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Trailer Hitch Installation - 2014 Nissan Maxima - Draw-Tite

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2014 Nissan Maxima

Today on our 2014 Nissan Maxima, we'll be installing the Draw-Tite sport frame class 1 trailer hitch receiver with an inch and a quarter opening, part number 24796. All right. Here's what our hitch looks like once it's been installed. As you can see, a very minimal amount hangs down below our vehicle here. We just have the rectangular construction of the frame and the inch and a quarter class 1 receiver here. Additionally, we have these really easy to use safe chain loops on the side of the receiver. They're really thin in diameter, so you can even fit the smallest of safety chains on here. This hitch has a max trailer weight rating of 2,000 pounds and a max tongue weight rating of 200 pounds.

You'll want to consult with the owner's manual of your Nissan Maxima. We have a standard 1/2 inch diameter hitch pin hole for using your hitch pin, or your locking device. As you can see from the side here, it actually sticks in from our bumper so we don't have to worry about walking by and running your knee, or your shin into it when you're putting stuff in the trunk of your car. It tucks up and out of the way. For a few measurements here, to better assist you in choosing any hitch mounted accessories such as a bike rack, or a cargo carrier, you're looking at about 5 inches from the center of the half inch diameter hitch pin hole to the rear most point of our bumper here and about 10 1/2 inches from the ground to the top of the inch and a quarter class 1 opening on our receiver. Now that we've gone over some of the features, we'll show you how to install it. All right. First thing we need to do to begin our installation is open our trunk.

With that open, we can now remove the carpet, set it aside. Carpet we can probably just fold up here, because it's attached to the front. Take this board out of the way here. Now in order to install this hitch, we need to temporarily remove the rear mufflers of the vehicle on both sides. It's always a good idea to use some penetrating oil on the exhaust hardware because it's prone to rusting and difficult to remove sometimes. We'll let this penetrate in there for a few minutes on the 4 bolts, 2 on each side and then we'll go back and try to remove them. At this point, we also want to spray the exhaust hangers for the muffler a little bit.

Spray these, too, just so the rubber hanger will slide off a little bit easier. Do the same on both sides. Using a 16 mm socket, remove the bolts for the exhaust, doing the same for all 4. All right. Now we use a pry bar and pry against the back of the muffler to get it off the hangers of the exhaust system. Then we'll just pull straight off.

Then we'll set them aside so we can reinstall them later. Now on both sides of the spare tire well here, we need to grab the heat shield for the muffler and bend it away from it towards the frame rail just like so. We'll have access to where we're going to be drilling our holes in this general area up here now. Do the same on both sides. Now when we raise our hitch up here, we're going to want it to press against this bulkhead here, on either side of the frame rail next to the spare tire well. If you don't have a polejacks 00:03:22, or a jack stand to do this, you can just have somebody hold it up with you. We'll push it back against that bulkhead, press it against our frame like so, mark our holes. With them marked, we can lower it on down. Then we'll take a punch here, center it in the mark that we made. We'll mark our locations with this just so our drill bit won't slip. Do the same for all 4 locations. Now we'll drill our holes where we center punched, making sure we're wearing safety goggles, since we are drilling in to metal. If you don't have a drill that can easily get in this area, since we have a tight fit for the drill, I'd probably get a way up here using a rotary tool with the drill bit installed. We'll give that a shot here too. We'll drill the other 3 using the same method. All right. I went ahead and circled with our paint marker here, so you can better see where our holes ended up inside our trunk. Now we have our pilot holes drilled. We'll just enlarge them to the final size of 7/16, slowly working our way there. We'll do the same for all 4. Now we're going to use our final size bit, the 7/16. Before we get started any further, we're going to take the time to clean up all the metal shavings with a vacuum. All right. Now we'll take the plates that are provided here. We'll set them over our holes. Get everything nice and centered. We're going to do a test fit and make sure everything is going to line up just right for us. Drop down the carriage bolts. This one's not lining up, so we're going to have to enlarge the hole slightly. It won't be an issue because this spacer plate has the square hole where the bolt drops down into and won't turn. We just need to enlarge this out. We can just go to a slightly larger drill bit and we'll be okay. All right. As you can see we now have our plate here for bolts dropped down through on the driver's side. We'll double check the passenger's side just the same way. If the bolts drop down through, we're going to do a test fit of our hitch underneath and see how it lines up. Everything's lining up good so we can drop it down, apply our sealant. Now we'll take out our plates and our bolts that we dropped down. I'll put a ring of black silicone sealant around it. We have it available on our web site as part number LT37467. I'll just give it a nice healthy bead around the hole and do the same for all 4. All right. With our bolt holes siliconed around them, we'll drop down our plate over it again and we'll drop our bolts through. Do the same on the other side too. Now with the help of an assistant, we'll raise our hitch into position and put our lock washers over the bolts and then install the nuts. All right, with our driver's side done, we'll do the same on the passenger side. Now we'll use an 11/16 socket and we'll start to tighten our bolts. Now we'll torque our hardware to the amount specified in the instructions. Do the same on the other side. With our hitch in place and bolted up and torqued down to specification, we'll bend our exhaust shields back here. We need to persuade them a little bit with a hammer. Do the same on the other side. We can reinstall our muffler. We'll start by getting the hanger installed. I'll center our studs on to the rest of it, push back just like that. Passenger side on. We'll do the same for the driver's side. Now we'll reinstall our nuts and we'll tighten down. All right. Now we want to hand tighten those the rest of the way to make sure they're nice and snug and we won't have an exhaust leak. Additionally, now that we have our mufflers back in place, we need to finish bending our heat shields back the rest of the way, so they won't rattle against our exhaust. Let's take a pry bar and twist it a little bit just to get us a little extra clearance. As long as we have about 1/2 around, we'll be fine. Do the same on both sides. We can reinstall our floor coverings here and drop down the spare tire cover here, pull back our carpet, and reinstall the optional accessory trunk mat. We'll close our trunk. That completes our installation of the Draw-Tite sport frame class 1 trailer hitch receiver with an inch and a quarter opening, part number 24796 on our 2014 Nissan Maxima.

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