Trailer Hitch Installation - 2017 Subaru Forester - Draw-Tite

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2017 Subaru Forester


Today on our 2017 Subaru Forester we're going to be taking a look at and installing the Draw-Tite Max-Frame class 3 trailer hitch receiver, part number 75876. One of the things I like most about this hitch is the clearance that it gives you, because for any accessories, such as bike racks and cargo carriers, you really shouldn't have any problem with the amount of clearance you have to the rear of the vehicle. As you can see, the most noticeable part is this outside edge of the receiver tube opening, where you're not going see a lot of the crossbar unless you're at a low angle looking underneath. This has got a nice reinforcement collar around the 2-inch x 2-inch opening. It's also got a nice large steel plate with large-diameter holes in order to connect your safety chains to, so you really shouldn't have any problem connecting whatever type of safety chain clips you may have. Then here on the side you can see we've got two holes. We've got the standard 5/8-in hitch pin hole, which is going to be used for mounting all of our class 3 accessories.

Then here, the smaller 1/2-inch hole is going to be used for a J-Pin stabilization system. This hitch is going to install the same way as all the other hitches that we sell for this Subaru, with three attachment points on either frame rail. This hitch features a 525-lb max tongue rate rating, and a 3,500-lb gross trailer weight rating, and when you do the weight distribution system, that tongue weight stays the same, but the gross trailer weight moves up to 4,000 lbs. You will want to be sure to check the owner's manual to be sure that your vehicle is capable of that type of weight. Let's give you some measurements to help assist you with your selection of hitch-mounted accessories, such as ball mounts, bike racks, or cargo carriers. The distance from the center of the hitch pin hole to the outer most part of the rear bumper is about five inches, and the distance from the top inside edge of the receiver tube opening to the ground is about 13-3/4 inches. Now, let's show you how to install this hitch. First thing we're going to need to do to begin our installation is we're going to need to get this exhaust out of our way so that we can access the holes that we'll be using in order to put our hardware through in the frame.

We've got two hangers that we're going to need to remove. We've got one over here on the driver's side of the exhaust, and then one over here tucked inside the fender. I'm going to take those off. You can put a little bit of spray lubricant on here to help with the removal. It'll just help them slide a little bit better. In order to take those off, you can use a pair of Channellock pliers, you can also use a pry bar, and just let it hang there.

Once we've got it loosened up, at this flange here it's got two bolts that go through it, and so you'll need a 14mm socket and wrench. I'm just going to go ahead and take this whole muffler off, because that's going to give me plenty of room to work. If I loosen those most of the way, then I can support the muffler and take the nuts off the rest of the way, and then I can just work it out of there. Then I can set my muffler carefully off to the side. Now we'll need to take a 10mm socket and remove the four screws that are holding in this heat shield, because we need to take this heat shield down so we can trim it to gain full access to all of our mounting points. Here are our three mounting points right here, and we'll just need to take these little rubber plugs out in order to gain access to the holes. You can take a pair of needle-nose pliers and just pull them all out of there, then we'll repeat that same process for the other side. Then on our heat shield here what we'll be doing is, the holes that we're on the frame rail, we're just going to trim up along this line, almost to that front hole, in order to cut across, so that way we'll have full access to our mounting holes that will run right along here.

That's the area that I'll be cutting out. I'm just going to use some tin snips in order to trim this heat shield, then once I've got it trimmed here, I can reinstall it. As you can see, that gives me good access to my three mounting holes. The next thing we'll need to do, on both sides, the middle hole that we'll be using for the mounting, we need to enlarge that a little bit, and I'm going to use a step drill bit to make it a little bit bigger, and then I'll use a grinding bit in order to widen it a little bit so we can fit our hardware through there. You can also use a file, if you have one, in order to do this. Now what we'll do is we need to fish wire our carriage bolts and spacers into place. I'll send the coil in through the hole that I want it to come out of, and I'll bring it back down through the enlarged access hole. Once I've got it pulled through, I'll take one of these square hole spacers, slide it up over, and I can take one of my carriage bolts and thread it into my fish wire. Then I can feed them up into the frame, and pull them down through. Do that same thing through this front most hole. Then for the third one I'll use the reverse fish wire method. In order to do that, before I feed it up into place, I'll put my spacer and carriage bolt on. This time I'll feed the carriage bolt up into the frame first, and then my spacer, then I can pull them back down through. Then I'll repeat that same process for the other side. It's a good idea to grab a second set of hands. We can put our hitch up into place. You want to be careful when putting it up in there to make sure you don't push any of those bolts back up into the frame. You get it up there, get it started, and we can put a inaudible 00:08:30 tooth washer, with teeth facing up towards the hitch, and the nut onto our bolt. Once you've got one started on each side, you can let it hang there and get the rest of them started. Now we want to make sure that our hitch is centered and pulled all the way towards the rear of the vehicle. Then we can take an 11/16 socket and tighten our hardware. Once we've got our hardware tightened down, go grab a torque wrench and make sure that they're torqued to the specification given in the instructions, and we'll do that with all of them. Now we'll reinstall our exhaust. That's going to complete our look at and install of the Draw-Tite Max-Frame class 3 trailer hitch receiver, part number 75876 on our 2017 Subaru Forester.


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