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Trailer Hitch Installation - 2003 Toyota Tacoma - Curt

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2003 Toyota Tacoma

Today on our 2003 Toyota Tacoma we're going to be installing the CURT trailer hitch receiver, part number 13013. Now here's what our hitch looks like installed on our vehicle. Now we'll go ahead and give you a couple measurements in helping you choose some accessories for your hitch, such as a ball mount, a bicycle rack, or a cargo carrier. From the center of the hitch pinhole to the outermost edge of the bumper is approximately 3-1/2". From the top of the opening in the receiver to the ground is approximately 15-1/4". Now let's go ahead and install our hitch. We're going to begin here underneath the vehicle on the driver side.

We're going to go ahead and point out our mounting locations. We'll be using right here and right here, as well as this hole right here. Now, these top two locations we will be reusing the factory hardware to install our hitch. For this location right here we'll be using our 1/2" carriage bolt, a square hole spacer block, and a 1/2" flange nut. This will be the exact same mounting location and hardware will be used over on the passenger side. Next we're going to need to undo the license plates light from the bumper; there's one on each side.

To do that you simply just twist and gently pull outward like that. Do that for the other side as well. Now on this particular vehicle they already have a 4-flat wiring installed. We're going to need to remove the wiring temporarily, as this rear bumper needs to come off to install the hitch. With our wiring loose we can just put it up and out of the way. Now we're ready to undo the bolts that secure the bumper to the bumper brackets.

Now there's two on each side that we'll need to remove. The two bolts here on the driver side are right here and right here. We're going to go ahead and use a little bit of spray lubricant to help them come out a little bit easier. Now it will be the same process and same location over on the passenger side. It's a good idea to get an extra set of hands to help you hold the bumper in position as you remove the bolts so you don't scratch the paint on the body. Now that our bumper's been removed we're going to need to remove the bumper brackets from the frame.

To do this we'll need to remove the nut and the bolt here at the rear mounting location, and the forward mounting location on the bracket is just a bolt. With the hardware removed we can go ahead and slide the bumper bracket off and set it aside for now. It will be the same procedure for the passenger side. Next we're going to install the carriage bolt and the spacer block in this bottom mounting location on each side. Now it's a good idea to get an extra set of hands to help you raise the hitch up into position. With the hitch raised up into position we'll go ahead and install the flange nut on each of the two carriage bolts we just installed. Next we're ready to reinstall our bumper brackets. Now this little tab here, we need to make sure that it comes through the hitch. It will go up in there like this. We'll then line up the holes and reinstall the hardware, attaching the bumper bracket to the vehicle's frame. We'll then repeat the same process over on the other side. Next we'll go ahead and tighten down all the hardware and torque it to the manufacturer's specification. Now that we have the hitch torqued down to the vehicle's frame, now we're ready to reinstall our bumper. It's a good idea again to get an extra set of hands to help hold the bumper up into place as you reinstall the hardware. Now with our bumper back in place and the four bolts loosely installed, we can go ahead and tighten down the hardware and then torque it to the manufacturer's specification. Next we can go ahead and reinstall both of the lights that go in the bumper. We can also go ahead and reinstall our 4-flat wiring that we removed earlier. That will do it for the installation of the CURT trailer hitch receiver, part number 13013, on our 2003 Toyota Tacoma. .

Mike A.


The description is good but I’m having a problem. Placing the bumper brackets over the Hitch brackets means at the bumper bracket needs to be further away from the frame. It seems like I need a spacer the thickness of the hitch bracket.

David B.


I'm not certain I'm smelling what your cooking Mike. Everything needed for the install was used in the video. Have you completed the install and it isn't fitting?

Info for this part was:

Employee Zack K
Video Edited:
Zack K
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R
Employee Zach D
Video Edited:
Zach D
Employee Andrew L
Video by:
Andrew L
Employee Shane T
Test Fit:
Shane T

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