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Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch Installation - 2016 Subaru Outback Wagon

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How to Install the Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch on a 2016 Subaru Outback Wagon

Speaker 1: Today on our 2016 Subaru Outback Wagon, we're going to be taking a look and showing you how to install the Draw-Tite Class III Custom Fit Trailer Hitch Receiver, part number 76227. Here's what our hitch looks like without the fascia in place, that way we can see how it's going to mount up. We're just going to have four bolts that are holding the bumper beam in place. We'll remove those, put our hitch up, and then sandwich it all between the body. Here's what our hitch is going to look like once we have fully installed on our Outback. The cross tube is going to be completely hidden behind the bumper, and all we're going to see it that receiver tube sticking out.

One of the things that's going to set this hitch apart from the others is that it is going to be hidden. A lot of the other ones are going to have a cross tube that's going to sit below the bumper here, and it's going to span all the way across the bottom.It's going to be a Class III hitch, which means it's going to give us a 2" by 2" receiver tube opening, which means it's going to have a lot of different options for accessories that are going to be available. Now the way we're going to mount all of our accessories is a hitch pin hole here on the side. And it is going to accept a standard 5/8ths pin and clip. And while these aren't included in our kit, you can pick them up here at

Now the secondary hole towards the opening in our receiver tube, it's going to be used exclusively the J-pin stabilization device, which is going to be nice if any of your accessories don't have a built-in anti-rattle. As far as the safety chain connections go, it's going to be a loop style low to the bottom of the receiver tube. And as you can see, we're not going to have too much trouble getting most sized hooks on or off.Our hitch is going to have a 600 pound tongue weight, which is going to be the maximum downward force at the receiver tube, along with a 4,000 pound gross trailer weight rating, which is the amount it can pull, including the trailer and everything we have loaded on it. With those numbers in mind, I always recommend that you double check your Subaru's owner's manual and never exceed the manufacturer's recommended towing weight. I'd like to give you a few measurements that's going to help you in deciding for accessories for your hitch, such as a ball mount, bike rack, or even a cargo carrier.

From the center of the hitch pin hole to outer most edge of the bumper is going to be right about 2-1/2". That measurement's going to come in handy when you're looking at folding accessories to make sure you have enough clearance between it and the bumper.From the ground to the inside top edge of the receiver tuber opening, it's going to be right around 16". That's measurement's going to come in handy when you're looking at ball mounts to find the appropriate rise or drop to match up to your trailer. Now that we've seen what our hitch looks like and gone over some of the features, let's show you how to get it installed. To begin your installation we're going to open up the rear hatch.

That way we can get access to our tail lights, so we can pull them out. And on the inside edge here we're going to have two fasteners that are holding this plastic cover in place. We're going to want to grab a Phillips screwdriver. We just want to loosen it up a little bit. You can see that center section will pop out. Then we can grab it and pull the rest of pushpin out.With those two screws removed, we're going to want to pull this cover out. And if you can kind of get behind it with your finger and come to the edge here, you should be able to pop it out. You're going to want to get the edge here pulled away from the tail light so you can get ahold of it and start our way down, releasing the clips, then the panel will come out. Behind that cover, we're going to have two bolts holding the tail light assembly in place. We'll grab a 10mm socket and pull those out. With those removed, we're going to grab our tail light and we're going to pull straight back without going too far side to side, because there are going to be these alignment tabs that are behind the tail light and we don't want to damage those.We'll go ahead and unhook our bulbs out of the tail light assembly. We're just going to twist them counterclockwise. And then this connector here, we're going to push in on that tab, and we'll pull away from our tail light, and pull the wiring out of the little clip, and we'll set the tail light aside. We're going to repeat that same process over on the other side of our Subaru. Now right below the tail light opening, we're going to have this little plastic cover. We're going to grab a flathead screwdriver and right at the top there's going to be a small notch, we're going to want to pry that cover open to expose a bolt in there. Again, we'll grab a 10mm socket and pull it out. We'll do that on the other side as well.To remove the wheel well right where our rear fender is going to meet the fascia, we're going to have a pushpin that's holding it in place. We're going to want to take a really small screwdriver, we're going to push the center section of that pushpin in. And then we'll come underneath the outer section, we'll pull the pushpin out. We're going to pull the other one out of the other side as well. Now since we have this mudflap that's attached to the bottom of the fascia here, we're going to have to remove that as well. We're going to have three screws that are going right into the back. We'll grab a Phillips screwdriver and we'll remove those. This one on the bottom since it is so close, you may want to use a stubby screwdriver or a smaller bit to take it out.There's also going to be two pushpins that are holding out mudflap in place. There's one on the outer bottom edge and then one that's going to be right behind the tire, kind of in the center area. We'll take a flathead screwdriver, we'll come to the notch, we're going to pop the center section out of the pushpin first. That'll take the tension off, and then we can come to the outer section and pull the rest of it out. We're going to pull the mudflap down and repeat the same thing on the other side. Now on the underside of our fascia here we're going to have a total seven pushpins holding it in place. We're going to have three along the very back center edge here, and then two on each side. One at the corner, right behind the tire and then one just a little bit further back. We're going to take those out, just like we did with all the other ones. Popping the center section out, and then pulling the rest of the pushpin out.Now with an extra set of hands, we're going to start by pulling our fascia off. We'll start right where our fascia meets our fender and we're going to start pulling away, releasing the clips, working our way towards the center. And once you get to the tail light area, you kind of want to lift up a little bit because it does have these tabs that hook in place. And we'll just keep working our way towards the center releasing all those clips. Now before you pull it too far away, you always want to double check for any electrical connectors that may be on the back. On ours we don't have any, but it's always a good idea to check before you pull it away too far. But we'll set it aside where it won't get damaged.Now we're going to go ahead and pull this foam off. We'll just lift up slightly and pull it away. And we'll set it aside. Then we're going to have a total of four bolts on each side of our bumper beam. We're going to need to pull those out. We're going to grab a 14mm socket, then we can pull all the four nuts off. With all the nuts removed, we're going to gently lift up a little bit and pull the bumper beam off. To make room for our hitch to go into place, we're going to have to bend this center support tab up towards the body. Just grab a pair of pliers and bend it up. And get it as close to flush as we can. Then we'll grab our hitch and we're going to line up the four holes on each side with the studs for our bumper beam. And then we're going to sandwich it with our bumper beam putting that back in place.We'll put the bumper beam back on there sandwiching it, and you want to get at least one nut holding everything in place so we don't have to worry about it falling down. We're going to get the rest of our hardware at least loosely put in place and then we'll come back and tighten it up. We'll come back with that same 14mm socket and snug up all the hardware. See, now I'm going to come back, I'm going to torque all my hardware to the specified amount in the instructions. With everything torqued down, we're going to go ahead and put our foam back into place. Just lift it up, set it back down, make sure it locks in. I went ahead and marked out the area that needs to be trimmed, because our receiver tube is going to have to take up this space on the bottom of our fascia.We're going to want to find the center point of the fascia and we're going to make a 4" wide cut, that's going to be 4-1/2" tall. Now a good rule of thumb is you can always cut a little more after the fact, so if you want to make your measurements and then cut just on the inside of the line, test fit it, come back and trim as needed, that's probably a good idea. Just want to take your time. We're going to be using a rotary tool to cut it out. Now we can come back and clean up any of the edges of all that excess plastic. Now we're going to lift up our fascia. We're going to make sure that our hitch fits through the opening we cut. We're going to make sure that center section will go back and at least get that locked back into place and we can start working on the sides.You want to make sure your tail light bulbs are out of the way. You can start pushing our fascia back into place. Just make sure everything lines back up. We're going to reinstall all the hardware that we took out to get the fascia off. That'll finish up your look at the Draw-Tite Class III Custom Fit Trailer Hitch Receiver, part number 76227 on our 2016 Subaru Outback Wagon.

Questions and Comments about this Video


Over many years, I have watched numerous videos of DIY projects. Without wasting a word or an image, this is the single best demonstration and narrative I have ever seen. Thanks.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Thank you so much for the kind words!

Ken G.

I have a 2015 Outback and I thought I saw a video a couple of years ago you had where you have to trim the foam pad that was on the bumper because when bolting the hitch to the frame, that plate thickness pushes that pad back a bit. In a 2019 Outback video you left the foam out completely. Which method do we use? Im concerned that if I dont trim the pad I may be forcing the cover and possibly wrinkling it, or that I THINK the cover clicked back, but then find out it pops out later. Perhaps the hitch I am referring to was for the Curt C13410 hitch, but I dont see a link for the associated video. Im also curious as to how delicate the cover is. It looks expensive and Id hate to ruin it. Thanks!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Rachael H.

Our installers followed the installation instructions for the hitch that was installed and the only trimming that was needed was for the underbody fascia. The foam pad was successfully re-installed and did not require trimming. I have checked our video archives and we do not have a video that has been shot on a 2015 Subaru Outback for part # C13410. My advice would be to not trip down the foam bumper pad.

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