Mopar Receiver Hitch & Wiring Harness Installation - 2014+ Jeep Cherokee Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 02:37 AM Thread Starter
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Mopar Receiver Hitch & Wiring Harness Installation

The only regret I had when I bought my 2017 Trailhawk off the lot is that it didn't have the towing package (everything else was exactly what I wanted). Because I am only going to be using the Jeep to tow small trailers I'm not worried about the lower towing limit. Bought the receiver hitch and wiring harness from my dealer and was going to have them install it, but they screwed up the scheduling and wasted my time so I just did it myself (and saved about $500 in the process). I bought some trim panel removal tools from Harbor Freight to make that part of the work go smoother.

Started with the receiver hitch, followed the directions that came with hitch and removed the rear bumper panel. Had to remove the trim piece over the rear wheels and the tail light / brake light assemblies as well. At this time I also removed the center bezel in the rear bumper panel where the receiver hitch and plug connections would protrude.

The harder part was definitely the wiring harness installation. I followed the instructions that came with the harness. First I disconnected the battery (removed the wire from the negative post), then removed the driver's side trim panels and floor panel / spare tire from the cargo compartment. Then I removed the trim panels along the bottom of the driver's side rear door and front door. Then I had to remove the trim panels located along the lower driver's side of the dash and the lower dash panel located beneath the steering wheel.

I then had to find the rubber boot on the firewall panel separating the passenger compartment from the engine compartment. There is a small rubber nipple that I needed to cut in order to route the power wire to the battery. It was a tight fit to be able to reach it from the engine compartment. I took a photo of the rubber boot from the passenger compartment side. Then I attached the power wire to the battery, it also includes a small fuse box.

I followed the supplied instructions for routing and connecting the wires to the rear turn signals / brake lights. I didn't have to cut a hole in the rear floor of the cargo compartment as there was already a hole cut there that had a rubber plug (I don't have the power lift gate or reverse park bumper sensors). After all of the wiring was in place, I re-installed all of the trim and body panels and everything seems to be working just fine.
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Last edited by M-Coupe99; 03-18-2017 at 06:17 PM. Reason: Update description and photos
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 07:05 AM
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Good Job! It looks great.
Did the dealer have to flash anything or was it good to go after your install.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 07:31 AM
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Some guys have all the fun...

Looks great!
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 10:11 AM
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Good job! Shame you have to practically disassemble the vehicle to install a hitch and wiring.
They should run a power wire back there from the factory.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim View Post
Good job! Shame you have to practically disassemble the vehicle to install a hitch and wiring.
They should run a power wire back there from the factory.
It's not just Jeep... on my '17 Subaru Outback you have to do the same procedure if you want to install the Subaru hitch. Entire rear bumper cover and connected trim pieces have to come off.

Having the factory tow package on our Cherokee was a must-have. We walked on the lot, told the salesman to show us only TH's with the tow package and NO squeaky pano roof.

They had 3 on the lot fitting that description.
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Last edited by mowcowbell; 03-18-2017 at 10:31 AM.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jeepster1 View Post
Good Job! It looks great.
Did the dealer have to flash anything or was it good to go after your install.
No flash was needed.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 10:42 AM
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FYI, you don't need to remove the whole bumper cover. The hitch is install-able by just removing the snap in panel that snaps into the bumper cover. Nice pics though! I'm also not sure, but maybe doing the harness requires the bumper cover to come off for more access.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 11:25 AM
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Awesome, thanks for the write-up! I'll be tackling it soon, so it's nice to know it's possible.

My instructions don't show the need to go through the firewall to the battery, though. It appears to have a spade connector that goes to the fuse panel. See my post here: Mopar Hitch Wiring Install Write-up?

Did your instructions say you had to go through the firewall?

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DNTrailHawk View Post
FYI, you don't need to remove the whole bumper cover. The hitch is install-able by just removing the snap in panel that snaps into the bumper cover. Nice pics though! I'm also not sure, but maybe doing the harness requires the bumper cover to come off for more access.
I've heard about just removing the snap in panel, but wanted more room for installation of the hitch and wiring. Was also worried about damaging the tabs on the snap in panel and not getting a factory fit after installation.

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Last edited by M-Coupe99; 03-21-2017 at 12:49 AM.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TJinWV View Post
Awesome, thanks for the write-up! I'll be tackling it soon, so it's nice to know it's possible.

My instructions don't show the need to go through the firewall to the battery, though. It appears to have a spade connector that goes to the fuse panel. See my post here: Mopar Hitch Wiring Install Write-up?

Did your instructions say you had to go through the firewall?
Yes, my instructions and the provided wiring equipment dictated that I had to go through the firewall. Jeep / Mopar must have another version of the wiring harness that connects to the fuse panel.

2017 Cherokee Trailhawk, Rhino Clear Coat, V6, Uconnect 8.4 NAV
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