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Unread 07-30-2014, 10:27 AM   #1
DPH1LLY
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Kettering, OH
Posts: 79
PRE-1997 Front Tow Hooks Question...

Hey, guys. So after doing some searching I'm still not really finding answers on mounting front tow hooks on a pre 97 XJ. I know the 97+ had nice slots in the front lower air dam to mount through but unless your pre 96 XJ came stock with them (Which mine obviously didn't, haha ) then Im just kind've lost. I'd like to keep a clean look up front and didn't really want to do any removing of that lower air dam. I just want to mount some factory style tow hooks up front. So I guess my question is did pre 97 XJ's with stock tow hooks even have that lower air dam equipped, and if not how were they mounted? Thats the route I'm gonna try and go. Thanks in advance guys! Pictures are appreciated too!!!

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Unread 07-30-2014, 11:25 AM   #2
acannell
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1989 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: hemet, ca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPH1LLY View Post
Hey, guys. So after doing some searching I'm still not really finding answers on mounting front tow hooks on a pre 97 XJ. I know the 97+ had nice slots in the front lower air dam to mount through but unless your pre 96 XJ came stock with them (Which mine obviously didn't, haha ) then Im just kind've lost. I'd like to keep a clean look up front and didn't really want to do any removing of that lower air dam. I just want to mount some factory style tow hooks up front. So I guess my question is did pre 97 XJ's with stock tow hooks even have that lower air dam equipped, and if not how were they mounted? Thats the route I'm gonna try and go. Thanks in advance guys! Pictures are appreciated too!!!
lucky you, I just picked up some factory tow hooks off a 91 XJ at the junkyard yesterday, so I think I saw everything you are talking about while I was disassembling them from the Jeep

I do remember there were openings in the plastic air dam (and so yes it is present on at least a 91 XJ) that the tow hooks popped through..I would think those slots would be very easy to cut into an airdam with out the slots..that plastic cut like butter with the crappy multi tool saw I used. You could do a very good job with a more precision tool, and I bet you could cut the slots in the airdam quite easily without removing it....perhaps take your time with a very thin hacksaw or cable blade...

I only see one part number for a 1990 XJ for the air dam, so I think that the tow hooks were a dealer installed thing and they probably modified the airdam as needed to do it.

I just went and checked my 89 XJ that has no tow hooks, and there are no slots in the airdam..so I guess they really do need to be added after-the fact by someone, and apparently its not the factory.
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Unread 07-30-2014, 01:50 PM   #3
DPH1LLY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acannell
lucky you, I just picked up some factory tow hooks off a 91 XJ at the junkyard yesterday, so I think I saw everything you are talking about while I was disassembling them from the Jeep I do remember there were openings in the plastic air dam (and so yes it is present on at least a 91 XJ) that the tow hooks popped through..I would think those slots would be very easy to cut into an airdam with out the slots..that plastic cut like butter with the crappy multi tool saw I used. You could do a very good job with a more precision tool, and I bet you could cut the slots in the airdam quite easily without removing it....perhaps take your time with a very thin hacksaw or cable blade... I only see one part number for a 1990 XJ for the air dam, so I think that the tow hooks were a dealer installed thing and they probably modified the airdam as needed to do it. I just went and checked my 89 XJ that has no tow hooks, and there are no slots in the airdam..so I guess they really do need to be added after-the fact by someone, and apparently its not the factory.
Awesome thanks for the info! That worked out perfect that you just went and did that, haha. I'll have to take that air dam and really take my time and create my own slots. Also this is probably an extremely noob question but I've never installed front two hooks before on an XJ, but, where were the stock hooks mounted on? Thanks!!
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Unread 07-30-2014, 02:15 PM   #4
acannell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPH1LLY View Post
Awesome thanks for the info! That worked out perfect that you just went and did that, haha. I'll have to take that air dam and really take my time and create my own slots. Also this is probably an extremely noob question but I've never installed front two hooks before on an XJ, but, where were the stock hooks mounted on? Thanks!!
They actually require a few special brackets. They get mounted to the frame at several points for strength.

My 89 XJ does not have those brackets at all..so I'm glad I took them off the junkyard Jeep..

If you just take the tow hooks themselves and bolt them somewhere its probably better than nothing but definitely not going to be as strong as the factory brackets.

Heres the pic of the ones I got:

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Unread 07-30-2014, 07:51 PM   #5
dmill89
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Originally Posted by acannell View Post
If you just take the tow hooks themselves and bolt them somewhere its probably better than nothing but definitely not going to be as strong as the factory brackets.
If that "somewhare" is the stock bumper they will likely rip off and may seriously injure or kill someone. The OE bumper is only stamped steel (maybe 16-18 ga.) and the only thing holding it to the brackets are 4 clip-nuts (2-ea. side) and torx screws attached to the "lip" on the back of the bumper. If the hooks don't rip through the bumper the bumper will tear off from the brackets.

You definately need some brackets (either stock or custom made) that bolt to the frame-rails or an after-market bumper made of heavy steel with proper frame-tie-ins.
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Unread 07-30-2014, 07:58 PM   #6
acannell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmill89 View Post
If that "somewhare" is the stock bumper they will likely rip off and may seriously injure or kill someone. The OE bumper is only stamped steel (maybe 16-18 ga.) and the only thing holding it to the brackets are 4 clip-nuts (2-ea. side) and torx screws attached to the "lip" on the back of the bumper. If the hooks don't rip through the bumper the bumper will tear off from the brackets.

You definately need some brackets (either stock or custom made) that bolt to the frame-rails or an after-market bumper made of heavy steel with proper frame-tie-ins.
nah..the bumper just stretches about a foot then gently pops off
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Unread 07-31-2014, 08:25 AM   #7
rugsucka
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Originally Posted by acannell View Post
nah..the bumper just stretches about a foot then gently pops off
You should go stand in between the vehicle tugging and that bumper/tow hook combo as you describe it and suggest it be mounted for offering such stupid advice. Help cleanse the gene pool a bit.

Joking or not death or disfigurement are kind of a big deal to most people.





OP - find JY XJ tow hooks and brackets or find a vendor selling aftermarket versions - just bolting on tow hooks "somewhere" and expecting to yank or tug on them successfully is a bad idea.
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Unread 07-31-2014, 09:50 AM   #8
acannell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rugsucka View Post
You should go stand in between the vehicle tugging and that bumper/tow hook combo as you describe it and suggest it be mounted for offering such stupid advice. Help cleanse the gene pool a bit.

Joking or not death or disfigurement are kind of a big deal to most people.

OP - find JY XJ tow hooks and brackets or find a vendor selling aftermarket versions - just bolting on tow hooks "somewhere" and expecting to yank or tug on them successfully is a bad idea.
I have, thats how I know. Why dont you go jump off a bridge and cleanse the gene pool a bit? Hee hee

I just realized that I'm going to be doing exactly what you are doing DPH1LLY, when I install my tow hooks..i.e. dealing with slots in the airdam. I'm not sure when I'm going to do it though because its 107F @ 20% humidity outside.

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