Curt Trailer Hitch Installation - 2018 Buick Encore

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How to Install a Curt Trailer Hitch on a 2018 Buick Encore


Ryan: Hey guys. Ryan here at etrailer.com. Here we have our hitch installed on our Buick Encore. Although the tube is mostly visible, it does sit a little further back and bland in nicely. Now one of the things I really like about this hitch is how far back our safety chain loop plate sits. That way we know whenever we use our safety chains, no matter what size hook, it's not going to interfere with our pin and clip.

Now it is going to utilize a half inch pin. As you can see with the pin and clip installed and a good sized hook, you're not going to have any issues with interference.It is a class one hitch, so it's going to utilize that inch and a quarter by inch and a quarter opening. It's also going to have a reinforced collar for extra strength. Now Curt does recommend, for any non trailer loads, that you use stabilizer straps. You can pick those up at etrailer.com.

Now the max tow weight is 200 pounds. That's going to be the amount of weight on the receiver tube. The maximum gross trailer weight rating is 2000 pounds. Now that's going to be the amount of weight pulling on the hitch. That's going to be the weight of your trailer, plus anything you might have on it.It's always a good idea to check with your vehicle's owners manual to make sure you can pull that much weight.

Now I'm going to give you a few measurements. You're going to use these when deciding which hitch mounted accessories to get from the ground to the top inside edge of the receiver tube opening. It's going to be about ten and three quarters of an inch. Now you're going to use that measurement when deciding whether to get a ball mount with either a drop or a rise. From the center of the hitch pin hole to the edge of the back bumper is about five and a half inches.You're going to use this measurement to figure out if any folding accessories can be folded in a storage position without making contact with the bumper.

Now that we've gone over some of the features, I'll show you how to get it installed.To begin our install, we first need to lower the exhaust. Now it is a good idea to take a strap and run it across from side to side. That way, when we remove the exhaust hangers, it doesn't come dropping down too fast. Now we're going to have three rubber isolator hangers that we're going to have to take off. To do that, it makes it a little easier to get a little spray lubricant and lube all three of them down. Then we can take a pry bar and simply just push the hanger off of the exhaust.We're going to have one more over here on the passenger side, and one more here in the center of the vehicle. Now, on each side of the frame rail there's going to be a little bit of plastic wheel well hanging down. We're going to have to trim just this little piece. That way, when we put our hitch up, it'll sit flush against the frame rail. Just be careful not to hit or damage your brake line. Now I'm going to use a small dremel tool, but however this plastic is fairly thin, so you could probably use some snips or even a knife possibly. Just be careful.Now we need to gain full access to this hole here in the frame, but this break lines in the way. So what we're going to do is we're going to pop it out of the clip. We're just going to spread it apart with our fingers and just gently pull down. There's also one more a little further down the frame rail. We're going to do that same thing. Just kind of gently pull it down out of the way. It's exactly the same on the other side, so we'll do that too. I just like to point out where our attachment points are. On the side of the frame rail there's going to be two holes, there and there. Also, on the bottom of the frame rail, we're going to be using this hole here. Now they're the same on both sides.Now on each side, on the bottom of our frame rail, we're going to need to fish wire our hardware up through there. To do that, we're going to take the coiled end of our fish wire and put it through this smaller hole, and push it back. We're actually going to pull it out of this larger hole. It can be kind of tricky to get it to come out like that. Now, on the coiled end, you're going to take a spacer block, put that over the fish wire, and we're just going to feed that into that hole like that. Then we'll take a carriage bolt and thread that into the fish wire. We're going to feed that up into the hole as well. Just kind of jiggle it and it'll come drop down like that.It's a good idea to clean out the threads on the weld nuts inside of our frame rail. So what I'm going to do is take some lubricant and a tube brush. If you need one of these, you can find one on etrailer.com. We'll just feed it into the weld nuts to get any debris or dirt out of there. Be sure to do this on each side. Now, with an extra set of hands, we're going to carefully put our hitch in place, and we'll take the end of our fish wire and push that through the hole on the rear of the hitch. We'll lift it up into place, and then we'll take a bolt with a conical tooth washer and make sure the teeth on the washer are facing the hitch. Run the up and put it in the hole in the side of the frame.Now you want to get at least one started on each side, that way the hitch will support itself while we're working on the rest of the hardware. Now the same hardware will be used for the hole next to the one that we put in on the side. We're just going to remove our fish wire and put on a flange nut. Now be careful when doing this. You don't want to push up too hard and push our bolt back into the frame. So you can take your finger, just apply some light pressure on the bolt if you need to to get it started.With all of our hardware in hand tight, we can then use a wrench to snug everything up. With everything snug, we can then use a torque wrench to torque all of hardware down. Now you can find that torque specification in your instructions. On each side, we can just push our break lines back into the clips to hold them secure. Finally, we can just push our exhaust back up into place the same way that we removed it. With the exhaust rehung, we'll go ahead and remove our safety strap. That'll do it for our look at and installation of the Curt class one inch and a quarter trailer hitch receiver on our 2018 Buick Encore.


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