OEM trailer hitch installation with pictures

Now the fun part comes with the bumper cover. You must remove the lower bumper cover to install the template.

The model for the most part fits quite well and its approximation is not too difficult. I used an ink pen and traced around the template. I added tape to the areas I marked before removing the tape from the areas that needed to be marked.

With everything marked, I used a combination of tools to cut out the template. For the initial straight cut, I used a pair of heavy duty scissors and this worked surprisingly well. For the curves I ended up using a coping saw which allowed me to cut things relatively well but left a lot of burrs that needed to be cleaned up. I’m happy with the cut out that you actually see from the back, however there are one or two pieces on the bottom that I think could look better. I might try using some of the extra trim or find a small piece of trim to put around the edges.

For the inner bumper there is already a line to follow to cut.

If I had it to do over again I would try something like this remover to try and cut or at least make the cuts look a little nicer.

Finally, you need to install the trim around the lower bumper cover. There is an adhesive material inside so it sticks pretty well.

Installing everything is pretty much doing everything in reverse order. The installation instructions don’t think they tell you all the details and miss a few things so just take your time and make sure you have everything together. The order I would suggest is heat shields, mufflers, bumper cover, mudguards, taillights, spare tire and other goodies inside the key area.

Again, I would suggest using a box or something to support the mufflers during installation. Be sure to lubricate the scarf mounts and hinges so everything slides easily. The new exhaust gaskets are slightly oval in shape and snap into place, so play around with fitting them a bit before locking everything up. Get someone to help you install the bumper cover and line up all the tabs. Even after I thought I had everything in place, I found some clips that wouldn’t snap into place along the side and I just had to press a little harder. You can see in one of the pictures below that the wiring harness that was added clears the spare tire without any problem.

Overall, I think installing the OEM trailer hitch is pretty straight forward and should be able to be handled by someone with a bit of experience. Although I would suggest avoiding the summer months if you live in Texas :) Not sure what the best method is for cutting the bumper beam so maybe others who have done the install can share their experiences.

Check out the image gallery I posted above as there are a few more photos there.

If you have any questions/comments please let me know.


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