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 Post subject: KK OEM Hitch Installation
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:59 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Southern Connecticut
Installed the OEM hitch this weekend on 2012 Arctic Liberty.
install sheet shows tools needed as including both a sawzall, torque wrench, and impact wrench - I do not own any of the above so I used the following:

Chicago rotary tool and cutoff wheels
assorted files
1/2" breaker bar
3' of metal pipe
1/2" ratchet
18mm socket
DB Blaster penetrating lube
gun cleaning brush
safety goggles
Snap On hand saw
Milk crate
scissors

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Jeep is high enough that jack / lift / jackstands weren't necessary.

First step is to hit each bolt with the DB Blaster. I also sprayed some into the empty holes and worked it in with a small gun cleaning brush, as recommended by another jostjeeper. I used a .22 brush which is pretty small. I am not a gun person so I cannot say what is the correct size to use.

While the penetrating lube works in, start cutting out the bumper as shown in the instructions. The rotary tool (Dremel) was slow and painful at this task - multiple flimsy cutoff discs broke during this process. The SnapOn saw kit did not work well either. Safety glasses are a must here.

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Use the files to massage the rough edges of the bumper cut out. The trim that covers this is a then metallic channel covered in rubber. A small bit of it gets trimmed off - sharp scissors work. Work the trim piece over the edge.

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Up next is removing a few factory installed bolts as shown in the instructions. Note: if you have the factory installed tow hook, it must be removed. It does not reinstall - there are clearance issues with the hitch tubing. These bolts are in really tight - a 1/2" ratchet, even breaker bar was not effective. Slip the 3' pipe over the breaker and push that bar like you are rowing a canoe, or bench press while lying on your back under the vehicle. The most forward bolt on the driver side required the extra leverage most of the way through while the others only needed the breaker of doom to break them loose.

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Now comes the fun part - lifting the hitch assembly into place. This is dangerous, potentially fatal - 45 lbs of steel to the forehead can't end well. Use as strong friend as a helper. I was solo for this project, and I did not have a set of jackstands to hold the hitch up while I bolted it in. I used a milk crate to support it. I positioned the hitch as close to install position as possible and slid the milk crate underneath. I carefully used my shoulder to lift the rear (of vehicle) heavy hitch up to the unibody and started two bolts on one side with finger strength, then repeated on the other side. Once the hitch was held in place I tightened all six bolts with the 1/2" socket and ratchet.

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Wiring harness is not installed yet.

I am a little disappointed that the tow hook has to be removed. I plan on using the hitch to mount my Thule bike rack or a step, to prevent bumper damage and allow roof access. To keep those options, AND a recovery point, I have seen 2 into 1 hitch adaptors but do not know if they are strong enough.


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 Post subject: Re: KK OEM Hitch Installation
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:59 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Southern Connecticut
Part II:
Wiring harness installation.

The harness installation did not go as smoothly as I had expected.

The install sheet for the Dodge Nitro does not exactly match the Liberty. (you can find a PDF copy on http://www.justforjeeps.com - http://www.justforjeeps.com/trtowwiha.html This website states "must use DealerScan tool to activate".

Step 1 - install sheet shows a panel puller to remove the taillight hardware. You need a 10mm socket and ratchet for this job.

Steps 2 - 6 - process is identical. Seating the rubber "puck" in step 6 takes some muscle. The butt end of a plastic dash bezel tool worked well.

Step 7- the drawing shows the relay bundle being secured to an existing harness. My vehicle does not have a harness there, though there are drilled holes. I need a few hole-mounted cable tie anchors.

Steps 8, 9, 10 are straightforward and follow the drawings.

Step 11 - I did not have the vehicle on a lift.

Step 12 - I had to loosen and drop the hitch about 1/2" or so to route the 7 pin plug over the top. Added extra time and pain in the booty factor, lying under the Jeep with the 3' pipe breaker bar combo.

Steps 13-14-15-16 go exactly as the drawings show.

Step 17 is where I ran into problems. Without the vehicle in the air, it is not possible to properly route the harness. I was past the point of no return - I was not going to undo the process so far. I coiled the remaining harness and secured it to the spare tire underneath the vehicle. Tailights and turn signals will still work without harness power at the battery. It was a Sunday afternoon, I called in a favor to my uncle who owns an auto repair shop. He let me use the garage, jacks, and jackstands. I got the Jeep's front end up and rolled underneath on a creeper. Not exactly confident in the equipment so I aborted the mission.

:frankie:

A quick call to Jeep dealership the next day - a technician verified that the Trailer Sway Control could be added via reprogram of the ECM. They finished routing the harness and reflashed for $105.00 (1 Hr labor fee). I asked them not to connect _ I will finish the install myself. Interestingly, the invoice states "reflash ECM" and not "use DealerScan tool" - not sure what this all means. Tech and service writer indicates that it has been activated.

BTW I ordered both the hitch and harness on eBay from Love Field Jeep in Dallas. I had been "watching" the hitch at $199.00, when I checked out it was only $177.00 SHIPPED. It arrived with a piece of duct tape holding the parts bag to the tubing, that was mildly annoying but I'm OK with saving $75.00. The harness was only $111.00 shipped.

Hopefully I will be ordering the mechanical fan and clutch soon.


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 Post subject: Re: KK OEM Hitch Installation
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:59 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Southern Connecticut
it also seems that the harness does not fit quite as shown in the manual.

The install sheet shows the cable routing around the TIPM and connecting at the battery. There is not enough length to accomplish that. I connected to the TIPM, the ground will connect to the inner fender soon, seems I am out of self tappers.

There was only about 10" or so of the blue wire inside the cockpit after feeding through the grommet.

The little things are holding this up!


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 Post subject: Re: KK OEM Hitch Installation
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:32 am
Posts: 3025
Location: Philadelphia, PA
David, nice write up! The pictures aren't showing up for me though. Can you fix, and then I'll add it to the how to's index?

_________________
2008 Liberty Sport 4x4 Automatic
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Jeepin By Al 4" Lift Kit
Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs 245/75/R16
Full MOPAR skid plates
Rock Lizard Skink Super Sliders
AtTheHelm Front Recovery System & Roof Rack

M116A3 Trailer build thread: viewtopic.php?f=72&t=77997


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 Post subject: Re: KK OEM Hitch Installation
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 2:00 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:59 pm
Posts: 1
i did my hitch a week ago. Took some pictures to share my experience.
First - cutting the pocket in the bumper using the hacksaw blade:

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to make a corner I first cut straight at both sides, then pushed the center inside allowing the blade to turn:

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Use the file to smooth the edges.
I got my hitch used ($130 with a wire harness shipped) and it had some rust.

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I used metal brush to remove the thick rust. Drill with a brush disk did not work well. I wanted to paint it after treatment, but the one I used covered everything nicely black, so I skipped it.
Preparing the thread was a pain, took most of the time on installation. I used PB-blast and turned bolts back and forth until they go easily.

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Then I start bolting the hitch from the right side. It was not a good solution because exhaust make it difficult to start bolt. May be left side is better to start.

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After one side is fixed, the other is easy. Do not tight it before set all the bolts and guide the cables the right way.
The left side wires go opposite way to what said in the manual because it is already installed on the hitch, but it is no problem to drive the relays through the hole.
This is my pry bar for fixing the bolts :).

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I put blue lock tight because bought it by mistake. Impact wrench has no much use
This is the rust treatment from Napa:

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and final view

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 Post subject: Re: KK OEM Hitch Installation
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:59 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Southern Connecticut
lfhoward wrote:
David, nice write up! The pictures aren't showing up for me though. Can you fix, and then I'll add it to the how to's index?


I have been having trouble getting photos to display . . . .


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 Post subject: Re: KK OEM Hitch Installation
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 11:14 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:18 pm
Posts: 3
Hello everyone,
I thought it was easy to install the hitch according to the manual. But when I started the process from step 1 - cut the bumper I got something that ruined all my preparations :shock:
What is that metal skirt below the plastic bumper? There is no videos and photos and any other notice about it anywhere.
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How to cut it?

EDIT: Well, I just removed this thing.


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 Post subject: Re: KK OEM Hitch Installation
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:43 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:37 am
Posts: 14
Ok so a couple questions. What is the blue wire that goes under the dash for? Also do all liberty kk have the tow/haul mode button on the center console by the shifter. If not is that the programming the dealer has to do and what does it do if it is on all of them then?

Sent from my VS988 using Tapatalk


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