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Unread 07-16-2013, 03:06 PM   #1
Redshirt
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: Calgary, AB
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XJ Brush Guard Installation Help

So I recently acquired a brush guard from another jeeper (second hand, but never used), and I'm seeking some advice on the installation. I'm hoping someone here can help me out.



It is a WAAG grille, and after doing some research and some poking around online, It seemed as though the grille was designed to bolt on to the tow hook mounting points. Looking at the mounting holes on the grille itself, this would certainly seem to be the case; the size and spacing is perfect for it.




My 96 XJ didn't have stock tow hooks, so I just got some off ebay that came with all the necessary mounting brackets and hardware. I had planned to mount the tow hooks right below the grille mounts on the same bolt and bracket. However, I got the new tow hook brackets installed...



...and ooops, the holes don't line up at all. The spacing between the bolt holes on the brackets is 5 inches wider (or 2.5" on each side) than the mounting holes on the grille.



So now I've got some tow hooks, which is a plus, but I'd still like to mount up this brush guard. I don't really want to drill into the frame, and looking at the frame there isn't really a place to mount it squarely, even if I drill. My best thought is to fabricate a steel plate to simply bridge the gap, but that just sounds too flimsy to hold up against any abuse at all.
Anybody have any ideas?

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Unread 07-16-2013, 03:43 PM   #2
sAe23
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At first you said "the size and spacing is perfect for it"... Then you say "there isn't really a place to mount it squarely".
What happened to the holes that were "perfect" for mounting the guard? Did they get covered by the hook bracket?
Anyway, I would go with the idea of using a plate to span the gap. If you use a reasonably thick piece it might be strong enough.
Just be sure to use the HOOKS for any pulling
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Unread 07-16-2013, 03:46 PM   #3
CJ7-Tim
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I would guess you got a Grand Cherokee brush guard.

Buy some 1/4" thick angle iron. 1x3" if you can find it, otherwise you will have to trim down some bigger stuff. Drill it so you use all 4 tow hook bolts. Then drill it to fit the brush guard. Even if the brush guard fit correctly, all it will stand up to, is brush.
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Unread 07-16-2013, 05:04 PM   #4
Redshirt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ7-Tim View Post
I would guess you got a Grand Cherokee brush guard.
I had got the impression that Grand Cherokee grille guards mounted at a 45 degree angle, not parallel to the frame/ground like this one

Does anyone know if the tow hook mounting points changed for post-1997 Cherokees? Perhaps that's what it is meant for?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sAe23 View Post

At first you said "the size and spacing is perfect for it"... Then you say "there isn't really a place to mount it squarely".
What happened to the holes that were "perfect" for mounting the guard? Did they get covered by the hook bracket?
What I meant was that the pair of bolt holes on either side of the brush guard are the perfect sizing and spacing for the tow hooks' and brackets' bolt holes. As in, I could mount the tow hooks and/or the brackets to the brush guard just fine, but then that whole package would be too narrow to fit on the car itself. And I suppose I could bolt one side of the guard to a tow bracket, but then I would fall 5 inches short on the opposite side. But once the brackets are properly mounted to the frame, the spacing between the brackets (with the perfected sized holes) is too great.
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Unread 07-16-2013, 06:31 PM   #5
CJ7-Tim
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The "frame" on a Cherokee is the same for all years. The tow hook bracket holes are in the same locations for all years.
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Unread 08-18-2013, 08:04 PM   #6
Redshirt
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So I got the grille guard on!


Looking good!



And for anyone who stumbles across this thread looking for a solution to the same problem, here's how I did it:



I bridged the gap with a length of angle iron, cut and drilled to size. And I painted it with some matte black rust paint while I was at it.




It seems pretty solid and sturdy so far. It wiggles a little when you reef on it, but it doesn't shake when driving or anything.
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