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Trailer Hitch Installation - 2014 Subaru Forester - Curt

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2014 Subaru Forester

Today on our 2014 Subaru Forester we're going to be taking a look at and installing the Curt Class 3 Trailer Hitch Receiver, part number C13144. What I like most about this hitch is how it is pretty well hidden, but you have really good access to the receiver tube. It's going to be nice and easy for installing and taking off any of your hitch mounted accessories. It's got this nice long receiver tube that helps to bring the face of our receiver tube opening out close to the outer edge of the bumper, so that that's going to help give us that extra clearance that we may need for some of our accessories like bike racks or cargo carriers. It does have a standard 5/8 inch hitch pin hole. Around the 2 inch by 2 inch receiver tube opening it's got this nice reinforcement collar that's welded on, which is nice and thick to help give it a nice sturdy look, and it also helps it look really clean. Then here we've got the plate style safety chain connection points back here.

With these nice large holes that should make it pretty easy to connect just about whatever type of safety chain you may have to them. With all non-trailer loads on this hitch Curt does require the use of a stabilization strap. You can get one of those on our site, part number 18050. This hitch features a 525 pound max tongue weight rating and a 3,500 pound gross trailer weight rating. It's not rated for use with a weight distribution system, and you'll want to be sure to check the owner's manual to see that your vehicle is rated for that type of weight. When installing this hitch a common question is, are you able to reinstall the heat shield that goes above the factor exhaust You are, it just requires a little bit of trimming, which is easy to do. Let's give you some measurements to help assist you with your selection of hitch mounted accessories, such as ball mounts, bike racks, or cargo carriers.

The distance from the center of the hitch pin hole to the outermost part of the rear bumper is about 3 1/2 inches. The distance from the top inside edge of the receiver tube opening to the ground is about 14 inches. Now, let's show you how to install this hitch. First thing we'll need to do to begin our installation is we're going to need to take this exhaust down so it's out of the way, so we can gain access to where our mounting location will be. In order to do that we'll need to remove these rubber isolators from the exhaust hangers. We're going to put a little bit of spray lubricant up there just to help ease the removal.

The other one's going to be towards the front side of the muffler. You can use a pry bar or a pair of channel lock pliers if you don't have exhaust hanger pliers. You can then take a 14 millimeter socket and wrench, and you don't have to do this, you can just let the exhaust hang if you'd like, but I'm going to remove these bolts so I can take this whole muffler off so I can make it a little bit easier. We'll leave each one loosely installed so that the muffler doesn't fall. I'll support the muffler, remove the nuts off both of these bolts with the flange, and carefully remove my muffler and set it aside. We need to take this heat shield down in order to trim it to gain access to our other 2 mounting locations underneath there. You need a 10 millimeter socket.

There's going to be 4 bolts holding this heat shield in. Now I'll need to trim our heat shield before we reinstall it. I'm just going to mark it according to the instructions. That's the area that I'm going to be cutting out, because that's going to give us that access to the other 2 mounting locations. I'll take a pair of tin snips, which you can also use a little rotary tool or something like that with a cutting wheel on it if you need to. With our heat shield trimmed we can reinstall it. When we reinstall it we'll only be using 3 of the 4 10 millimeter bolts that we took out. Next we'll remove these little rubber plugs that help protect our mounting locations. You'll just need to use a pair of needle nose pliers. You can grip them and pull then right out. Keep in mind from this point forward, anything that we do on one side, we'll be doing that same thing on the other side. Now, in order to get our carriage bolt and spacers to fit up into the frame to be able to pull down through, we'll need to take this center hole and enlarge it. You can use a file or something of that nature if you don't have a step drill bit like I'm going to be using here. Now with our hole drilled out large enough to be able to fit our carriage bolt and spacer up through to get them into the frame, you can take supplied fish wire, we'll take the coiled end and send it through our rearmost hole, fish it down out through that larger hole that we just made bigger for our access hole, and can put our square hole spacer and thread our half inch carriage bolt into that fish wire. Then we'll use that fish wire in order to pull our spacer block and carriage bolt through into position. I'll do that same thing for this front-most hole here. For our final one we use the reverse fish method, which will put our spacer block and carriage bolt in before we put them in to the frame. Then we'll feed the carriage bolt in first, followed by the spacer block, then pull it back down into position. It's a good idea to get a second set of hands in order to put your hitch up into place. You'll need to fish wire your bolts through the appropriate holes on the hitch. You want to make sure to not push your bolts back up into the frame as you raise the hitch into place. Then you'll take a 1/2 inch flange nut and get it started onto 1 of your bolts, whichever one you've got still exposed. Once you've got 1 started on each side you can remove the rest of your fish wires and install the rest of the flange nuts. Now with it loosely installed it's a good idea to just kind of take your hitch and make sure it's centered on the vehicle. Then we can take a 3/4 inch socket and begin tightening all our hardware. With all of our hardware tightened down we need to go back around and double check the torque to make sure it's torqued to the specification in the instructions. Now we can reinstall our exhaust. That's going to complete our look at and installation of the Curt Class 3 Trailer Hitch Receiver, part number C13144 on our 2014 Subaru Forester.

Info for this part was:

Employee Andrew K
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Employee Joshua S
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Employee Jacob T
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