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ZJ Radiator Support / Tow Points Install


Thank you for ordering Kevin's Radiator Support / Tow Points for your Grand Cherokee. The install of this product will typically take you around 1-2 hours, assuming you don't have the UpCountry Package (add an extra hour for UpCountry). Included in the packaging should be four black Grade 8 metric bolts that are 35mm long. These four bolts run upward, through the radiator support and into the factory bolt threads. The four bolts that you remove from the factory radiator support will be reused for the upper horizontal mounting bolts, so don't lose them! You'll need to gain access to the inside of the frame rails from the front, which typically means the removal of the front bumper unless you have a Limited and want to go in through the removable front bumperettes (there is styrofoam cutting involved here...kind of a pain).

Step 1: Get the necessary tools together. A 13mm, 15mm, and 19mm socket, ratchet, large flat-blade screwdriver, sheet metal shears (or metal-working scissors), pencil and hacksaw.

Step 2: Remove the front bumper following this excerpt from the 1993 Grand Cherokee Factory Service Manual:

o Remove 3 grill screws at grill opening upper reinforcement and remove grill.

o Remove the 6 retainers at the front facia, 3 from the top and 3 from the bottom. (Be careful not to damage these as you'll re-use them.)

o Remove the 3 plastic rivets from each wheel well that holds the splash guard to the bumper

o Slider the entire bumper facia off the retainer pegs at the sides of the upper bumper, directly under the turn signal. A long, flat-blade screwdriver works best.

o Set the bumper aside where it won't be damaged.

Step 3: Remove the four bolts that hold the factory radiator support upward with a 15mm socket, against the frame and the four bolts that hold the diagonal side braces between the radiator support and the fenders. The radiator will be held by the hoses...but it will move downward about an inch. (note: some people have asked me about the diagonal braces and what happens when they are removed. I took mine out over two years ago, have wheeled the Jeep hard, and haven't seen any sort of negative effects. I suspect that they are there for additional bracing for the fenders).  Also, remove the horn assembly from under the passenger side of the bumper area.

Step 4: Locate the two alignment dowels that are attached to the bottom of the radiator. Take the hacksaw and trim these back about 1/2"~3/4" so that they sit into the holes, but clear the bottom of the beam of the new radiator support. If you have a 2.5L TD model (Europe only), you may have to drill new holes in the radiator support beam, as these models have a different radiator, and differently located alignment dowels. Locate the rubber grommets that may have stuck to the old radiator support. You can reuse these to counteract vibrations. They may need to be trimmed, however.

Step 5: Put the new radiator support in place making sure that the shackle loops are facing forward. This is sort of difficult to do if you have no helper. I lay on my back, perpendicular to the Jeep and use my knee to push upward on the radiator support to get the vertical bolts into the factory bolt holes on the drivers' side first. Turn around 180* and do the same on the passenger side.

Step 6: Locate the horizontal holes on the upper portion of the new radiator support. You will be placing the four factory bolts that you removed through these holes, two on each side. Locate one of the nut plates. Slide it inside the frame rail and thread both of the factory bolts into the nuts on the other side of the frame rail wall.

Step 7: Repeat Step 6 for the other side.

Step 8: Assure all bolts are tight, then place the front bumper facia on the two retainer pegs again. Do not reattach any of the other mounts at this time. Visualize how the tow strap will attach to the shackles on the radiator support. The bumper facia that is in the way between the shackle and the person pulling you forward will need to be trimmed back.

Step 9: View the picture gallery at KevinsOffroad.com/club.html and check out how other people have trimmed. Now, take a pencil and trace the lower part of the bumper where you'd like to trim. There are several ways to do it:

o Leave the lower grill slotted portion in front of the lower radiator but trim on either side

o Trim across the entire bumper evenly so that it's level (personally I like this best)

o I dunno...what did YOU come up with? Send me a picture.  Here are some to look at:

Step 10: Start slowly cutting away the lower part of the bumper with the shears. I traced the line that I wanted with the pencil, but then cut 1" below it so that I can see how it's looking in the process rather than cutting off too much to begin with and being unhappy with it. Just take it slow and look at it while you're cutting. Keep in mind there will be things behind the bumper that you'll have to cut around, so make sure you're familiar with the backside of the bumper so that you are prepared for whatever items/angles you need to cut around.

Step 11: Stand back and admire your work. If you are running larger than 31" tires, you will probably want to (or have already) trimmed the rearward lower portion of the bumper that forms the wheel well. I cut mine back all the way to the pin-slide assembly on the reverse of the side of the bumper for maximum flex without rubbing. Without looking at another rig, you'd think that mine was factory. Check out the picture gallery for ideas on where to cut. When you are happy with where you've trimmed, go back and reattach the rubber wheel well pieces and trim them to match.

That's it! You're ready to go wheeling with your large approach angle increase, your heavy duty protection for the radiator, and the tow points that you can now be pulled out with. Enjoy!!!

 

 



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