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How To: Full Tow Hitch Install

Fully2k

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Does anyone know of a 7pin wiring harness aftermarket option? The OEM ~$150 after shipping is an unfortunate expense for this component.
 

PittPa

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Give etrailer.com or Curt trailer a call and ask. The car is very new but I would expect a loom that is a copy of the OE one should be available soon. The 2020 loom from Kia is around the same price but you can get it from Amazon "Curt" brand for less then $50
 

Rjsurfer

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Looks like a nice option, but it obviously doesn't come with levelling shocks. i'm guessing that's why factory tow option is so much more money.
 

gasandneedles

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Hello all,

I just installed an OEM hitch yesterday after getting recommendations from this site. I want to thank 2020Telly for lengthy descriptions and personalized responses. This person knows their stuff. Thanks also to DM2020, as I referenced their post in this thread throughout my install. I also referenced a couple of YouTube videos, neither of which were complete, but both helpful (
and
).

This was my first significant auto DIY. I have messed with some radio head units, installed a subwoofer/amp once, and put in a rear camera, but I have never installed a hitch. So some of my notes will be for the truly new DIYer.

I installed the OEM hitch and pin connector on a 2021 SX Prestige Nightfall edition. One of my concerns was matching the correct tow hitch "cover" (hitch cutout fascia) to the shiny black fascia of the nightfall, but a recent post in this same thread confirmed that even the nightfall edition has a more matte tow hitch cover (part SF961-AU060).

Interestingly, this part comes up as "Tow Hitch Chrome Cover" in some parts searches (see below) - it is actually the matte black fascia of the tow hitch cutout. I took 2020Telly's advice and ordered parts separately online. I ordered through wholesalekiaparts.com, which turned out to be a website front for a dealer in Georgia.

IMG_9114.jpg

Shipping was $96, so I was all in for $591 with taxes.

Regarding the actual installation (these are just some notes/additions to what others have said rather than a complete instructional write up).

I agree w/ DM2020 - I did not use a lift for this installation. I just slid under the car on the cardboard box the hitch came in.
I lowered the spare from inside the vehicle rather than from under it.
I only bent the bumper alignment post a small amount (agree w/ DM2020).
Taking the dust box off the quarter rear panel to access the connector interface was surprisingly annoying. You take off the three push clips, then there are nuts attached at the top in two locations. Loosen these, and to get them to come off completely, provide a little downward pressure on the dust box while continuing to loosen the nuts so they engage in the threads. Otherwise, the nuts just spin and the box doesn't come off - you don't need to force it off - just apply some pressure while loosening the nuts, and it will come off. The picture below is a picture of the nut I am referring to.

Dust cover nut.jpg

As others have said, installing the 7 pin connector is fairly simple. Just remove the existing connector protector/guard and click on the pin connector.

Connector interface.jpg

I did not use a special tool for the exhaust hangers either, as DM2020 pointed out. We just pulled them off using fingers and a channel lock (I had an extra set of hands for this part to support the exhaust and to help with positioning). A torque wrench was crucial in tightening the bolts to specifications. Completed project.jpg

The final product looks nice. The cover for the 7 pin connector is slightly too big for the fascia, but I didn't mess with it. I am overall very happy with the OEM hitch, connector, and fascia.

I do have a leftover shiny black tow hitch cover piece. I also have the Trailer Brake connection (S9F67 AC060) piece available. I don't planning on towing anything very heavy (mostly bikes/cargo rack type stuff).

I'm happy to respond if you have questions.

Good luck!
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ScotsLad_kia21

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This is what I did as well - OEM hitch and bumper cover from a parts store and then Curt 4 pin wiring harness from Amazon. I think I paid more like $37 or so though.
Can you gentleman point me in the direction of the harness you ordered? I too ordered the tow kit bumper plate and decided to skip on the wiring harness for the obvious shipping up charge. Was notified today it’s all shipped so looking for the wiring harness to connect it all up on one go (I hope)
 

gasandneedles

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Can you gentleman point me in the direction of the harness you ordered? I too ordered the tow kit bumper plate and decided to skip on the wiring harness for the obvious shipping up charge. Was notified today it’s all shipped so looking for the wiring harness to connect it all up on one go (I hope)
Just use the part number in my post above for the harness, google it, and see combined price + shipping.
 

2020Telly

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Can you gentleman point me in the direction of the harness you ordered? I too ordered the tow kit bumper plate and decided to skip on the wiring harness for the obvious shipping up charge. Was notified today it’s all shipped so looking for the wiring harness to connect it all up on one go (I hope)
You can look around for the Curt 56420. That's the aftermarket 4-pin flat that is plug and play for the Telluride and made by Curt. It has the tail lights rated for 7.5 Amps. Tekonsha also makes an inexpensive one (Tekonsha #118784), but I think it's rated for only 4 Amps at the tail lights while the Kia OEM 4-pin is 5 Amps. Which is not a bad thing if you have LED lights on the trailer, but if you have running lights or older halogens, you might consider needing a higher rating.
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KC_Ride

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Quick question about a 4-pin wiring harness: I've seen a few mentions of having to add fuses if you don't have the towing package. Is that the case, or will it truly be plug and play? I have the OEM hitch but installed it myself - we don't have the tow packing. I'm planning to buy the Curt 56420. Thanks.
 

2020Telly

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Quick question about a 4-pin wiring harness: I've seen a few mentions of having to add fuses if you don't have the towing package. Is that the case, or will it truly be plug and play? I have the OEM hitch but installed it myself - we don't have the tow packing. I'm planning to buy the Curt 56420. Thanks.
The Curt 56420 is plug and play. No additional fuses. The fuses should be already in the fuse box. You just plug into the 12-pin connection in the rear quarter panel.
 

pharpe

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Could someone with the factory hitch and Bumper Plate take a measurement? I'm trying to determine if one of the after market hitches will work with the KIA OEM Hitch Bumper Plate. What I need to know how high the the top of the receiver opening in the bumper plate is from ground.

The Curt hitch is 16" from the top of the receiver to the ground and the eTrailer hitch is 15 3/4" from the top of the receiver to the ground.
 

2020Telly

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Could someone with the factory hitch and Bumper Plate take a measurement? I'm trying to determine if one of the after market hitches will work with the KIA OEM Hitch Bumper Plate. What I need to know how high the the top of the receiver opening in the bumper plate is from ground.

The Curt hitch is 16" from the top of the receiver to the ground and the eTrailer hitch is 15 3/4" from the top of the receiver to the ground.
I will confirm for you with pictures but I think difference is about 2 3/4” because I remember measuring for someone else looking for a ball mount with 2” rise.
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pharpe

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I will confirm for you with pictures but I think difference is about 2 3/4” because I remember measuring for someone else looking for a ball mount with 2” rise.
Thanks. I was hopping it would be closer and might require just a bit of trimming. 2 3/4" is a pretty big difference though
 

2020Telly

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Thanks. I was hopping it would be closer and might require just a bit of trimming. 2 3/4" is a pretty big difference though
 

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pharpe

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Thank for the pictures that really helps. It looks like it's not that far off after all. Only about 3/4". I put this side by side together in case anyone else has this question. It is frustrating that Curt just didn't make theirs the same height though so it would be a direct fit with the bumper plate.

1635426060731.png
 
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ronniebell

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This weekend I installed Kia's telluride tow hitch on my S. Attached are the instructions they provided. I wouldn't call myself a grease monkey, the extent of my expertise stops generally after oil changes and tire rotations and other minor activities, but this was still fairly easy. It took me about 2 hours taking my time.

I wasn't looking to tow anything of consequence so I didn't get any of the connecting wire parts. I only plan on putting a bike rack on there.

Basically you take the spare off.
Remove the current bumper cover.
Take a couple of the exhaust hangers off.
Put the tow hitch in position
Put the bolts in
Put in the new bumper cover part (another part required to purchase)
Put spare in.
Good to go.

I purchased from a local kia dealer. The parts guy there was great. I called months ago and he told me he would hold the parts for me and call me as soon as he got them in. He did indeed. Paid a little more than some of the stores online, but he called me right away - last wednesday, picked it up on thursday, and installed on Friday. Shoutout to Chris in parts at Kia of Sussex.

I know a couple people having been asking for the full instructions and wondering if it was worth a quoted $900 or so. I would say if you are a little handsy and want to take your time, I would go for it and cut that cost down in half.
This is good information. Thank you. Some of us, and me included, are not even to the level of being able to change oil or tires, etc. I don't feel comfortable doing any of that stuff. I spent several hours on this forum the last several weeks looking at all the posts related to installing a hitch and what's involved and trying to understand everything. It was confusing to my simple mind. I ended up getting a very reasonable quote from Ziebart (see attached) and I actually have the appointment today. Total cost = $595 + sales tax.
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2020Telly

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Thank for the pictures that really helps. It looks like it's not that far off after all. Only about 3/4". I put this side by side together in case anyone else has this question. It is frustrating that Curt just didn't make theirs the same height though so it would be a direct fit with the bumper plate.

View attachment 23510
I agree. Curt could have made their a little lower to avoid any cutting of the flat bumper panel or a little higher to fit exactly like stock with the tow hitch bumper panel insert.
 

kiaklimber

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I had camping world install a wired brake controller and a Hopkins 7pin adapter to the 4pin, running wire up to the car battery. Twice now, when I’ve connected my trailer to the car and had shore power hooked up, the wiring shorts and smoke emits from the wire going to the car battery, melting through the wire covering. Not sure where to go from here. Installer says the Kia part is failing and Kia says that 3rd party installed items are not under warranty. Any thoughts?
 

2020Telly

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I had camping world install a wired brake controller and a Hopkins 7pin adapter to the 4pin, running wire up to the car battery. Twice now, when I’ve connected my trailer to the car and had shore power hooked up, the wiring shorts and smoke emits from the wire going to the car battery, melting through the wire covering. Not sure where to go from here. Installer says the Kia part is failing and Kia says that 3rd party installed items are not under warranty. Any thoughts?
Do you have pictures of what they installed? They should have put a fuse or an auto resetting breaker inline. That would prevent the wires from melting. The fuse should blow or the breaker trips before the wire melts. Maybe an exposed or stripped wire somewhere is touching metal possibly from pulling the wire through a small hole or rubbing? Any idea what gauged thickness wire they put in? I would think 12-guage would be enough to pass power without overheating. If they put a higher number wire then it would be thinner and that could result in it melting. If they put an inline fuse, what Amp rating is the fuse? The amperage rating on the fuse will depend on the thickness of the wire. For example, a 12-gauge wire might require a 20A fuse, while a 10-gauge wire might require a 30A fuse.
 
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kiaklimber

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Do you have pictures of what they installed? They should have put a fuse or an auto resetting breaker inline. That would prevent the wires from melting. The fuse should blow or the breaker trips before the wire melts. Maybe an exposed or stripped wire somewhere is touching metal possibly from pulling the wire through a small hole or rubbing? Any idea what gauged thickness wire they put in? I would think 12-guage would be enough to pass power without overheating. If they put a higher number wire then it would be thinner and that could result in it melting. If they put an inline fuse, what Amp rating is the fuse? The amperage rating on the fuse will depend on the thickness of the wire. For example, a 12-gauge wire might require a 20A fuse, while a 10-gauge wire might require a 30A fuse.
2020telly thanks for the information. Here are some photos.
 


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