Jeep Cherokee XJ Tow Hook and Bracket
idea behind this
modification is because factory XJ's predominately
did not come with front tow points, mine included. There are other
alternatives to tow hooks (i.e. after market bumpers, winches, and
front hitch receiver). I wanted to keep the cost to a minimum, not have
to install a new bumper, and keep my factory skid plate. A hitch
receiver does not allow the install of a front skid plate.
tow hook brackets
are designed to add strength by sandwiching the
frame rail. If you want to see a picture of the brackets, click the
C4x4 link above and look on their Armor page. The directions that came
with the package gave us a general feeling of how the unit installed,
but specifics were lacking. The slight variations of XJ models, in my
opinion, is the reason for this.
manufacturer, no drilling is required for install, but
possible fabrication of the end caps is needed. In addition to the end
caps we had to grind a notch in the factory bumper brackets (this will
be explained later). None was necessary for the install of the tow hook
Work was completed in approximately 2.5 hours.
(All parts and bolts were included in
- 2 L-Brackets
- 2 Frame Rail Brackets
- 2 Tow Hooks
- Corresponding mounting hardware included
- Floor Jack
- Jack Stands
- Metric Socket Set with extensions
- Metric Wrench Set
- Bench Grinder
- Dremmel Tool
first step was to put
the XJ on jack stands and remove the front tires. This step is not
mandatory, but is highly recommended and gives you allot more room to
work. Secondly, remove the bumper end caps (unhook the fog lights),
bumper, bumper brackets, and front skid plate (if applicable). Remember
to remove the hose from the vacuum canister before removing the front
End caps and bumper are removed. Skid plate and factory bumper brackets
need to come off.
the L-Bracket on
the inside of the unibody rail with the bolts, nuts and washers
provided. The back side is very tight and it takes a steady hand to
place the nuts on the bolts.
longer frame rail
bracket goes on the outside rail and is sandwiched by the factory
bumper bracket (i.e. it goes on top of the frame rail bracket).
Slightly tighten the bolts; you'll need to take the whole thing apart
in a moment.
Frame rail bracket installed with factory bumper bracket on top of it
had to cut a small
notch on the factory bumper bracket in order for the tow hook's forward
bolt to fit properly. Mark the placement of the bolt and remove the
factory bumper bracket. Take it to the bench grinder and cut the notch.
Check for fit. Do this on both sides. If the front bolt fully inserts
without hitting the factory bumper bracket, tighten all of the bolts to
gorilla specifications. If not, cut the notch bigger. Congratulations
if it fits without grinding.
The factory bumper bracket has been notched.
then install the tow hooks (remember to hook the vacuum hose up). The
tow hooks utilize two bolts, washers and locking nuts. If you followed
the procedure listed above you should have no issues installing the
bolts for proper fit. We then re-installed the skid plate.
portion of the skirt on
the bumper end caps needs slight fabrication. We used a Dremmel tool to
cut a section out so the tow hooks would fit. You will be unable to put
a tow rope on the tow hooks if you do not cut the end caps. The
pictures tell the story.
Before, during and after shots of the end cap fabrication.
to normal wear and
tear, I was missing a couple of bolts from the bumper assembly. Steve
had extras on hand from his old bumper, so we replaced what was missing.
the install by
re-installing the bumper end caps, hooking up the fog lights, putting
the tires back on and removing the vehicle from the jack stands.
Installed tow hooks:
yet to test the tow
hooks and actually hope not to have to use them, but I have them if the
time should come. I feel that they will be quite sufficient if used
Thank you Steve, a.k.a ThePhantum
for your help and the use of your garage.