How to Install pre-'96 OE Tow Hook Brackets on a '97+ *pics* - JeepForum.com
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Unread 11-15-2007, 10:31 AM   #1
lost honda pro
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
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How to Install pre-'96 OE Tow Hook Brackets on a '97+ *pics*

So I happened to find these tow hooks, with bumper, recently pulled off a '93 XJ that the guy replaced with a full bumper. The price wasn't too bad, and I didn't have to deal with shipping, so I bought 'em....

Problem is, I have a '97, and didn't realize they change the shape of the front bumper in '96 (from the upside down 'G' cross section to a 'C' cross section). So the brackets seem identical except for this section circled in green below:



So what I decided to do, is cut off the bumper bracket for the '90-'96 bumper, and just use mine bolted up in the same spot.

Sorry bout the cell phone pics...







Thanks to my trusty Dremel and angle grinder, chopping the bumper brackets off was pretty easy:





Put on a sanding disk and cleaned up the mating surface:



And sprayed em with some semi-gloss paint to prevent rust:



So now I just wait for them to dry, bolt up the hooks, and install the brackets. I'm also planning to make a backing plate like (I believe) the C4x4 kit comes with. Stay tuned.

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Unread 11-15-2007, 02:59 PM   #2
Staffybull603
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looks good...you've been on a roll with these write ups
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Unread 11-15-2007, 03:38 PM   #3
lost honda pro
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thanks.

as for the write-ups, i figure i might as well throw some cell phone pics up, its the least i can do. i wouldn't be where im at if others hadnt done it for me...
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Unread 11-16-2007, 02:06 PM   #4
lost honda pro
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Ok, here's the actual swap. I'm skipping some steps, as this is a VERY straightforward procedure.

NOTE: Sorry about the cell phone pics, didn't feel like finding the digi...

1) Remove the end caps (3 bolts each) and the center air dam section (3 bolts).

2) Remove the two upper and two lower T50 Torx bolts holding the bumper to the bracket.



NOTE: Since we have removed the bumper, we now need to find a new place to put our beverages:



3) I have already replaced my rusted bolts with Grade 8, 3/8" - 16 tpi bolts, so simply remove the bumper brackets. (if you have original hardware, expect those cheap retainer nuts to break)



4) Go to Lowe's and buy like $25 worth of Grade 8 hardware, and mock up the tow hook brackets BEHIND the bumper brackets. Don't worry, the bumper has slots to accept the extra width of the tow hook brackets. There are supposed to be two additional support brackets that go between the bracket and the hook itself, this lines up with this hole:



5) Start tightening up ONE SIDE and test fit the bumper to get it aligned with the bottom of the grill how you want it.





(That rear-most bolt is a Grade 8, 1/2" x 3.5", FYI)

6) Once you have once side sitting how you want it, measure (or eyeball) the other side, snug everything up, and reinstall the bumper.



7) I also took the opportunity to change the T50 Torx bumper bolts to 3/8" hex stuff while I was at it.



I'm also toying with the idea of going endcap-less. I like the way it looks, except on the corners, where there's just big holes. Anyone tried fitting the '90-'96 endcaps on these bumpers? Opinions? I will probably end up just trimming the tow hook hole and reinstalling the endcaps/airdam.



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Unread 11-16-2007, 02:34 PM   #5
mason_msw
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Sweet, I really appreciate it to you guys who do all these write ups.
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