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Draw-Tite Front Mount Trailer Hitch Installation - 2011 Ford F-450 Super Duty

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How to Install the Draw-Tite Front Mount Trailer Hitch on a 2011 Ford F-450 Super Duty


Hey everybody, Ryan here at Etrailer. Today on our 2011 Ford F450, we're gonna be showing you how to install the Draw-Tite front trailer hitch receiver. But before we do that, why don't we check it out and make sure that this is gonna work for you. So putting a front hitch on the front of your 450 makes sense to me, I mean, these things are tanks, you know, they can do a lot of work. And so a few of the reasons you'd want something like this up here is, you know, a big big reason is to be able to use a snowplow, all right, which is, I mean, pretty ideal vehicle to do that type of work. Another thing people do is mount up a winch here.

So you can get a winch plate, put it in hitch, have your winch up there for recovery issues and things like that. And what's getting more and more popular now is people are doing, you know, camping has exploded. People are pouring around their fifth wheels, and you know, their campers behind them, got the whole family with them. And you know, you lose a lot of that space back there that you could usually use. So having a hitch up here, I've seen people put bike racks up here, you know, carry the family's bikes around when they're hooked up to their camper, cargo carriers with extra gear and everything else.

So having a hitch up here is really gonna kind of open up your opportunities on what you can do with your truck. The hitch is going to have a two inch by two inch receiver tube opening, so really common size. A lot of different stuff's gonna work with it. The end is gonna have a reinforced collar for a little bit of extra support, and it is going to use that standard five eighths pen and clip. Now keep in mind a pen and clip doesn't come included, if you need one though, not a huge deal you can always grab it right here at Etrailer.

Something that I do want to mention is a hitch is gonna sit, you know, back a little ways. So behind the edge of a bumper a little bit, not really a huge deal, just something to think about, you know, depending on what type of accessory you're using that could affect that. But with that said, you know, really don't look like there's a ton of options. You know, it looks like this is really about the only hitch that we carry for the 450, but, you know, I think it'll work with pretty much whatever you're trying to use it for. With that said, as far as the hitches weight capacities go, it's gonna have a 500 pound, maximum gross tongue weight rating.

So that's gonna be the amount of weight that's pushing down on the hitch. And it's gonna have a 9,000 pound maximum gross line pole, which is gonna be the amount of weight that is pulling on the hitch. With all that said, though, it's never a bad idea just to grab your truck's owner's manual and make sure it doesn't exceed it's limitations. I'm gonna give you a couple of measurements and you can use these to help figure out which hitch mounted accessories to get from the ground to the top inside edge of the receiver tube opening. That's gonna be about 15 and a half inches. And from the center of the hitch pin hole to the edge of our front bumper, that's gonna be about four and a half inches. Other than that, though, not really a whole lot to it, you know Hitch is gonna look pretty good and get the job done. As far as the installation goes, you know, it wasn't terrible. I feel like it could be a lot easier if they gave you a couple more pull wires, which are pieces of metal that attach to a bolt to kind of feed it through the frame. They give you one, and that just kind of complicated things. I felt like it was unnecessary, you know what I mean Like if they just give you a couple more of those, it'd really speed things up, but you know, it's definitely doable and you might have to kind of finagle the hitch in there a little bit to get it all to fit, but it's manageable. So set aside a little bit of time out of your day and this is something you'll definitely be able to do. But with that said, if you want to follow along, see how I did it, feel free to. We'll go ahead and tackle this job together now. To begin our insulation, we're gonna be here at the front of our truck and we're gonna be working just underneath of this plastic air dam here. And we're gonna be working on each side of our frame rail. So we need to get our hardware inside of the frame. If you look right here, we're gonna have this oval shaped pole more or less just right in front of our sway bar mounting brackets here. And what you're gonna do is take your pull wire. You're gonna take the coil end of it, push it through that opening and through the front of our frame rail. Some trucks might have a bracket right here that will block this from happening. So you might have to take that bracket off. In our case, we don't have one there, so you don't need to worry about it. But with that said, you're gonna take the coil in. You're gonna take your big carriage bolt and thread that on. And then we can feed this up into the frame. So you're just gonna pull that. And then since I only give you one fish wire and we're gonna need to do this for the other side, I'm gonna pull this fish wire off, being careful not to damage it, and then to prevent this bolt from falling back in there, just temporarily I'm gonna take the nut, put it on there, a couple threads that way it doesn't drop back in. So with this hanging like so, I'll go ahead and repeat the same process over on the other side, except I'm just gonna leave the fish wire attached and not put a nut on it. So if your truck has this big plastic dam on the front of it, it is gonna have to get trimmed. There's quite a few ways you can do this here. So one of them being, you know, what I did is just measure from the front and the dead center of it and measured, I did three and a half inches because our hitch at the front is three inches wide so we have some wiggle room, made a square. And what I'm hoping for is for us to be able to push it through here and then swing it up and get everything bolted up. You could always just cut all the way down too, you know, which we may end up having to do. But I figured this is worth the shot. First, you could remove this whole piece, put it on after, you know, a bunch of different ways to get this done. What I'm gonna do is try this first. If it works, great, if not, you know, if you have to take this off or cut more of it out, then so be it. But you know, before you cut this, make sure you don't have any wires or nothing behind there. There's wire kind of higher up behind there. If it's hanging down, make sure it's out of the way. And I'm gonna use a dremel tool to cut this out. You'd probably use a utility knife or something along those lines as well. So go ahead and get this material removed here. And then if you use a tool like this, you can always come back with a razor knife and clean up some of those rough edges. So now with an extra set of hands we're gonna try this out here. We're gonna try to grab our hitch, put your pull wire through on that one side. And we're gonna try to angle this to get the hitch through. And then kind of push up, and if he can pull it my way some, it's gonna be kind of tricky. I really wish they'd just give you another pull wire. I don't know if you can kind of try to swing it. So what we're trying to do is get this bolt to line up here. And if I can at least get this started, everything's super tight. So it looks like I got our bolt just to poke through. Hopefully I can get a thread on it. And I'll just take a nut for now. And if I can get a little bit going, maybe we can kind of manipulate the other side and get that bolt started as well. So once you get both sides in and the bolts pulled through, you know, you might have to finesse it a little bit and get it to drop up into place, or fall into place rather. What you're gonna do, come back to these bolts, take off the nut and the weight of the hitch will prevent it from falling back in there. You're gonna put on a split lock washer, then take the nut again and get that started hand tight. So for this hole towards the front, I guess they expect you to take your hand and get it through an opening that, you know, essentially doesn't exist to get the bolt up in there. So we're gonna compromise here, I just got our fish wire. All right, and we're gonna put it through. We're gonna lift the hitch up until it comes through and hopefully we can get it to come out through an opening. That way we can get our hardware on it. So it's gonna continue to do this until we get it to come out of the other side. So here's where our bolt meter came out. We're gonna take this hex bolt and a flat washer and thread it onto the pull wire. It is a different size, but I mean, it'll work. This is easier than trying to line it up with your hands. It looks like on some model trucks there's a bigger opening, I guess they all vary a little bit though. So, you know, if you can get your hand up in there, great, if not, this is a technique you can use use. We're just gonna pull that bolt leader until we get the bolt pulled out of the side of her hitch. So once you have that out, you know, you can undo your bolt leader. Obviously you want to try to keep it in decent shape if you need to do the other side this way. But from there, you're gonna take a split lock washer and then a hex nut and get this started hand tight and then you just do the other side of your hitch as well. At this point, what you need to do is tighten and torque all of your hardware. So you're gonna use a torque wrench to do that. You can grab a torque wrench here at Etrailer if you don't have one, or a lot of times go to your local auto parts store. They'll have one there available to rent, and you can find those torque specs in your instructions. And that'll finish up our look at and our installation of the Draw-Tite front trailer hitch receiver on our 2011 Ford F450..


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