Receiver Hitch Installed in JL "Sport"


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Apr 11, 2018
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Texas, ya'll
XJ (sold), WJ (sold), Ram 1500 QC 4x4 (sold 2018.06.07), Wrangler JL Sport 2-door (ordered 2018.06.08)
Retired engineer (NASA, aerospace, DoD); ex-Navy
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Well, I guess I did my first mod to my JL yesterday evening - a receiver hitch. I had ordered it a few days ago and got it for $36 off of eBay. It arrived Sunday-- or at least I noticed it on my door step at that point (it might have been delivered the previous day). It seems that they used acceptable thickness metal and the welds look good enough that they are probably automated. Well, *my* welds definitely don't look as good. :)

It was originally for the JK, but from what I gathered, the ones for the JK work on the JL. The spacing on the plates did not allow a tight fit. There was probably 1/8" of a gap after I put it on. So, I figured I had two choices.
  1. Cut a piece of 1/8" thick steel shim and drill it for the hole pattern to take up the space (thick fender washer would have probably also worked).
  2. Tighten the bolts so tight that the plates were forced to conform to the shape of the cross frame member.
I took the easy way out and just tightened the bolts as tight as I could with a 3/8" drive ratchet that is probably less than 12" long. I doubt that I over-torqued them considering how short the ratchet was and the angle I was having to work at. From what I've read, I should torque them down to 80 ft-lbs, but because my torque wrench is 1/2" drive and my 3/4" socket is 3/8" drive, by the time I put the 3/8 to 1/2 adapter between the socket and the torque wrench, I was difficult to get it in the area between the crossmember and the muffler, so I figured that getting it as tight as I could with the short wrenches in the confined space should be pretty close to the right torque setting. I'll probably double-nut each of the bolts to act as a jam nut,

It's probably a 15 minute job if you have all your tools ready. It took me 1.25 hours because I couldn't find the 3/4" box end wrench and eventually just gave up and used a 6" adjustable end (i.e. "Crescent") wrench.

End result is that it was a 3-beer project...

If I had to do it again, I would probably crank up the air compressor and use my air ratchet...


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