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**DONOTDELETE** 10-01-1999 03:15 AM

Rear tow hooks on a TJ??
Alright, currently I've got VERY unstable tow hooks on the rear frame of my TJ.(they only have 1 bolt through them). Don't worry, I haven't used them yet, because I'm trying to find some kind of shackle that'll fit in the hole that the tow hooks are currently in. I can't afford one of those bumpers that have them built in, so, if anyone has any ideas? (and yes I've already checked with the local Caterpillar supplier as well as a custom weld shop who'd be more than happy to install welded hooks on, which I won't do because welds break), any tj owners out there have any ideas?

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MarkF 10-01-1999 11:07 AM

Re: Rear tow hooks on a TJ??
On the outside frame rail on the drivers side in the back , there is hole on the side of the frame and a hole on the bottom of the frame. What I did was drill another hole so that I now had 2 holes to hold the tow hook. I bought grade 8 bolts that were just long enought to fit through the tow hook, frame, lock washer and nut.

I put the bolt through the hook throught the frame, managed to slide the lock washer on and slide the nut on through the hole on the bottom on of the frame. I was able to slide a box wrench thorugh the hole to hold the nut and I tightened the head of the bolt.

Works great

**DONOTDELETE** 10-01-1999 12:37 PM

Re: Rear tow hooks on a TJ??
If you really want to do it right, or actually plan to use them on a pretty regular basis, here's the best way to go... Get a pair of shackles that are slightly wider than your frame rails. Also get some steel tubing that has pretty thick walls, and in inner diameter just larger than the shackle bolts (the bolts should slide into the tubing with little to no resistance, but not be too loose either). Play with the positioning of the shackle on the frame rail, and once you have found the ideal spots to mount them, mark it. Drill a hole all the way through frame rail. The hole should be just large enough to insert the tubing through so that it goes in one side, and out the other. Measure the width of the frame from the outside edges, and cut a piece of tubing that long. It should fit through the holes you drilled and be flush with the outside edges of the frame on each side. Now weld the tubing in place in the frame (or take it to a welder and have it done. Now, you can attach the shckles through the reinforced hole you have created, or if you want, you can leave the shackles out untill you need them (just be sure to take them with you and not leave them at home). With this setup, you will be sure not to tear into the frame with the shackle bolt on really hard pulls, plus it strengthens the frame instead of weakening it. You can set the shackles up for a quick release type of install (like a washer & cotter pin) and it takes seconds to install them when you need them (or think you might). It sounds like a lot of work just to install some tow points, but if your gonna use them and not just install 'em for looks, it's a lot easier than trying to repair the frame after a nice grade 8 bolt tears a bigger hole in the frame rail trying to pull you out from between a 'rock and a hard place'. Hope this helps. Happy Wheelin'!


**DONOTDELETE** 10-01-1999 10:15 PM

Re: Rear tow hooks on a TJ??
Because of all the weird ways an OHV can get twisted up during the fun times, it is important to be able to hook up to it in more than one place. Also when the hook up point is sitting there in the open where it is always accessable and can't be left at home, reason says it's better. That puts the bumper in the spotlight. Problem with the bumper is that it is often only attached to the rear cross member which is not a strong hook up point.
IMO, and I realize there are differing opinions with just as much validity, a well mounted, strong bumper is the place to put the tow hooks, pins, shackles, holes or whatever. If the bumper does not adversly impact the entrance and exit angles, and is very well mounted to the frame, then the tow positions should be on each side of the bumper positioned as close to the frame ends as possible. A well designed strong bumper is also the platform for other accessories. To me putting the tow hook, shackle or whatever under the veh directly on the frame - while very strong, is inconvenient and worst case, if positioned improperly, may get damaged or be a cause of hang up itself. Also if it is burried in the mud, it is difficult and messy to get to.

Doug '97 TJ
My Web Site

**DONOTDELETE** 10-02-1999 03:39 AM

Re: Rear tow hooks on a TJ??
Okay, than what's the best bumper for this purpose? The one's that I think appeal most would be the Don-A-Vee ones with the dual shackles attached in the rear, but how well do they hold up?? Anyone have experience with them?

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CJDave 10-02-1999 09:35 AM

Re: Rear tow hooks on a TJ??
[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img] We bought our Grand Cherokee without a hitch 'cause we didn't want to get a low axle ratio, and when we did install the hitch, we added to nice tow hooks to the side plates which hooked to our frame. They are strong, don't hang down, and you can barely see'em unless you squat. On our CJ, we will be using a pad eye and shackle arrangement that welds to the flat area on our homemade rear bumper, which in turn bolts to the crossmember, and has two 2' square tubes going forward and under the frame which replace the springhangars in the rear. [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img]


**DONOTDELETE** 10-02-1999 10:26 PM

Re: Rear tow hooks on a TJ??
The reasons for having a rear bumper on a TJ are 2. Looks and to put stuff on. Because of the position of the spare tire it doesn't do much good for a bumper's original intent - wrecks etc. So, what do you want, looks or usefulness or both? A very heavy angle iron makes a good bumper - flat side against the cross member and other angle on top. Attach to cross member as well as frame. Cut holes in the top flange to attach D rings. Cheap, strong, usable. Looks? well......
Whatever you do, if you intend to off road, the closer the very back of the bumper is to the back of the Jeep and the higher it is, the greater your departure angle will be. If you want a receiver hitch in it, try to get it mounted in the center of the bumper, not on the bottom - better departure angle, but makes regular trailers look funny - tilted up in front.
Attach it to your cross member using big washers on the back side of the cross member or a big flat piece of 1/8" or 3/16" steel - one piece behind all the bolts. Then attach to the frame ends and put your tow points as close to these connections as possible.
There are several good bumpers on the market. Actually you can just duplicate a stock bumper with the end caps removed, but make it out of much heavier channel iron and attach it firmly to the frame and reinforce the cross member where it connects.
First impressions with a new vehicle are to buy stuff that is already made for it. You can do that, but you can also make stuff for a Jeep fairly easily and save lots of money.
Have fun and happy Jeelin'

Doug '97 TJ
My Web Site

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