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Tow Rig Forum Towing, hauling, boats, campers, trailers etc... Trailer hitches, weight distribution, hitch ball, safety chains, tow bar and brake controllers. Discuss it all here!

Complete List of Hitch Specs & Body Lift Fix

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Old 01-04-2009, 04:39 PM   #1
BonesDT
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Complete List of Hitch Specs & Body Lift Fix

Below is a collection of stats for Class III and IV hitches that fit a 1999 Explorer (drilling is always required for '91-'94 Ex'es).

I am in search of a hitch that I can easily modify (i.e. not weld) so it doesn't look as unsightly with my 3" body lift. I have downloaded all of their Instructions to examine how they are built. Let me know if you want one posted. The only one that is "3-piece" is the Reese 37012. From the picture below, it looks like I can drill holes higher on the side brackets to lift the hitch. I can't tell how much higher, probably not 3", but even 1" would make a hitch with a body lift look much better.

What do you guys think?
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Old 01-04-2009, 04:53 PM   #2
joecrna
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Don't those tabs for the 1/2" carriage bolts line-up with the frame rails. If so, you still couldn't lift the hitch higher.




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Old 01-04-2009, 05:20 PM   #3
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Don't those tabs for the 1/2" carriage bolts line-up with the frame rails. If so, you still couldn't lift the hitch higher.
They do line up with the frame rails, but that horizontal tab goes right beneath the frame, so there shouldn't be anything in the way between that tab and the top of the square hitch tube, so it looks like I have that space to play with.

Below is the Round Draw-Tite to show how the hitches bolt to the frame:
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:40 PM   #4
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Yes, I use a square Draw Tite much like the 75096 only slightly different ratings (classIV/V). Now I see what you mean. You're planning on moving the cross member up on the braket, not the braket up on the frame. My cross member is welded there. Didn't notice the Reese bolts the square cross member to the end braket. Sounds like it should give you some room to play with.




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Old 01-04-2009, 07:27 PM   #5
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I forget if the back of the frame is exactly the same or not, but with my 05 sport trac with 3" body lift, I used a u-haul hitch. It only had plates with bolts on the side. Simply cut and re-drill holes. Due to the way the bumper sat, I could only raise it up 2".





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Old 01-04-2009, 07:29 PM   #6
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I just checked u-haul and the hitch for your truck is a different model number, sorry.




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Old 01-11-2009, 10:38 AM   #7
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Coincidence, I didn't get notice of these posts, I was coming here to post that info about the Uhaul hitch and that it doesn't have under-frame-tabs.

It is model 78166 for my Ex. Their instructions link is dead on Uhaul's site, so I'll give them a call.

Def looks like a promising candidate along with the Reese. I didn't initially mention Uhaul because I know their hitches & paint jobs are crap and I'm pissed at them for their Explorer discrimination.

Here's a pic of chad551's Uhaul hitch re-welded:
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Old 01-11-2009, 02:15 PM   #8
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I have a round tube reese on mine that is a 3 piece, not sure of the model number but i can check if you want. My old truck had the valley and that would definitely not work, its a very big, heavy well built(got rearended and the frame buckled and bent but the hitch was fine) hitch but it wont work with warrior shacklys because its so big and hangs down low anyways.
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Old 01-11-2009, 06:01 PM   #9
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I looked up hitches for your '91 and it looks like they're the same for at least the 2nd Gens too.

I rechecked the Reese's and I did overlook that their Multi-Fit is technically a 3-piece. However, the horizontal tab that bolts to the bottom of the frame is fixed to the tube, so this 3-piece design doesn't allow for height adjustment.

Is this the one you have?
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:45 PM   #10
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i have the Reese 37012 and just recently cut and drilled it to accomodate my 2"BL. 2" is about all you can get without cutting the 1/2" carriage bolt. that would only gain you 1/4-1/2"?? but it can be done and it looks 1000x better
also if your still looking for one in a month or two, i probably will sell mine when i fab up a pre-runner style bumper with a hitch built in. work is a major factor on that timeline though.
i can get you a pic if you would like




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Old 01-11-2009, 09:02 PM   #11
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I would love a pic, thanks. I'd like to see the redrill and cut and also the way the square tube looks under the bumper from afar. I'll take a cold beer too while you're at it.

2 months is about the max I could wait, so I'm interested up to that point. Keep me updated.




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Old 01-11-2009, 09:45 PM   #12
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pics, no beer here...only bourbon!

crappy pics, its dark out
i snapped a bolt re-installing it, so the oddball is a grade 5 temp fix
also the bumper has metal hanging down with holes ( for chains when using the bumper ball mount??) that would have to be cut as well as the carriage bolts
and yes thats a 285/75 spare, that took some cutting as well











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Old 01-11-2009, 10:31 PM   #13
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Nice, thank you, looks good.

Now I have to ask you a question. When you take the side brackets off the square tube, are the ends of the square tube closed off or open (you can see inside the tube)?

If they are closed off, then it looks like you can maybe gain about another inch if you scrap that top bolt, shave off it's hole so it's flush with the top of the square tube, then shoot the third bolt from the other side, right into the middle of the tube.

The only problem is, you couldn't get a nut on the other side, so you would have to rely on tapping and threading that end cap plate, but it looks like it's thick enough plate for it.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:36 PM   #14
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How close are your shackles? I got Warriors, it looks a little tight with your stock shackles.




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Old 01-11-2009, 10:39 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by BonesDT View Post
I looked up hitches for your '91 and it looks like they're the same for at least the 2nd Gens too.

I rechecked the Reese's and I did overlook that their Multi-Fit is technically a 3-piece. However, the horizontal tab that bolts to the bottom of the frame is fixed to the tube, so this 3-piece design doesn't allow for height adjustment.

Is this the one you have?
Actually i need to update that, as of july both the 91 and the 93 were gone. Have a 96 and a 99 now. I'll check the model on the hitch tomorrow but i suspect its that one.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:43 PM   #16
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yes the plate covers the tube. i think the plate is 1/8or 3/16". the bolt you used would have to have a really fine thread for that thickness IMO. the shackles have about 1/2" before they hit the hitch and i have never flexed and hit it and i've had'em stuffed. with the warriors i think you would have less a chance. i thought that too when i made a set of shackles(too busy to install) but most people on here say that it wont affect them when flexing




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Old 01-11-2009, 11:44 PM   #17
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I'm getting carried away. I found 4 more hitches that could work with minimal modification.

The first pic is the Curt 13106. It's also exactly the same for the Draw-Tite 75096. This would work perfectly if the frame is 3" thick and there is enough room in the back to put that bracket on top of the frame. I'm going to check it out and measure. I like this option the best so far, because it requires no mods to the hitch (resale no problem) and you get the benefit of the heavy-duty long-arm hitches.

The second pic is the Reese 44100 and the third is the Putnam 25185.
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Old 02-04-2009, 07:43 PM   #18
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I'm still indecisive. I'm leaning towards the Reese 37012. risekise, how much did you raise those bolt holes? It looks like a little over 1". It looks like you can double that rise if you lop off the top tab like in my diagram.

I kind of prefer the hidden round tube design over the square tube. I really like the way brianjwilson's Uhaul looks, even though I hate Uhaul with a passion. I'm curious if you can raise it that extra inch, Brian, can you explain a little more what was blocking that last inch?

Uhaul finally sent me the instructions for their 78166 hitch, which fits the 2nd gens. However, it has the underframe tabs like most of the other hitches.

Below are the instructions for brianjwilson's Uhaul 78206 hitch for the 01-05 Sport Tracs. Looks real easy to redrill for a 3" BL and the frame looks just like the 2nd gen Ex's.

Will the Sport Trac hitch fit a 2nd gen??
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