Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Putnam Hitch

Back in August when I bought my 2006 Dodge 2500 diesel truck, I knew I wanted to install a better trailer hitch.

The stock hitch was not heavy enough ( I didn't want to max it out) for our 32ft travel trailer. After doing some research I decided on this hitch. The Putnam 25211 is rated at 16000 pounds when used with a weight distribution system.

The hitch arrived with part of the nuts, bolts, and washers missing (the box had a hole in it). The first thing was rounding up the missing parts before starting.

These are the nuts, washers, and bolts needed to install the hitch. Also these pipe bushings were needed. Only 2 bushings are needed for my truck. A Dodge 1500 requires the other two.

This is the hitch and the 2 mounting plates.

The two mounting brackets are installed with 4 bolts per side. Depending on your truck (longbed or short), you use the front or rear holes.

I now turned my attention to my truck .

First I removed the spare tire and unclipped the wiring harness for the lights.

The receiver part of the stock hitch ( also serves as on additional rear frame crossmember so only the receiver part is cut off) has to be removed. This picture also shows the part of the original hitch that the new hitch ties to.

I torched it off and then cleaned it a little after this picture was taken. The rest of the stock hitch is left in place because the new Putnam hitch ties into it.

These 2 bumper bolts (one on each side with the tab attached) need to be removed.

Push the clips that hold down the plastic in the bumper upward and it reveals the holes that will tie the two hitches together. This is the part of the original hitch where a regular trailer ball is attached.

These are the bolts that are used.

I used a floor jack to lift the new hitch in place and then reused the 2 bolts I had removed earlier (pipe spacers were already built in on the 3/4 top truck). One additional bolt per side is added to the provided holes.

The front holes on both the hitch and frame are elongated.

These bolts, washers ( I added and additional washer inside and out to beef it up) and bushing are used. The bushing fit inside the frame to keep it from collapsing.

After every thing was in place I started tightening all the bolts.

Starting with the 2 bolts that tie the two hitches together. After everything is tight, I plastic z-tied the wiring harness snug.

Here you can see both hitches tied together. My R265/17 spare tire fit but not sure if a larger tire would.

The finished product looks great and I now have all the hitch I need. It took about 3 hours but I really took my time and that included rounding up the missing parts. Without a floor jack or a helper, the hitch would be difficult to hold in place to start the bolts. This thing is very heavy.

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