Trailer Hitch Installation - 2018 Ford Escape - Draw-Tite

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How to Install the Draw-Tite Trailer Hitch on a 2018 Ford Escape


Speaker 1: Today on our 2018 Ford Escape, you're going to be taking a look at and I'm going to show you how to install the Draw-Tite class two trailer hitch receiver, part number 36529.One thing I really like about it, is the cross tube is completely hidden behind the bumper fascia. So you're not going to see it, the only thing you see is the receiver tube. This is going to be a class two hitch. It's going to be an inch and 1/4 by inch and 1/4. You can see here, it's got a reinforced collar to give it a little extra stability on the receiver tube.Now as far as weight capacity goes, you're going to have a 300 pound tongue weight, which is downward pressure on the inside of the receiver tube. You're going to have a 3,500 pound max trailer weight, which is the trailer plus the load included.

Now I do recommend checking the owners manual of your Escape to make sure the vehicle can withstand that amount of weight and you're going to want to go with the lowest number between those two.Now let's give you a few measurements to help you when deciding on any hitch mounted accessories your may need, such as a bike rack or cargo carrier. From the center of the hitch pin hole to the outermost part of the bumper will be about four inches. From the ground to the top innermost part of the receiver tube will be about 16 inches. Now let's show you how to get this installed.First thing we need to do to start our installation is we need to lower our exhaust. To do that, we're going to have two bolts on each side holding up this bracket attached to our exhaust.

We're going to take a 1/2 inch socket and we're going to remove those. You're going to repeat that same thing on the other side of the vehicle. I have an exhaust hanger right in front of your axle or right above your axle here, that we're going to need to take that out too. So you just want to spray some lubricant on it, make it a little bit easier to take off. We'll take a pry bar and we're going to pry off this end here, just like that.Next we're going to remove these hangers from the exhaust post.

Again we'll spray down a little lubricant, just like that. We'll do the same thing to the other side of the vehicle.Next we need to mark and trim our heat shield on both sides of the vehicle. On our driver's side, you'll see an attachment point here. We're going to go just behind that. Go across like this, then all the way down like this.

Then we'll be taking all this out. So to make that easier, we're going to remove that, pull our heat shield down away from the frame. We'll use a 3/8 socket. I'm going to use tin snips, you can use whatever you've got that can cut this tin here, it's aluminum.Now we can reinstall the nut holding our heat shield up. Then on our passenger side, we're actually just going to cut this whole section off here. We're going to have three locations we're going to be mounting our hitch. One of thems going to be here, ones going to be here and ones going to be up on the side. However, the head of the bolt will not fit through the hole. So we're going to have to open this up a little bit. You can use a file, I'm going to use a file bit. I'm just going to take out a little bit on one side enough to get that bolt through there. Then we're going to repeat that same thing for the other side.One thing I suggest is with the bare metal that you have there, take some clear coat or a little bit of spray paint, some rustoleum paint and cover that bare metal. So it doesn't rust, start rusting or corrode, kind of help prevent it later on. We're going to have two different size spacer blocks in your kit. You're going to have four long ones like this and you're going to have two short ones. You're going to have six carriage bolts.What we want to do, you're going to take your pull wire. We're going to go to this hole right here on the outside, furthest to the back. We're going to feed the spring end of our pull wire through the hole and you want to come out here, like that. And we're going to take our long spacer block, or one of our long ones, push it up into the hole and we're going to take a carriage bolt and we're going to thread it on to this spring end. Then to make this easier to get it in the hole, because it'll be hard to do it like this. Flip this over and feed the head end of the bolt in place. Pull it up just like that.Since our hitch is going to be mounted right there, we're going to take this and push it back in inside the frame like that. We're going to leave the pull wire attached. We'll take another pull wire and go right through the small hole here like this. And then here we're going to take our small spacer block push that up in the hole. Same process there. We'll pull that down. Again, make sure to leave your pull wires attached and then for this hole, we're going to do what's called the reverse pull. Then we're going to thread on our hardware just like this.Then we're going to push our bolts first. And then we're going to push our spacer block up there just like that. Then we're going to repeat that same process on the other side. Now before you put your hitch up, you're actually going to have a bolt like this on each side. It's going to go through a hole right on the back of the frame through your bumper beam. You want to make sure you test fit them first, make sure they're going to slide through there pretty easy. You notice this one it kind of a little bit hard to get in, almost like the bumper beam is just up just a little bit on that or the hole's not in the right spot. And the bolt's kind of pushing up, I want that to be flat.So I'm going to take a drill bit and just kind of clean that edge off a little bit. Now you can see it slides through easy. Then again if you do anything where you have to strip down any bare metal, just make sure you spray it, a little preventative maintenance for later on.We want to take three of our washers. You're going to have two different sizes. You're going to have a couple of them that the center hole's a little bit bigger. You want the ones with the smaller holes that you have more of. We're going to take three of them and if you notice our hitch here, this tab. You want to put it on the back side. So what we're going to do to make this a lot easier for ourselves, is we're going to tape them on there. Just like that. Then we're going to do the same thing on the other side of the hitch.Next with an extra set of hands, we're going to feed our pull wires through the corresponding holes on the hitch. You'll notice you have four holes. These two are going to be for the two holes that hold up your exhaust. You pull the one out right up here out of the frame on each side. It should hole your hitch up enough. We're going to take our pull wire off of the one on our side of our frame rail here. Then a conical tooth washer and then our nut and we're just going to loosely install that. We want our hitch to be able to move. And we'll do the same thing on the other side of the vehicle.Next what we want to do is we want to take the leader coming off the bolt that's farthest to the back coming off where we installed the short spacer block. We're going to pull that off. Then we're going to put on flat washer, lock washer and then a nut. Then again we just want to loosely install these right now. For this bolt, we take off our leader. We're going to add a conical tooth washer, you want to make sure the teeth are facing up toward the hitch and then the nut. Then go ahead and repeat that for the other side.You're going to have two harden bolts in your kit. There's a hole right up here on your bumper beam. This bolt needs to go from the inside here, through the bracket on the hitch, out through that hole. Now you're going to get in your instructions, it's going to give you washers to use. To fit in between this bracket, you can see there's kind of a lip there. What we want is, is we want that level. So it's going to give you three of them to put in there. You may or may not be able to get all three in there. You Amy only be able to get one or two.What we want is, we want these two holes to line up for our exhaust brackets because we want that to be flat. So one way that I've found to get up in there because you obviously can't fit your fingers in there. You take sometimes a wire hanger will even work. Take a washer, put some tape on the end of a, you can see this is a skinny screwdriver. Put it on like that. And we're going to tape this washer on here. Try not to cover the hole. We just want it on there enough to feed it up in there. Just to hold it like that.And you're going to take your harden bolt, you're going to put a flat washer on it. We'll take our bolt from the inside. We're going to slide our washer up in between that. Then we're going to put on a small conical tooth washer, teeth facing towards the hitch and then the nut. You're going to repeat that on the other side.Next we'll put our exhaust back into place. We'll go ahead and reattach our hangers on to our exhaust. You want to make sure you do this on both sides. Once you have your exhaust hanger back on, take a small hex bolt, lock washer, and flat washer. And these are going to replace the hardware that you removed from your exhaust hangers. Then we're going to start torquing all of our hardware down. We're going to start with these and our small harden bolt that we have in the back, back here. Torque them down with a half inch socket. Then we'll reinstall our rear exhaust hanger and we're ready to go.That'll do it for a look at and installation on the Draw-Tite class two trailer hitch receiver, part number 36529 on our 2018 Ford Escape.

Info for this part was:

Video by:
Joshua S
Test Fit:
Nicholas E
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Video Edited:
Andrew L
Video Edited:
Chris R
Test Fit:
Shane H
Video by:
Jonathan Y
Test Fit:
Robert C

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