hidden hitch..hitch install

hidden hitch..hitch install

Postby rinigado [OP] » April 24th 2016, 6:34am

I got my hidden hitch 87516 from Jet this week, and bolted it on this afternoon. It's a pretty quick and straightforward thing to install, but in case anyone's looking for some pics of what you get in the package from hidden hitch, or want to see what the install looks like on a 2003 van, here you go.

the hitch, sans cardboard box:
hitch1.jpg
hitch1.jpg (92.33 KiB) Viewed 2148 times


I didn't use any of these bits for a 2003 van, but looks like they're needed for older/shorter vans. But what's that loop of wire with the squiggly end?
hitch2.jpg
hitch2.jpg (68.61 KiB) Viewed 2148 times


I DID use all of these bits. The nice part of the install is it's just a bunch of same-sized bolts and 4 nuts to tighten. Easy Peasy.
hitch3.jpg
hitch3.jpg (56.67 KiB) Viewed 2148 times


Two of these old bumper brackets will come off the van.
hitch4.jpg
hitch4.jpg (67.95 KiB) Viewed 2148 times


The trailer uses all the same holes as the bumper brackets, and also uses one more hole on each side of the van, that happens to already be threaded (the red arrow).
hitch5.jpg
hitch5.jpg (62.48 KiB) Viewed 2148 times


A little heavy for one person to lift into place and bolt on, so a jack or other prop helps get it in place.
hitch6.jpg
hitch6.jpg (58.15 KiB) Viewed 2148 times


What the--?! the hitch isn't quite lining up with the holes under the van. So can't get the bolts in!
hitch7.jpg
hitch7.jpg (41.83 KiB) Viewed 2148 times


A prybar and a little elbow grease is enough to push the bumper out just a little bit. Get the bolts threaded in before easing off on the prybar.
hitch8.jpg


done and done.
hitch9.jpg
hitch9.jpg (52.72 KiB) Viewed 2148 times


I did fine my trailer wire bundled up in the jack compartment, so next step is to connect existing wires to a terminal block, and then run a harness from there out the drain hole in the corner of the body, and over to the hitch.
Original Poster [OP]
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Re: hidden hitch..hitch install

Postby tequilasunset » April 24th 2016, 6:37am

Other than the dumb alignment prob (which you cruised past) it seems pretty straight forward and clean... grats
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Re: hidden hitch..hitch install

Postby 97cargocrawler » April 24th 2016, 8:35am

That wire ith the squiggly ends is probably one of the most ingenious tools I have ever used. Thread a bolt into the end and fish that wire down a tube, through a panel or whatever and through the hole you want to fasten something to. I use them allllll the time.

They would have been used on the ends of those to bolts you left out. Wire on the bolt, bolt through the frame width washer with the square hole, use the wire to fish the bolt down the frame and through whichever hole didn't already have a threaded plate and pull it down through the frame and hitch. Remove wire and secure with nut. I'm sure you missed something. Read the instructions. You used 12 bolts and the hitch has holes for 14.
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Re: hidden hitch..hitch install

Postby WoodButcher » April 24th 2016, 12:37pm

Thanks for the post and pics ringado,
many people ask about hitches and you have put together a nice little tutorial.
A few pics of what you do with the wiring would be helpful for the newb as well, keep up the good work.


mine is a little different,
44777

That right there is my opinion of how a hidden hitch should look,
thanks Stan!
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Re: hidden hitch..hitch install

Postby rinigado [OP] » April 24th 2016, 5:53pm

97cargocrawler wrote:Thread a bolt into the end and fish that wire down a tube, through a panel or whatever and through the hole you want to fasten something to.


brilliant! stared at a while yesterday, but coulndt figure out a use. Thanks for the explanation.
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Re: hidden hitch..hitch install

Postby Abe Froman » April 26th 2016, 11:33pm

I really like how this hitch is designed, I have the same style hitch and it bolts under the rear bumper brackets. I think that this one with the bumper brackets built in is a really great way to simplify the whole hitch setup. Nice job by Hidden Hitch, and thanks for the info.
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Re: hidden hitch..hitch install

Postby MI_Ghost » May 3rd 2016, 1:33am

97cargocrawler wrote:That wire ith the squiggly ends is probably one of the most ingenious tools I have ever used. Thread a bolt into the end and fish that wire down a tube, through a panel or whatever and through the hole you want to fasten something to. I use them allllll the time.

They would have been used on the ends of those to bolts you left out. Wire on the bolt, bolt through the frame width washer with the square hole, use the wire to fish the bolt down the frame and through whichever hole didn't already have a threaded plate and pull it down through the frame and hitch. Remove wire and secure with nut. I'm sure you missed something. Read the instructions. You used 12 bolts and the hitch has holes for 14.


Just pulled one of these off at the salvage yard.
The 2 carriage bolts/washers/nuts he did not use are for the extra holes. They go in the oval hole next to the spring shackle. Directly in front of the original bumper mount holes.
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Re: hidden hitch..hitch install

Postby b00duh » May 3rd 2016, 2:07am

Just installed one on my safari last night. Unfortunately, the last holes on both sides after the carriage bolts are so full of rust that the bolts won't go in. Any suggestions?
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Re: hidden hitch..hitch install

Postby WoodButcher » May 3rd 2016, 2:38am

Cutting oil and a tap.
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Re: hidden hitch..hitch install

Postby rinigado [OP] » May 3rd 2016, 7:25am

MI_Ghost wrote:Just pulled one of these off at the salvage yard.
The 2 carriage bolts/washers/nuts he did not use are for the extra holes. They go in the oval hole next to the spring shackle. Directly in front of the original bumper mount holes.


directions from the hitch package showed the larger bolts with nuts and plates installed for short vans, but not for extended since there's already a threaded hole that's used just forward of the oval hole. So, extra parts are included in the package to cover whatever year/length astro you're installing on to.
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Re: hidden hitch..hitch install

Postby Mencken » June 1st 2016, 10:23pm

Thanks for this post, it answered several questions but raised a new one: Why do the factory instructions say right up front that the spare won't fit with this hitch, when clearly it will?
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Re: hidden hitch..hitch install

Postby Abe Froman » June 4th 2016, 9:13am

Mencken wrote:Thanks for this post, it answered several questions but raised a new one: Why do the factory instructions say right up front that the spare won't fit with this hitch, when clearly it will?


I think they are talking about a shorty, if I remember right a early shorty bumper has a notch for the spare tire. I dont think this style would work without the extra body length.
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Re: hidden hitch..hitch install

Postby Isaac Zackary » August 20th 2016, 10:27pm

I've been looking for a 5,000lb hitch so I can rent a car dolly from time to time from Uhaul (they won't accept less). So I came across this hitch. But it's no longer available. Anyone know where I might be able to find one or another 5,000lb hitch?
If it has 8 seats and gets up to 25mpg, then that's like 8 people paired up on mopeds that get 100mpg each, only much faster and warmer.
Mmm... Interesting... :geek:
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