and raise it up into position and line up the holes. With our heat shield now in place, we're ready to reattach our exhaust. Go ahead and spray a little bit of spray lubricant and spray the bushings. This will assist with sliding the hangers back into position. Raise the exhaust back up and slide it over the hanger. Now we can go ahead and disconnect our safety strap and pull it out of the way. Once you have it pulled out of the way, wipe down all the bushings and the extra lubricant and you're ready to complete your installation. That will do it for our view and installation of the Draw Tite Max Frame Class 3 trailer hitch receiver, part #75876 on our 2016 Subaru Forester.

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