How to: add 2 inch tow hitch/electrical connectors with pictures - TerrainForum.net: GMC Terrain Forum
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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How to: add 2 inch tow hitch/electrical connectors with pictures

2 inch receiver tow hitch. Reese Part # 51193 (ebay)----------------------------------------------------------$117.79
Hitch shipping--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------$0.00
Adapter 4 Pole to 7 Pole Vehicle End Trailer Connector Part # 30717 ------------------------------------------$17.45
Mounting Bracket for 7-Way Part # 18138 ------------------------------------------------------------------------$5.99
No-Drill Mount Bracket, Short Part # 18140---------------------------------------------------------------------- $8.49
Curt T-Connector Vehicle Wiring Harness with 4-Pole Flat Trailer Connector Part # 56094-------------------$23.74
Shipping e-trailer.com----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------$6.99
Bulb grease (auto parts)--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------$2.21
Installation fee-------------- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------$0.00

Total-$182.66

My 2013 3.6L Equinox.
I decided to install a 2 inch hitch receiver because my cargo rack and bike rack are 2 inch.
My cargo rack also has LED lamps which I installed on my rack a while back. It has a 7 way connector because my 2003 Trailblazer and 2010 Traverse have factory 7 way connectors. To be able to use the cargo rack lights I decided to install a 4 pin to 7 pin connector. I also think it looks cleaner than a wire hanging under the bumper.
My total cost $182.66.
No fee for installation because I did it myself. I had misc. items laying around--- like electrical tape, zip ties, tools- required for the install.
I wont show pics of the hitch install- since you can see videos on line.
Though I will show some highlights.
The hitch- and its shipping box.



The electrical stuff.



They recommend you have a helping pair of hands.
I opted to use my jack to hold up the hitch while I attached nuts/bolts. I also did not have to lift the vehicle. I used the cardboard to be able to easily slide around.



I opted to use the Curt T-Connector to tap into the lights.



I chose to wrap the wires in black electrical tape. I just didn’t want to look under the vehicle and see multicolored wires running along the bottom.
I also applied a little dielectric grease on connectors--- to make sure water doesnt play havoc.



The instructions for the T-connector call for using a self tapping screw to make a ground connection with the white wire. I didn’t want to drill into the sheet metal (rust in the future?)….. so I decided to attach it to this screw. Once the taillight goes back on- you cant see it.
But first I used my meter- to verify it was a good ground. Set your meter to measure resistance/and tone. Touch your probes tips--- you get a tone—meaning 0 resistance. I then attached 1 probe to the ground wire I just attached to the vehicle--- and then use the other probe and touched one of the large bolts on the hitch--- tone. Meaning it sees little or no resistance. A nice ground.



The 7 pin harness also has a white ground wire. I simply extended the wire and attached it to the left hand side bolt by the taillight . Once again tested with meter= tone. Good ground. (no need to drill).
The 7 pin connector obviously has connections for 12V power, electric brakes, and backup lamps. None of which Im using- so I simply taped up these connections. All I need are the parking lamps, left/right turn and brakes.



I installed the 7 pin connector. I did have to slightly bend the L bracket to allow the rear of the connector to clear the metal tube. But once it was all setup I tested the lights for proper operation. It all worked well. So I finished up wrapping wires in electrical tape. I zipped tied stuff underneath- taking note the path of the dual exhaust. If you look inderneath—it’s a clean and presentable install. The wires are hard to see because theyre all wrapped in black and zip tied.

Here is the finished product.





Now with the cargo rack installed.
On this setup—the only drawback- the dual exhaust are at level with the rack.... so I cant carry stuff there for long distances- if im worried about heat (not an issue on my Trailblazer or Traverse).







And if you want to see the lights in action.. short video of the lamps.
Theres parking lamps on with brakes and turn signals. Also no parking lamps and brakes and emergency flashers.




2013 Equinox LT1 3.6L V6 FWD 88,000
2010 Traverse LT1 3.6L V6 FWD 153,000
2003 Trailblazer LS 4.2L I6 RWD 181,000
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 01:42 PM
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Re: How to: add 2 inch tow hitch/electrical connectors with pictures

Great install and pics!

Just an idea, I think you can get a 2" adapter to raise your Cargo Carrier a few inches so you won't have to worry about the exhaust issue.

2013 Equinox Ashen Grey Metallic 1LT<br />V6, AWD, Drivers Convenience Package, 2" Tow Package,<br />Premium Sound, WeatherTech Mats, Splash Guards, OEM Hood Deflector, Emblems-3.6-Direct Injection-V6-GM Mark of Excellence, Sportwing Body Side Mouldings.
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How to: add 2 inch tow hitch/electrical connectors with pictures

yeah- just saw it pop up on the etrailer banner above.
The one I saw is a 6 inch rise or drop.
Now I know I can get it if I decide to take a long trip and need the extra capacity.

2013 Equinox LT1 3.6L V6 FWD 88,000
2010 Traverse LT1 3.6L V6 FWD 153,000
2003 Trailblazer LS 4.2L I6 RWD 181,000
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 10:08 PM
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Re: How to: add 2 inch tow hitch/electrical connectors with pictures

Nice! Looks like a straightforward install. Thanks for the detailed instructions. I'm considering one if these at some point for a bike rack and would likely add some LEDs to it so I'd need the wiring too.

Current: 2013 Equinox AWD 2LT 3.6 V6, 2018 Chevy Colorado Z71
Previous: 2010 Equinox AWD 1LT 3.0 V6
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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Re: How to: add 2 inch tow hitch/electrical connectors with pictures

In your case you just need the 4 pin for the signals.
Ive seen some mounts that allow the 4 pin to be mounted nicely.
Not hanging...

Im not fond of loose wiring.

heres a nice one



this-- I dont like..
Ive seen many cars dragging that connector on the road....




2013 Equinox LT1 3.6L V6 FWD 88,000
2010 Traverse LT1 3.6L V6 FWD 153,000
2003 Trailblazer LS 4.2L I6 RWD 181,000
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 11:15 AM
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Re: How to: add 2 inch tow hitch/electrical connectors with pictures

The first picture from etrailer is the stock 4-pin connector that was re-used on a new 2-inch receiver. Good job on the install, we are going to change our stock receiver to a 2-inch one soon.

2012 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ AWD - 3.0L V6 | Magnaflow Cat Back Exhaust
2013 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD LT 4x4 - CC/SB | D/A Combo | Bilstein 5100 Shocks | B&W Turnover Ball | Companion 20k 5th Wheel
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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 12:43 AM
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Re: How to: add 2 inch tow hitch/electrical connectors with pictures

Good to know about the 4 pin. Definitely like the clean, finished look with the mounted connector.

Current: 2013 Equinox AWD 2LT 3.6 V6, 2018 Chevy Colorado Z71
Previous: 2010 Equinox AWD 1LT 3.0 V6
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 09:50 AM
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Re: How to: add 2 inch tow hitch/electrical connectors with pictures

I didn't like the exposed hitch look where the panel was removed that showed the hitch crossbar behind the bumper so I tried to re install the plastic cover piece that was returned to me after the 2" hitch was installed. The problem with that was the locking tabs that hold the cover piece on were broken off by the installer when he initially removed it from the bumper skin. I ordered a new cover piece from the dealer for around $12 and using the old cover piece with all the tabs cut off , made a template of the cutout area I would need to make the piece fit tight around the hitch. Then I placed the template piece over the new piece and scribed the outline of the cutout onto the new piece, then cut out the hole/square notch. I placed the newly modified cover piece over the 2" receiver and trial fit it almost until the tabs snapped in place-BUT did not allow them to catch as I wanted to take the piece back off and carefully trim the notch to get it to fit around the 2" receiver hitch without a gap. When I thought it was cut sufficiently, I placed the plastic cover piece back in place and allowed the tabs to fully snap in place. Some pictures below (excuse thumb in picture 4- using I phone):
Attached Images
File Type: jpg hitch1.jpg (436.6 KB, 101 views)
File Type: jpg hitch2.jpg (446.4 KB, 74 views)
File Type: jpg hitch3.jpg (450.0 KB, 88 views)
File Type: jpg hitch4.jpg (441.6 KB, 87 views)

2013 2LT Equinox<br />Champagne Silver Metallic <br />Black Leather with red stitching<br />3.6 V6 AWD with 301 HP<br /><br />2010 Camaro SS/RS<br />Imperial Blue Metallic with Silver stripes<br />Black and grey leather interior<br />6 speed manual with 426 HP
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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 10:22 AM
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Re: How to: add 2 inch tow hitch/electrical connectors with pictures

Nice job, looks great!

Where is the electrical plug?

2013 Equinox Ashen Grey Metallic 1LT<br />V6, AWD, Drivers Convenience Package, 2" Tow Package,<br />Premium Sound, WeatherTech Mats, Splash Guards, OEM Hood Deflector, Emblems-3.6-Direct Injection-V6-GM Mark of Excellence, Sportwing Body Side Mouldings.
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 10:37 AM
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Re: How to: add 2 inch tow hitch/electrical connectors with pictures

The plug is tucked into the back opening of the 2" square and is held to the tow bar with cable ties. Only about 6" of free length is available- just enough to enable me to remove the plug from the back side of the opening and replace it after towing is completed. I couldn't use the regular holder for a 4 wire plug because my trailer required a 5 wire plug (5th wire operates the reverse lockout solenoid on the surge brake master cylinder installed on the trailer tongue- couldn't back up the trailer without this because the reverse movement of the Nox would apply the brakes on the trailer). The placement of the plug in the back side of the hitch makes the hitch install look better (in my opinion) and I don't have wires hanging down or a visible plug/bracket. I have seen some brackets installed into the plastic bumper cover with sheet metal screws that can't be expected to hold up.

2013 2LT Equinox<br />Champagne Silver Metallic <br />Black Leather with red stitching<br />3.6 V6 AWD with 301 HP<br /><br />2010 Camaro SS/RS<br />Imperial Blue Metallic with Silver stripes<br />Black and grey leather interior<br />6 speed manual with 426 HP
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