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akirby

2016 MkX hidden hitch install

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When we bought our 2016 MKX Reserve we were not able to find one with the tow package that met our requirements and we did not want to wait for a factory order.    I bought a hidden hitch model and installed it yesterday.   $163 plus free shipping from etrailer.com.

 

The hardest part was finding the fasteners they reference in the instruction.   They have pictures but do not tell you exactly where to look.  Took me about 30 minutes to find the plastic bins on each side and remove them.  Then it took me a hour to find the two T20 torx screws that hold the bumper on.  Other than that the instructions were good.   The procedure is slightly different for AWD models as you lower the muffler instead of removing the bumper fascia.   You also have to cut off one small stud that protudes down in front of the muffler - I used an oscillating saw but you could also use a reciprocating saw or even a small hacksaw.

 

One thing that wasn't in the instructions is that the plastic buckets on each side cover up one of the bottom bolts and there is a raised circle to allow for a bolt to protrude, but the bolt in the kit is too long.   I just used a 1" spade bit and cut a hole in each one and it worked perfectly.

 

You have to pop off the wheel well plastic trim after removing 3 plastic reusable rivets and the screw is there at the top of the bumper panel.  After that the entire bumper panel just pops off.  Very easy off and back on.

 

You have to fish the bolts inside the frame rails with an ingenious wire system.   They coil the wire on one end like a spring and the bolt just screws into it - holds it very securely.   You fish the wires through the 4 holes on each side.   When you raise the hitch up into place you feed the wires through the holes in the hitch, then use the wire to pull out the bolts, put on the washer and nuts and torque to 50 ft/lbs.

 

I used a floor jack to support the hitch - having a friend would help a lot but you can do it alone.

 

The only problem I had was one of the wires got pinched and I lost the bolt inside the frame.  Luckily it was neat the hole where you fish the bolts in and I was able to retrieve it, reuse one of the old wires and put it back in without removing the other side.   After that it was really easy.

 

Took me 3 hours total but that included searching for tools a few times and the aforementioned searching for fasterner locations plus cleanup.   With the info above I would estimate 90 minutes.   I didn't take pictures because the instructions are pretty good other than specifying the exact location of the fasteners.

 

I only plan to use a bike rack for now so I didn't add any trailer wiring.   Considering we saved $450 over the factory package I'm happy.

 

Here are the installation instructions:

http://www.etrailer.com/instructions.aspx?pn=87696

 

Pics

 

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