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Blue Ox Base Plate Kit Installation - 2013 Ford Focus

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How to Install the Blue Ox Base Plate Kit on a 2013 Ford Focus

Today on our 2013 Ford Focus we'll be installing the Blue Ox Base Plate Kit With Removable Arms, part number BX2633. Let's go over the operation of the removable arms. The removable arms have a spring-loaded lock that will line up with the grooves in the base plate. Line it up, push it in to collapse the spring, and rotate it until it locks in place. Then we can hook our tow bar directly up to our removable arms. Then, once you're finished towing your vehicle, we can go ahead and remove them by pulling back on the ring, collapsing the spring, rotating it, and removing it from the base plate.

To begin our install we've already gone ahead and opened the hood. We've got multiple fasteners to remove. We're going to start with our torx bit fasteners. There's 1 on each side, right next to the headlight. Be careful not to confuse it with the actual headlight fastener that looks just like it. Next, we're going to remove the 4 push pin fasteners that go along the top edge of the fascia.

These are a 2 piece fastener. The center, or top of the fastener, will pry up and then we can remove it completely. If that pin comes out, you can simply just put it back in. Next, we need to remove the hood release cable as it's part of the front fascia. We'll simply pull the cable out of its fastener there and then gently pry up, releasing the cable from the hold down.

This will give us enough slack that we can rotate the cable around the handle and pull it out. With the cable out our top part of our fascia is loose. Next, we'll move to the wheel well. Here we need to remove multiple fasteners. To gain easier access to these fasteners, we're going to go ahead and turn the wheel in to give us more working room.

We'll have a total 4 fasteners, 3 torx bit fasteners and 1 push pin fastener. The push pin fastener here that connects the fascia to the fender is just like the ones we removed at the top of the fascia. We'll pull the wheel well liner out to make it easier to get to our push pin fastener. Bring in our flat-bladed screwdriver, pry the center of that fastener out and then remove it. With my passenger's side done, I'll move over to the driver's side and repeat the same process. With our wheel well fasteners removed, we'll move underneath the front end of our vehicle and remove the lower fascia fasteners. Underneath the front edge of the fascia, starting at the wheel well, there's going to be a total of 6 fasteners, 3 on each side. Note that the front end of this car sits a little low, so it tends to get bumped on parking curbs, high sidewalks, et cetera, and these fasteners tend to get ripped off as seen here at the second one from the driver's side. We have 1 on the corner, 1 below the fog light or headlight, and then 1 towards the center. These fasteners are identical to the ones we removed at the top edge in the wheel well, so we'll go ahead and pry the center out and then remove it completely. With all our fasteners removed, we're ready to take off the front fascia. To take it off, we need to pop it free where the fender and fascia meet and then underneath the headlight housing. We'll work 1 side at at time. With my passenger's side free, I'll move over to the driver's side and repeat the same process. Once you pull both corners free, we can go ahead and slide it out from the center, away from the vehicle, but don't go too far as here on the driver's side there's an electrical connector to disconnect the wiring from the front fascia from the main body of the vehicle. We'll press on the locking tab and remove the wiring connector from the front fascia. We can then go ahead and pull the fascia off and set it aside. With our front fascia off, we need to remove the horn assembly. To remove the bracket from the body of the vehicle, there's a bolt that secures it into a weld nut. We can see the top of the weld nut here and it bolts underneath. Once we have the bolt out, go ahead and pull the electrical hold down free. To assist in pulling it free, you can use flat-bladed screwdriver. I'm going to use a trim panel tool. Then we can disconnect the wiring from the socket by pressing on the locking tab and removing it. Go ahead and set the horn assembly aside for reinstallation later. Next, We're going to move to the windshield washer tank. We're going to go ahead and remove it also. We'll start with our electrical connections. Make sure we press on the locking tab and just simply slide it off. We've got 2 of them. To remove the hoses, there's a white fastener here and a black fastener here. We need to pry those snap fasteners off and then the connector will pull up off of the windshield washer motor. Once I've got it free, I'm going to leave it on there until I'm ready to actually remove the tank because once we pull the hose off it will leak out. Once we have the locks removed, we're going to go ahead and remove the 2 fasteners. Then, once we remove the fasteners, we can go ahead and remove the hoses and the washer bottle. With our 2 fasteners out, go ahead and slide it back to release it up here. Make sure all our electrical connections are disconnected and then remove the 2 hoses. With our washer bottle out of the way, we need to remove the flexible air intake cover that goes around the front lower shutters. We've got 2 fasteners, 1 on each side. Then we can go ahead and pop the air intake out. It's just got some snap fasteners on the bottom. Here you can see the 3 bottom snap fasteners. They just pop out. Next, we need to drill a hole through the front bumper so that it lines up with the frame channel. This will be used in steps later for securing the base plate to the frame. We're going to drill it here in the flat, just past the front lip, using a 1 1/4" hole saw bit. Once you have your hole cut out, to prevent rusting over time, we're going to hit it with a little spray paint just to clean up the surfaces where we exposed the metal underneath. With 1 side down, we'll move over to the driver's side and repeat the same process. Now that we've got our hole drilled out here on the driver's side, we're going to go ahead and remove the bolt that secures the plastic triangle here to the bracket that comes off the frame. Once the bolt is out of the way, we're going to go ahead and remove the wire connector attached to the bracket. I'm also going to go ahead and pop free the manufacturer's harness here on the side of the frame. This will allow us access to the side of the frame where ultimately the base plate is going to attach. Using a pair of vise grips or pliers, we're going to bend the frame bracket out of the way. Once we have that bent down out of the way, it will allow us to get the base plate in place. Attached to the steel bumper is the plastic what's known as the 5 mile an hour bumper. We need to trim the bottom edge on both sides flush with the bottom of the bumper. Starting about here, we're going to cut it along the bottom edge. You can use a sharp utility knife or a rotary tool. With the driver's side done I'll repeat the same process on the passenger's side. Next, on the passenger's side, we need to remove the section of the bracket that held the washer bottle and the horn. Using a reciprocating or Sawzall, we're going to cut right along the upright bracket all the way across. On each frame rail, on the side of the frame, there are 3 attachment points. These are pre-drilled holes or slots in the frame by the manufacturer. However, the rear attachment point here on the passenger's side has a bracket that overlaps the pre-drilled hole and we'll need to drill it out first. Using a drill bit, or in this case we're going to use a step bit, we're just going to go ahead and open it up so that we have access to the hole and our bolt will fit. Now that our bolt will fit, we're ready to put our base plate in place. We're going to use a new 3/8ths bolt and split lock washer for our 8 attachment points and then on the inside of the frame we'll use the 3/8ths nut plate provided. We'll go through the hole that we pre-drilled earlier in the front of the bumper. Each fastener will get red LocTite on the threads. Note the handle nut is designed so that it can be bent as necessary to line up with the attachment point. We're now ready to go ahead and put our base plate in position. Once we get it in position and lined up, we'll go ahead and install the rear and forward attachment point hardware. It's a good idea to get an extra set of hands to help you hold the base plate while you install the fasteners. As I lined up my attachment points between the frame and the base plate, I just went ahead and put the forward bolt in place to help hold the weight of the base plate while I line up my rear attachment point. As we install the fasteners we're just going to install them finger tight at this time. As you can see, I'm using a wrench on the forward attachment point, but it's merely because I can't get my hand in there easily and I just went loose and not tighten it down all the way. With our front and rear fastener holding the base plate in position, we're going to go ahead and install the center side frame fastener. With our side frame fasteners in place we're going to use the base plate as a template to drill out the bottom attachment point. We're going to start with a small pilot bit first and then drill it out to our final size of 13/32nds as per the instructions. With all our fasteners in place we'll make sure our base plate is level and we can go ahead and tighten down the 2 bottom fasteners first. Once we have the 2 bottom ones tightened down, then we'll tighten down the 3 on the side of the frame on both sides. Once we have them all tightened down, we can then go ahead and torque to specifications as indicated in the instructions. Keep in mind each process we do here on one side will get repeated identically on the opposite side. With our base plate tightened down and torqued to specifications we can go ahead and remove the ends of the handle nut that stick out the frame. To do that you could either cut them with a pair of strong side cutters or tin snips or just take them and bend them until they break. With the passenger's side done we'll repeat the same process on the driver's side. With the base plate tightened down and torqued to specifications we're ready to go ahead and reinstall the washer bottle. We'll reuse the manufacturer's attachment point for the rear fastener and our forward fastener that we cut off will get replaced by the pre-drilled hole in the side of the base plate. We'll use the new 3/8ths bolt and flat washer to go through the washer bottle, through the base plate and secure it with a 3/8ths nut on the back side. Go ahead and get our washer bottle back in place. Once I've got the upper attachment point back in place, then I'll put the lines back on to conserve as much of the washer fluid as I can. We're going to lock those back down and then put our attachment hardware in place. With my washer bottle secured we can go ahead and reinstall the electrical. To reinstall the horn, since we cut off the attachment point, we'll use the manufacturer's per-drilled hole here in the frame webbing that's also the core support. We'll use the new 1/4" bolt, split lock washer, and nut to secure it. We can go ahead and reinstall the electrical connector and set it into place. Our bolt will go through the horn bracket, then through the frame webbing where I'll secure it with a split lock washer and nut. Next we're going to install the permanent safety cables. The cable will go around the frame and connect back to the convenience link attached to the base plate. We'll use the quick links provided. We can go around the frame and use 1 quick link to the convenience link is 1 style. The other style would be to use 2 quick links, 1 for going around the frame and securing, and then the other to attach to the convenience link. We're going to use the 2 quick link style in this application. I want to get around the frame to the rear of the core support. Next, here on the driver's side, we need to reinstall the bracket we bent out of the way and the manufacturer's bolt. Next, on vehicles that will ultimately be equipped with a breakaway switch, you want to install the breakaway switch bracket now. On 1 end it has a weld nut built into the bracket for the 1/4" bolt supplied with the install kit. At the bottom of the core support, underneath the radiator and AC condenser is a pre-drilled hole at the bottom. We'll line it up with the pre-drilled hole, install the bolt, and tighten it down. Once it's tightened down we're ready to go ahead and reinstall the air cowling. The air cowling will have to be cut out to go around the base plate. If we set the air cowling up in this general position we can see where we're going to have to cut out. By holding it in place we can mark the top and bottom. We're going to go about 2 1/2" deep. I'll mark both sides. You can use a utility knife, tin snips, or side cutters to cut out that section. With our driver's side done I'll repeat the same process on the passenger's side. Once we have it cut out we'll go ahead and test fit it back into place. Work the top edge over the base plate, between the base plate and the 5 mile an hour bumper or the molded plastic in front of the steel bumper. As I'm working it into place the tolerance between the base plate and the molded plastic is pretty tight here in the center. We're going to go ahead and trim that out to give us about 1/4" to 3/8" of working room. As you can see, we got a little closer but it's still really tight and it's pushing up on the molded plastic, so we're going to go ahead and just trim all 5 of them across the center. With it trimmed out, you can see we can get it back in place. We'll go ahead and reinstall the attachment hardware. Just like that, we've now got it back in place and secured. To this point, with everything reinstalled, we're ready to put our fascia back in place, but note we'll need to hold it up in place to locate where it will need to be cut out to allow for the receiver tube and removable arm. Note, in some cases, you'll also need to trim out for your electrical connector. With my base plate in position here, we'll need to trim out the lower section on each side. I'll go ahead and bring it back down, use my rotary tool to trim out that section. Know you could also use a utility knife. Once we have it trimmed out we'll go ahead and put it back in place. Once we have the fascia back in place we can just go ahead and start reinstalling our fasteners. Now I've got my top fasteners back in, I'll go ahead and put the hood release cable back in place. Next, I'll move to the wheel well fasteners. There you have it for the install and operation of the Blue Ox Base Plate Kit With Removable Arms, part number BX2633, on our 2013 Ford Focus. .

Info for this part was:

Employee Joe V
Test Fit:
Joe V
Employee Andrew K
Video by:
Andrew K
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R

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