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Trailer Hitch Installation - 2013 Subaru Outback Wagon - Draw-Tite

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2013 Subaru Outback Wagon


Today on our 2013 Subaru Outback Wagon we'll be installing the Draw-Tite Hitch part number 75673. Here's what our hitch looks like once it's installed. Next I'll go ahead and give you a couple of measurements that will assist you with selecting accessories such as a ball mount, bike rack, or cargo carrier. From the center of the hitch pin hole to the outer most edge of the bumper is 5 1/2 inches. From the top of the receiver tube opening to the ground is 14 1/4 inches. We'll now go ahead with the installation. Now to begin our install we need to lower the exhaust so we can gain access to the frame on both sides. For this application you'll notice it's only got a single exhaust.

If it had dual exhaust we would lower the exhaust on the passenger's side also. Now before we remove the rubber isolators from the metal hangers to lower the exhaust, we're going to put a safety strap underneath to help control the weight and make it easier to lower the exhaust. Now with the safety strap in place we're going to remove a total of three hangers. One here in front of the rear axle. One behind the wheel well and then another one at the back of the muffler. To remove the rubber isolator from the from the metal hanger, we'll spray each one with a spray lubricant and then use a pry bar or pliers to slide the rubber isolator off of the metal hanger.

The rubber isolator here at the back of the muffler we're going to remove completely but we'll just set it aside to be reinstalled later. Now with the three rubber isolators removed we'll go ahead and safely remove the exhaust with our safety strap. As you can see we've got plenty of access here to the heat shield and the frame. Next we're going to remove the heat shields here on the driver's side and again if we had a dual exhaust system we'd remove it on the passenger's side also. To remove the heat shield we'll remove the four fasteners that secure it. The heat shield well take out and set aside as it'll need to be trimmed and reinstalled.

Now that we have access to the frame around both sides, we're going to remove the rubber plugs that are in the bottom of the frame for our forward and rear attachment points. To remove the rubber plug we'll simply get underneath of it with a flat blade screw driver and just pop the plug out. We can go ahead and get rid of the plugs as they will not be reinstalled. These holes in the frame will now be the attachment points for the new hitch. Well need to create an access hole so that we can get our hardware into the frame. Measuring from the forward heat shield attachment point on the frame back towards the bumper, approximately 2 inches, will be our mark for drilling out the hole.

To drill out the hole I'll first use a 1/4 inch pilot bit, then we'll bring in our whole saw bit to enlarge it to the 1 1/8 inch size. Since we've cut out the hole we've exposed the metal which can rust over time. So just using some black spray paint, and even better would be a little underbody spray coating around the exposed metal will help prevent it from rusting. Each process we do here on one side, we got to repeat exactly on the opposite side. Before you go and put your hardware in the frame, pay special attention that we do have two different size blocks. The carriage bolts are the same length, but we have the longer block for the forward attachment point and the shorter block for the rear attachment point. Now let's go ahead and get our hardware put into the frame. We'll start with our rear attachment point first by taking the bolt leader, feeding it through the attachment point and out the access hole. The carriage bolt block will go into the frame and then down to the attachment hole. Once we get it into the frame we'll pull it into position. We'll leave our bolt leader attached as it will assist with getting our hitch up into position without pushing our hardware back into the frame. Now I'll go ahead and do the forward attachment point feeding through the attachment point and out the access hole. Slide on the block, thread on the carriage bolt, feed the block and bolt into the frame separately and pull them into place. Again we'll leave our bolt leader attached as it will assist with getting our hitch up into position. Now with our passenger's side done we'll move over to the driver's side and repeat the same process. We're going to go ahead and prepare to install the hitch. Before we put the hitch in place we'll need to install a flat washer that will sit between the hitch and the frame, getting sandwiched once it's tightened down. To make it easier to get our hitch in place without having to juggle the flat washer, we're going to go ahead and set it here on the hitch, just use some clear packing tape to secure it into place. Then once we've got it taped into position I'll go ahead and take a screw driver and poke out the hole so that our carriage bolt can come down through it. There we have the passenger's side. I'll do the same process on the driver's side. Now with our washer taped in place we're ready to install the hitch. It's a good idea to get an extra set of hands to help you hold the hitch while you install the fasteners. We'll bring the hitch up underneath the vehicle and over the exhaust as we put our pull wires through the attachment points. Then we bring the hitch up to the frame using the pull wires to prevent the hardware from getting pushed back up into the frame. Once we get the hitch up into place we can then remove the pull wire, we'll install a confident 00:06:47 washer. The teeth of the washer are facing the hitch and a nut to secure it. Keep in mind as we tighten down the hitch we'll make sure that the pre-drilled holes in the hitch line up with the weld nuts in the frame for our heat shield. Now that we have all of our fasteners installed we'll go ahead and tighten them down. Now we've got all our fasteners tightened down we'll go ahead and torque to specification as indicated in the instructions. All right now with our hitch secured we're ready to reinstall the heat shield, however, we'll need to trim out a section to go around the forward attachment point on each side for dual exhaust, or just the one side for single exhaust. First I'm going to go ahead and mark, and then to cut it out you can use a pair of tin snips, or a rotary cut off tool, or a cutting wheel. Once we have that section removed we can go . Now that we've got our fasteners installed and our heat shield back in place we're ready to reinstall the exhaust. Now with the exhaust re-secured we'll go ahead and remove our safety strap and we're ready to hit the road. That will do it for the install of our Draw-Tite Hitch part number 75673 on our 2013 Subaru Outback Wagon. .


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