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Trailer Hitch Installation - 2004 Acura TL - Draw-Tite

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2004 Acura TL


Today on our 2004 Acura TL, we're going to be installing the Draw-Tite Class 1 Sportframe trailer hitch receiver, part number 24755. Here's what our hitch looks like installed. As you can see, it's nice and tucked up underneath our back of our vehicle. The only part that you really see hanging down is our class 1 receiver itself, with the 1-1/4" opening, and then our safety chain loops here. These safety chain loops are nice because they are plenty big to give us enough opening for wide safety chains, if we have some. Right here we have our 1/2" diameter hitch pin hole. This hitch has a 200 pound max tongue weight rating and a 2,000 pound max gross trailer weight rating.

Obviously you want to consult with the owner's manual of your Acura TL and find out what the vehicle is actually capable of towing, and not exceeding the limits of the vehicle or the limits of the hitch. This hitch features a nice gloss black powder coat finish that blends in nicely with the underside of our vehicle. As you can see here, the back part of our receiver is tucked up nicely behind our bumper cover. I like that because when you're walking behind you vehicle to put something in the trunk, you don't have to worry about knocking your shin into the receiver and causing injury to yourself. Now for a couple of measurements to better assist you in choosing any hitch-mounted accessory you may need, such as a bike rack or a cargo carrier. You're looking at about 8" from the center of the 1/2" diameter hitch pin hole to the rearmost point on the back bumper, and about 9-3/4" from the ground to the top of the class 1 1-1/4" receiver opening. Here's what out hitch comes with.

We have the hitch itself, pretty small and lightweight. Easy to handle. Won't be difficult for one person to raise it into position to install it. It attaches using three point of contact with the vehicle. We have two here that go through the spare tire well, and then one here that goes to the factory tow recovery hook underneath the vehicle.

The hitch will attach using the three bolts in the locations I've previously mentioned. We have these three spacers here, which will be used to secure the hitch to the factory tow hook using: our long bolt, one of the nuts, and one of the split lock washers. These two spacer plates will have this carriage bolt dropped on down through the holes that we'll drill in the trunk floor, and they'll be secured with two more of those lock washers and two nuts. Now that we've gone over what's included, we'll show you how to install it. We'll start by removing our spare tire cover here and set that out of the way. Remove our spare tire tools, followed by the spare tire itself.

Now we need to remove this plastic shield underneath our spare tire well. It's held in place with four plastic clips, and then two 10mm nuts. We use a trim panel tool to pop out the plastic clips. If you don't have a trim panel tool, you can use a flat-head screwdriver. You get it started with a screw driver and then come in behind with the trim panel tool if you have one. It pops right out. With those removed, you can just pull this on down and set it aside. Now we can reinstall our nuts and our plastic clips. That way you have them in case you ever decide to take your hitch off and want to reinstall that trim panel. With our hitch in place, we will not be able to reinstall that panel. Now we'll take our long bolt, slide it into our hitch. Take two of our spacers, install them on there. Now we'll slide our hitch into position over the hook. Put another spacer on, lack washer, and a nut. We'll snug that down a little bit. We're going to use our hitch as a template to drill our holes. We'll set our hitch up as best as possible and drill a pilot hole. Repeat the same process on the driver's side. we're going to work from inside the trunk now, just because it's easier to press down on a drill that up. We'll enlarge our holes to 1/2" in diameter and for that I'm going to be using a step bit. Now we use some black silicone sealant to go around the holes that we drilled, just to help keep any moisture, dirt, debris, or exhaust fumes from entering our vehicle. Now we'll take our carriage bolt and our spacer plate; place it on and we'll drop it down through the hole. Do this the same for both holes. We'll push our hitch up onto our bolts and install a lock washer and a nut. Make sure we get them both installed. Now we'll tighten down our bolts. Now we'll torque our hardware to the amount specified in the instructions. Now that we've reinstalled our spare tire, we're ready to hit the road. That completes our installation of the Draw-Tite Class 1 Sportframe trailer hitch receiver, part number 24755, on our 2004 Acura TL.


Jim R.

8/17/2021

Great video. Very helpful. But why can't you leave the plastic cover in place and install hitch fasteners through the plastic? Would mess up torque because of plastic?

Victoria B.

8/24/2021

You would not want to leave any trim in place before installing the hitch. It can mess up torqueing the hardware, but would also introduce a gap if/when the plastic breaks down or cracks and fall away.

Jim R.

8/24/2021

@VictoriaB That makes sense, that's what I was thinking. Appreciate confirmation. If the entire plastic contact surface with the hitch was removed, could avoid that problem. Too hard to do. Thanks much

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Employee Joshua S
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Employee Zach D
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Employee Nicholas E
Test Fit:
Nicholas E
Employee Brent H
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Employee Mike H
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Employee Chris R
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