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Curt Front Mount Trailer Hitch Installation - 1997 Ford F-150 and F-250 Light Duty

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How to Install the Curt Front Mount Trailer Hitch on a 1997 Ford F-150 and F-250 Light Duty


Hello, everybody. Clayton here at etrailer.com. Here at etrailer, we install, test, and review a ton of different products to help you as a customer make a more educated decision before your purchase. Today, we're going to be working on a 1997 Ford F-150. We're going to be taking a look at. I'll be walking through how to install the Curt Front Mount Trailer Hitch Receiver.

Adding a front hitch to your F-150 is gonna be a great upgrade. It's gonna allow you to use a winch or even a snowplow on the front of your vehicle. Now, an added benefit to this is gonna be whenever you're moving trailers, it's a lot easy to hook them up to the front versus having to back them up. And as far as our weight capacities are concerned, we're gonna be a 5,000-pound trailer weight rating. You wanna keep in mind, that's going to be the weight of the trailer and the load included that our hitch can push.

We're going to have a 500-pound tongue weight rating. So that's going to be 500 pounds pushing straight down on our receiver tube opening, and we already have a 9,000-pound straight line pull rating. That's going to be how much our hitch can actually pull backwards. So we will have to find a way to relocate our license plate. You can find one of these hitch-mounted brackets here at etrailer.

It's really easy. You just slide this into your hitch receiver and then add your pin and clip, just like any other ball-mounted accessory. Now again, you wanna keep in mind a pin and clip don't come included, but you can find them here at etrailer. And with that being said, getting this thing installed really isn't too bad at all. There's no drilling, welding, or anything like that.

You don't even have to do any trimming, so that's definitely a great upgrade. We're now going to move underneath the front of our F-150 to begin our installation. There's going to be some plastic rivets, holding on our under splash shield. We're just going to take a trim panel tool, kind of come behind those rivets, and pry them out. Now, there are gonna be a number of them around the outside of this panel. With all our push pins removed, we can slide this down and out of the way. We now need to remove our license plate frame, there's gonna be a plastic clip supporting this on the back of our bumper. I'm gonna grab a flat-bladed screwdriver, then I work behind here and pry those out. You might have to pull back on the top of the license plate frame, to help you get under there. On the bottom of our license plate frame, there's going to be two arms that come back into our bumper. We're going to have a rivet on each side, that we need to remove with our trim panel tool. Now, we need to remove our tow hooks. We're gonna be using a 15-millimeter socket to do so. I highly recommend spraying these down with penetrating oil before, since this vehicle is a little bit older these are more than likely gonna be rusted. We grab that 15, we get our two bolts off of each tow hook. With our tow hook down, we're now gonna slide out our stock nut plate. None of this hardware is gonna be reused. Now, we grab one of our fish wires, and we're gonna move to the inside of our frame rail. We're gonna be using this hole here. We wanna take the coiled end of our fish wire, and feed that out into the front end of our opening. And on that front end, we'll be adding our spacer block and our carriage bolt. Now your gonna pull the other end of our fish wire to get hardware to come through, just like so. We're not gonna be using our two bottom holes that our tow hooks are in. This time, we're gonna need our larger spacer block, and our larger carriage bolt. We're going to do the same thing. Might need to add a little bit of bend to our coil wire. Just gonna feed that through, like so. And that comes up the front. The front will be threading on our hardware the exact same way. With an extra set of hands, we now lift our hitch into position. We want to get our fish wires set into position. We'll just feed those to the according hitches, with the according holes in our hitch. Then you need to feed that receiver tube up through the opening in your bumper. We kind of have to work that under that front splash guard. We're gonna pull off our pull wires. We're gonna take our flange nuts, and just thread those onto our bolts. We just wanna get all of our hardware started for now so that the hitch can support itself. Then we'll come back and add our tow hooks, and tighten everything down. Now, we're gonna come back with a 19-millimeter socket, and tighten down our two bolts that are on the outside of our frame. Now we'll take those flange nuts back off. We're gonna grab our tow hook, pull down on our air dam, and slide that through the holes on our tow hook. We thread them back on, get them started. We can come back with a 19-millimeter socket, and tighten it down. And we're gonna be doing the same process on the driver's side. Now we're ready to come back, and torque it down to the amount specified in our instructions. Now, we're gonna re-install that under splash shield that we removed earlier. With our license plate mounted up, we're now ready to hit the road. That's gonna do it for our look at and our installation of Curt's Front Mount Trailer Hitch Receiver on our 1997 Ford F-150..


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Info for this part was:

Employee Dustin K
Video Edited:
Dustin K
Employee Chris R
Video by:
Chris R
Employee Clayton O
Test Fit:
Clayton O

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