Pictures of how I installed a trailer hitch on my 87-95 Nissan Pathfinder.
I have something big I need to tow. The old pathy can do it.
All she needs is a trailer hitch. So I got one and installed it. Cool.
But first, lets pay some bills:
The Curt Trailer Hitch for the 94 pahty looks like a solid piece of equipment.
Heavy. Thick. Made in USA kind of a thing.
I put some rags on the bumper to save the paint.
Right here is the bumper bracket, with a little extra bracket underneath it.
The extra bracket comes off, one on each side, leaving this space.
Here are the brackets.
The brackets match the shape of the trailer hitch.
The hitch will take the place of these brackets.
But the hitch can not fit between the frame and the tailpipe.
I need to lower the tailpipe about an inch, at this connection point.
The Curt Hitch is sopposed to come with all that you see here.
I got it used and it did not get any of that.
The lowering bracket is the piece shaped like the letter C on the top left.
I will fabricate a lowering bracket based on the one in the original kit.
This is just a piece of flat bar with some holes drilled in it and bent on the vice.
It was a little to tall, so I smashed it down to size.
There it is installed, and the exhaust is lowered about an inch.
The rear is plenty high, so no worries about draggin.
The hitch installs just like those little brackets that I took out earlier.
It needed some persuasion to get all the bolt holes to line up.
The holes at the front of the hitch (furthest forward in the car) are way too small.
No 1/2" or 9/16" bolt is going to go through there.
And I don't feel safe using a 3/16" bolt to hold a trailer on the freeway.
So I bought 9/16" lag bolts and I made a fish line and I made some rectangular washers,
just like the original equipment! And I drilled the holes in the frame out to 9/16".
The bolt hole is now big enough to accept this bolt,
but it is impossible to get the bolt to go through the frame to even get to the hole.
It is almost as if there are huge pieces of metal inside the frame blocking the bolt from getting through.
So I took the bumper off to get a better look.
Huh. Big pieces of metal in the frame. No fish wire is pulling no bolt through there.
But this little nut can get through.
I slid the wrench into the frame and lined up the nut with the hole.
And I bolted it on that way. Not like the instructions say. Better.
- So then I put the bumper back on and installation reverse of removal etc. blah had a beer blah blah.
But I still needed to wire up the trailer lights. So I did. I got some wiring from a jeep in a junkyard.
Eventually I found out that the control module was fried, so I had to buy a new one at the hardware store anyway.
But the wiring was usable, and here is installing that.
I pulled out the wiring going to the taillight on the right side.
I tested and found ground and the power to the blinker and spliced into those.
I ran those new wires under the carpet to the left side.
On the left side I spliced into the left blinker and the brake light.
There should be a diagram with the control unit saying which color
hooks to what wire in the truck.
The wires in the truck are a different color each model year,
so I consulted the FSM for that. For the 1994:
B = ground,
G/Y = Brakes
GY/R = Rt Turn
GY/L = Lt Turn
Then I routed the connection wire out the bottom of the truck and folded it up
and shoved it into the frame until I need it.
- Update: I towed my new motorcycle over 200 miles with no problems from the hitch, wiring, trailer, bike, or "The Man." That was the first time I towed anything. I am so psyched that I brought my new bike home safely.
- Next I sold out to make 02¢
so I can fulfill my lifelong dream of owning a 1986 944 with blown head gaskets.
But no minivans!
- Then I finished my beer.
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Think: Cars are expensive, powerful, and heavy. Before I start work, I face the possibility that I will destroy my vehicle, my own life, and innocent pedestrians' lives. If anyone messes with a 4000 lb machine capable of 100 mph, these are real possibilities. If I get in over my head, I call a professional mechanic. The information on this website is provided only for entertainment purposes, and it is not intended as advice on how to service a vehicle. For all you know I made this up. Don`t believe everything you read on the internet.
Disclaimer: The technical information in these documents is provided without any warranty whatsoever and at no cost. All information is in general terms and is not meant to apply to your particular situation, be current at the time you read it, or even be correct in the first place. Improperly maintained vehicles can lead to serious injury, death, or unavoidable accidents. The author is not responsible for any errors on this site, and does not make any claim at all about the validity, safety, or veracity of the information contained on this website. Any work you choose to do or not to do on your vehicle is done at your own risk. The information on this site is not intended to serve as a replacement for professional advice, professional workmanship, dealer service, union labor, or psychological counseling. The author disclaims any and all liability directly or indirectly arising from the application or use of any information or idea contained on this or any other web site. By opening this page, you agree to never sue anyone ever or allow anyone to be sued on your behalf. The appropriate professional should be consulted regarding your specific condition. BeerGarage.com does not take responsibility for the information posted on other sites to which it links.
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Last modified: 11/25/2014