Thanks for the info. Do you have any helpful hints for removing the center cover that was replaced with the new one that comes with the OEM hitch? I want to avoid removing the bumper cladding like the instructions show.An update to this thread with regards to towing harness install. I just completed installation of the towing harness on an Elite. A few installation notes for Elite and Touring trim levels:
Rest of the install is straight forward per the instructions.
- Inventory the parts that are in the kit upon delivery. I was missing two bolts.
- Step 2 is to disconnect power from the battery. If you are feeling lucky, skip it.
- Step 7 requires removal of the storage bin for the Elite and Touring. To release the bin, there are 4 latches. Pull the tab on each latch away from the bin (do not push the tabs towards the bin). Three of the tabs can be access from below. The fourth (outside latch) can be access via the portal for the gas filler emergency release.
- Skip steps 8 -14 and 19-20.. removal of left side interior panels. Not necessary for the Elite and Touring.
- Step 18 requires separating the 14-pin connector from the vehicle harness wrapped with electrical tape. A light, small mirror and sharp instrument to cut the electrical tape will be helpful. You must reach up in a blind area to access the 14-pin connector and cut the tape, thus a need for the mirror.
- Skip step 27 which states that the trailer hitch should be removed, if installed. If the trailer hitch is already install, it is just a minor inconvenience for step 29.
- Step 29 requires removing the cutout for the 7-pin connector on the hitch cover. Tape around the cutout with a few layers for protection. Place a cardboard between the hitch cover and hitch to protect the paint, if installed. Use a utility knife and work from the bottom up, 1/8" at a time... pierce with the point and cut through.
- Upon completion of the harness install and if you have a voltmeter, each pin on the trailer electrical plug can be tested except for the electric brake output. 12VDC to the ground pin for activation of each function (see photo for diagram of 7-pin plug).
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If you search this forum (not always easy, try "remove hitch cover"), there are a few discussions on installing the trailer hitch that addressed this question. To summarize previous discussions from memory and the most difficult parts:Thanks for the info. Do you have any helpful hints for removing the center cover that was replaced with the new one that comes with the OEM hitch? I want to avoid removing the bumper cladding like the instructions show.
Thanks for any help you can provide,
If you search this forum (not always easy, try "remove hitch cover"), there are a few discussions on installing the trailer hitch that addressed this question. To summarize previous discussions from memory and the most difficult parts:
- Tool #1 - Your hands. Be sure that you can reach up, feel for the bolts and able to manipulate a wrench.
- Tool #2 - A stubby 10mm gear wrench for the two 10mm bolts near the top of the cover.
- Tool #3 - "Trim removal tool"... a thin and stiff metal tool (1-3/8" width is optimal to match the width of the tab) that will fit between the bumper and cover to release each of the tabs (across the top and along the sides). Some people have used a thin butter knife or you can fabricate it from a heavier gauge sheet metal.
- Masking tape to tape off the perimeter of the bumper and cover for protection.
- Advise doing this on a warm day when the plastic is more pliable (see below).
- Follow instructions for the hitch installation, except for bumper removal. Remember to disconnect the electrical connection for the hands-free tailgate.
- Remove bottom hardware and then the two 10mm bolts at the top. This will take patience and a some time due to the limited access.
- Tape off the bumper and cover. Identify and mark center line of each tab on the masking tape, using the new cover as a reference.
- Release the tabs on both sides first. The lowest pair are visible from underneath and will a learning lesson for releasing the others that are blind. This will take the most time and patience depending on how well your trim removal tool works for releasing the tabs.
- Release the tabs across the top. I think left to right is easiest, with the right-most being difficult due to metal structures behind the cover.
- When releasing the right-most tab on the cover, you may have to carefully flex the cover and bumper to fully release and remove the cover from the car.
- Installation is easier. Take care to align the tabs and push gently till they snap in place.
Happy that the information provided was helpful for you. Yes, it was very satisfying to remove the bumper cover without damaging anything.Thank you again for your easy to follow, informative instructions. If you ever find yourself in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, write a post and I’ll buy you some beers.