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Heavy-Duty Trailer Hitch Installation - 1997 Ford F-350 - B&W

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How to Install a Heavy-Duty Trailer Hitch on a 1997 Ford F-350


Today on our 1997 Ford F-350, we'll be installing the B and W Heavy Duty Trailer Hitch Receiver. Part #BWHDRH25198. Here's what our hitch looks like installed on our vehicle. We'll go ahead and give you a couple measurements in helping you choose some accessories for your hitch. Such as a ball mount, a bicycle rack or a cargo carrier. From the top of the opening of the receiver to the ground is approximately 21 inches from the center of the hitch pin hole, to the outermost edge of the bumper on this vehicle is approximately 11 inches. Note that this vehicle does have an aftermarket style bumper installed. Let's go ahead and install our hitch. Let's first begin by pointing out our attachment points. There's a total of six locations that will mount the hitch to the frame of the vehicle.

On this particular vehicle, four of the holes are existing holes and two of the holes, one on each side, will need to be drilled out. Since our frame is 37 and a half inches wide, we'll be placing the mounting tabs towards the outside on the side plates. This here is how our side plate would be mounted. Now that we know we need to put the ear space on the outside, we'll go ahead and attach our side plates to the center section of the hitch. We'll do this by using half inch by inch and a half long hex bolts, half in lock washers and half inch hex nuts. Let's go ahead a put our hitch together. Now that all of our hardware is installed, we'll go ahead and snug it up a little, but don't fully tighten it at this time. Let's go ahead and point out the hardware that we'll be using for the two forward as well as the two rear most mounting locations.

We'll be using a half inch by two inch hex bolt, an inch and a quarter round hole spacer block and on the underside, we'll be using a one inch round hole spacer block, a half inch block washer and a half inch hex nut. Let's go ahead and show you how it'll look. Now let's go ahead and put our half inch hex bolt and round hole spacer block in the forward and rear most mounting locations. Next we'll go ahead and install our hitch. It's a good idea to get an extra set of hands to help you raise the hitch up into position. With the hitch raised up into position, we'll go ahead and line it up over the front and rear most mounting location. We'll then take our one inch round hole spacer block, slide it over the bolt, followed by the half inch lock washer and finally the half inch hex nut.

Go ahead and just put them on loosely for now. Now that we have our hitch up on the frame and it's tightened down enough to hold it in place, we've made sure that it's centered. We're going to have to drill out our center hole on each of the two side plates. We'll go ahead and begin here with a pilot bit and then step up to our half inch drill bit. The hardware that we're going to use for the two center locations is a half inch by two inch hex bolt, an inch and a quarter round hole spacer block that'll go over the hex bolt and come in from the top side, then in between the frame and the hitch, we'll install a large round hole spacer block. Then on the underside, we'll put our one inch round hole spacer block, half inch lock washer and a half inch hex nut. Now we'll go ahead and we'll tighten down the hardware that secures the side plates to the frame. Once we have all six of these locations tightened down, we'll go ahead and torque them to the manufacturers specification. Before tightening down the center section to each of the two side plates, you want to make sure that the bottom and the rear most edge are even.

If for some reason the center section is not even with the bottom and the back section, you'll need to loosen up the bolts that attach the center section to the side plates and move it to the appropriate position. Now that we're sure that the center section is lined up on the bottom and the back side, we'll go ahead and tighten down these eight bolts and then torque them to the manufacturers specification. That will do it for our installation of the B and W Heavy Duty Trailer Hitch Receiver, Part #BWHDRH25198 on our 1997 Ford F-350. .


Info for this part was:

Employee Joshua S
Video Edited:
Joshua S
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Kathleen M
Video Edited:
Kathleen M
Employee Shane T
Test Fit:
Shane T
Employee Jared G
Test Fit:
Jared G
Employee Chris R
Video by:
Chris R

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