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Trailer Hitch Installation - 1997 Jeep Cherokee

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How to Install a Custom Hidden Hitch, Draw Tite Receiver Hitch on a 1997 Jeep Cherokee


Jeeps are the original outdoor enthusiasts vehicle of choice. Now we have many SUVs but those Jeeps are still just fun to drive! A receiver hitch on your Jeep will allow you to tow a trailer, think boats or jet skis, use a cargo carrier for extra cargo room or use a hitch mounted bike rack. However you like to spend your down time a hitch will help make it more enjoyable. This video shows us installing a custom fit receiver on a Cherokee. The hitch was designed to make the process as easy as possible so no drilling is required. Take a minute to watch it, we are sure afterwards you will be calling to place your order

Today we are going to show you part number 87591 on a 1997 Jeep Cherokee. This install also works with part number 75054. First up on the install is to inspect the vehicle. On these Jeep Cherokees a lot of times the frame will have these strip with bolt holes inside. They will rust out rather fast. What we need to do is clean out these bolt holes. There are 3 of them here. We will get those cleaned out so we can get our bolts in easier. Also back here in the muffler bracket there is a bolt here we must remove. Sometimes that can be kind of a pain too. Just take a breaker bar and break it loose, it should be alright. Just to give you a little background it took us around a half an hour to clean those out. So take your time on cleaning those out

To show you how we clean those bolts out basically we spray it down with some WD40 and get one our bolts and just start it. Sometimes we got it started and sometimes we did not. If we could not get it to start we used a wire brush from a battery terminal cleaner kit. We brushed it a few times and then sprayed again to try and get all of the dirt out of there. As long as we got it started we just worked it in and out like that. The next thing we need to do is get that bolt out. We use our breaker bar to break it loose then we will just ratchet it the rest of the way. The reason we had to take that bolt off is we needed to get the muffler bracket down so we can get the steel of the hitch sitting flat on the steel right here. This little dip was not too much but this heat shield will not be that big of a deal. So we will go ahead and pull this down and we will put our hitch right there between those two pieces. Then we will start to install the

Our next step is to get the drivers side prepared. What we need to do is pull some bolts that go here and then down. We also have these blocks that go inside as well. The blocks have to be in a special order of orientation actually. Then put the plates in position like this. There is a different one for the middle here. It is very important to line up these blocks so your bolts will all stick in a straight line. You know if your bolt is pointed straight down you have got your block orientated correctly. If you get one of the blocks put in crooked you can manipulate it with the bolt. You can tilt it to the side and push up. Sometimes you have to stick with it and spin it the way you want it. Other times you have to use a screw driver. The last block will set like this. On our last hole here we have a separate attachment using the handle nut. It will work like so. We will have to do that with the hitch in place we will save that for one of our last steps. At this point we can start hanging our hitch up there. We will drive in the ones in the passenger side underneath the muffler bracket. We use that to hold the hitch up while we fanaggle the other bolts on the driver side. We have our hitch temporary installed on the driver side so we will go back to the passenger side and start installing our bolts. We got our bolt started, we are going to snug this one up to bring the rest of the plate back down to poke through the holes. We need to back up just a few turns we still need some flexibility

While we are on the subjects of bolts and the frame, there is something you want to remember about this kit, it actually uses two different types bolts. The bolt I am pointing at here on the left is the 8 point 8 it is actually a metric nut and bolt. It will fit the weld nuts on the frame. Here on the bolt to the right side, it says J.H. and has three hash mark. That means it is an American threaded bolt. That would fit the hitch hardware that came with the handle nut. It is very easy to get them confused. Some times we will get one threaded into one of the opposite holes and it strips the threads. So double check the bolt your working with first. Chances are if it goes on the vehicle it is the metric bolt with numbers on it instead of these hash marks. That is pretty much a dead giveaway to show what you have got. Going back to the driver side we will finish up the last bolt that goes into the frame here. We will go back to these nuts that are temporary and we will put the washers on them and put them back into place. At this point we give these a final torque. Now go ahead torque down the bolts on the driver side. That finishes our install on part number 87591 on our 1997 Jeep Cherokee


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