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Old 04-10-2012, 09:40 PM
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Installing a factory trailer hitch question

I have found a factory trailer hitch for my 04 GC that did not come with a trailer hitch. I know how to install it, but since my GC didn't have this as a factory option I'm guessing it doesn't have a trans cooler. My question is, do I need to install a trans cooler or can I just install the trailer package and tow once and awhile without destroying my trans. I want to tow a pop up camper, a utility trailer for trips to the hardware store or bringing home some mulch from the local garden center. Thanks in advance! Sorry if this has been covered and I didn't find it in my searching.
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:01 AM
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Re: Installing a factory trailer hitch question

Yours likely still has a trans cooler, I dont know of a single automatic that chrysler uses that doesnt have an external trans cooler. It may not be the cooler that is used on vehicles with a factory tow package but you are probably going to be more than fine for the light duty towing you have planned. I would bump your trans service schedule up some (I mean dependant on what your you do), if you look online you can find graphs of ATF service life and you will see that the higher the temps its service life drops LIKE A ROCK. Just tow responsible and dont drive like a mad man, dont use overdrive and be gentle, all good tips no matter how well equipped the vheicle is.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:55 AM
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Re: Installing a factory trailer hitch question

What he said....

You should have a trans cooler. I have an 04 with the HO V8 and do very occassional towing of a small utility trailer for runs just as you described. You're not going to have any issues. If you were pulling a large trailer or a lot if weight, I'd say you should look into some upgrades, but for a utility trailer and a small pop-up, you should be fine.

Be aware you'll need to remove the rear bumper cover and cut it to fit around the new factory hitch. A trim plate gets installed into the hole you cut, and there is some wiring, but nothing you can't accomplish in a few hours. The hitch is heavy...be sure to have some blocks or stands handy to help you position it so you can get the bolts started. I installed mine myself...not a bad job at all.
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Old 04-11-2012, 02:23 PM
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Re: Installing a factory trailer hitch question

All good advice! Thank you very much for your input and I now feel more confident that my Jeep can haul some mulch, brush or camper without leaving transmission parts all over the freeway.
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:02 PM
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Re: Installing a factory trailer hitch question

Just completed a factory hitch install on my 01. the 04 should have the same frame. I got the bezel for the bumper cover from the dealership, reverse enginered a template and cut out the cover and drilled the holes. Picked up some hardware from the local hardware store, or you can pay through the nose and get it from the dealership. Not a hard thing to do. Got my info for the process from WJJeeps.com, it was quite easy. I also got a wiring harness form the wrecking yard that made it plug and play. Easy job.
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:34 PM
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Re: Installing a factory trailer hitch question

Honestly I don't think there is any difference between the trans cooling between the tow package and non towing. They both head into the rad,nothing external. 2005 there aren't seperate part numbers for the radiators are there? I'm kinda curious now.
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:24 PM
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I haul a Jetski and plan on doing external cooler just for added insurance. regardless. keeping tranny temp down helps in longevity I think

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Old 08-03-2012, 01:30 AM
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Re: Installing a factory trailer hitch question

If it's like my 04 GC (I would think it is) the cooler lines are in and run to the front of the jeep just above the axle but they are simply looped together and not actually run into the radiator. You will need some hose and the hard line that actually connects to the radiator to finish the job but it is really easy. I don't kow if all tghe radiators have the connections for the tranny cooler or not you will have to check. The connections are both on the right (passenger) side of the radiator. Really it's a pretty simple process. And should be able to find the hard lines and required hose pretty cheap from a salvage yard. I may have some of those lines kicking around let me kow if your interested.

I just did this on my jeep rebuild as the parts jeep I got had a towing package and my rebuild did not.
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