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Curt Trailer Hitch Installation - 2017 Subaru Forester

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How to Install the Curt Trailer Hitch on a 2017 Subaru Forester


Hi there Subaru owners. Today on your 2017 Subaru Forester, we're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install CURT's Class 3 two inch trailer hitch receiver.And this is what our hitch looks like when it's installed. The cross tube is going to be completely hidden behind the bumper so you're only going to notice the receiver here at the back. It's a Class 3 two inch by two inch receiver, so it's going to be great for all of your towing needs. Whether you're wanting to put a bike rack in it and load up four bikes on a platform rack, or you need it for a cargo carrier, or you just have some work you need to get done, you can put a ball mount in it and haul around utility trailer.This hitch uses a five eights inch hitch pin and clip. One doesn't come included with the hitch, but we've got plenty available here at etrailer.com.

On bottom, we have hoop style safety chain loops with a very large opening that should accommodate just about every shape, size, and style of safety chain. You can see here that even our big guy has no problem hooking on and off nice and easy.With this hitch, you'll have 525 pounds of tongue weight, which is the force going down on top of the receiver. And like we discussed before, a four bike platform rack should easily be able to be loaded up with four bikes with that and a cargo carrier as well. You won't be able to quite load up to the max on the largest cargo carriers that we have here at etrailer, but it'll come pretty darn close.It also features a 3,500 pound gross towing capacity, which is how much that it can pull behind it. This is going to be plenty if you have a utility trailer and just want to get some work done, a nice small one, or if you have a popup camper and you want to take that with the weekend.

In most cases, you should be able to handle it with this hitch. Now, as always, I recommend that you verify in your vehicle's owner's manual and ensure you don't exceed any of its towing capacities.And now I've got some measurements for you to help you when deciding on accessories. From the ground to the top inside edge of the receiver tube, it's about 15 and three quarters of an inch. And this is important when determining if you need to drop, a rise or a shank in any of your accessories.And from the center of our hitch pin hole to the edge of the rear bumper, it measures about two inches. And this is important when determining if any of your folding accessories can be placed in the upright storage position without contacting the bumper.Now that we've covered some of the features of the hitch, why don't you follow along with me in the shop, and we're going to go ahead and get it installed.

Even though it's behind our bumper, you don't have to remove the bumper and it's going to be over before you know it.We'll begin our installation underneath the rear of our vehicle. We're going to put a strap in place because we need to lower down the exhaust and we don't want it to accidentally lower down too far and cause any damage. So we're just going to hook our strap on here, snug it up a little bit, and then we can turn our focus to the exhaust hangers.To ease the removal of the exhaust hangers, you can use some spray lubricant. We're just going to spray that down. There's an exhaust hanger on each side of our muffler here.

And we're just going to pry this offer there, so you can use a pry bar and then it'll just pop right off just like that. And then we're going to do the same thing with the one located on the other side, just over here. Once you've got both of the muffler ones taken off, there's one towards the center of the vehicle here, just next to your differential. We're going to remove this one as well.And with a lot of these, sometimes if they're easy to get to, you can almost just grab your hand up there and just pull them off in a lot of cases, if you can get your hand in there.We're now going to gently lower down the exhaust using our strap. Just kind of release some of that pressure until we get it down enough to where we can easily get in there to do our work that we need to do.Above your muffler, we're going to need to remove our heat shield. There are four bolts holding it on, and we're going to take those out with a 10 millimeter socket. If you have dual exhaust, you'll want to lower down the exhaust on each side and also take out this heat shield on that side.And we'll just set this aside for now. There are rubber caps located on the bottom of your frame. We're going to remove all of these rubber caps. Simply just take a trim panel tool or a flat bladed screwdriver, and just get underneath there and you can just pull those right out of there. Once you've got them pulled out on this side of the frame, we're going to pull out the ones on the other side as well.We're now going to use the fish wires that come in your kit. They're going to have a coiled end. We're going to take this end and we're going to be feeding it up into the frame to pull our hardware in. I like to start with the hole that's towards the rear of the vehicle first, and we're going to feed it towards the front of the vehicle. We want to go pass these holes into the furthest front hole here as this is a larger hole, so our hardware can pass into it. Once you've got it set up there, you want to just kind of stick your finger in there to find that coiled end and then we're just going to pull it down through this opening. Once you've got the coil then down, we can take a spacer. We're going to slide that over the coiled end. And then we're going to take one of the carriage bolts that come in our kit and we're going to thread that onto our coiled end.We can then slide the spacer up into the frame, and then we're also going to put the bolt in. And a lot of cases, I find it easier to put the head of the bolt up first and then shove it up in there and then just pull your fish wire until your bolt drops back down through the hole that we had put it into. You can go ahead and leave your fish wire attached as you've got enough for each bolt. And we're going to repeat that process for the two remaining holes on this side. And then we're going to have three that we're going to do on the other side that's going to match this.In order for our hitch to fit, we are going to have to make some modifications here to the rear of our fascia. We're going to need to trim out for the receiver. There's a diagram that's included with your instructions. You want to use that to cut it out. I've gone ahead and marked it out, how the diagram has indicated. And we're going to go ahead and trim this out now. I'm just going to use a pair of snips to trim it out. And once you've got it trimmed out, you can then use either a razor blade or a file to just clean up the edges there.Next, there are two pins located on each side of the hole that we had just cut out here. We need to pop these pins out to make the hitch go up a little bit easier. You can use a flat bladed screwdriver or a trim panel tool. You'll want to stick it in to the little openings there, which will allow you to then pry out the center tab. Once the center tab has been pried out, you can pull the whole thing out. We're just going to do the same thing over on this side.Next, we're going to need to trim our heat shield and reinstall it before we put the hitch up. I've gone ahead and marked this out. There's also a diagram in your instructions here, and we're going to cut this out with snips as well.And now we're ready to reinstall this one. And then you can see here when we put the heat shield back up, that'll go right around our hardware. And there are cutouts in the hitch for the factory bolts here that we're going to be reinstalling so we don't have to worry about those being in the way so we can just re-install all these bolts and then tighten them back down with our 10 millimeter socket.Now, with an extra set of hands, we're going to lift our hitch into position. You need to make sure you go above the exhaust and then we're going to take our fish wires and we're going to drop them down through the holes in our hitch, making sure to line each one up with the appropriate hole.These are all going to be the slotted holes in our hitch, not the large round opening. That's actually the opening for the bolt through the heat shield. Okay.Once you've got all your fish wires sent through, we're then going to need to pull out on the fascia and tuck our hitch behind it. Once you've got it up in there, we can then push it up against the frame.When lifting your hitch up, there is going to be a little stud here at the back of the vehicle. You'll need to go towards the front of the vehicle, get around that stud to make sure you go up on top of it. If you just try to go straight up with your bolts dropping down, it's going to hit there. So just got to make sure you're flush against the bottom of the frame.And we're going to go ahead and get one bolt started on each side. We'll want to make sure we take a conical tooth washer and put it on first with the teeth facing towards our hitch. And we also want to be careful not to push the bolts back up into the frame.We're then just going to start a nut. And once you get one started on each side, the hitch will hold itself up, making it easier to install the rest of your hardware.One of the tricks I like to do is when I put the washer on it, I'll push it to the side and that'll help keep you from pushing it up into the frame.We can now go back and tighten down our hardware with an 11 16th socket.We can then go back and torque our hardware to the specifications found in our instructions.With our hardware all torqued down, we can reinstall our exhaust. The hangers are just going to push back into place. A little bit of spray lubricant again can make it quite a bit easier to push those back on.We got to put our push pins back in our fascia. They just slide up in the bottom, lining up the holes, and then you can push the center tab back in to lock it in place.And now with our exhaust back up, our strap that we had put in place, we can just pull that out of the way and we're now ready to put it in our favorite accessory and hit the road.And that completes our installation of CURT's Class 3 two inch trailer hitch receiver on our 2017 Subaru Forester.


Info for this part was:

Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Jonathan Y
Video by:
Jonathan Y
Employee David F
Test Fit:
David F

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