How to Install a Step Bumper Hitch on a Chevy S10

by Eli Laurens

Installing a hitch ball onto the Chevrolet S10 rear bumper is an inexpensive way to tow small trailers. The step bumper of a Chevy S10 or Blazer is rated at 3,500 pounds of towing capacity, the upper limit of Class I receiver hitches. Installing a bumper hitch will take the average backyard mechanic less than 20 minutes.

Determine the tow capacity desired. Step bumpers have a maximum tow rating of 3,500 pounds for the Chevrolet S10, but some tow balls could be significantly less. A 2-inch tow ball could tow 3,500 pounds, but a 1-7/8 ball size can tow only 2,000 pounds safely. It is important not to over-tow the hitch's maximum rating.

Push the shank of the tow ball into the factory hole of the step bumper. The shank should be the same relative size as the hole, and not have much slip. All S10 trucks were manufactured with this tow ball receiver hole, but if the bumper has been replaced with a non-stock version, then drilling may be necessary.

Place the lock washer and nut on the bottom of the shank and finger-tighten. Lock the nut down tightly with the adjustable wrench. The nut should press the lock washer into place.

Tip

  • check Line up the tow ball's base with the indention on the step bumper.

Warning

  • close Use safety equipment when working on a vehicle. Do NOT exceed the tow rating of the hitch.

Items you will need

About the Author

Eli Laurens is a ninth-grade physics teacher as well as a computer programmer and writer. He studied electrical engineering and architecture at Southern Polytechnic University in Marietta, Ga., and now lives in Colorado.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera pintlehook.com.au