Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch Installation - 2018 Subaru Forester

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How to Install the Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch on a 2018 Subaru Forester


Jake: Hey guys, it's Jake here with etrailer. Today we're going to be taking a look at and I'm going to show you how to install this Draw-Tite hitch on our 2018 Subaru Forester.This is going to be a two-inch by two-inch hitch receiver, so it's going to be great for any small trailers, bike racks, cargo carriers, et cetera. It's going to have your standard five-eighths-inch pin hole to be able to fit those pins through to be able to lock in your accessories. It's also going to have a loop to be able to hook your safety chains on and a J-pin hole to be able to insert your J-pin if this is the style pin you like using. With this hitch, you are going to have a 525-pound tongue weight rating and a trailer weight rating of 3,500 pounds. But you are going to want to check with your Forrester's owner's manual to be able to see if your car can handle that weight.

The hitch is going to have a black powder coat finish to be able to resist against rust and corrosion.Now a couple of measurements for you guys so you know what kind of accessories you're getting into. From the ground to the top of the receiver tube is going to be about 15-and-a-quarter inches. And from the center of the hitch pin to the outermost part of the bumper, it's going to be about two-and-a-half inches.A couple of things I really like about this hitch is that only the hitch receiver is going to be seen. The rest of the hitch is going to be up behind your bumper, so you're not going to have to worry about a hitch hanging down and being visible with your vehicle. The other thing is is that with this style hitch, it's going to be virtually flush with the back of your car, so when you don't have an accessory in, you're not going to have to worry about hitting your shin or your knee on your hitch.Now that we've gone over some of those features, let's go ahead and pull it in the garage and show you how we got it put on.

To start our install, we're going to get a strap in place to be able to hold our exhaust when we lower it. Our strap. Just find a good spot to hook into. We'll hook in there and run our strap here. There we go.

Now we can tighten it down.Next we're going to remove our exhaust hangers. Spray it with a little lubricant to be able to slide it off. So we'll take a pry bar and pry against the lever there. There we go, got that one off. Now that you have that one off, there's going to be another exhaust hanger here and up here.Now, with out exhaust loose, we can go ahead and lower it down to get it out of the way so that we can get our hitch up into place.

That should be good there.Now we can take a 10-millimeter socket and remove the four screws holding our heat shield in place.Next we're going to remove these four plugs to be able to gain access to insert our bolts. Take a flat-head screwdriver and pop them right out. You'll need to take all four off each side.We are going to have to trim our heat shield a little bit. You can see, I marked out where we are going to have to trim it. It's basically on the perimeter of these two indentations with the letters on it. So we'll go ahead and cut those out with a pair of tin snips.Now, you can take your fish wire. We're going to start by running it through our first hole, because we don't want our other bolts to be in the way when we try to get to them later. We're going to run the end of it that's closest to the front of vehicle through the hole in the front. Then you'll take your block, slide it on the end, and then thread your bolt onto the end of the wire. Now you can take your block, slide it up through the hole, and then slide your bolts up through the hole. Now what you do is pull on that wire until your bolt falls down through the hole. We're going to repeat this process for these two remaining holes and the three holes on the passenger side.Now we can take our heat shield and replace it.On the rear of the bumper, you're going to see there's two snap pins. We need to remove those. Take a flat-head screwdriver and pull the base out with it.Now our hitch is going to need to slide up into place above our tabs here, so we need to bend them out of the way, just temporarily, so that we can slide our hitch up past it. There we go.Now we went ahead and marked out the area we're going to have to trim with a little bit of electrical tape. Now we're going to cut it out using a Dremel tool.Now we're ready to go ahead and lift our hitch up into place. Now we're running our fish wire through our holes in our hitch to be able to line it up with our bolts. If you don't have a fish wire on, you want to be careful when lifting it up into place.Now we're going to temporarily install one nut on each side so that we can get all the other hardware in place. Now we'll take our conical tooth washer, set it up into place, and thread on our nut. Now we'll repeat this process for all the remaining bolts, and then we'll come back and take our nut off our front and put our conical tooth washer on.We're going to use a 17-millimeter socket to tighten down all our hardware. We need to torque down all our hardware specified in your directions.With our hitch in place, we can go ahead and bend these brackets back down into place. Once you've bent your bracket back into place, we can reinsert our snap pins.Our last step is going to be replacing our exhaust hangers. Once your exhaust is back in place, you can go ahead and remove your strap.Well guys, that's going to do it for our look and installation of the Draw-Tite hitch on our 2018 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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