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Towing 4th Gen Dodge Ram Towing Questions


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  #1  
Old 03-07-2011, 11:51 PM
heavyzee heavyzee is offline
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Default Inastalled my Class IV Curt Hitch today

well all this started on saturday.... i was supposed to go to my storage unit an hour from my house, install the hitch, load up the trailer and truck, and move the storage unit another hour and a half away to my fathers neighborhood...

well apparently god had a different plan....

so i get there get under the truck, remove the 2 rear most bumper support bolts (the 21 mm) ones

then i pull the hitch underneith the truck, and w/ help from my lovely girlfriend, pick it up in place, and install one of te bolts to hold up the hitch....

this is where it get fun. so i move to the otherside, and see that the hole in the hitch is about a 1/2 in to narrow to get the bolt into the weldnut on the frame. So i go back to my too box to grab my pry bars... then i remember i left them up at my dads when doing a front end a few months ago on my honda... great, so i get under there with a screwdriver in hone hand and the bolt in the other , get the thing streched far enough to get a thread or 2 of the bolt in then the screw driver slips off.... crap...

this stripps out the hole in the frame..... so i break out my thred repair kit and run that in the hole, not realizing that apparently now american cars are made with metric bolts??? well u ca imagine what that did to the threads... now worse.....

so after all this i packed up, and alled the weekend a wash, with one less bolt in my bumper support brace and no hitch installed....

so i went to go see my buddy who worked at the dodge dealer here in town before the econonmy hit the sack and talked it thru....

i also called curt 1st thing in the morning today, and they said it happens alot in shipping and found out that center to cent the holes should have been 39 1/4" and they were 38 11/16" so it was 9/16" off. they said it probably got dropped in shipping, and to try the pry bar thing, but first hook it up at the back of the bumper support as to hold it up... (in their defense, they did offer to send me a new one at no charge, but said it may end up being the same situation, and i agreed as i live in miami where no one cares about anyone else)

so todya i went up back to my storage place to try again...

1st up, drilling out the weld nut....

turns out, the stock hardwear is grade 5, and its a 14mm bolt, just over 1/2 an inch, so drilling it thru to 1/2 inch was a breeze, (btw i now find the materials Chrysler uses to be quetsionable as the metal drilled entirely too easily)

i then made sure i could fit me new GRADE 8, 1/2" inch bolt thru the hole

so i bolted up the hitch to the rear most bolts along the bumper support, then the two on the frame closest to the front of the truck, then the one on the side where the threads were not stripped... left all the bolts loose so i could move things around

so i put the bolt (with lock and regular washers installed) in the frame, and popped a nut on top (luckily, there is a hole in the side of the frame just aboue that hole.... luck ass me huh??)

then i realized i had to remove the bolt that supports the bumper support form the sude of the frame because i needed to put a ratchet in the frame from the rear of the vehicle on top of the nut while i tightened the bolt....

needless to say it was all a major PITA, but once i had my head on straight it took less that 45 min from drilling to completetion

so lessons learned

1. always use the right tool for the job
2. stop and think before proceeding
3. stripped threads suck ass
4. modifications and fitting is always necessary
5. some things are easier to pay someone to do
6. its way easier to install hitch with the spare tire removed
7. my hitch is stronger because i used grade 8 hardwear that if all had worked out to begin with (gotta think of somthing positive)

pics to come, even tho it looks like every other silver truck with a hitch on it
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:06 AM
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LOL
glad that yer got err dun

i was picturing it as i read it, it could have been me installing a Reese Class 3 front hitch receiver on my '99 chevy 1/2 ton, a couple years back
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:02 AM
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The joys of doing it yourself... I agree, sometimes it is easier to have someone else do it... but less satisfying I find.
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:16 AM
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Definitely sounds like it was a royal pain, I was picturing it, too as I read it but glad you finally got 'er done lol and I have to say, I agree with your lessons learned!

- Cajun
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:43 PM
heavyzee heavyzee is offline
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so here are the pictures i promised...

1st here is the replacement bolt i had to put in and put a nut on top inside the frame....


next... this is the side of the frame. this bolt i had to take out to get my ratchet inside the frame to hold the nut as i tightened the bolt in the stripped hole i had drilled out...


and these are the bolts/ nuts that attch the hitch to the bumper support. these should go on first after removing (but not attaching) the factory bolts. these bolts will hold the hitch up, so you can take your time attaching the other 4 bolts to the frame... if your holes dont line up, having it held up by these bolts allow you to use a pry bar properly and avoid stripping threads -->much easier!!!!




and here is the final product



and here it is being used for ultra light duty.... lol


Last edited by heavyzee; 03-13-2011 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:51 PM
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whoa...what a saga....glad it all worked out for ya!
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:57 PM
heavyzee heavyzee is offline
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oh and i was getting 23mpg+ on the hwy pulling that trailer w/ a full bed of tools and parts
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