Front Trailer Hitch | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Front Trailer Hitch


January 12, 2013
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City, State
Kansas City, MO
Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 Eddie Bauer Explorer
I am looking for a receiver hitch that can mount to the frame in the front of my explorer. It is a 1996 Eddie Bauer w/ 5.0L V8. The lower plastic piece of the bumper has been removed so that it wont be in the way. I have read a few threads and people seem to have installed them but I am worried about the location of my radiator and the plastic air deflector thing. I would like it to have as much ground clearance as possible yet not touch the radiator. Which is why I am having a problem finding one, most of them look like either they wont fit due to the radiator or they are too low to the ground. :(

EDIT: I do realize that the plastic thing will probably have to come off.

EDIT#2: There are two I have found that look like they could even come close to working, this one, which looks way too low, and this one, which is for 02 through 06 explorer, but looks close although I doubt it would fit.

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How would the radiator get in the way?
Having a 1996 the only bolt on option is a really low hanging hitch. Hangs below the plastic...
I installed a hitch for the 99+ model year explorers, I had to enlarge a hole and cut the bumper but it sits up nice and high. You could swap bumpers with a 99+ style

Do you realize there is extremely versatile synthetic material made from the polymerization of organic compounds on the front that may have to be remove?

OMG-Don't do it!!

colintrax, I figured the radiator could be an issue since it is lower than the two frame rails that come out to attach to the bumper, which is where I want to mount this hitch, and what I am looking for would stick out about where the original plastic piece under the bumper had the hole in it (right below the license plate bracket), and it looks like any I can find would even be below where that piece had been. Also, with only the top part of my bumper, there shouldn't have to be any cutting. As long as the hitch isn't above the bottom of the frame.

I agree.. I want to move my radiator up too