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etrailer.com Trailer Hitch Installation - 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

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How to Install the etrailer.com Trailer Hitch on a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica


How's it going Ryan here at etrailer.com. Today on our 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, we're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install the etrailer.com Class III trailer hitch receiver. Now right away, this hitch is going to be visible, but since it does sit further back and because of its finish, it's not really going to be all that noticeable especially when the band is sitting down on the ground. And that finish is going to be one of the things that really sets us apart from some of the others. It's going to be a matte black carbide finish, so it's going to be really scratch resistant and really hold up well to elements and stay looking good for a really long time.Now this is a Class III hitch, so we're going to have that two inch by two inch receiver tube opening and a reinforced collar for extra strength. Now this is going to have these standard five, eight size pinhole.

I'll keep in mind a pin and clip does not come included, but if you need one, you can find it here at etrailer.com. Our safety chain openings are a plate style. They're not huge, but they're going to sit a little bit further back past our pin, so it should give us more than enough room to use just about any size hook that you might have.Since Chrysler Pacific cars are very versatile vans and many of their owners are very active and family oriented, they're going to use that vehicle to do a little bit of everything. Well, since our hitch has that two inch by two inch opening, it's more or less going to give us an endless supply of different types of hitch mounted accessories we can use, whether it comes to cargo carriers to haul some extra stuff on the back of our van or even some bike racks so we can hit the trails together with our family. Now, as far as the hitch's weight capacities go, we're going to have a 400 pound maximum gross tongue weight rating.

So, that's going to be the amount of weight pushing down on the hitch. So it's going to work for one to four bike racks and many heavy duty cargo carriers.As far as the hitch's maximum gross trailer weight rating goes, it's going to be 4,000 pounds. So that's going to be the amount of weight pulling on the hitch. So that's the weight of your trailer plus anything that you might have on it. Also, can be used with the weight distribution system, which is a separate component, but if you are using one of those, weight capacities do increase.

The maximum gross tongue weight rating goes up to 500 pounds and the maximum gross trailer weight rating goes up to 5,000 pounds. However, I do want to point out, it's always a good idea to double check with your owner's manual to make sure your Pacifica can pull on how much weight. So overall, really good looking versatile hitch that's going to allow us to bring your boat to the Lake or even throw some luggage on a cargo carrier when you and the family are headed on vacation.Now I'm going to give you a couple of measurements and you're going to use these to help figure out which hitch mounted accessories to get. From the ground to the top inside the edge of the receiver tube opening, it's going to be about 13 inches. So if you plan on doing some towing, chances are pretty good, you're going to need to get a ball Mount with a rise.

From the center of the hitch pin hole, to the edge of our rear bumper, it's going to be about five inches and you're going to use that measurement to help figure out if any folding accessories you might have, can be sorted in the upright position, without contacting the bumper. Now, when it comes to the installation, there is a handful of different fasteners that we're going to have to take off to make room to put our hitch into place, but nothing's really that difficult to get to, and it's relatively straight forward. Speaking of which let's go ahead and put the hitch on together now.To begin our installation, we're going to be working underneath the back of our Pacifica. We're going to need to remove this underbody panel. So to start, we're going to have a series of eight millimeter screws along this edge that we're going to need to remove. So, ones that we're going to need to take out, look like this, and if you kind of push up on the underbody panel, we're going to want to take the ones out that are connecting the plastic to our underbody body panel. If you keep following that panel to our driver's side wheel well, we're also going to have one more eight millimeter right here. We'll use our wrench and socket to take that out. It's going to be a little tricky to see, but we're going to have two more of those same fasteners along this edge here. So you're going to kind of have to go by feel, but just wanting to point that out while we're down here. And here, you can get a pretty good look actually of those two fasteners from the outside of the vehicle looking in.Here in the center, if you move closer to the front of our Pacifica, you're going to have two, 10 millimeter bolts, we'll go ahead and remove. You can kind of pull this down out of the way. We're going to have seven plastic, 10 millimeter nuts just like this throughout the bottom of our underbody panel, so we'll go ahead and take those out now. Now we're going to have two more fasteners, one here and one here. So What we're going to do is take a large screwdriver and put them inside and loose them up. Sometimes these will kind of get hung up, so you might need to grab the panel, just kind of put some downward pressure on it while you're turning it, that'll help free them up. No, these aren't going to come off the panel, you'll kind of just be able to feel whatever becomes disconnected.Now, these are the last two things holding the panel up. So whenever we get this off, panel's going to come down, so just be conscious of that. It's not very heavy, or I don't think it would really hurt you, but rather not it falls. Kind of just work it out and set it to the side. Now we're going to need to lower our exhaust to give us some more room to work, but before we do that, I like to take a strap and just run it from side to side, that way exhaust will have a little bit of support while it's hanging down. Now here by our tailpipe we're going to have a rubber isolator hanger, and that's what we're going to need to remove to lower our exhaust.So what you want to do is spray Alison penetrating oil or use some soapy water, and we're just going to grab a pry bar and pry that rubber hanger off of our metal stud. Then if we follow the exhaust back towards the front of vehicle, we're also going to have one more right here, so I'll just repeat that same process to get that over here. Now we can kind of lower our strap a little bit, pull our exhaust down to give us that extra room. Now we're able to remove our heat shield here, this could be held in place by two plastic, 10 millimeter fasteners. We're going to have one up here, and one right here. Just going to get those off. We can grab our heat shield and work it down underneath the vehicle.Now we need to trim up our heat shield. So I went ahead and used the diagram in the instructions, and a marker to mark out where we need to trim. So it'll be this whole section here and its relatively thin metal, so I'm just going to use a pair of tin snips to get this cut out, however, you could always use a Dremel tool or something like that to get the job done as well. And that's what it'll look like once we have it all trimmed out. Now we can reinstall our heat shield and put it back into place, but for now I'm just going to secure it using this one fastener back here. Over here on the driver's side, we're going to have the stud that's holding on a ground wire. So what we're going to need to do is remove that bolt that's not round and pull that ground wire out of the way. Now, if yours doesn't have that ground wire attached chair, and it's just an empty studed nut, you do the same thing, just take that nut off and set it to the side.Now I'd like to point out our attachment points, that's going to secure our hitch in place. Over on the passenger side, we're going to have a total of three. We're going to be using this hole, this one and this one. And on the driver's side, we're going to have two attachment points. We're going to be using this hole and this one right here. Now, as far as the hardware combination that we're going to use, that's going to be the same for all the attachment points. We'll have a carriage bolt and a spacer block. Now, the way we're going to get our hardware into the frame rail is called the fish wire method. So what we're going to do is grab the fish wire, we'll take the coiled end and feed it through the smaller opening here towards the front of our van and what we're trying to accomplish is to get that coiled end to drop down through our attachment point here.Once we have it here, we'll put on a spacer block and thread on one of our carriage bolts. I'm going to grab the other end of our fish wire, hold it steady. We're able to feed that hardware up into the frame rail then pull it down until we get it to drop through like that. Now for this opening here, since it is larger, we are going to use the reverse fish wire method. So we'll take our carriage bolt, spacer block and thread on to the coiled end of our fish wire. We can feed that bolt up through there as well as the spacer block and simply just pull it right back down through. Now I'm going to use that same technique to get all of our hardware installed over on the other side.Now with an extra set of hands, we can raise our hitch in place. We're going to take our fish wires and put them through the corresponding holes in our hitch and we put it up and over the exhaust and push it up against our frame rail. We're able to remove one of the fish wires. Then on all the bolts, we're going to use a flange nut. We're going to want to get one started on each side, hand tight, that way the hitch will support itself while you work on the rest of the hardware. Now, if you're having a hard time getting that nut started because the bolt just wants to push back up into the frame, one thing you can do is just take a flat head screwdriver and just put some side pressure on that bolt to hold it steady, will make it a lot easier to get that nut started.With all of our hardware in place and hand tight, now we can go ahead and snug them all down. Now we can use a torque wrench to tighten all of our hardware down to the amount specified in the instructions. Now, since our Pacifica had that ground wire on that small post that we took off earlier, we're going to have to re-secure it. Now, so what I'm going to do is, this piece of metal right here on the body of our vehicle already has a hole that's drilled out large enough to put some hardware through to secure this, but it is going to have some paint on it, and wherever we decide to ground this, we need to make sure it's free from paint and debris and nice and clean. So all I'm going to do is just take a little piece of sandpaper, you can even use a file, and just kind of sand that down until we got fair, clean metal, that way we know we have a good ground connection.So now that we have that nice and clean down to the bare metal, we can take the included bolt, run that through. If you're there, we'll take the included nut, hand that down, then we can go ahead and tighten it up. As far as the original ground stuff that we used, you don't have to. But what I like to do is just take the nut and put that back on, that way at least we can keep all of our hardware together. At this point, we can rehang our exhaust, so we'll lift it up and line up our metal hangers with our rubber isolators. Well, once the exhaust is supporting itself, we can remove our strap.Now we can take our underbody panel and get it trimmed out according to the diagram in our instructions. So what I went ahead and did, was draw that out right there, now I'm going to cut it using a pair of tin snips. This is relatively thin, almost like a cardboard material, so you could probably use another set of sheers or even a utility knife. And that's what it will look like, once we have that material trimmed out. Now we can raise our trimmed underbody panel back into position and install it, in the opposite order that we removed it. And that'll finish up our look at and our installation of the etrailer.com trailer hitch receiver on our 2017 Chrysler Pacifica.


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