Installing factory rear bumper, and aftermarket trailer receiver hitch.
I posted this at some time, before.. last year. and I didn't post in correct area to try to make it a write-up... I am wanting to repost here and see if it is good enough to go live. My subscription is about to run out and I don't want to lose my pictures. so that's another reason why I'm doing this now.
On a rainy Saturday I went about removing this damaged Bumper, it was deforming and preventing my rear hatch from opening. Also It was not sealed against the weatherstripping.
and Installing these goodies.
I used the box that the receiving hitch came in, to lay on, due to the it had just rained and began my task of removing my damaged bumper. I ran into problems early on with the upper mounting bracket bolts due to the bumper being dented in directly on the mount. My ratchet bairly fit into the area that was needed. I also realized that the very end of my frame was bent. as you can see in the picture by the ratchet handle.
after I got the horribly bent side loose, the bumper looked even worse than before. I did not bend it more, the bumper was still firm.
Old vs new.
After reading the directions on installing the hitch I started the install in the best order that I could think of. I put the bolts and spacers inside the frame first.
They supplied a very nifty wire tool.. made it super easy. I ran into a problem with only one bolt due to the frame being bent. so after a few wackes with a hammer I got it to go in.
After careful consideration I decided to put the bumper on first, then the hitch since I already had the bolts in place. If I would have installed the hitch first then I would have not been able to install the bumper assembly easily.
The next problem I ran into was that my tail pipe was directly under the bolts for the receiver hitch so I just detached the rear exaust support so I could push it to the side while I tightened the nuts.
As I tightened the bolts on the receiver hitch it actually bent my frame rails mostly into the original form. I still notice that the bumper is slightly bent in on the passenger side and bent out on the driver side. Also my tail pile is right against the hitch, but that shouldn't be a problem.. it's firmly against it so it shouldn't rattle.
Over all this was fairly simple, even though it took me about 2.5 hours total to do all the work, and with some assistance from my roommate. I'm just glad to be able to open my rear hatch again.