Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch Installation - 2017 Subaru Forester

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2017 Subaru Forester 76182


Speaker 1: Today in our 2017 Subaru Forester, we're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install the Draw-Tite Class III Custom Fit Trailer Hitch Receiver, part number 76182. So here's what our hitch is going to look like. It is going to be tucked up behind the bumper, and all we're going to see is that receiver tube sticking out. It is a Class III hitch, which means it's going to give us that two 2" x 2" receiver tube opening, which is going to open up a lot of options for different kinds of accessories we can mount. Now the way we're going to mount all our accessories, is through the forward hitch pin hole here. It is going to accept a standard 5/8" pin and clip.

Now these aren't included in the kit, but you can pick them up on our website. Now the secondary hole towards the back of the receiver is going to be used exclusively for the J-pin stabilization device.The way that's going to work is we're going inserted through the hitch pin hole and the secondary hook here is going to apply pressure to the accessory on the inside of our receiver tube. We use the nut to draw it in. Now it is a locking device as well, so it's going to keep all of our accessories nice and secure. Our safety chain connection points are going to be a loop style.

They're going to be welded to the bottom of the receiver tube, and you can see even with some really large hooks, we're not going to have too much trouble getting them on or off and not have to worry about any kind of interference.As far as weight capacity goes, our hitch is gonna feature a 525 pound tongue weight. That's going to be the maximum force at the receiver tube. It's also going to have a 3,500 pound gross trailer weight rating, which is the amount that it can pull, including the trailer and everything you have loaded on it. With those numbers in mind, you always want to double check your Forester's owner's manual and never exceed the manufacturer's recommended weight.My overall impression of this hitch is I really liked the fact that it's completely hidden behind the bumper and all we see is that receiver tube sticking out. The tongue weight being at 525 pounds is a bit higher than most other hitches for our Forester.

That's going to come in handy if we have a large bike rack, up to four bikes, or even one of the larger cargo carriers. We're not going to have to worry about exceeding the tongue weight on our hitch.As far as the install goes, it is going to be a little bit more in depth than others, but the overall look and appearance is going to make up for that. It is going to be completely hidden and since it is up higher it is going to make up a little bit of ground clearance over some of the ones that are going to be hanging down and we're not going to have that cross tube visible underneath.I'd like to give you a few measurements. That's going to help in deciding for accessories for your new hitch, such as a ball mount, bike rack, or a cargo carrier. From the center of the hitch pin hole to the outermost edge of the bumper it's going to be right about 3".

The measurement's going to come in handy when you're looking at folding accessories to make sure you have enough clearance between the bumper and the accessory itself. From the ground to the inside top edge of the receiver tube opening is going to be right about 16". Keep that measurement in mind when you're looking for a ball mount to make sure you get the adequate rise or drop to match your trailer. So now that we've seen what our hitch looks like, gone over some of the features, let's show you how to get it installed.To begin our installation, we're going to need to lower down our muffler so we have room to get our hitch in place. So we're going to come just right by the rear axle here. I'm going to put a strap to support it so it doesn't hang down too low. Now we're going to have two hangers, one on the inside of the muffler. Then there's going to be another one on the outside towards the back. It's going to help if you take a little bit of spray lubricant and spray the hanger. It'll help it slide off a little bit easier. I just wanted to take a pry bar and slide that rubber hanger off.Now if you still need a little bit more room you can come back just right behind the rear axle here. We're going to have another hanger. I'm going to spray, a little more spray lubricant on there. I'm going to slide that hanger off. Lower the strap down. Just make sure you don't lower it down too far. Right above our muffler, we're going to have our heat shield. We're going to have four fasteners holding it in place. I'm going to take a 10 millimeter socket and pull those bolts out. Let's pull our heat shield down, and set it aside for now. If your Forester has dual exhaust, you're going to want to remove the other heat shield on the driver's side as well.Now on the bottom of our frame here, we're going to have four rubber plugs. Just take a flathead screwdriver, and we're going to pop them out. We're going to have those same plugs on the other side of the frame as well, so we can pull those out too. Now on our heat shield we are going to have to trim and I marked out the area that we're going to be trimming. Basically if you find the two letters, we're going to be trimming out that square section, so we have room for our hardware to come through the frame. I'm just going to be using a pair of tin snips and cutting it out.As we come to our frame the three holes that are going to be towards the back are going to be our mounting holes, and the larger hole towards the front of our Forester is going to be our access hole. We're going to feed our coiled end and feed it towards the front of our vehicle so we can have the coil then come out the access hole. Just be careful if you do reach in, you don't want to cut your finger on the edge. Once you had the coil then sticking out, you want to make sure that you leave the tail on the other side so it doesn't pull all the way through. Then we're going to take one of our square spacer blocks. We're gonna, slide it over the coiled end. Slide it into the frame. Then we're going to take a carriage bolt and thread it onto the coiled end.You're going to push all of the hardware into the frame and pull it until it drops through the frame. Now we're going to repeat this for the other remaining holes as well as on the other side. We're going to go ahead and reinstall our heat shield. You want to make sure you pull the wires and everything out of the way. When we reinstall it we're not going to be attaching the two bolts on the bottom of the frame, only the two that are on the outside towards the wheel well area, because our hitch is going to sandwich this area and keep it secure.Now per the instructions, they do want you to remove the fascia but we found it a little bit easier, because removing the fascia's never really fun there's a bunch of clips that may potentially break, and it's just a little unnerving when you have to set it down it may get scratched. The main reason why you need to remove it is at the bottom here we're going to have two supports that we're going to have to get around. We're going to pull the two clips out that are holding it in place. One on each side. I'm just going to take a flat head screwdriver, pop out the center section of the pushpin, and then pull out the rest of the clip.With the clips out, we can gently pull on the fascia, just pulling it out a little bit. We can actually just grab the tab. We're just going to bend it outwards so that it's going to be out of the way. Now we can just sneak our hitch in right here and not have to fully remove the fascia. You just want to be careful when you bend these tabs because it is thin metal and you don't want to crease them too much to where they break off. So we're going to bend the other one out just like this.Since our hitch is going to sit behind the fascia, the receiver tubes is going to be coming out of the bottom, so we're going to have to cut a small hole in order for that receiver tube to stick out. I already have it marked out of where we're going to be cutting and the dimensions are in the instructions. Now you just want to take your time whenever you're cutting. You can use a razor blade or a sharp pair of snips, but I'm going to be using a rotary tool so I can have a nice clean cut. We're going to remove our masking tape and clean up the edges with a razor knife, getting all the excess plastic off.Now with an extra set of hands we're going to lift our hitch into place. You want to get your pull wires in to the corresponding holes on the edge of the hitch. When we lift our hitch up we're going to pull slightly outward on the fascia, so we can get behind it. We're going to line up our holes so that the hardware falls through. Then we're going to pull one of the pull wires off. We're going to be securing our hitch with a conical tooth washer and a hex nut. You just want to make sure that those teeth are facing up towards the hitch. We're going to get one set in on each side so we worry about the hitch falling down and then it can support itself.With the hitch loosely in place we're going to go ahead and bend our tabs back, so we can line them up with our fascia and reinstall those push pins. Just bend back both sides, and we put our push pins back in place. If you're having trouble getting your plastic push pins back in place, it could be because the tab right here on our hitch is going to hit the plastic, so we just cut a small notch out. It gives it a little bit of a relief, making it a lot easier to get those push pins back in place.I'm going to come back with 11/16th socket and I'm going to snug up all my hardware. I'm going to come back with that same 11/16th socket and a torque wrench and I'm going to torque all my hardware down to the specified amount in the instructions. We can put our exhaust back up, but before we do, I'm going to take a little bit more spray lubricant and I'm going spray the rubber hangers down, just make it a little bit easier to get them in place. Exhaust back up. We can remove the strap that was holding it. And that'll finish up your look at the Draw-tite Class III Custom Fit Trailer Hitch Receiver, part number 76182 on our 2107 Subaru Forester.


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Info for this part was:

Video Edited:
Jacob T
Video by:
Kathleen M
Video by:
Chris R
Test Fit:
Robert C
Test Fit:
Jacob H

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