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Ford Ranger Hitch

Tips on How to Keep the Ford Ranger Hitch in Good Condition

Trailer hitches for the Ford Ranger are so durable that we owners take them for granted. That is, until it breaks down. Ford Ranger trailer hitches are also susceptible to wear just like any other accessory for your truck, so it is imperative that it is constantly maintained in good condition. The following are some best practices to follow in maintaining the Ford Ranger hitch:

  • Use the hitch according to its class.

There's a reason why trailer hitches are categorized according to weight class. If a hitch pulls a trailer that is beyond its class, the excess weight will put a strain on the drawbar and the hitch components. And if done repeatedly, this will cause the hitch components to wear faster or, even worse, damage itself and its mounting points on the truck. So before attaching a trailer and putting your stuff on it, make sure that it complies with your hitch's class first.

  • Fix rattling noises from the hitch with an anti-rattle pin.

Rattling noises are caused by the hitch components banging each other while driving, which can be quite annoying to listen to and speed up wear of the hitch parts. However, this can be minimized by installing an anti-rattle hitch pin. As its name implies, the anti-rattle hitch pin is mounted on the drawbar and keeps it from moving. Most pins also come with a built-in lock to prevent theft and unauthorized tampering of the ball mount.

  • Remove rust spots.

Corrosion is the most common problem with hitches, which isn't surprising given its location in the truck, making it highly exposed to dirt and moisture. And cleaning this rust off the hitch depends on the type that you have in your truck. If you have a chrome hitch, ball up a piece of aluminum foil, dip it in white vinegar or cola and scrub the rust spots. The acids in the vinegar or cola will react with aluminum and cause the rust particles to break apart. For iron hitches, on the other hand, you can remove the rust with naval jelly. Remove large rust deposits with a wire brush, apply the jelly and let it sit for 10 minutes, and rinse with warm water.

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  • Ford Ranger Hitch Tips and Tricks That Can Make Installation Easier

    While you can have a Ford Ranger hitch one mounted onto your truck by a mechanic, the hitch assembly is quite easy enough to be installed on your own. In this guide, we'll share some tips on how to install the Ford Ranger hitch.

    Tip #1: Find the right class of hitch.

    One of the first steps you need to take when installing a hitch is to find the right class that matches your Ford Ranger. Hitches are classified according to weight class and installing one that above or below the one that's specified for your vehicle will lead with an improper fit or severe damage to the hitch, the trailer, and your truck.

    Tip #2: Pre-fit the hitch.

    Manufacturers often suggest loosely assembling the hitch and installing the drawbar, pin, and clip, and hold the hitch up into position prior to installation. Doing so will allow you to find any obstructions you might encounter when installing the drawbar and give you an idea how the hitch will be mounted on your truck.

    Tip #3: Loosen the exhaust pipes.

    Although non-essential, loosening or repositioning the exhaust pipe temporarily can give you additional elbow room when installing the hitch assembly. Trucks with aftermarket exhaust systems will especially benefit from this, as most hitches are designed around the vehicle's original parts. You might also want to do the same with the bumper or the bumper brackets.

    Tip #4: Clean out the bolt holes.

    Unless your Ford Ranger is fresh from the dealership, the pre-drilled mounting holes underneath the rear of your truck are likely to be caked with mud, dirt, and rust. Aside from being disgusting to look at, this buildup will also obstruct the mounting bolts for the hitch to install properly. Spray the holes with penetrating oil and, using a wire brush, scrub out the holes to rid it of any debris and grime.

    Tip #5: Make sure that the hitch has a solid metal-to-metal contact with the attachment points.

    The hitch assembly needs to have a very secure connection with the frame of truck given the amount of weight it is expected to pull. In some cases, you may need to remove any excessive undercoating or weld on the vehicle to ensure complete contact with the hitch.