Jeep WK 05 Front Tow Hooks

I think I’m going to start taking pictures of projects and posting instructions.

I always find the instructions to all sorts of things lacking. The only way I figure stuff out is to sit down and actually look at it. Hopefully this will help some random internet user, or will at least be interesting to someone.

My first project is installing front tow hooks on a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee WK.

I bought the Mopar parts off of

Included was two tow hooks, two nut strips, two nut studs, and six nuts.

The tow hooks mount to the frame, but there are no bolts in the frame, so that’s where the nut strips come into play.

Here you can see the nut strip with two bolts on it inserted in the frame rail.

There is also a nut stud for the third bolt that goes through the frame cross member.

Getting this nut stud through the cross member is simple. There is an open hole that you can get to without any effort at all to put it through the top.

Getting into the frame rail however is a completely different matter.

To do that you need to remove the front fascia, and to remove that you need to take off the grill.

The grill is just held on by a handful of plastic rivets right on the top black plastic section. The plastic lip right under where the hood closes is part of the grill, and all that holds it on.

Here is an example of one of the rivets for that piece

These rivets are reusable. The pin will pop right out. First use a flat head screwdriver or something flat to pry out the pin from the body of the rivet. After that the pressure on the rivet will be removed and you can just pull that out with your fingers, or pry out with a screwdriver.

Once all the rivets are out the top of the grill will come forward, releasing the tabs on the bottom of the grill and then you can just lift up and off.

The front fascia needs to come off next.

This has 2 single use plastic rivets on each side holding the wheel well backing to the fascia. These are usually broken before you even start the project anyway. Just snap them off with whatever you can get a grip on them with.

Next there are two 7mm head screws holding each side of the front fascia to the quarter panel / fender (one on each wheel well). Look right above the rivets you just removed.

Next crawl under the car. In my case there were 3 – 10 mm screws holding the very bottom of the fascia to the metal rail under the radiator. The instructions showed 3 plastic rivets that were supposed to be there. My guess is they didn’t cut it and whoever had the jeep before me replaced them, but I could be wrong.

Once these 3 screws are out you’re almost home free.

The next step is removing the 4 reusable rivets holding the top lip of the fascia (right under the bottom lip of the grill you just removed)

Here’s what that rivet looks like. The pin doesn’t come out, all the way. Just pull it out until it stops, then the whole rivet should come out.

Now you are almost there. With those four rivets out the fascia will slide forward, and drop down off the little hanger at the bottom of each fender

If you have the fog lights though, don’t forget to unplug them!

You should now have the front fascia in hand.

At this point there are only two small access caps in front of the frame rail stopping you from sliding in the nut strip, and that’s why we took this whole damn thing off anyway.

Unscrew the single 10mm screw from the cover, it’ll pop off – then install the nut strips.

The bolting on of the parts is pretty straight forward. The nut strips and everything only fit one way.

Instructions say torque to 50 ft lbs.

This is really important. They don’t mean 100ft lbs. They don’t mean 75. Use a calibrated torque wrench.

Here’s what happens when your asshole friend hands you an uncalibrated torque wrench set for 50 lbs, but that is actually putting out closer to 100.

Popped that bolt right in half on the nuts strip. Pow!

I figure using some grade 8 bolts with big washers would most likely serve the same purpose as the nut strips, so here’s what that looks like:

I’ll let you know how it holds up when pulling another car.

So that’s it. Torque all your bolts to 50 ft lbs and then reassemble.

1. Frame rail end caps back on
2. Front Fascia lined up
3. Plug on fog lights (optional)
4. Hook top of fascia through hangers
5. Make sure fascia goes outside, then behind (closer to rear of vehicle) the wheel well backing
6. Put the top screw in the fascia next to the hanger
7. Put the screws on under the car into the radiator rail
8. Put the 4 reusable plastic rivets back into the front fascia
9. Scrounge around for 4 more crappy disposable rivets to hold wheel well backing (or just leave them out like I did :-P)
10. Set grill in place
11. Push in all the rivets for the grill

That should be everything!

Organizing people and things

I’ve been thinking about a way to organize people and things.

One idea I’ve been thinking about is a mailing list.

I have two thoughts on this:

1. A mailing list like {} that we make everyone in our group of friends a member of. If you have stuff to email everyone in the group.. then send it to this one email address.

2. A mailing list like {} that we make everyone’s cell phone (like for verizon numbers) a member of. That way when I want to tell everyone we’re meeting at the bar in 45 minutes I can just send one email and make sure it gets to everyone’s phone.

I’ve already configured my mailserver to do both of these things.

All I would need from you is an opt in by sending me your email address and your txt email address.

Does this sound like something useful to anyone?

A Change?

I think I need a change of pace. I should do something different for a while.

I’m thinking more Linux maybe? More teaching maybe?

Maybe I should move somewhere else to see what that’s like. Any suggestions?

Open Source Tinkering – Wireshark

I never thought I’d be able to say this, but I’m contributing to an open source project.

I’m pretty damn excited about it.

I use Wireshark almost every day to decode all sorts of voip messages. One thing that has always bothered me is not all the SCCP messages (the protocol used to control Cisco IP phones) are decoded properly. I would wind up referring back to the standard and decoding the hex. Ugh.

Thanks to the wonderful world of open source I can fix this.

Here’s the dissector for sccp packets.

I’ve got my build environment all setup with SVN syncing the source from the wireshark repository.

I’ve compiled the code from SVN and it worked right off the bat!

Next step:

Make my modifications to packet-skinny.c and compile it again. I’ve got a slew of SCCP packet captures to test against.

I would love to have my name in the AUTHORS file of Wireshark. How bad ass would that be?

Wish me luck!


I had a few extra minutes today and installed PHPBB.

I was hoping we could use this forum software to coordinate trips and events and post randomness.

You can get to the forums here.

And also in a new link I’ve added at the top right of the page you’re looking at now at least if I haven’t changed the blog style.

Register and let me know what you think. I think we need some way to organize all of our thoughts and plan a trip out. A forum could be a nice way to collectively solidify plans. I hope.

Number 16, I will miss you

I had my Top Left Wisdom Tooth pulled today. Tooth #16.

The dentist did a good job. It was a pretty big effort judging by how sore my skull is right now, but I was in and out of the office in 45 minutes. Pretty good time.

I learned a valuable lesson. I must NEVER skip trips to the dentist for years at a time. My teeth are in poor shape after a few years away from the doc. I need to have regular checkups and cleanings as my teeth just aren’t the sort that hold up well.

I need to have 6 cavities filled in the remaining 31 teeth. All in the molars. I’m not looking forward to it too much, but the Doc was efficient and the process of getting one removed was painless. Here’s to hoping the fillings go the same.

OH, the awesome part about the fillings is the resin based filling they use. It matches the color of your teeth, so I won’t have a mouth full of metal back there.

Wish me luck on the rest of my oral restoration.

Vista PC

I bought a new PC and am rocking the Vista on it.

I’ve also installed WoW, Team Fortress 2, and Portal. I play all of these on high cranked up to 1680×1050. It looks so smooth and awesome.

Dual GeForce 8800 GTS 512s in SLI will do that.

So far I like Vista. I will let you know if that changes.

After I figured out my memory timing and voltages had to be manually set, life was a lot better and Vista stopped crashing. Another huge help was properly seating the heat sink with the right amount of thermal paste.

Moving to Serendipity

No looking back!

I’m ditching my custom blog application and moving over to Serendipity.

It’s got all of these cool features that would take me WAY to long to program.

You can still catch my old blog at but everything going to should punt you right to /blog/ for serendipity.