How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2018 Subaru Outback

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Installing a trailer hitch on a 2018 Subaru Outback requires a few tools, a Draw-Tite 75673 custom trailer hitch and about 45 minutes to complete the installation. Follow these basic steps to begin hauling all kinds of hitch-mounted accessories with your Subaru Outback today.

About the Draw-Tite 75673

The Draw-Tite 75673 is a class 3, bolt-on trailer hitch designed for the 2018 Subaru Outback. The hitch has a max trailer weight of 4,000 lb. and a max tongue weight of 675 lb. making it capable of hauling small and large loads. No welding is required for installation.

Tools needed:

  • Flat and Phillips head screwdrivers 
  • Tape 
  • 10mm and 11/16 in. sockets 
  • 6 in. socket extension 
  • Ratchet 
  • 1 ? in. hole saw 
  • Exhaust pliers 
  • Drill 
  • Safety glasses 
  • Torque wrench 
  • Tin snip

2018 Subaru Outback hitch installation steps

1. Support the exhaust system

Tie a rope or strap around the center exhaust pipe and attach it to a sturdy engine component under the body, like a crossmember. Make sure the strap or rope can be adjusted.

2. Lower the exhaust

Remove the isolator rods from the rubber exhaust hangers using the exhaust pliers. There are two above each exhaust muffler and another above the center exhaust pipe. You may need to use soapy water to loosen the rods.

3. Remove the heat shields

Use a 10mm socket or Phillips head screwdriver to remove the heat shields found above each muffler. Save the bolts, as you will be reinstalling the heat shields after the hitch is installed. Take out the rubber plugs from the holes on the bottom of the frame after the heat shields are removed. There are two on each side.

4. Drill access holes in the frame

Using the 1 ?-inch hole saw, drill an access hole in the frame on the driver and passenger side roughly two inches from the forwardmost plug hole. The access holes will be used to fish-wire the provided carriage bolts into the hitch attachment holes.

5. Thread carriage bolts through the access holes

Thread the fish wire through the hitch attachment hole and out of the access hole. Attach the carriage bolt and large spacer to the fish wire coil and pull it back through the access hole so the bolt thread drops through the attachment hole and the spacer is between the frame and bolt head. Repeat this step for all other hitch attachment holes. Use the larger spacers for the forward attachment holes and the small spacers for the rear holes.

6. Tape washers to the hitch

Tape the provided flat washers over the forward attachment holes on both sides of the hitch.

7. Position the hitch

Lift the hitch into position, lining up the bolts and the attachment holes. You will need to thread the fish wire through the holes on the hitch. With the hitch in position, remove the fish wire, then attach the conical washers and hex nuts to the bolts and tighten them by hand.

8. Torque the hex nuts

Torque each hex nut to 50 ft. lb using the torque wrench. The wrench should make a clicking sound when it has reached the correct amount of torque.

9. Trim the heat shields

With the hitch firmly secured, the heat shields must be trimmed to fit above the exhaust mufflers. Using the tin snips, cut away the rectangular area near the forward attachment bolt. The heat shield should be able to fit flush against the hitch bracket with the nut in place.

10. Return the heat shields

After both heat shields have been trimmed, reattach them to the frame using the 10mm socket or Philips screwdriver and the same bolts that were in place previously.

11. Raise the exhaust

Raise the exhaust system by reattaching the isolator rods to the rubber hangers. This can be done by hand or using exhaust pliers. Be sure that all six are reattached and that they are firmly in place. Remove the strap or rope used for support.

Once installed, the hitch will measure:

  • 14 ¾ in. from the inside of the receiver the ground 
  • 6 in. from the pin hole to the end of the bumper 
  • 4 in. from the end of the receiver to the end of the bumper

You should now have your Draw-Tite 75673 trailer hitch installed on your 2018 Subaru Outback. Whatever vehicle you drive, we have a trailer hitch for you. Don’t have the time to install yourself? Schedule a professional installation at uhaul.com and we’ll do the work. If U-Haul doesn’t have a hitch for your vehicle, nobody does!

 
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