Tow Hook Bracket Kit and Tow Hook Install

Well it's taken a while but I finally completed this tech article. This is not step by step directions, but more of a description of my experience with the install.

The Vehicle: Red, my 1990 Jeep Cherokee XJ.

First off I had to purchase the Bracket kit from the Parts department at the local Jeep Dealer. The part # is 82200719. Your part # may vary depending on the year of your XJ. The kit cost roughly $40. As others have noted, the instructions are very poor and the kit doesn't come with all the listed parts. I had to purchase 4 additional bolts and 2 additional nuts. Make sure you use grade 8 hardware. I started the install with what I had on hand so that I would find out what I was missing and could make one trip to the hardware store for the additional items (I had my wife's XJ at my disposal). Three days prior to the install, I started spraying WD-40 on all the nuts and bolts I would have to remove.

The first step was to remove the bumper. I found it easiest to remove the bumper with the bumper mounts attached. One thing to be careful with is that there is a vacuum canister located inside the bumper on the passenger side. You need to detach the vacuum lines before completely removing the bumper. This part went well.

Next, I installed the new bumper mounts to the frame of the XJ, remember to only HAND TIGHTEN all bolts so that at the end you can adjust your bumper to it's proper position. The instructions state that "If vehicle is equipped with a I-6 Engine, there is a clearance problem between the alternator and side rail with the rear attaching bolt/nut." I have the I-6 and was able to attach the stated bolt and nut with little trouble.

(The area in the red circle shows the inside lateral support backets and new bumper mount brackets installed. The black square indicates the area removed so that the hook could protrude out.)

Next came the Inside Lateral Support Brackets. At this point I was able to identify the shortages in the kit and I made my run to the hardware store. These inside lateral support brackets attach to the front cross member of the frame (I know it's a unibody but it's the best description I could come up with. See the photo), and the new bumper mounts. Here is where I ran into the first problem. The holes in the cross member didn't line up exactly with the holes in the inside lateral support bracket. I had to get out the drill and slightly enlarge the holes in the cross member. Next problem, Because of the steering box and it's support, I couldn't get the nuts in place to install the inside lateral support bracket on the drivers side. This was easily overcome by removing the one bolt that held the Steering box support in place. With the support removed I was able to install the drivers side inside lateral support bracket.

(The ovals indicate the mounting locations for the inside lateral support brackets. These had to be redrilled.)

Next came reinstallation of the bumper (don't forget to reconnect the vacuum lines to the vacuum canister). It is necessary to cut openings in the black plastic airdam under the bumper where the tow hooks will be installed prior to bolting up the bumper.

After the bumper was on, it was time to install the Lower Lateral Support Brackets and the tow hooks. The Lower lateral Support Brackets attach to the bottom of the frame rail and to the bumper bracket with the tow hooks attaching through the Lower Lateral Support Bracket and the Bumper Bracket. I purchased my tow hooks from Summit Racing. They cost about $10 and even came with the retaining clips, this was cheaper then the stock hooks, and in my opinion, better made and better looking.

Now it was time to align everything and tighten up all the nuts and bolts. This would be easier with a helper but I was able to do it on my own. Do to a slight difference in the design of the new Bumper brackets, I was unable to get the bumper to its exact stock location (it sits about a 1/4" lower) but it doesn't look bad.

Summary, this was a relatively easy job that you shouldn't be afraid to tackle yourself. Not counting the trip to the hardware store, the job took me about 2 hours.

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