Installation of the Flat Tow Harness - WA State - 2014+ Jeep Cherokee Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-03-2017, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Installation of the Flat Tow Harness - WA State

There is a long thread about getting the Flat Tow Harness installed by the dealer - but if you own a new Cherokee the odds are you'll pay for it. Here's how I went about doing it in the Tacoma, WA, area.

I priced around for the Flat Tow Harness that is listed in other threads. Part No: 68321424AB
Description: Wiring Kit - Recreational Flat Tow (H/T to @Array). All the dealers around here quoted $124.00.

I also priced the installation. The TB indicates 1.2 hours for the installation and about .3 hours for inspection. The best I could find in the Tacoma, WA, area was out at Enumclaw Jeep. (Thanks for the tip, Kori!) They quoted $470 for parts and labor. They have one experienced tech who can do it - other dealerships were less certain of time and quoted nearly $700 as the high quote.

I dropped the Cherokee off Thursday night, the tech did the work on Friday, and we returned this morning to retrieve it. It took a few minutes to find the harness under the hood, but it's there, and the switch in the console is securely mounted. There is a card in the harness kit that gives you information on use, but doesn't tell where the harness is hidden under the hood. In our case, the harness is just behind the battery, running behind the engine. (edit: I added pictures, below)

View under the hood:


Switch inside the console:


Since the Jeep is my wife's I haven't had much time in it, and am unsure how to remove the console to run the cable and mount the switch. If needed, I think one could reverse engineer the work and duplicate it fairly easily. If I get another one, I'll give it a try myself.

I recall reading someone put an inline switch to the cable so you can leave the 10AMP fuse in the harness. It looks to be a major PITA to push in and pull out everytime you want to tow, or drive it afterwards. I don't recall what type of switch was used, but the wire is pretty close to the engine, so I suspect whatever is used would need to be able to handle the engine heat.

Now, it's time to start prepping it for flat towing!

--jj_WA--
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Last edited by jj_WA; 06-04-2017 at 10:00 AM. Reason: Adding pictures of the installed harness.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by jj_WA View Post
.... and am unsure how to remove the console to run the cable and mount the switch. If needed, I think one could reverse engineer the work and duplicate it fairly easily. If I get another one, I'll give it a try myself.

I recall reading someone put an inline switch to the cable so you can leave the 10AMP fuse in the harness. It looks to be a major PITA to push in and pull out everytime you want to tow, or drive it afterwards. I don't recall what type of switch was used, but the wire is pretty close to the engine, so I suspect whatever is used would need to be able to handle the engine heat.

Now, it's time to start prepping it for flat towing!
Glad to hear they got you wired up to go.

Here are instructions the dealer tech probably used to install the harness: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_F...ew?usp=sharing.

There's also a youtube video posted on how to remove the console: Part1:


and Part 2:

The harness runs behind the PDC (Power Distribution Center) to the driver's wheel well where its ground wire is mounted to an existing ground post adjacent to the battery, and the relay is mounted somewhere in the same vicinity. You don't have to worry much about heat harming a switch. Here is an appropriate simple 12 volt switch rated for 10 amps: https://www.amazon.com/Trail-Tech-04...Z43RT5YKRN0QJT. The advantage of this switch is it's waterproof and small so it can be zip tied parallel to the harness fuse. The switch should be wired in series with the fuse.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 11:15 PM
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I bought a 12v 10amp metal switch to install today. Haven't done it yet, but I am going to install it on the left fender where it is well away from the engine. Keep in mind all of the plastic wires and such in the engine bay have no trouble with the heat, so a normal metal switch won't either. Switch was $5.49 and they have multiple varieties.

Just finished towing 2000 miles behind my Jayco GreyHawk and no problems other than I got a check engine light after almost every time I went to drive the jeep. 3 starts and it went away (as noted elsewhere). I did have a dealer check it on the way and it is the Electronic Power Steering communication error code. I just ignored it after that. It is just complaining that someone is talking to it's components without the computer blessing the conversation.

Enjoy hour Jeep.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to you both for the information! I'll get a switch and place it in-line with the fuse, between the power source and the fuse.

Regards,

--jj_WA--
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 11:26 PM
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.... I got a check engine light after almost every time I went to drive the jeep. 3 starts and it went away (as noted elsewhere).
I never get a CEL. If the startup and shutdown instructions are followed closely, the CAN bus should not be getting angry and throwing errors.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 11:54 PM
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I never get a CEL. If the startup and shutdown instructions are followed closely, the CAN bus should not be getting angry and throwing errors.
.

It may well be my fault. I created a check list to try and have a laminated card to follow, but have found that I would inevitably do something wrong. So I started to simply pull the manual and supplement to follow each and every time. I can't recall if I was still getting the error, but will specifically watch for that. Two dealers said that they have seen it before so I am hoping it was not installed incorrectly (had a dealer do the install which they offered for free when I bought my rig).

Thanks.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-05-2017, 12:00 AM
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Another question on the switch. I see the one you pointed out, but it appears to be a push on/push off type with no indication of whether it is in the on or off position. Maybe there is a tactile indication, but knowing my fumble fingers, I would push it twice or some such thing. I like the idea of water proof and not haveing to actually mount it and run additional wires.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-05-2017, 12:39 AM
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.

It may well be my fault. I created a check list to try and have a laminated card to follow, but have found that I would inevitably do something wrong. So I started to simply pull the manual and supplement to follow each and every time. I can't recall if I was still getting the error, but will specifically watch for that. Two dealers said that they have seen it before so I am hoping it was not installed incorrectly (had a dealer do the install which they offered for free when I bought my rig).

Thanks.
Thing to remember is keep the switch in the console flipped up any time the EPS is energized while ignition is off.

That switch disconnects EPS communications from the CAN bus.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-05-2017, 12:57 AM
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Another question on the switch. I see the one you pointed out, but it appears to be a push on/push off type with no indication of whether it is in the on or off position. Maybe there is a tactile indication, but knowing my fumble fingers, I would push it twice or some such thing. I like the idea of water proof and not haveing to actually mount it and run additional wires.
Okay, I know what you mean. I installed a switch with a LED, which is nice. But it could be argued as overkill because when the EPS is energized the steering wheel moves easy. Even though I see the LED come on, I still grab the wheel and turn it to make sure the EPS is actually working.

I do like the LED as a visual that the harness is energized.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 03:49 PM
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Array, you have been an excellent source of information and help and I want to thank you for that. I have re-thought some items due to your counsel and believe my Cherokee will be better because of it.

I do have one other question for on the topic of towing. When shifting the transfer case (or whatever it is called) into Neutral for towing and following the manual explicitly to do this, when I shift back into park (with engine running) I will get a brief grinding (similar to forgetting to push in clutch). Maybe I am supposed to switch the engine off first, but then again, thought I had tried that and it would not let me turn it off until in park....hmmmm....now I have to try it out again. Anyone else experience this?
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