Installing factory rear bumper, and aftermarket trailer receiver hitch. -

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post #1 of 3 Old 08-26-2008, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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2007 WK 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Antlers, Ok
Posts: 1,067
Installing factory rear bumper, and aftermarket trailer receiver hitch.

Installing factory rear bumper, and aftermarket trailer receiver hitch.

I posted this at some time, before.. last year. and I didn't post in correct area to try to make it a write-up... I am wanting to repost here and see if it is good enough to go live. My subscription is about to run out and I don't want to lose my pictures. so that's another reason why I'm doing this now.

On a rainy Saturday I went about removing this damaged Bumper, it was deforming and preventing my rear hatch from opening. Also It was not sealed against the weatherstripping.

and Installing these goodies.

I used the box that the receiving hitch came in, to lay on, due to the it had just rained and began my task of removing my damaged bumper. I ran into problems early on with the upper mounting bracket bolts due to the bumper being dented in directly on the mount. My ratchet bairly fit into the area that was needed. I also realized that the very end of my frame was bent. as you can see in the picture by the ratchet handle.

after I got the horribly bent side loose, the bumper looked even worse than before. I did not bend it more, the bumper was still firm.
bumper off
Old vs new.

After reading the directions on installing the hitch I started the install in the best order that I could think of. I put the bolts and spacers inside the frame first.

They supplied a very nifty wire tool.. made it super easy. I ran into a problem with only one bolt due to the frame being bent. so after a few wackes with a hammer I got it to go in.

After careful consideration I decided to put the bumper on first, then the hitch since I already had the bolts in place. If I would have installed the hitch first then I would have not been able to install the bumper assembly easily.

The next problem I ran into was that my tail pipe was directly under the bolts for the receiver hitch so I just detached the rear exaust support so I could push it to the side while I tightened the nuts.

As I tightened the bolts on the receiver hitch it actually bent my frame rails mostly into the original form. I still notice that the bumper is slightly bent in on the passenger side and bent out on the driver side. Also my tail pile is right against the hitch, but that shouldn't be a problem.. it's firmly against it so it shouldn't rattle.

Over all this was fairly simple, even though it took me about 2.5 hours total to do all the work, and with some assistance from my roommate. I'm just glad to be able to open my rear hatch again.

If there are any questions just ask me.

Goldenknob is offline  
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post #2 of 3 Old 03-12-2009, 08:32 PM
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1988 MJ Comanche 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Shippensburg, PA
Posts: 494
I know this is an old topic but thanks for making gonna be installing a hitch on my 96 XJ this weekend and this answered all my questions
ComancheKid45 is offline  
post #3 of 3 Old 03-06-2010, 04:23 PM
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: lexington,sc
Posts: 225
Just because I don't want to start a new thread. Here was my instal this weekend/last weekend. Had to order a new nutstrip ($20) and then remove the rear bumper. The stupid exhaust hanger bolt broke so I had to dremel out the window with a 1/8" 4 flute endmill (a lot faster than a stone, and cutoff wheel wouldn't fit) to be able to remove the old nutstrip. In the end, it would have been easier to get a shop to do it with air tools. And I did this myself since my brother is out of town. The exhaust hanger and heat shield were retained in the install. I love the hitch, its beefer than my 1-1/4" (old one) and since it's not the traditional tube one, it is hidden more.

grovesb2 is offline  

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