Advance Auto / Reese Class III/IV Hitch Receiver #33058
My 2003 Ranger FX4 didn't come with anything more than a bumper hitch, so I thought this product would be a nice upgrade. The truck already has trailer wiring.
If you buy, Advance Auto's website gives free shipping with any purchase over $75, plus if you scour the web you can find some great coupon codes. I used a $30 off $100+ coupon and got mine for $127 shipped. Can't beat that. Took two days to get to my doorstep.
I won't address the install step-by-step, but basically you only have to touch 3 bolts on each side of the rear frame of the truck. Took me about an hour working by myself and taking my sweet time. An extra set of hands would have made the install quicker and easier.
A few tips from the experience that aren't really mentioned or clarified in the instructions:
-Lower the spare tire and position it out of the way before doing anything. At least I had to. The spare is a tight squeeze when re-raised into position after the install, but it fits with just a minimum of coaxing.
-You will remove and discard the rear-most bumper bracket bolts on each side of the truck. To remove the corresponding j-nuts, loosen, but do not remove, the front-most bumper bracket bolts on each side of the truck. Pry on the j-nuts to remove from the frame rail and bumper bracket. I broke mine, but who cares, you will discard them too. It actually makes them easier to remove. Re-tighten the front-most bumper bracket bolts.
-I did not need to drill any holes in the frame. The front-most holes for the receiver are already on the frame, just not in use. Use the included spacer between the frame and the receiver here.
To sum up, easy install and great upgrade to the truck. Thumbs up to Advance Auto for the great deal and quick shipping. Haven't towed anything yet, and never plan to really push the truck in that way, but the 2" receiver should be more than sufficient for small utility trailers, bike racks, etc. Tucks up really nice under the bumper.
2003 Ford Ranger XLT
Reese Class III/IV Hitch