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Unread 02-17-2014, 03:06 PM   #1
NHPATRIOT
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OEM Tow Setup On Order

Have been working with my dealer to come up with parts needed to add the factory hitch to my Cherokee as it didn't come with the tow package( wanted it but didn't work out ). We looked up my vehicle in the schematics and then looked up a similar Latitude that had factory tow so we could see what was different and get a parts list.

It looks like we have all the parts needed and everything is on order now. Everything shows available with the longest expected arrival time of 2 weeks, including the hitch( in stock and parts guy said 2-3 days ). Only the MOPAR tow harness kit was not available yet but is due to be available shortly.

Not a lot needed it appears. Just the rear fascia, the hitch, and 6 hitch bolts for hard parts. And of course the MOPAR wiring kit if you so choose. At least it looks that way based on the schematics and parts lists.

As soon as the hard parts arrive I am picking them up for my body guy to put on and then I will have the dealer do the tow wiring as it also requires a dealer flash I was told. The most expensive thing is the MOPAR tow harness kit. Be prepared for sticker shock( $200+ ).

Anyway, once the stuff arrives and everything is installed I will post part #'s for you. I don't have them now( hard parts - have the MOPAR tow harness )or I would. I will have to get them off the slip after I pay. Also, this is for a Latitude w/ 3.2L. There will be some variation on parts if you have a 4 cyl and/or a Limited. Also, the TH will use all different parts( tow harness may be the same? ).

I know lots of people are interested in doing this. I hope in 2-3 weeks tops to be able to provide a parts list people can use to order what is needed. At least for a similar vehicle to mine.

Stay tuned...

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Unread 02-17-2014, 08:22 PM   #2
zeusx08
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My local dealer is getting my OEM hitch receiver in tomorrow! I wont be doing the wiring harness as of now though. 3.2 TH
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Unread 03-04-2014, 11:29 AM   #3
NHPATRIOT
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UPDATE:

Just got the vehicle back from the body shop after having the hitch and fascia installed. Everything fit fine. Turns out we did have the parts list correct and this is actually an easy swap to make as it involves very few parts. The tow harness will be the hardest thing to do.

The dealer will install the tow harness on Thursday and the hitch install will be done. I will take a picture when it is all done( FWIW - will look like any Cherokee with a factory tow package ).

So, assuming the tow harness is right( and it should be )here is the parts list, list pricing( I paid much less ), and some notes...

HITCH: 68102272AB
LIST PRICE: $257.00
NOTES: Fits ALL except for Trailhawk

HITCH BOLTS: 6508668AA
LIST PRICE: $6.10 each
NOTES: 6 Needed

REAR FASCIA: 68203262AC
LIST PRICE: $137.00
NOTES: For V6 Latitude w/ Dual Exhaust Outlets.

TOW HARNESS KIT: 82213938AB
LIST PRICE: $203.85
NOTES: Fits ALL

Hope this helps.
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Unread 03-04-2014, 05:56 PM   #4
tpm17
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Is the tow pack a recommended package to have?
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Unread 03-04-2014, 06:12 PM   #5
shadowrogue
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On the Trailhawk at least, the factory tow package changes the final drive ratio. Any idea what the difference will be having added the tow hitch after the fact (sorry if this is a dumb question)?
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Unread 03-07-2014, 12:10 AM   #6
NHPATRIOT
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UPDATE:

Got the tow harness installed yesterday. WARNING this is a labor intensive PITA to do!!! Took them 4 hours to complete the job. It was the 1st one they had done so that adds a little to it but I would say even after they have done some and have it down to a science you are still looking at 2.5-3 hours. Just too much to do for the flat rate 1.2 Hours to be accurate. You have to strip all the trim off the driver's side from the cargo area to the front door and dash. I guess the cargo area side panel is a bear to get out. Also awkward to get up under the dash to hook the wiring in too.

Have to go back for the flash because it took so long they got behind and I said I didn't need to tow anything for a while. They would have done it but I was fine coming back later for that. Actually, they can do it when I have the remote start kit put in. I also have to go back later today and pay. The service manager said he needed to think about what to charge for a bit. He can't charge for how long it took but the flat rate is unfair as well( and I agree ).

So just FYI if you are thinking of doing this yourself - a flash IS needed( some have said it wouldn't but it is )after it is installed and this is not an easy or quick job. I am glad I did not attempt it. I have done OEM harnesses like this before and they always suck. This one sounds like it would have been a nightmare.
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Unread 03-07-2014, 12:11 AM   #7
NHPATRIOT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpm17 View Post
Is the tow pack a recommended package to have?
Only if you will tow anything or use the hitch for something like a bike rack. Otherwise no point to it.
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Unread 03-07-2014, 12:12 AM   #8
NHPATRIOT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowrogue View Post
On the Trailhawk at least, the factory tow package changes the final drive ratio. Any idea what the difference will be having added the tow hitch after the fact (sorry if this is a dumb question)?
Adding the hitch after the fact does not in anyway change the final drive ratio. All you are doing is changing the factory bumper/ibeam out for the hitch.
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Unread 03-07-2014, 09:29 PM   #9
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So, NH, when the smoke cleared, how much did this retrofit cost? Seems to me like the factory tow pkg would have been a bargain, but I realize you bought what was on the lot that fit your needs. Glad you were able to get needed towing capability. I wasn't in a big hurry so I factory ordered what I wanted......no more, no less.
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Unread 03-08-2014, 04:55 AM   #10
NHPATRIOT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fumbler View Post
So, NH, when the smoke cleared, how much did this retrofit cost? Seems to me like the factory tow pkg would have been a bargain, but I realize you bought what was on the lot that fit your needs. Glad you were able to get needed towing capability. I wasn't in a big hurry so I factory ordered what I wanted......no more, no less.
There is no question the factory Tow Group is the way to go if you can find a Cherokee with it or can wait to order. $495 gets you everything I had to do plus a FS spare, 180AMP alt, and HD Cooling( whatever that is - no one seems to know - is NOT oil/trans cooler as all get that standard ). Depending on vehicle you might get different gearing too. Definite bargain. As you saw in my original post though that wasn't possible for me. I needed to buy when I did so ordering was out and there were no Cherokees within 100 miles+ around here with it that I wanted or that my dealer would be able to get for me. So I had to do it this way.

Final cost was $785 for parts and labor. Would have been much worse but the dealer that did the tow harness for me in the end only hit me up for 1 hour of labor @ $99. As said ^^^ it took them 4 hours. My family and I are long time customers though going back to the 60's with this place so they cut me a break. Normal labor is going to be 2-2.5 hours so another $100-$150.

I definitely "paid" for the factory setup but it was worth every cent vs the aftermarket setup for the Cherokee. On another vehicle I would have gone aftermarket and done it all myself.
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Unread 03-09-2014, 10:50 PM   #11
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Perhaps the final drive difference is actually not something axle-based and software-based in the transmission? That could be part of the reason for the software flash. With such complicated, computer-driven, modern transmissions this could be possible. It'd certainly be a whole lot easier to flash software for the tow package than having to change gearing in the axles. We all know how the techno-lawyers work, also. They can spin anything, just like the HD-cooling with no signs of anything actually being different. So this is at least a possibility.
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Unread 03-09-2014, 11:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowLeopard View Post
Perhaps the final drive difference is actually not something axle-based and software-based in the transmission? That could be part of the reason for the software flash. With such complicated, computer-driven, modern transmissions this could be possible. It'd certainly be a whole lot easier to flash software for the tow package than having to change gearing in the axles. We all know how the techno-lawyers work, also. They can spin anything, just like the HD-cooling with no signs of anything actually being different. So this is at least a possibility.
No, the flash isn't going to change the final ratio. I will still have the same ratio as I do now after the flash is done. The flash is needed to turn the harness on for lack of a better way of putting it. My harness is in and installed properly but it isn't working yet because the flash hasn't been done yet.

This is a common need on modern vehicles when adding things that didn't come factory where control modules run everything. My vehicle did not come with the Tow Group so it is not programmed to operate that harness. Now that it is in there it needs a flash so that it will work.

It is not difficult for them to use a different set of gears at the factory as the vehicle is being built.
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Unread 03-10-2014, 05:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHPATRIOT View Post
No, the flash isn't going to change the final ratio. I will still have the same ratio as I do now after the flash is done. The flash is needed to turn the harness on for lack of a better way of putting it. My harness is in and installed properly but it isn't working yet because the flash hasn't been done yet.

This is a common need on modern vehicles when adding things that didn't come factory where control modules run everything. My vehicle did not come with the Tow Group so it is not programmed to operate that harness. Now that it is in there it needs a flash so that it will work.

It is not difficult for them to use a different set of gears at the factory as the vehicle is being built.
I know that you can use programming to change the gearing of a transmission, at least in how it behaves. Especially with a modern one as complex as this. Some trucks are designed with higher final drive gearing yet this is offset by the gearing of the transmission. I don't know the reasoning behind doing it this way.

All of this modern techno stuff is over my head. I'm used to just wiring stuff in and having it work. I'm not surprised that this is the way things have become. I'm just not well versed in it. It's good that you were able to manage the upgrade, but at a price that's beyond what it should have to be. What all does the computer have to do regarding towing? When you plug a trailer's harness into the Cherokee's, does it alter some major settings? I'm curious. As if the Jeep adapts to the situation. I can't imagine why they'd over-complicate things, but perhaps it is needed.
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Unread 03-10-2014, 05:32 AM   #14
NHPATRIOT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowLeopard View Post
I know that you can use programming to change the gearing of a transmission, at least in how it behaves. Especially with a modern one as complex as this. Some trucks are designed with higher final drive gearing yet this is offset by the gearing of the transmission. I don't know the reasoning behind doing it this way.

All of this modern techno stuff is over my head. I'm used to just wiring stuff in and having it work. I'm not surprised that this is the way things have become. I'm just not well versed in it. It's good that you were able to manage the upgrade, but at a price that's beyond what it should have to be. What all does the computer have to do regarding towing? When you plug a trailer's harness into the Cherokee's, does it alter some major settings? I'm curious. As if the Jeep adapts to the situation. I can't imagine why they'd over-complicate things, but perhaps it is needed.
Nothing is altered setting wise. It is just, how do I say this???, telling the module(s) that controls the tow harness that it is there so the power/signal can travel down it and work the lights.

Unless you add the tow function to the programming of whatever module(s) controls the trailer lights there is no signal sent to the tow harness. The "computer" doesn't know it is there to send the info to it.

I believe what gets flashed for the tow harness is the TIPM. Totally Integrated Power Module. It is usually part of the big underhood fuse box assembly and it gets signals from various things( light switch, brake pedal, etc... and then directs signal as needed to the various things like a tow harness.

For most things these days it is no longer install it and/or wire it and have it work. Everything is controlled by one module or another.
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Unread 03-16-2014, 03:22 PM   #15
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I went to the dealer I bought my Cherokee from and the wiring harness needs to be flashed but they said they don't have anything for a hitch for mine the only one they have one for would be the trailhawk edition but I went to an aftermarket dealer and they can get me a class three hitch and it be a hide away and they could get a wiring harness but idk if you could flash that one or not with it being aftermarket but I just would like to know which would be the better route to go
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