How To Install Trailer Hitch Subaru Outback

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Last Updated on June 16, 2022

The installation process of a trailer hitch on the Subaru outback is really like a piece of cake. All you need to do is follow some simple steps. I had the same problem a few days ago. I was not able to install the trailer hitch on my Subaru outback. However, after a bit of research, I found a way to install it.

Today, I will be sharing the steps with you following which you can install a trailer hitch on your Subaru Outback. If you are facing the same problem, then give my article a quick check.

Steps To Install A Trailer Hitch On A Subaru Outback

Step 1: Bringing the tools

You should start with bringing some necessary tools you have to deal with. These tools are:

  • Safety Glasses
  • Tape
  • Ratchet
  • Tin snip
  • Exhaust pliers
  • Phillips flat-head screwdrivers
  • Drill
  • Socket extensions (6-inches)
  • Sockets (10mm & 11/16-inch)
  • Hole saw (1-1/8-inch)
  • Tin snip

Step 2: Supporting the exhausting system

In this step, you need to tie around the middle positioning exhaust pipe using a strap or rope first and then attach the pipe to a heavy component below the body. You may need to adjust the rope or strap later. Keep it in your mind.

Step 3: Make the exhaust lower

After that, you have to make the exhaust lower. For this, use the exhaust pliers you brought and take off all isolator rods you will find in the exhaust hangers. You are supposed to find two rods on the top of all exhaust mufflers and the middle exhaust pipe. The soapy water will be useful while loosening the rods.

Step 4: Take off the Shields

Then, you have to take off the shields. For this, use the head screwdriver you brought. You will find the shields on the top of all mufflers. Keep the bolts in a safe position so that you find them while reinstalling. After removing the shields, you will see there are two rubber plugs on each frame’s lower part. You have to take them off from their hole. 

Step 5: Drilling hole in the frame

In this step, you need to make an access hole. For that, use the hole saw. The hole should be in both the passenger and driver side frames approximately 2-inches forwardmost position from the plughole. These holes are for fish-wiring the carriage bolts provided along with the hitch.

Step 6: Passing the bolts into the holes

Now, you have to pass fish wire into the hitch hole and also out of previously made access holes. You should attach both bolt and big spacer to the coil of fish wire first and then pull the coil back into the access hole. You should repeat this process for other holes in your hitch. Remember that the bigger spacers are for the onward holes and the smaller spacers for backward holes.

Step 7: Tape the washers

Then, you should tap the flat washers provided upon forwarding holes on both hitch sides.

Step 8: Positioning the hitch

Now, you have to get your hitch in its position. So, lift your hitch in its position line the bolt and hole up. Also, you should pass the fish wire into your hitch holes. Once the hitch is in its position, you have to take off this fish wire. Then, you need to attach both the conical washer and the hex nut to its bolt. Don’t forget to make them tighten.

Step 9: Provide a bit of torque to the nuts

Now, use the torque wrench and turn all the nuts to 50 ft-lbs. Once the required torque is reached, you will hear a click sound from the wrench. 

Step 10: Trimming the heat shields

After securing the hitch gently, you should trim the shields in order to get it to fit over the exhaust muffler. Then, cut the square area away near the onward attachment bolt using tin snips. You should get the shield fitted flush against the bracket of your hitch having the nut in the proper position.

Step 11: Returning the shields

Once you are done trimming the shields, you should attach them again using the previously used bolts and a screwdriver to the frame. 

Step 12: Raising the exhaust

In the last step, you have to attach the isolator rod again you removed earlier to the hangers. You can do it using either exhaust pliers or hand. Give it a check if all of them are attached properly in their place. Now remove the supporting rope and strap from the hitch. That’s it. You are done with the installation process.

About the Author: Brian Silvestro

Brian Silvestro is the founder and chief editor of OffroadersArena. He spends his free time tending to his BMW iX SUV and explaining its merits to anyone who'll listen.

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