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Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch Installation - 2015 Subaru Outback Wagon

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How to Install the Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch on a 2015 Subaru Outback Wagon


Hi there, Outback owners. Today in your 2015 Subaru Outback we're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install Draw-Tite's, Class Three 2" Trailer Hitch Receiver.And this is what our hitch looks like when it's installed. The cross tube's completely hidden behind our fascia, but you will be able to see the receiver here at the back. It's a class three 2" by 2" 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 fully load it up with four bikes, or if you want to take a pop-up camper with you for the weekend, this hitch should do the job for you. It uses a 5/8" hitch pin and clip.

Now one doesn't come included with the hitch, but you can pick one up here at etrailer.com. You'll also notice a small hole just to the rear of our hitch pin hole, and this hole will accommodate a J pin, which is similar to our hitch pin, which still goes through this hole here, but it has one end that loops around and then goes back in this small hole and presses against anything inside of our receiver tube, keeping it nice and tight.It's able to tighten this down as the J pin on the opposite side will have a nut that you'll torque down putting that pressure on whatever's in the receiver. And on the bottom we have hoop style safety chain loops which have a nice large opening that should accommodate just about every shape, size and style of safety chain. It features a 600 pound tongue weight, which is the force going down on top of the receiver. Like I said before, it's going to be more than enough for a bike rack fully loaded up with four bikes.

It's also going to be great for cargo carriers as many of those have a maximum pairing capacity of about 550 pounds, yet in the weight that the carrier, and that's pretty close to 600 so this hitch should be able to handle that as well with no problem. It also features a 4,000 pound gross towing capacity, which is how much that it can pull behind it. And that's going to be plenty for your medium to lighter duty towing applications.Whether you want to bring a pop-up, camper, small boat or anything with you for the weekend, this hitch should be able to do that for you as well. Now I've got some measurements for you to help you when deciding on accessories. From the center of the hitch pin hole to the edge of our rear bumper, it measures about 2 1/2".

This is important when determining if any of your folding accessories can be placed in the upright storage position without contacting the bumper. And from the ground to the top inside edge of the receiver tube, it measures about 15".This is important when determining if you need a drop, a rise, or raise shank on any of your accessories. Now that we've gone over some of the features, let's go over the installation together so you can have the confidence to do it at home. We'll begin our installation at the back of the vehicle. The hitch installs behind the bumper, so we're going to completely remove it.

We're going to use flathead and a Phillips screwdriver to remove the push pins on each side of the vehicle. Take your Phillips to twist out the center and you can use your flathead to get behind it and pop it out.Once we've got both of these popped out, we can use our flathead again to get behind the plastic cover here and just kind of work your way down. There is a little tab in there that you need to pop loose. Here we go, and then we can just pull this out and set it aside. Behind that, you'll find two bolts that we're going to take out using a 10 millimeter socket.We can then remove our tail light assembly by pulling rearward on it using a trim panel tool to help pry it rearward. We'll make it come off a little bit easier. Once you've got it popped out on the back side, we're going to disconnect the electrical connector as well as remove the two bulbs that are in the assembly. Just turn those counter-clockwise and we can set our tail light assembly aside. We're going to repeat this on the other side as well to remove that tail light assembly.Once you get your tail light assemblies removed, underneath your tail light assemblies, you'll see a cover here in your fascia. We're going to use a flat bladed screwdriver to go in the little notch there, and pry this cover out. Behind the cover, we're going to reveal another bolt that we're going to take out with a 10 millimeter socket. There's one just like this on the opposite side, so we're going to remove that one as well. We're now on the wheel well on our passenger side. You'll see a pushpin here towards the top of your fascia where it meets our body there. This pin you'll push in on the center.That will release it, and then we'll take a flat bladed screwdriver or a trim panel removal tool. We're going to get behind it and we're going to pop it out. Some ways it can make it a little easier and prevent you from causing any damages. And you can get behind the actual panel sometimes and pull it down and that'll help give you a little bit of a gap just like that there. And then I can just pull it out. From that push pin, if we follow it down, we'll see three screws that we're going to take out here that go into your mudflap. You may or may not have a mud flap, so yours might be slightly different, but the goal is to ensure that these screws aren't keeping our fascia attached to the fender liner here.And the lowest one is a little bit difficult to get to. So we're going to be using a bit and a small ratchet. We're going to do this on the other side as well. We're now underneath the vehicle and we're going to take out all the push pins along the bottom that run all the way around underneath. There is a total of seven you're going to take out. Use your flat blade screwdriver to pop out the center first, so there's a little notches around it, so just work your way around those notches.These pins are very fragile. They tend to break even after just being on there for about a year or so you just want to go really slow and work them out. Dirt and debris get in there and it binds them up, and then they're also outside in the elements so the plastic becomes very brittle. You can get it to pop out like that and you're still having a difficult time getting it out, a pair of needle nose pliers or side cutters work really nice because you can just grab it and kind of work it out at this point. We're going to repeat that for all the remaining clips. Now if you have mud flaps, we're going to need to remove those. There's one pin left that holds those mud flaps on. Now that we've got our mudflap removed, we'll expose one more pushpin underneath the mudflap that when you take out, this is just like all the rest. There's one on each side, hidden underneath those mudflaps. Now if you don't have mud flaps on your vehicle, you would already see a pin down here and you would just remove that.You would still actually have the same number of pins on the bottom cushion. One of the pins we took out was to help us get that mud flap off. You wouldn't have that one, you'd just have this one instead. Now on one side of the vehicle, we're going to grab our fascia at the top corner. We're going to start working it out heading towards our tail light assembly. Once you get back to your tail light assembly, we want to try to just get it off of there.It's not a bad idea to stop once you hit the last tab here on one side, and then go over to the other side and work that side off to this same point. So now that we've got it released to these last tabs, you may need to get a screwdriver to help assist you getting it off some of those tabs there. They can be a little stiff getting it off the pins, and now at this point we're only held in by the middle, so you want to grab it by the bottom and just start working it across. It is just going to kind of come off there so you want to brace yourself, don't pull too hard and lose your balance.You'll then want to check behind for any electrical connectors that you may have. We have none on this vehicle, but depending on your options, there may be connectors that you want to be aware of. You will want to set your fascia aside where it won't get damaged. We'll now want to remove the foam cover on our bumper beam. Pop out the passenger side first, and then we can get over here to our driver's side and maneuver it out of the hole. We'll set this aside. We will be reinstalling it.We've now revealed all the bolts we need to take out for our bumper beam. There's holes here in the front that are access holes, we're going to take those out using a 14 millimeter socket. There's four on each side. I like to leave one bolt, just a couple of threads on, on each side to hold it up so the bumper beam won't fall off while I'm taking out the hardware. So this one here, perfect candidate, I like to make it one of the ones that's easy to get to as well, so can just by hand on do that last couple threads when I take the beam off. With all of them loose, we'll take off the ones we left just a couple of threads on, and then we can take our bumper beam off and set it aside.We're going to be smashing our hitch in between the bumper beam and the vehicle, so don't go too far with it. There's a tab at the bottom of the vehicle in the center. Before we put our hitch on, we want to knock this tab up and just bend it flush. We'll then set our hitch in position over the studs, and then sandwich the hitch in place between your bumper beam and the vehicle. We're just going to line all those up. Once you've got everything lined up and slid in place, reinstall your bumper beam using the factory hardware. Once you've got one bolt on each side, the hitch will hold itself up, making it easier to install the rest of your hardware. We can then go back and tighten them down.We can then go back and torque all the hardware to the specifications found in our instructions. With everything torqued down, we can put the foam pad back on our bumper beam. We'll now need to trim out our fascia to go around our receiver. I've gone ahead and marked it out here. You'll find a template in your instructions to assist you in marking it out. Can then cut it out using a cutoff wheel, or a pair of snips. So we're just going to follow the inside edge of the marks we made, because we can always take out more material later if we need to.All right. Now we can hold it up to the vehicle, test fit it, make sure everything looks good. If it does, you can use a file or a razor knife along your edges here to clean them up, and you can use some rubbing alcohol to clean off any of the paint stick that you've may have used to mark it up. We can then put our fascia back on after we're satisfied with the trimming that we've made. Make sure you go below your fender liners there on the outside.You also want to make sure you don't pinch any of your wiring for your tail lights in there, and that you flagged in any electrical connectors that you may have on your vehicle before you put the fascia back on. Once you've got everything lined up and plugged in, your fascia just installs in reverse order of how you removed it. You will find that it is pretty snug getting it back on, so you may need an extra set of hands or push very hard to get these to line up to click back in. You want to make sure you reinstall any bolts or pushpins that you removed. I like to do these here while I'm up here at the top, clicking it back in so that way I know the fascia doesn't have a chance to snap back off and fall off on me, while I'm getting the rest of the hardware in.Make sure you snap back in both your light bulbs, and click the connector back on. The slotted grooves here on the side, will line up with the tabs and will just slide back into place. We can then reinstall the bolts, and then put the trim cover back over top. Getting the trim cover back on can be a little tricky. It does just snap into place. There you go. You've just got to find the right way to line it up and the pushpins just go right back in. If you have mud flaps, you want to make sure you don't forget to put those on, once you've got your fascia reinstalled.And that completes our installation of Draw-Tite's Class Three 2" Trailer Hitch Receiver on our 2015 Subaru Outback.


Info for this part was:

Employee Joshua S
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