How to remove a towbar

Written by bretn
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How to remove a towbar
You will have to get under the vehicle to remove the tow bar. (under truck image by Patricia Mesanko from Fotolia.com)

Sometimes you need to tow a trailer or another vehicle. In this case, you will need a tow bar with a hitch on it. But what if you have a tow bar on your vehicle, and you are not towing anything. The ball hitch can stick out far enough that it could cause an injury to people unaware the hitch is there. You can take the tow bar off in about an hour if the bolts are not rusted or on too tight.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Socket set
  • Crescent spanner
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire caps
  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • Zip ties

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Jack the rear end of the vehicle up high enough so you can get under it. Place jack stands on both sides of the vehicle and let the jack down so that the vehicle is resting on the jack stands.

  2. 2

    Remove any wiring going to the trailer connector. In many vehicles there is a harness you will just have to disconnect, but if there is no harness, you will have to cut the wires about 15 cm (6 inches) from the trailer connector. Put wire caps on all loose ends and zip-tie the wires to the chassis so that they don't scrape on the ground.

  3. 3

    Unbolt the tow bar from the vehicle. There should be 3 to 4 bolts on either side of the tow bar and 1 bolt about 1/4 of the way down the bar on both sides. Use the ratchet to unscrew the nut, while you use the crescent spanner to keep the bolt from turning.

Tips and warnings

  • Depending on how long the tow bar has been on the vehicle, you may have to spray some lubricant on the bolts if they are rusty.
  • The tow bar is heavy, so be careful that it does not fall on you when you are taking it off. You can remove the outer bolts first, then loosen the inner nuts. Take one bolt out and hold the bar up as you take the last bolt out. Let the bar down gently.
  • Keep the vehicle in gear, set the emergency brake and chalk the front tyres before lifting the rear.

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