How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a Jeep Libertyby Thomas West
Like its Cherokee predecessor, the Jeep Liberty is a sport utility vehicle that was actually designed to go off-road, not just as a grocery-getter. The Liberty is available with V-6 power and four-wheel drive. Its high ride height allows for traversing rough terrain, while it still has an acceptable ride on smooth roads. Some Liberty vehicles came with a factory towing package, but on vehicles not so equipped, an aftermarket hitch can be installed to make your Liberty even more useful.
Slide under the rear of your Liberty and locate the factory-installed weld nuts mounted on the ends of each rear frame rail. Clean the frame rail mating surfaces with a scraper or wire brush.
Raise the hitch into position on the underside of the truck so that the two holes on each hitch mounting flange line up with the two rearmost weld nuts on each frame rail. Have a helper hold the hitch in position or temporarily attach the hitch to the frame with C-clamps.
Place a conical toothed washer or a lock washer -- depending on the hitch manufacturer -- onto each of the four hitch mounting bolts.
Thread the bolts through the hitch mounting holes and into the weld nuts on the frame rail finger-tight.
Tighten each of the four bolts with the a socket and torque wrench to the torque indicated on the hitch instruction sheet -- usually 68 to 75 foot pounds.
Remove the C-clamps, if applicable.
- Do not exceed the vehicle or the hitch towing and tongue weight capacity, whichever is smaller. An overloaded vehicle or hitch could cause the vehicle to loose control while towing and possibly cause an accident.
- Check the hitch and its fasteners before every use. Do not use a hitch that has been damaged or bent in any way. Do not attempt to straighten a bent hitch. Remove and replace a damaged hitch before towing. Ensure the hitch mounting bolts are tightened to the correct parameters with a torque wrench.
- Follow the hitch directions when choosing a draw bar to use in your hitch. A draw bar with the correct drop must be used or damage to the vehicle or the trailer could occur.