Dismiss Notice



Register Today It's free! This box will disappear once registered!

Hitch on 2002+ explorers

Discussion in 'Tow Rig Forum' started by Hitchhikingmike, May 26, 2008.

  • Searches ExplorerForum.com
    1. Hitchhikingmike

      Hitchhikingmike Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      January 21, 2008
      Messages:
      1,510
      Likes Received:
      13
      Trophy Points:
      58
      City, State:
      Dallas, Texas
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '02 XLS
      Hey guys, quick question:

      What is the difference between the standard class II hitch on all the 2002+ explorers and the factory class III/IV hitch besides weight increasing of towing?

      Does the class class II and Class III/IV mount to the frame of the vehicle the same way?

      Is the increased towing weight increased from the class II to a class III/IIV hitch accomplished by a beefier hitch or is it mounted to the frame with more bolts?

      I guess my basic question is that do all hitch sizes share a common mounting place on the frame? If not, what are the differences in the ways the different sizes of hitches mount to the frame?

      Thanks.

      Thanks
       
    2. Support EF

      Join the Elite Explorers for $20

      Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself, and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see practically no ads, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.


      to hide adverts.
    3. FordLover

      FordLover Active Member

      Joined:
      March 5, 2001
      Messages:
      753
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      16
      City, State:
      Houston, Tx
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '02 XLT
      to your main question, they both attach at the same point on the frame. The hitch is actually 'part' of the frame, which is why a reciever hitch is standard on all '02 and up explorers. It also supports the step bumper.

      You can easily place a class 3 hitch on a class 2 equipped explorer and vice versa.
       
    4. Hitchhikingmike

      Hitchhikingmike Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      January 21, 2008
      Messages:
      1,510
      Likes Received:
      13
      Trophy Points:
      58
      City, State:
      Dallas, Texas
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '02 XLS
      Thanks, if I wanted to upgrade to a class 4, I would want to pull a hitch from another explorer to replace my class 2 in order to retain the hidden hitch assembly.

      I was just wondering to know that they all mount the same way, thanks.
       
    5. justchecking

      justchecking Active Member

      Joined:
      April 20, 2008
      Messages:
      107
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Lebanon, Ohio
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      2002 XLT V6 2WD
      If you get the hitch from another explorer, get the 7 pin wiring harness, too. They are about $120 (or $30/foot) from the Ford dealer!
       
    6. James909

      James909 Active Member

      Joined:
      January 17, 2008
      Messages:
      681
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Long Island, NY
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      1994 GMC Yukon 2 Door
      Another difference between the class II and class III hitches is that Explorer's that came with a class II hitch could come with any available gear ratio. But if the Explorer came with a class III hitch then I believe it always came with a 3.73 gear ratio.
       
    7. Hitchhikingmike

      Hitchhikingmike Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      January 21, 2008
      Messages:
      1,510
      Likes Received:
      13
      Trophy Points:
      58
      City, State:
      Dallas, Texas
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '02 XLS
      Yes you are right on that, I only have the 3.55. So even with a class 4 hitch i could not pull the full amount of weight that the explorer is most capable of.
       
    8. FordLover

      FordLover Active Member

      Joined:
      March 5, 2001
      Messages:
      753
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      16
      City, State:
      Houston, Tx
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '02 XLT

      If you get lucky and find one in a junk yard, I say go for it. The tow package on 02-05 explorers in my area is extremely rare, I'd say about 5% of them. I bet it'd take a few days of looking thru junkyards to find a hitch.

      I've seen the add on hitch that mounts under the class 2 hitch, but I must be picky because I think it looks silly, and it would annoy me to no end.
       
    9. Hitchhikingmike

      Hitchhikingmike Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      January 21, 2008
      Messages:
      1,510
      Likes Received:
      13
      Trophy Points:
      58
      City, State:
      Dallas, Texas
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '02 XLS
      I agree, I once saw a 3gen explorer in the walmart parking lot with the "class 2&3 double hitch" set up. Seeing that I almost laughed how crazy it was.

      One reason I would want to find a class 3/4 hitch is because I just don't like the look of the class 2. I don't know if its just me, but even though I really couldn't tow any more even if I switched my hitch for a bigger, I would still want to switch them out because I just think the look of the class 2 looks wimpy and ridiculout with such a little hitch on a truck/suv.

      However, a little class 2 hitch would look fitting on a fake suv like a little kia suv.:p:
       
    10. plumber1

      plumber1 New Member

      Joined:
      February 11, 2009
      Messages:
      7
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      NJ
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      2002 EXPLORER
      hitch on a 2002 explorer xlt

      i just purchased this vehical and someone took off the hitch. my bumper has the cut out for the hitch and was wondering who manufactures the hitches for ford and if any good suggestions for an aftermarket manufactures,im guessing the reeese looks like the one that is stock but thats why i'm posting. i know mine uses a class iii also any suggestion on a good web site for cost of there im seeing 190-280 range depending on who makes it
       
    11. justchecking

      justchecking Active Member

      Joined:
      April 20, 2008
      Messages:
      107
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Lebanon, Ohio
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      2002 XLT V6 2WD
      If someone truly took off the hitch, then they removed part of your bumper also. You can get a replacement at the junk yard (either class II or class III), and put it back on yourself for less than the cost of an aftermarket hitch AND you'll have your bumper back. Also get the wiring harness when you get the hitch AND the bolts.
       
    12. plumber1

      plumber1 New Member

      Joined:
      February 11, 2009
      Messages:
      7
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      NJ
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      2002 EXPLORER
      thanks for all the comments. i have resolved this issue,i found a wimpy class 2 at a junk yard in perfect shape for 20 bucks. for 20 bucks i'll deal with a class 2, but putting it on was a pain in the a** the whole bumper had to come off to slide it onto the frame,but at least it fills the void,i just installed a hitch cover to hide the wimpy lil hole, and the factory wireing was still there just had to snap it back into the hitch bracket....again thanks to all:usa:
       
    13. 1_v8_merc

      1_v8_merc Active Member

      Joined:
      November 28, 2007
      Messages:
      312
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      calvert,MD
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      04 Mounty
      I just unbolted a bunch of plastic screws from my bumper, and removed the tail-lights to get to the other bolts.

      Then the bumper moved JUST enough to slide the stock hitch off.
      I never hadda take the bumper off completely....just enough to give the hitch some play-room to slide off.
       
    14. jrford

      jrford Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      March 1, 2005
      Messages:
      2,541
      Likes Received:
      1
      Trophy Points:
      48
      City, State:
      Birmingham, MI
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '10 Sport Trac
      Once you get those off your about 90% there, then the bumper just lift and pulls out. Goes on just as easy.
       
    15. majorpaynepoo

      majorpaynepoo New Member

      Joined:
      March 27, 2009
      Messages:
      6
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Weirton, wv
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      06 xls
      i have both on my 02 and use them both, depends on which trailer i'm towing. they are stacked and do look a little funny but it came that way.
       
    16. Dradien

      Dradien New Member

      Joined:
      July 5, 2008
      Messages:
      48
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Mount Carmel, PA
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '05 XLT
      Let me see if I could get this right:

      If I wanted to replace the Class II hitch on my Explorer, it comes off? I thought it was welded on. Looks so from the bottom. Does the whole 'hitch assembly' come off if you unbolt it and remove the bumper also? Where are the bolts? I think the class II hitch looks dinky on the Exploders...Like that little muffler...Looks out of place.

      Also, there is a thread saying something about a an Electronic Trailer Brake thingie behind the glove box...Anyone find it? Care to take a picture? For the life of me I cannot find it:(

      Thanks for this. I wanna get a small boat or whatever and start towing with my Explorer. Any tips? Thanks!
       
    17. jrford

      jrford Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      March 1, 2005
      Messages:
      2,541
      Likes Received:
      1
      Trophy Points:
      48
      City, State:
      Birmingham, MI
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '10 Sport Trac
      I have an '04 its bolt on. I thought the '05 are too, double check, as they started to weld it on but i thought that was '06.
      Here are what the bolts look like.
       

      Attached Files:

    18. Dradien

      Dradien New Member

      Joined:
      July 5, 2008
      Messages:
      48
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Mount Carmel, PA
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '05 XLT
      Just checked it, it is bolted on:p.

      So if I were to find a class three hitch in a junkyard on an Exploder/Mounty, I could just bolt it on?

      Also, anyone care to show me with a picture where the 7/4 pin connecters branch off?

      jrford, thanks for the pics, it showed me where to look.

      Sorry about being a noob on this, but hey, I'm trying to learn!
       
    19. 1_v8_merc

      1_v8_merc Active Member

      Joined:
      November 28, 2007
      Messages:
      312
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      calvert,MD
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      04 Mounty


      Yep, 04's are DEFINATELY bolt on, apparently 05's are too!

      So if you find a class 3 that matches yer truck, it should bolt right on!

      Or you can go online and order an Aftermarket Class 3 Hitch which are definately bolt-on.


      You need to remove alot of small plastic screws all around (to get the bumper off)....also i had to remove a few plastic screws in the wheel-well area for some reason(cant remember why).
      But also, you needa remove the Tail Lights, once done, there are 1 or 2 screws inside there that hold the bumper on!

      I DIDNT have to remove my bumper....I only had to loosen it up JUST enough so the stock hitch slid off.

      Your going to need 2 people for the install usually, those hitches are 75lbs and up.
       
    20. iBrent

      iBrent Member

      Joined:
      October 6, 2008
      Messages:
      68
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      6
      City, State:
      Bradenton, FL
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      2005 Eddie Bauer 4x4
      Yes, it just bolts on. I've done this swap and it was easy. Here's a picture of behind the passenger side tail lamp where the factory hitches plug in.

      The top one is where the hitch will plug in to.

      [​IMG]


      With the bumper removed its very easy to swap. Shown again is the wiring harness to the right.

      [​IMG]
       
    21. Dradien

      Dradien New Member

      Joined:
      July 5, 2008
      Messages:
      48
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Mount Carmel, PA
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '05 XLT
      Thanks:)

      A couple of more questions if no one minds please:p.


      Is there a special way to take off the bumper so I dont trigger the crash sensors or anything?

      Also, anyone have any pictures of the trailer brake hookup behind the glovebox? Ive looked, but no go.
       
    22. jrford

      jrford Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      March 1, 2005
      Messages:
      2,541
      Likes Received:
      1
      Trophy Points:
      48
      City, State:
      Birmingham, MI
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '10 Sport Trac

      Just keep the key off/out which should disable the airbags. Only time you really need to disable them is when your working in the dash or steering wheel, then its disconnect the battery for 10min to let the caps discharge, just in case you short out the wrong wire. . .

      I've seen the brake hookup, drop the glove box down and its to the left near the vents or almost on top of it. . sorry no pic.
       
    23. fordfan92

      fordfan92 New Member

      Joined:
      February 16, 2011
      Messages:
      3
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      02 XLS, canadian version
      Say, that 3" hitch you put in looks barand new. Mind if I ask where you got it from?
       
    24. thebrakeman

      thebrakeman Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      February 11, 2009
      Messages:
      1,137
      Likes Received:
      16
      Trophy Points:
      48
      City, State:
      Canton, Michigan
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      2006 Mercury Mountaineer
      Haven't been checking in over the winter. Here are some updates for those who read this later:
      1. Welded hitches started in 2006 when they upgraded/stiffened the frame. No more swapping hitches 2006+. If you want to upgrade the hitch, add another underneath.

      2. 2002+ trucks received axle ratios based on tow package. There were no axle options outside of the tow package change.
      '02-'10 V6 w/o tow package (3500lbs) got 3.55, 4-flat wiring, & Class II hitch
      '02-'10 V6 with tow package (5000-5500lbs) got 3.73, 7-round wiring, & Class III/IV hitch
      '02-'10 V8 w/o tow package (3500lbs) got 3.55, 4-flat wiring, & Class II hitch
      '02-'05 V8 with tow package (7000-7400lbs) got 3.73 (5-speed trans), 7-round wiring, & Class III/IV hitch
      '06-'10 V8 with tow package (7000-7400lbs) got 3.55 (6-speed trans), 7-round wiring, & Class III/IV hitch

      3. Swapping/adding another hitch does NOT increase your MAX tow rating (see #2 above or your owner's manual), unless you also change the gear ratios, add additional cooling, etc.
      The exception (IMO) would be a '06-'10 V8 truck without towing package. The 6-speed eliminated the need for 3.73 gearing to get the max tow rating. in this case, you could add a larger hitch, increase trans cooling, and probably be fine.
       
    25. Jbaandm

      Jbaandm New Member

      Joined:
      April 14, 2016
      Messages:
      2
      Likes Received:
      3
      Trophy Points:
      3
      City, State:
      MI
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      2002 Explorer XLT V8

      So I bought my 02 explorer used a few years ago. I always wondered why there was a class II hitch on the thing even though it has a V8. If I understand the info correctly, I cant pull more than 3500lbs because of the axel ratio? What a bummer. I was recently looking into upgrading my hitch to a class III but I guess I dont need to if the vehicle cant tow the 7000lbs I thought it could.

      Do I have this correct?
       
    26. iBrent

      iBrent Member

      Joined:
      October 6, 2008
      Messages:
      68
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      6
      City, State:
      Bradenton, FL
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      2005 Eddie Bauer 4x4
      I bought an '05 EB V8 with the class II hitch and 3.55 rear (see first page for my install). Upgraded the hitch to a class III from a junkyard. Been towing 5000 pounds no problem. I don't know if I'd go to 7k, but definitely more than 3500. I put her in 4 low to pull up the ramp but she cruises just fine.
       

    Share This Page







    We Support Our Troops!