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Installing a Trailer Hitch Receiver to a Suzuki Sidekick / Geo Tracker

Installing a Trailer Hitch Receiver to a Suzuki Sidekick / Geo Tracker

Hitchin’ to a Sidekick. -Junior

RENTON, WA  —Don’t blink, or you’ll miss our six and half-minute installation of Draw-Tite’s trailer tow hitch. No kidding, this install took more time to brief the instructions then it did to install the hitch. (Hitch courtesy of Calmini Products Inc.)

sidekickbumper_01_boattrailer_large.jpg (89731 bytes)

First and foremost we determined the size and weight of our trailer we intended to tow before we acquired the hitch. Working with the load limits of the vehicle, ours is a 4-door SideKick, with a max tow capacity of around 1500 lbs, we’d be looking for a smaller utility or camping trailer. Considering some serious yard-work was in our future we spec’d a small utility trailer to haul supplies and materials. And once the yard was completed, and passed a spouses approval test, it was be time to hook up the sailboat and take in some sailing.

After confirming the max capacity of the hitch itself at 2000 lbs, and locating the required 2″ ball our trailer required, it was time to complete the project. Beginning with the instruction we collected the required tools. In the case of the SideKick just a 19mm, or a 3/4inch, wrench would be required to mount it, then a torque wrench to torque the bolts to their required 68 foot pounds. (note; for X90 applications four 7/16 X 1 X 2 blocks will be required as shims between the frame and the hitch. This is for clearance issues)

sidekickbumper_04_utilitytrailer_small.jpg (9323 bytes)

This Sidekick easily handles a utility trailer.

sidekickbumper_02_underreceiver_small.jpg (8622 bytes) Not all SideKicks came with a rear ‘impact bar’, but if one is present remove it. Keep it around in the event the hitch is ever removed. This devise aids the frame integrity if a rear impact should occur. The hitch does the same thing. Next we simply held the hitch in place, lining up the four slots on the hitch with the existing welded nuts within the frame of the vehicle, and tightened the bolds. Before torqueing we confirmed clearance with fuel cell and rear decorative valance, then completed the install by placing the 68 foot pounds of torque to all four bolts. sidekickbumper_01_mountforhitch_small.jpg (11669 bytes) sidekickbumper_03_receiverwithstinger_small.jpg (8228 bytes) Finally we installed the supplied draw-bar or receiver, the pin and clip, and we were complete. The hitch has a clean and sturdy look to it and it should provide years of valuable service.

Other considerations are; wiring for lights, brakes if required, and safety chain. The Draw-Tite hitch has a max gross trailer weight rating of 2000 lbs and a max tongue weight of 200 lbs. This product only adds 15.5 pounds additional weight to the vehicle.

Consult with your local Suzuki dealer or check in the vehicle’s owner manual for exact towing specifications and limitations.

 

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