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want to install trailer hitch

Old 02-18-2019, 07:44 PM
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Default want to install trailer hitch

2004 Grand Cherokee Limited 6cy. I want to replace the gas tank skid plate and install a trailer hitch. My questions is, is there a choice between a hitch that comes thru the bumper or below? Do I need to have a different bumper (or whatever the plastic trim is called) or is the center section removeable for a hitch? Thanks
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Dana-T View Post
2004 Grand Cherokee Limited 6cy. I want to replace the gas tank skid plate and install a trailer hitch. My questions is, is there a choice between a hitch that comes thru the bumper or below? Do I need to have a different bumper (or whatever the plastic trim is called) or is the center section removeable for a hitch? Thanks
The bumper needs to be removed prior to removing any a hitch and/or fuel tank with skid plate.

Fuel tank skid plates, oem and aftermarket, normally tight fit onto the bottom of the fuel tank.

Before removing the gas tank with skid plate you need to remove any existing trailer hitch.

I'm uncertain about a different type of hitch than an OEM type. You would need to look at a hitches description and installation instructions to determine if it requires a non-stock bumper or modifications to an oem bumper.

There's installation videos online for oem style skid plates and hitches.

If a non oem style hitch and/or skid plate consult the manufacture.

Last edited by Muddz; 02-19-2019 at 03:15 AM.
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:47 PM
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I installed a hitch on my '04 WJ, mounted under the bumper. Then, I got a recall notice from Chrysler, and they replaced my hitch with one that mounts thru the bumper. Check for recalls first...
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Old 02-19-2019, 09:52 PM
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I was going to mention the hitch recalls. But wasn't certain if there was a hitch type recalls for the 04 WJ.

Chrysler expands Jeep trailer hitch recall outreach after low initial response. ... The automaker sent letters in August urging owners of 1993-98 Grand Cherokees and 2002-07 Libertys to bring in their vehicles for inspection and possible installation of a free trailer hitch assembly.

The hitch recall for the above Jeeps are due for safely reasons. https://www.jeep.com/universal/webse...ce/pdf/N45.pdf

https://www.autonews.com/article/201...itial-response

On my 95 ZJ Chrysler installed a free bumper and also a safety feature for the shifter so requires to push on the brake pedal in order to move the shift lever to Park or Neutral to start.

What I did was write to Chrysler main head quarters providing a VIN for my 95 ZJ and asked for a build sheet. They eventually emailed me back with build sheet that was part of a letter. At the bottom of the letter were two recalls based on my VIN. The person who wrote the letter recommended I go to a local Jeep dealership and ask about performing the two recalls.

I used this form to request a build sheet https://www.jeep.com/webselfservice/jeep/EmailPage.html?appStr=wccs&titleStr=Contact+Jeep&f amilyStr=brand&franchise=J&actionURL=%252Fwccs%252 Fbrand_forms%252Fus%252Fwebform.jsp&promotion=null &category=U

This link you should be able to find build sheet information for your Jeep by entering it's VIN https://fcacommunity.force.com/RAM/s/equipment-listing

I recommend getting a build sheet directly from Chrysler in the form of a letter with any recalls listed in the letter. So you have something to show a Jeep Dealership.

The local Jeep Dealership didn't have any records of recalls for my 95 ZJ in relation to the VIN so I brought in the letter with the build sheet from Chrysler Main Office and the local dealership eventually ordered the parts and scheduled an appointment to bring in the ZJ after showing them the letter from Chrysler Main Office.

Here's a link you can go to and enter your VIN where you should be able determine if your Jeep has any existing recalls and any that already have been performed.

https://www.mopar.com/en-us/my-vehic...ls/search.html

Last edited by Muddz; 02-19-2019 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 02-20-2019, 06:57 AM
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Thanks for the info. I'll look into this.
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:27 AM
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Appears that I'd need to bring it in for inspection, at my cost. Then if applicable, send in for a $100. visa card reimbursement which takes about 6 weeks to get back. They would install a new hitch if possible for free.
Since I need a new skid plate too and I don't want to pay dealer price for that, I may just bring it to my local mechanic for everything and I'll provide the parts. i'm even tempted to do the whole job myself. I've taken out a gas tank before. Not fun, but doable.
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Old 02-20-2019, 10:50 AM
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I don't believe there is any fee to bring it in to have it inspected. This should be a one hundred percent free inspection.

I would e-mail Chrysler from the link provided requesting a build sheet with any recalls such as for the tow hitch.
If there isn't a tow hitch recall for your 04 WJ then it's possible if you have a tow hitch installed they will offer some sort of recall to replace the hitch with one that mounts thru the bumper

Also go to the link to see if your VIN has any recalls.

I would first take the WJ to a Jeep Dealership for a free inspection. If no recalls then take it to a mechanic with parts to have a hitch and skid plate installed

From what I read your WJ never came with an oem skid plate? POssibly Chryslier might throw in a skid plate for free?
I would take it in for a free inspection and if they want to install a new hitch ask them how much for a skid plate if it's too much or they won't install a skid plate for free just don't get a hitch recall. or get a hitch recall, remove it after installed and install only a skid plate.

Anyway I would definitely go in to see what Chrysler can offer before installing your own hitch with a skid plate.

If you find Chrysler wants to give you a free hitch you could ask them if you bring in your own skid plate what or if there would be a fee to have it installed along with the free hitch.

Chrysler may be willing to work with you on getting a skid plate installed at the same time.

Last edited by Muddz; 02-20-2019 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:53 AM
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Read the recall carefully. I dont think they're offering free hitches if you don't currently have one, but are replacing them with mopar hitches if you do. I had just installed an undermount Magnus class 3 hitch a couple months before getting my recall notice. They removed my new hitch, junked it, and installed the new thru-bumper Mopar hitch. Bought the Magnus on Ebay for $85.

Last edited by Kymasabe; 02-20-2019 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 02-20-2019, 12:24 PM
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I guess because my Grand Cherokee is a 95 I lucked out and got a OEM ZJ hitch installed at no cost.

Here's some details about the hitch recall and $100.00 visa https://www.chrysler.com/universal/w...ce/pdf/N47.pdf

https://www.jeep.com/universal/webse...ce/pdf/N45.pdf

Since My 95 ZJ didn't have a hitch to begin with I don't think I qualify for a $100.00 Visa prepaid card?



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Old 02-22-2019, 12:38 PM
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The recall most are referring to is the 2014 or 13 recall of the gas tank... the cheapest fix was to install a hitch on everyones car rather than create millions of gas tanks. The hitch provides impact protection so your gas tank doesn't split wide open
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Old 02-24-2019, 09:50 AM
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Our local dealer declined to install recall trailer hitches on our 95 and 02 Grand Cherokees, too much "stage 2" rust.
Not a problem, I understand their due diligence and liabilities. I understand the legal system. I understand the differences between legal and justice.
No charge for the inspections. Have yours inspected, not all vehicles live in the salt belt, you may be able to take advantage of the recall.

Now for my rant, I also understand that for top dollar, up to $170 per hour shop rate, the dealer mechanics only want to work on new clean vehicles that don't get tools or hands dirty and no skinned knuckles on slipped wrenches or jammed fasteners. Top dollar to unbolt clean broken parts and bolt on new parts. Fix parts? What's that? Is there an app for that? Nope only bolt on new.
Work on old diry rusty vehicles, yuk, no thank you. Take it to the cheap home business fix it place down the road. Don't want your grimmy jeeps on our hoists.
Guess if it needs fixing, I'll do it myself at thrice the time and one tenth the cost. Once your vehicle is old and dirty it should be crushed and you buy new in the showroom.
My rant, my 2 cents.

So when I complete the fab of my trailer hitches, I'll post pics and results.
This now provides fuel for the responses from the pearl clutchers about the road safety to others. Yes the stories about crashed school buses driven by nuns and loaded with orphaned children, each and every one of them holding a puppy or a kitten.
No my fabrications will not fall off!
If there is any chance of that, I won't install. I have some ethics associated with good sense. I also understand strength of materials, static and dynamic loads, design reliability, and quality.
I also like orphans, puppies, and kittens, nuns, not so much.
Wow two rants for the price of one.
Time for me to get off the forum and go fix a jeep, there's always one that needs fixing.
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