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EcoHitch Hidden Front Mount Trailer Hitch Installation - 2021 Ford F-250 Super Duty

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How to Install the EcoHitch Hidden Front Mount Trailer Hitch on a 2021 Ford F-250 Super Duty

Hey everybody, Ryan here at etrailer. Today on our 2021 Ford F-250, we're gonna be showing you how to install the EcoHitch front trailer hitch receiver. But before we do that, why don't we check it out and make sure that this is gonna be something that's gonna work for you. So when it comes to putting a front hitch on your truck, there's a lot of different things people use them for, probably some of the most popular things is using them for a snowplow or being able to mount up a winch on the front of your truck, or what's kind of getting more popular nowadays is people using them for accessories up here. So a lot of people are pulling around big campers and things like that. And say they wanna haul some extra things and put a cargo carrier up here, or carry around some bikes for the family, you put a bike rack up here.

So, there's a lot of different things you can use it for, you could even push some trailers around with it if he got maybe a lot or something and a bunch of trailers out there, you can push them around with this. So you can put a ball mount in there and park your trailers around. So having a hitch up here is definitely gonna kind of open up your opportunities on what you can use your truck for. When it comes to, what hitch is gonna work best for your particular situation, I think hands down the EcoHitch is probably gonna be the best option for you compared to some of the other ones available. And I say that because, where the hitch is gonna sit, this one sits right here and is nice and high off the ground and gives us really good clearance.

So the end of the receiver tube is just behind the metal part of her bumper here. And that's comparing it to a lot of the other hitches that sit down here way at the bottom. So, not only is it really close to the ground, but it's so far back, it's gonna take away a lot of your clearance. You're gonna have six, seven, eight inches worth of bumpers sticking out in front of that hitch. So it can really kind of limit your use on, on what you can do with it.

And not to mention I think this one looks the best too, flat out, the other ones you're gonna have a big hitch sticking out right here, that you're always gonna see. This one kind of blends in and they even give you a license plate holder too. So if your state requires you to have a front plate, you can bolt your plate right to this, this slides in, may even give you a pen and clip so you can lock that in. And you're not even gonna be able to see the hitch, it looks like a factory deal back there. So a really nice touch.

And it's just as easy if you're ready to use it, pull this out and you have full access to it there. The hitch is going to have a two inch by two inch receiver tube opening. So really common size, a lot of different things that work with it. At the end there we're gonna have a reinforced collar for some extra support, and honestly I think it kind of, I think it looks good too. It kind of matches and it kind of flows with everything we got going on here inside of the bumper. Like I said before, it is gonna come with the pin and clip, and that is going to be 5/8 in diameter. So this hitch is gonna have some really good weight capacities, as far as the maximum gross tongue weight rating goes, that's gonna be a 1000 pounds. And that's gonna be the amount of weight that's pushing down on the hitch. So pretty high number, should be able to use all different types of accessories, winches, snowplows, and so on. As far as the maximum gross trailer weight rating, as well as the maximum line pole rating, those numbers are gonna be 10,000 pounds, and that's gonna be the amount of weight that is pulling on the hitch. So, again, pretty high number. And you'll be able to use those winches and move those trailers around with some confidence. And so let's go ahead and grab a couple of measurements that way if you need them you got them, help you figure out what accessories will work and everything else. As far as the ground clearance goes, I think we'll be in pretty good shape regardless on what you're trying to do. But, in our case it looks like from the ground to the top inside edge of the receiver tube opening is gonna be about 25 and 3/4 of an inch, keep in mind too that measurement can vary depending on if you've got a lift kit or bigger tires, something like that. This is probably as low as it goes. Our truck is a work truck package or a factory everything. So just to kind of give you a reference. And if you go from the center of the hitch pin hole here to the edge of our bumper, that's gonna be right at about four inches. So, that's the amount of clearance that you're gonna have if you wanna mount up a winch or use a folding type accessory, whatever the case may be. I do wanna bring up Fitbit. It seems like a lot of people are wondering about that. And this is gonna fit the trucks that have gas motors so like ours does today, as well as the diesel engine. So regardless on what engine package you got, you're gonna be covered. The diesel motors do require you to relocate, I believe it's an oil cooler in the front. But they give you some extra brackets and things like that. And you know to really help make that easy and make room for the hitch. There is one exception, Duallies, trucks that have dual rear wheels, it sounds like the hitch does not fit those trucks, and it even sounds like some people have tried to make them work type thing and haven't had any success. So, if that's your case, definitely look into a different hitch that is rated to work with those dually type trucks. But other than that at the end of the day, if it we're me, this is probably the best option, at least in my opinion, as far as how it's gonna look on your truck and just that clearance and overall usability, it's probably gonna be your best bet. Now as far as the installation goes, I'm not gonna lie it really wasn't too bad. The instructions weren't super clear, so you had to kind of interpret them along, interpret them along the way. But really you pull the bumper off and everything bolted up really good. Probably one of the more challenging parts is to try to figure out is this where to trim around here, but I'll show you how I did it. And it turned out pretty good I think. So, why don't we go ahead and pull into the garage and put it on together now. To begin our installation, we're gonna be here at the front of our truck, and what we need to do is remove our front bumper. That way we can get the front hitch installed. So first thing we're gonna do, is actually just remove our license plate holder. So if you look on the bottom side of it, you can see these plastic tabs that tend to shoot underneath. You're gonna come on this side and get them released. If you look there, there's our tabs, and you can kind of push them outside of the plate frame and then push on them tabs, you're able to kind of pull them out like that. So once those are free, you can just lift up on the plate frame and set it off to the side. With the plate out of the way, we can remove some fasteners along this front opening. So in our case we're gonna have five on the bottom, and I think five on the top as well. You know what you're going to do If you have a trim panel tool, that's works pretty good. Just pry underneath the head of the fastener. If you don't have a trim tool you can always make due with the Flathead screwdriver. We're just gonna continue to work all these out on the bottom and top. Some on the top are a little bit different, you gonna kind of pry the head out first and then come back under the base and pull it out. So what we can do now is the center piece here, try to just pull out on this. And I feel like it should, kind of pop free, which it did. So we'll get this removed and set it off to the side. So now if you go inside of our wheel well, and look right here in this area, we're gonna have a couple of bolts and we need to pull them out. And from this point on anything we do to one side of the vehicle we're gonna do to the other side, so it'll be set up the same way. But we'll go ahead and grab a 15 millimeter socket and get these removed. Now if he look right here above our bumper and below our grill, we're gonna have a classic push pin. And we need to pull that out, it's kind of in a goofy spot so they're pretty tight, not the easiest ones to remove. But trim tool definitely helps in this case. That pulled out of the way though. Now we can remove some bumper bolts, and you definitely want to have a friend helping you, helping you with this. So take off one side and have your body hold it, and then come over here and take these off. So 18 millimeter socket. You're gonna have four of them. And this should be the last bolt holding this bumper on, so. It feels like it came loose. So we go on and kind of pull out on it. So, with release, now you can take your bumper off and set it off to the side somewhere safe. On each one of our frame rails we're gonna have these shovel looking deals here, is a piece of metal bracket, and we need to get those off and out of the way. So on each side they're held in place with two 18 millimeter nuts. I think they're pulled off. The same thing over on the other side here. And get these out of the way. Now on the passenger side here, if you have a gasoline engine like we do today, we're gonna have these lines we need to pop off. If you have a diesel engine refer to your instructions. You'll have some type of cooler here you'll have to relocate. But like I said you could follow instructions It'll tell how to do it. But that said, we're just gonna release this clip from the frame. So you can take a flathead screwdriver. Just kind of pry out on it and we'll just leave it like that for the time being. And then if you go over to our driver's side we're gonna have an electrical connector there, and we need to do the same thing. So, trim tool or flathead, pop that one out, and let it hang for now. Now we can come back to our front bumper. If you lay it on the front side, you're gonna have some bolts here in the center we need to pull out. So two up top, four on the bottom, let me use an eight millimeter socket to get those all out. And then we can grab our centerpiece and get it removed. Now we can get some of our hardware ready. What you're gonna do is take the longer two inch bolt, star washer, flat washer, and this spacer block, and this hole right there in the bottom of the frame, you gonna take that bolt and drop it down through. Now with the next set of hands you can take our hitch, raise it into position. This hole in the hitch is gonna line up with our bolt there. So we'll push it on up. So once it's up through there, you can take a flat washer, split lock washer, and a hatch nut, and we wanna get each one started hand tight. We are gonna have some more hardware we need to get going. So if you look kind of inside this tube area, we're gonna have two holes there and you're gonna take your bolts, so these bolts with the flat washer and run them through like this. And they'll come out more or less inside of our frame rail, where we can get the rest of her hardware on the back of them. So here's where bolts come through. There's a big gap here, and there's no way I'm gonna be able to get all our hardware started. So what I'm gonna do, is just take a nut, put on one of the bolts, and then just tighten it down. And hopefully that'll kind of draw everything together. Which it did. So, now that we have that extra length there, we'll take flat washer on the other bolt, split lock washer and the nut. And what I'll do is kind of snug this one down. And take this nut back off. It'll hold the hitch in place and allow us to take a flat washer, split lock washer, and put the nut back on this side. Once you have all the side bolts tight, you wanna make sure to come back and tighten up the bolts here in the bottom. Now you wanna make sure and come back with a torque wrench and tighten down all the hardware to the amount specified in the instructions. If you don't have a torque wrench, you can grab one here at each trailer, or a lot of times go to your local auto parts stores and they'll have one they're available to rent. So that electrical connector that we loosened up earlier, I just use a zip tie around the frame and just kind of secured it here to the inside of our frame. And then these bolts, I just put back in place, that way if you ever do need to use a tow hooks we just get a little bit of extra strength. So these are the factory ones that originally came out, slide through pull the neck down. Now we come back to that center piece we removed and mark it out and get it cut. There's a diagram and instructions you can reference. Now I'm just cutting the center piece out, these are all set up a little bit different and it seems like every other year or so. So I'm just using my best judgment here, but I'm gonna use a tool to cut this out. You could probably use a similar type of saw or whatever you have laying around the house as well. With that piece cut out, we're gonna have to come back and cut this part as well, that way will clear the hitch. So again, choose my better judgment I'm trying to line things up, mark this out, and we'll get a trimmed out. We had centerpiece trimmed out, we can simply re-install it the opposite way that we removed it from our front bumper here. So before we put a bumper on now, I just wanna give you kind of a tip here. Hopefully this will work. What I've done is I use some packing tape and took these nut plates and line them up in their original position and just kind of taped them up there. That way when we hold our bumper up, these will be in place and it should make it easier to get our hardware started. Now with the next set of hands we'll take our bumper, and line it back up, try to work it through, back in the original position. We'll take our factory hardware and get them started. So once you have all the hardware in place, an hung tight, do your best to center it and line everything up. That can be quite difficult to get perfect, it's just so heavy, the bumper, but, we can get it close and almost spot on. So once you're happy with it, you can tighten the bolts down with these. I like to kind of snug it and kind of do an X pattern and hit it a couple times, and that really helps draw everything in evenly. Once I've laid snug, don't forget to come back with your torque wrench and tighten the bolts down to the amount specified in the instructions. Once you have all your bumper bolts torque down, take this plastic trim piece that we removed and pop this back in. It's seated for the most part all the way around. And once you have it where it needs to be, we'll come back and we install our fast pin fasteners. I'm not sure what's hanging in this corner up here, we'll pull it out and trying to give it another go. So the holes right here below and above the hedge, the bottom one we'll be able to get that one back in, but the top one I tried for a while, and it's just too tight. There's really no room at all to get this thing back in there. So that's fine, nothing is gonna be hurt from it. If you can get it in that's awesome, if not you owe nothing in the world. Now we can take our license plate holder that comes with it and set up her plate. So I did all, or did three out of the four screws. But what you're gonna do is take these hex wood screws, flat washer, in that through, backside another flat washer and nylon lock nut, I can get it started, keep it going. I'm just gonna hold the nut by hand with an 11 millimeter socket, come back with our Allen key. We'll tighten it down. And now it's ready to be placed inside of the hitch. Get that in there. It does come with a pin and clip too, so you can line that up and then finish it off here. And that'll finish up our look at and our installation of the EcoHitch front trailer hitch receiver on our 2021 Ford F-250..

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