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Trailer Hitch Installation - 2015 Subaru Forester - Draw-Tite

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Trailer Hitch Installation on a 2014 Subaru Forester

Today on our 2015 Subaru Forester we're going to take a look at and show you how to install the Draw-Tite Max-Frame trailer hitch receiver. This is a custom fit class III hitch, its part number is 75876. Here's what our hitch is going to look like once we get it installed. Nice narrow visual here on the back, you don't see a whole lot of it going off of each side. It's tucked up nicely underneath the bumper so we won't have to worry about any kind of knee hits or anything like that. We've got the round tube design, 2-inch by 2-inch opening, of course. Something that's interesting here is we do have a double pin set up or dual holes here.

We've got our standard 5/8 hole here that we use for all of our attachments or any of the class III accessories like your hitch pins, locks, things like that. The one in front here is not used for the smaller accessories, this one's for use with the J-pin stabilization system if you want to do it that way. Got a nice collar around the end of it here gives us some more rigidity. It looks like you'd be able to get the hitch immobilizer over there if you wanted to use something like that. Now, as far as towing or bike racks are concerned, we're going to have a 525 pound tongue weight rating, that's the maximum downward force we can put here on the receiver tube and then we're going to have a 3,500 pound gross trailer weight rating. That's going to be the total of our trailer and everything that we've got loaded up. If we go to a weight distribution set up the 525's going to stay the same, but we'll extend our gross trailer weight up to 4,000 pounds.

Of course we want to look in the Forester's owner's manual make sure it can handle those kind of loads, if not we'll just use whichever those numbers are the lowers. Here you can see we've got a plate style safety chain connection point, really should work out with any style safety chain you'd want to connect. A couple of measurements that you'll find helpful in selecting your ball mount, bike rack, or even hitch cargo carrier will be from the ground to the inside top edge of our receiver tub opening, we've got about 14-inches. Then from the center of our hitch pin hole to the outer most edge of our bumper it's about 5. The first thing we need to do is just get our car ready to put the hitch into place. We're going to drop the exhaust to start with.

We need to put a safety strap under it just to keep it from falling down too far. Then we'll remove the rubber isolator that's right here, the one that's catty-corner from that over here on the other side of the exhaust and also the one up here in front of our center differential. Now, a little spray lubricant can help out in getting these to slide off. Sometimes you'll be able to work these off by hand. This is a little bit confined up here, so a pry bar wouldn't be a bad idea just to get in there and just push that off, get it started.

You can see you just rotate them down out of the way there. Now as we let a little bit of slack out on our strap, you'll see the exhaust will come down, give us some room to work there. Now we'll come over here and take out the four bolts that are holding in our heat shield. These are going to require a 10 millimeter socket. Now here you can see the closed end or that corner that's on that heat shield, we want to come over to the other side and we're going to cut right up the line here and then we'll come back over just in front of that forward mounting location that'll be towards the middle of the car. Now we're going to come here on the frame rail, this is our driver's side all the way at the rear. We're going to pull out the forward plug here, this is our access hole location. Pull that out and then we'll pull out the three caps right behind them. Now, the three in the back here we can return to our customer, or if you are the customer you hang on to them. The one in the front we're going to hang on to that one because we'll be putting it back into place. We'll do the exact same thing on the passenger's side. Now we'll get our hardware put into place. We're going to use a fish wire, you see here it's called a fish wire or a bolt leader. We're going to go into each of our mounting locations here with one and then we just push it back towards our access hole, kind of guide it out here with our finger. Then we're going to put on one of our spacer blocks and also thread in one of the 7/16-inch carriage bolts, then we can feed these in. It's important to do this separately. You want to get your spacer block on up in there and then bring your bolt in and we'll just pull our wire towards the back and it'll come out right there. We'll leave the wire attached to help guide our hitch up. Now we'll do the exact same thing here on the passenger's side. Now we can raise our hitch into position. It's a good idea to get an extra set of hands. We want to put each of our fish wires right through our connection holes on our hitch and then as we raise it into position, we'll just pull down on those and those will guide our bolts right through our holes. Now, we'll take off one of our fish wires, we'll place on one of the conical tooth washers. We want the teeth of that to face up towards our hitch and then we'll also thread on one of our nuts. Now we'll come on over here to the passenger's side and do the same thing. Then we can allow those to hold our hitch into position while we get the rest of our hardware on. Now let's get them all tightened down to the specifications that we can find in our instructions. Now we'll put our heat shield back in place and we've got to keep in mind we're only using three of the fasteners this time. I just kind of moved that down out of the way so we can wiggle it without hearing it hit the hitch so we don't have any vibration noise later. Now we can get our exhaust back up. We're going to re-lubricate our hangers here. All right, with that back, we'll take down our safety strap and we're done. With everything torqued down and our exhaust back in place, that's going to complete today's installation for the Draw-Tite custom fit class III trailer hitch receiver, part number 75876 on our 2015 Subaru Forester.

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