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Trailer Hitch Installation - 2017 Ford Explorer - Draw-Tite

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2017 Ford Explorer

Today on this 2017 Ford Explorer, we're going to review and install the Draw Tite Max Frame Trailer Hitch Receiver, part number 76034. Now our Draw Tite hitch is going to be a great addition to your Ford Explorer, whether for towing or non-towing needs. It does tuck up as close as we can to the bumper here and yes, you can see the cross tube, but it does go up behind the bumper as soon as possible. This does look like a part of the vehicle from the factory. This is our 2 inch opening right here, which allows for a wide variety of accessories for your towing or non-towing needs. It also has a nice rounded finish on this collar here to compliment the look. All right, now one thing unique to our Draw Tite here is that you'll see 2 holes in the side of the hitch.

The big hole here is actually used for all your accessories that use a 5/8 diameter hitch pin or your favorite locking hitch pin. Now this smaller hole here is designed for use with a J pin stabilization pin. That's great for accessories that do not have their own anti-rattle device. On the bottom of our hitch and each side we have a plate for safety chain loops, very generous so you can put about any hook that you want on there. The hitch itself is going to be rated for 4,500 pounds of pull weight and 675 pounds of tongue weight. The highest capacity of the tongue weight is going to be great for non-trailer loads like a cargo carrier if you're going to max it out, or maybe like a 5 bike carrier as well.

Now when you tow a trailer, using the weight distribution assembly, the weight values are going to change a little bit. You're going to have 500 pounds of tongue weight on the ball and then you're limited to 5,000 pounds of pull weight for your trailer. Also, you want to double check with your owner's manual or your dealer to make sure your Explorer can handle these kinds of weights. Next, we'll go ahead and give you some measurements to help you out in selecting some accessories such as a ball mount, a bicycle rack or a cargo carrier. From the center of the hitch pin hole to the outside edge of bumper is going to be about 4 3/4 inches. The top of the receiver opening down to the ground will be about 16 inches.

Now we'll go ahead and show you how we install the hitch. The first part of our install is to go ahead and get the vehicle ready to install the hitch. Let's take a look. First off, we're going to need to lower the exhaust to give us some working room. Also the exhaust brackets that go up to the frame, this bracket gets removed. This is on the passenger side.

Now we'll go ahead and take a look at the driver's side. The exhaust hanger bracket is part of this tie down bracket as well, so this whole assembly need to be removed. To lower our exhaust without damaging it, I'm going to actually use a strap, in this case a cam buckle strap, to go between the suspension springs, around the exhaust to hold it while we're working on it. We could also use this to help lower the exhaust once it's loose. Since we're by the back axle here, let's go ahead and remove this from our hanger. We'll apply some spray lubricant to it to help make it a little bit easier to remove. Then, we can use a pry bar to help push it off. We'll move on to the hangers at the end of the mufflers. This is our driver's side. Go ahead and spray it down and then the pry bar, help pull it off. Repeat same thing over on our passenger side. Now, we'll go ahead and lower the exhaust using my strap. That will give us more working room now. Now we'll go ahead and remove this hanger using an 18 millimeter socket. Now the rubber hanger here, we have to reuse this where it gets reinstalled on the hitch, so we'll go ahead and just pull this off and separate it. Now on my driver's side bracket here, there's a bolt on the side that we have to remove as well. Again, it uses the same 18 millimeter socket, and the 2 on the bottom. All right, now we can go ahead and install hardware and our hitch. We need this bolt here, this block and the provided bolt leader. Now for this installation we're actually going to put everything together on the outside. We'll run our bolt leader through the block, thread this onto our carriage bolt and we'll go up to the passenger side of the frame. At the very end of the frame, by the bumper, we'll go ahead and take this bolt, push it up into the frame, then our block and we'll pull it back through. We'll leave it just like that for now. The rubber hangers need to be installed on this part of the hitch. We'll take the provided carriage bolt here, which is the long one with the really long shoulder, we'll put that through just like that, rubber hanger goes on, flat washer and a lock nut. This is a lock nut so it will only go on a few threads until it stops. Then you'll need a tool to run it in the rest of the way. You hold the carriage bolt in place and then we'll use an 11/16 socket to tighten it down. Now when you tighten it applies friction to it but we can still move it around. Almost ready to put the hitch into place. We'll go ahead and install new hardware for that. We've got the metric bold here and with the conical tooth washer. Notice there's like little teeth in the washer, that always faces towards the hitch. Now we've got 4 of these to install, 2 in each side, so let's get an extra set of hands and put it up into place. Now, as we put it into place, you'll have to maneuver the exhaust, pull it down a little bit to get it up in there. We'll take our bolt leader, put it through the hole in the hitch that matches up and push the hitch up into place. It doesn't matter if you really push the bolt up into the frame because we can always pull it out later. Once we have one in each side holding it up, we'll go ahead and continue with the rest of them. Okay, we'll make sure this bolt here, with the bolt leader, is pulled through as much as we can. We'll go ahead and unthread this and that will get it's own nut and conical tooth washer. Now it may help to actually snug these bolts up a little bit to take up the slack. If you have more threads exposed it will be easier to get started. Okay, with all of our hardware in place, we can go ahead and snug down the bolts. We'll need a 3/4 inch socket for that. After the bolts are snugged down, we'll go ahead and torque them down as described in the instructions. All right next, we'll go ahead and reinstall our exhaust. We'll start on the driver's side right here. Spray down the rubber hanger with some more lubricant and we'll put everything back together. Then we can take our strap back off. That will finish it for our Draw Tite Max Frame Trailer Hitch Receiver, part number 76034 on this 2017 Ford Explorer.

Questions and Comments about this Video

Great instructions! Very detailed. Thanks
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Thank you for the kind words!

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