Friday, January 2, 2015

Installing Trailer Hitch Receiver on 2005 - 2009 Chevy Equinox (2006 - 2009 Pontiac Torrent)

The Chevy Equinox is a small Sport Utility Vehicle offered since the 2005 model year and restyled for the 2010 model year. This is when the GMC Terrain replaced the Pontiac Torrent. To my understanding, the receiver will work for the 2010 to 2015 Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain, As well as the first generation Saturn Vue, but check with your retailer first.

The receiver I bought was from and the manufacturer is Curt. The reason I got this hitch was because of the 2 inch receiver opening will give me more flexibility when adding accessories to this vehicle, such as a bike rack or platform that would not work with a 1 1/4 inch.  It will not increase the towing capacity, as these will tow about 3500 pounds with a non weight distributing setup and from experience, this will be very dicey toward the top end. With a weight distributing setup, this will tow up to 4000 pounds, which seems a bit high for such a small vehicle. My trailer, a 1996 Viking Epic, is about 1000 pounds dry, so this hitch should be more than adequate.

WARNING! as always, installing a trailer hitch can be hazardous. Always wear safety glasses, a hat, and gloves when working under the vehicle. Improper tightening or use of fasteners can cause injury, loss of life and property damage. Follow instructions to the letter, and when in doubt, consult a qualified installer. Grade 8 fasteners for S.A.E. or 10.9 grade bolts are a must for anything to do with installing trailering equipment. Use the fasteners with the hitch if all possible. I have no control over your work, and offer this for entertainment purposes only. Do this any any other repair or installation at your own risk.

The tools you will need are a torque wrench, a socket set, 8" extension, a wire brush that will clean bolt holes as well as scraper, some rust inhibiting paint, penetrating oil like PB Blaster or a lubricant such as WD-40 or Motorkote. It would be a good idea to get some cardboard to stage your parts and tools to prevent them from getting banged up on the driveway. You may need 4, grade eight, 7/16 standard thread bolts the same length as the ones that came with the kit unless these supply same.

Clean the bolt holes, two on the left over the exhaust pipe, two on the right and two on the bottom of the bumper with your spray lube and wire brush. Scrape away any loose paint, rust, and dirt from where the hitch is going to attach to the car. You will need to remove the knockout on the bumper with a screwdriver, then try threading the bolts in to make sure the threads are clean. As I found out, the bolts on the left and right were 7/16, NOT 12 millimeter, and I spent nearly 20 minutes trying to thread the 12s supplied with the kit.

Once you're sure that all of these will thread, you will need to get your 12 mm bolts and washers and lift the receiver up. Start the two holes in the bumper several turns, then work on the left side over the exhaust pipe, then the right side. If you had to use the 7/16 bolts, be sure you use the washers that came with the kit as nothing available at the hardware store will be strong enough to hold this safely in place. Even the grade 8 washers will buckle when you tighten the bolts. Tighten everything gradually and then torque them down as specified. Be sure to check these bolts periodically to make sure that nothing comes loose. In the 15 years I've installed a half dozen trailer hitches, I've never had this problem, but I still check on every one. Maranatha!


Saiful Islam Patwary said...

I need a Spring Utility Trailer Axles for my pick up truck. Could you please tell me how can i check the Axles before buying?
Thanks for sharing! Gives me a lot of ideas.
Motorbike Trailers

Walter Grace said...

You might want to elaborate on that.