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Can you Replace the Factory Hitch of a 2004 Ford F-150 with a Better Aftermarket Hitch

Question:

Regarding 2004 F150 with Factory Tow Package: Can we purchase Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch Receiver - Custom Fit - Class III - 2 as a REPLACEMENT for the factory trailer hitch? I am concerned because the product states, Fits all models without a factory installed hitch. What about a model WITH a factory installed hitch? This is confusing. thank you

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Expert Reply:

The reason the Draw-Tite Max-Frame, part # 75156, and other aftermarket hitches for the 2004 Ford F-150 state they do not fit models with a factory installed hitch is because of how the factory hitches of these trucks are positioned.

These factory hitches were actually used instead of the support beam for the rear bumper. Removal of the factory hitch compromises the bumper. In other words, the factory hitch is integral to the structure of the vehicle. If you were to remove it, you would probably lose your bumper as well.

However, even if the bumper somehow stayed on, there would be another problem: since the hitch is what was holding the bumper up, there is no part of the frame (which usually holds the bumper) to attach an aftermarket hitch to. In order to retain the bumper and mount an aftermarket hitch, you would need to replace the factory hitch with a reinforcement beam.

I did some digging, and it looks like that part number from Ford is 4L3Z-17D826-AA. However, I am not 100% sure on that. So, you will need to speak to your Ford dealer to not only confirm if this is the part that you need, but also if that part will allow an aftermarket hitch to be attached to it.

expert reply by:
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Kef G

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