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Trailer Hitch Installation - 2000 Jeep Cherokee

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2000 Jeep Cherokee

Today we are going to install part number 13084 from Curt, and we are going to install this on a 2000 Jeep Cherokee. First we will show you where the hitch installs on the vehicle. First off, it installs on four bolt holes: right here, here, here and on the very end of the frame. And there are three different configurations of this vehicle, depending on when and where it was made. On some vehicles, it is kind of rare, but they will actually have a plate inside of here with weld nuts inside there, so it would be easy just to screw bolts into it and be done. It is either going to be like this, where it is no bolt holes or no weld nuts in there or with weld nuts on the drivers side. And on the passengers side, it is going to go onto the same locations. And a lot of times, it will have that plate with all the weld nuts in it. It is more common to have it on this side than on the other side. Either way, this installation is the same you have still got these bolt holes. What you want to do is clean out these bolt holes, too, just to make sure you get rid of all the dirt and grime that get worked up in there. And also you will find this drivers side without any hardware on the inside, either. And then the last thing is that, usually, this bolt right here is notorious for being a real pain to get back out. It will make all kinds of creaking noises as you back it out. It is just the way it is made, I guess, because of the lock type that is in there, but it is a real pain to get out. But it will not break just take your time and keep working it out.

OK, we will go ahead and take out this one bolt that holds up the exhaust bracket. OK, we also did take the liberty of actually working that bolt out first and then cleaning it up. We are going to start installing our harness on the drivers side here. We are going to take a wire pull that comes in the kit. We are going to install it in this hole right here, and we are going to come out on the very end of the frame up here. And there is this open spot where you can put the hardware right through. And basically, you take your hardware and pull it on through. Now, what you want to do is, when you put your plate inside there you want to orient it so it actually goes in the way it is pictured. So it has to sit flat like this put it in there, try to force it in there like that first and then follow up with the bolt. And if it does not go just the right way, you can still have plenty of room to actually manipulate it with the bolt. Generally, you know you have got it right if the bolts, when you pull them through, come straight down and not at an angle, because the idea is you do not want the bolts to be overlapping inside or touching. And we will do the same thing with the other two holes. [It is kind of cool how you can see it go through there, though.] And also what you want to double-check to make sure is that you can adjust this left and right so it is in a straight line with this one and this one. That is another way of telling you have got the block correctly installed. The last one is kind of easier to push it further back in the frame and then pull it back this way.

To install the hardware in the last part of the frame, just take the plate and put it in like so and then install your bolt. Now, before you do that, you want to check one thing. On the head of the bolt right here, you have got the three hash marks. That means that this is a standard American thread. You have some bolts in here that have like an 8.8 on here that is a metric bolt, and you do not want to use a metric bolt over here. These metric bolts are designed for the weld nuts that go on the bar that is inside the frame if you have them. So if you put the nut on there and it does not thread on there, chances are you have got the metric bolt in the wrong place. So, you want to use your standard American thread and install it like that. And on the other side we are going to have to go ahead and thread in the bolts.

All right, let us go ahead and install the hitch now. What is a good idea is to kind of lay it on the exhaust side first and then work on the drivers side to get the bolts lined up. If you have got an extra set of hands, that is even better. Let us get a couple of them started in there, just to hold that side so it will not fall off . But leave them loose so you can maneuver the hitch for the other side. What you want to do, depending on the model, if you have to do this or not, if you happen to have an exhaust hanger right there, it makes things a little bit thicker toward the front of the vehicle than it is in the frame here. So you want to as even as contact as possible. So sometimes you want to stick the hitch between the muffler bracket and the frame. Then go ahead and install the bolt. All right, once you have got the hitch secured with a couple of bolts, then go ahead and install the rest of the bolts into the frame and nuts. When you install the bolts inside the frame, make sure, again, that you are using the metric bolts. If you use the standard thread in there it will just cross-thread and give you all kinds of grief. So make sure that you use the metric always going into the frame. [Sorry, this is like impossible to see.] All right, once you have got everything snugged up, you can go ahead and start tightening down. We have got our bolts tightened down now. Just make one final check to make sure there are no clearance issues with the exhaust and you have got the hitch centered the way you want it on the frame. At this point we can go ahead and give the bolts their final torque, as specified in the instructions. With all the bolts torqued down, that finishes our install of part number 13084 on our 2000 Jeep Cherokee.

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