How to Install a Hitch on Vehiclesby Contributing WriterUpdated June 12, 2017
Even though your Vehicles did not come from the factory with a Vehicles hitch, you can still pull a Vehicles. Aftermarket companies produce Vehicles hitches Vehicles many Vehicles. They are carefully designed to be mounted to existing holes in the frame so that no drilling or welding is required. This makes it possible to install the hitch yourself. Different weight ratings are offered, so determine the amount of weight you will be towing before purchasing a hitch.
Under The Hood:
- How to Install a Hitch on a Toyota Tacoma
- How to Install a Hitch on a Ford Escape
- How to Install a Hitch on a Mercedes Ml320
Disconnect the wiring harness that connects to the light over the license plate by pressing the release tabs and simultaneously pulling it towards you.
Locate where the bumper mounting brackets bolt to the frame rails. There are two bolts on each side of the brackets that attach to each side of the frame rail. Use a wrench to remove these bolts and pull the rear bumper from the vehicle.
Lift the receiver hitch into position. The mounting tabs on the receiver hitch will attach to the side of the frame rails. Have your assistant reinstall the bumper onto the vehicle. The bumper mounting brackets will mount to the outside of the receiver hitch tabs. The brackets on the receiver hitch will sandwich between the bumper mounting brackets and the frame rails.
Align the holes in the bumper mounting brackets, the receiver hitch and the frame rails. Install the bolts that were previously removed and torque them to 68 ft-lbs. using a torque wrench.
Reinstall the harness that connects to the light by pressing the two connections together.
Items you will need
Raise the vehicle with a jack and securely place support stands before you start working underneath the car. Lower the exhaust pipe by disconnecting the rubber hangers that hold it in place.
Pull the bolts from the installation kit that is included with your trailer hitch through the frame on both sides of the vehicle. Run a bolt leader through the bolt hole and out the access hole, then attach the bolt by screwing on the washer, and pull the leader back through until the bolt rests inside the bolt hole.
Install the hitch using the two bolts first, with help from another person. Tighten the bolts so that the hitch is aligned with the other bolt holes. Pull the rest of the bolts through the frame and screw them into the hitch. Do this on both sides. With the last couple of bolts, you may have to move the hitch slightly because the holes might not be lined up exactly. Wiggle the hitch to align the holes so you can slide the bolt through. Tighten each bolt.
Replace the rubber hangers and reconnect the exhaust pipe to the frame. Lower the vehicle from the support stands.
Items you will need
Trailer hitch installation kit
Pry open the three plugs in the bumper cover that conceal the screws that hold the bumper cover on. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws.
Remove the safety cable for the rear mud flaps if your ML has mud flaps. Pull the bumper cover off by carefully sliding it straight back and set it somewhere where it won’t get scratched or damaged.
Install the guide bushings that came with the bumper hitch into the guide holes in the ML’s frame. The frame already has holes for the bushings. Install the trailer hitch braces by inserting the supplied bolts through the brace and the guide bushings. Tighten the nut onto the bolt with a ratchet.
Bolt the supplied spacers to the bumper. There is one spacer for each side of the trailer hitch and the holes are predrilled from the factory.
Pry open the plastic cover on the driver’s side of the ML located at the inside rear of the car to access the wiring harnesses for the rear end. The wiring harness plug should be visible once the cover is removed.
Locate and remove the rubber plug on the inside of the bodywork that covers the hole for the trailer hitch wiring harness. Guide the supplied wiring harness through the hole. Install the supplied rubber plug in the hole along with the wiring harness.
Disconnect the ML’s main wiring harness, turn signal indicator and brake module and plug them into the plugs that are on the new wiring harness. Replace the plastic cover that conceals the wiring.
Install the trailer hitch onto the bumper, using the predrilled holes in the bumper and the supplied hardware that comes with the hitch. Use a torque wrench to tighten the trailer hitch bolts to 118 ft. lbs.
Install the wiring harness bracket onto the predrilled holes in the bumper. These are small and may appear to be covered in paint but are there. Install the wiring harness onto the bracket. Install a 25-amp fuse into the slot numbered “F18” on your fuse box.
Use an X-Acto knife to cut a hole for the trailer hitch in the plastic bumper cover. The hitch will come with dimensions and directions for the proper hole size. Reattach bumper cover by sliding it over the guides and then installing the screws that hold it on. Reinstall the rubber caps that conceal the screws.
Items you will need
Socket set and ratchet