How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2018 Lincoln Continental

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To add a trailer hitch to a 2018 Lincoln Continental you will need a few tools, a Draw-Tite 36595 trailer hitch and about 50 minutes to complete the installation. Follow these basic steps to begin hauling all kinds of hitch-mounted accessories with your Lincoln Continental today.

About the Draw-Tite 36595

The Draw-Tite 36595 is a class 3, bolt-on trailer hitch designed for the 2018 Lincoln Continental. The hitch has a max trailer weight of 3,500 lb. and a max tongue weight of 300 lb. There is no welding or drilling required for this installation.

Tools needed:

  • Safety glasses
  • Marker
  • Ratchet and bit
  • Tin snips
  • Small socket wrench
  • Exhaust pliers
  • Torque wrench
  • Air saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Needle nose pliers
  • 11/16, 10mm and 7mm sockets
 

2018 Lincoln Continental hitch installation steps

1. Remove the bottom appearance panel hardware

Use the 7mm socket to remove the 10 screws on the bottom of the bumper. Use the 10mm socket to remove the two washer nuts from the heat shield tabs. Gently bend the heat shield downward and use needle nose pliers to remove the log washer.

2. Lower the exhaust

Attach the exhaust piping to the rear sway bar using a stability strap. Use the exhaust pliers to remove the isolator rods from the rubber exhaust hangers. There are two on both sides of the vehicle above the exhaust mufflers. You may need to use soapy water to loosen the rods.

3. Remove the exhaust trim

Use the T25 screwdriver and bit to remove the four galvanized screws holding the chrome-colored exhaust trim in place. After the screws are gone, gently pull the trim away. Repeat this on both sides of the vehicle.

4. Mark and lower the heat shield

With a second pair of hands, temporarily raise the hitch into place. Using the hitch as a guide, outline the rectangular section of the heat shield that covers the attachment hole on the frame rail. Do this on both sides of the vehicle. Use the 10mm socket to remove the bolts adjacent to the frame attachment hole and gently bend the heat shield downward.

5. Trim the heat shield

Use the tin snips to cut away the outlined section of the heat shield. This should expose the frame rail and attachment hole and allow the hitch to sit flush with the frame. Return the removed bolts to the heat shield and tighten them with the 10mm socket.

6. Remove the bumper bolts

Continue using the 10mm socket and remove the bumper bolts. There are two located on the inside of the bumper above the heat shield on each side of the vehicle.

7. Thread the bolts through the frame

Insert the 7/16 carriage bolt through the rectangular slot on the block spacer, then attach the bolt to the fish wire coil. Feed the bolt and spacer through the existing frame attachment hole, then pull the threaded end of the bolt back through the hole. Repeat on the other side of the vehicle. Leave the fish wires attached to the bolts.

8. Position the hitch

Using a second pair of hands, lift the hitch into position and feed the fish wires through the hitch attachment holes. Remove the fish wires, then install the conical washers with the teeth facing up and the hex nuts on both 7/16 carriage bolts and tighten loosely by hand. Return the bumper bolts and tighten loosely by hand to secure the hitch.

9. Torque the hitch

Use the torque wrench fitted with the 10mm socket to torque each bumper bolt to 27 ft. lb. Change the torque wrench to the 11/16 socket and torque each frame bolt to 50 ft. lb. You should hear a clicking sound when the correct amount of torque has been applied.

10. Raise the exhaust

Lift the exhaust mufflers back into place and reinstall the isolator rods in the exhaust hangers. This can be done by hand. You may need to re-spray the hangers and rods with soapy water. Remove the stability strap.

11. Reinstall the exhaust trim

Place the chrome-colored exhaust trims back in position and reinstall the galvanized screws on both sides. You may need to use the socket wrench fitted the T25 bit due to lack of space.

12. Trim the bottom appearance panel

Lift the bottom appearance panel back into position and use it as a guide to mark the outline of the hitch. The outlined area will be roughly 3 ¼ inches wide and 5 ½ inches long. You may need to cut away additional space to accommodate the hitch brackets on both sides of the vehicle. Use the air saw to remove the outlined areas on the bottom appearance panel.

13. Reattach the bottom appearance panel and heat shield

Slide the bottom appearance panel back into place. Be sure the tabs are underneath the heat shield. You may need to bend the shield downward to do this. Replace the log washer and the two heat shield nuts and tighten using the 10mm socket. Replace the 10 screws on the bottom of the bumper and tighten using the 7mm socket.

Once installed, the hitch should measure:

  • 5 ½ in. from the pin hole to the end of the bumper
  • 3 ½ in. from the end of the receiver to the end of the bumper
  • 10 ¾ in. from the top of the receiver to the ground

You should now have your Draw-Tite 36595 trailer hitch installed on your 2018 Lincoln Continental.

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!