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95riogrande 01-10-2010 11:39 PM

front tow hooks
how do you add tow hooks to the factory front bumper? found these at harbor freight would they work?

bwilburn 01-11-2010 07:35 AM

Mine mount on top to the frame I'm guessing there are some factory installed holes there. The holes on the hook look a little small you might have to drill them out bigger.

95riogrande 01-11-2010 09:41 AM

yeah nevermind I found installation instructions for a tow hook on quadratec. It needs to have three holes. One hole is the front bumper bolt and the other hole is under the front frame cover. thank you though

jpdocdave 01-11-2010 10:05 AM

you can use the cheaper hooks, but the ones with two holes you have to drill the second hole since it doesn't line up with the factory bumper bolts always. the local idiot zone here has those tow hooks for 9.99

95riogrande 01-11-2010 11:42 AM

Yeah I just ordered a couple off Quadratec. $12.99 a piece plus shipping. I didn't want to drill any holes into the frame and it has the hardware and clip. Does anyone use the clip? I like the open look. I also am looking for a recovery strap. I figured 2" x 30' is this a good size? Or should I get a 3" strap? Any good brands with good prices?

RedWrangler 01-11-2010 11:58 AM

Below is a good article on using a dynamic strap for recovery, and they recommend a 2" for most smaller vehicles. I have a Keeper 2"x30' and it's performed admirably over theyears. You can get one from Amazon for less than $30. Keeper 02923 Vehicle Recovery Strap With Loops 2"x 30' 10,000 lbs Vehicle Wt.: Automotive

Dynamic RecoveryBy: James Downing

A dynamic recovery derives its forces from the kinetic energy of a moving mass. Because of the method, it is important to ensure you are using an appropriate dynamic (stretchy) strap.

Dynamic Recovery Straps:

A dynamic recovery can be a simple method, provided that you have a second vehicle present. Dynamic recoveries derive the recovering force from the vehicle’s kinetic energy. The kinetic energy is the energy that a vehicle stores when it gains speed. That speed is transferred into the strap, which acts like a spring and stretches. When the strap stretches it provides a force that is exerted on both ends of the strap equally.

Because of the high levels of momentum involved, it is important to visualize where the vehicle will move once unstuck. You don’t want the stuck vehicle to slam it’s rear axle into a rock during the pull. If that is a possibility, it may be best to perform a static pull that can be more controlled.

As you guessed it, the key component to a dynamic recovery is the strap. This is one instance where it is not helpful to oversize a component too far. If the dynamic strap does not have an appropriate amount of stretch to it, it will act more and more like a static component (see the example below for details as to why more stretch is good). In general, a 2” wide strap is properly sized for most vehicles under 6k lbs. For a larger vehicle, such as a large pickup or camper, a 3” strap may be better suited. It’s a good idea to size the strap to the pulling vehicle, as they are the ones generating the energy that will transfer through the system.

All vehicles are meant for forward progress. The suspension and gearing is designed to handle forward stresses. If a recovery is performed in reverse, stresses are transferred differently and can potentially cause axle wrap, stress suspension components, or pull out a driveline. If necessary, turn your vehicle around so you are facing away from the stuck vehicle. This allows you to see where you are going, makes it easier to control the vehicle, and allows proper forward gear to be selected.

Because there is an energy storing component in the system, it is extra important to create a ‘closed system’ if possible. A closed system means that the system could vibrate or shake and not allow the strap to fall off, or misplace itself. Closed system components include D-rings, shackles, strap eyes, or hooks with spring retainers. An open hook is not desired in most situations, and a trailer ball hitch should never be used.

Due to these high stresses, it is important to ensure your components are strong enough for the recovery. Again, compare the dynamic strap to a spring. If you stretch a spring and let it go, it will fly back towards itself. The dynamic strap will do the same. When making your strap connections to the vehicles, ensure they are frame mounted, and sturdy. Good straps will come with protective coverings on their loop-ends, and sometimes along their length. Make sure these are located where the strap rubs against anything. This can prevent serious damage to your strap.

To begin a dynamic recovery, start with a few feet of slack in the rope between the vehicles. The recovering vehicle will gain speed until reaching the end of the strap. At that point the recovering vehicle should let up on the gas a bit, and allow the momentum of the vehicle to produce most of the recovering forces. If the pull does not recover the vehicle, do NOT spin your wheels at the end of the strap, this defeats the purpose of a dynamic recovery and adds stresses to the driveline. Back up to get slack in the strap, and try again with more speed.

Because the dynamic strap produces unknown forces and stresses that vary depending on vehicle speed, strap stretch, and amount of “stuckage” it makes sense to begin a dynamic recovery process with a slow, light pull. If the first pull doesn’t recover the stuck vehicle, try again with a slightly faster pull. Slightly increase the speed each time until the vehicle releases, or until you feel the pull is becoming too harsh. If you do not feel safe with the speed, do NOT try a “superman pull”. Instead, try combining a passive recovery method with a dynamic recovery.

It can be helpful for the stuck vehicle to slowly spin their tires during the recovering process. It is important not to spin the tires excessively fast, as this will shock load the drive-train once the tires regain traction. It can also be helpful to aid the process by digging out the soil in front of the stuck vehicle’s tires.

Below is a mathematical example to show why it is important to use a stretchy strap in-between the vehicles when performing a dynamic recovery.

The effects of using a non-dynamic connector:
We’ll use an average 5,000 lb vehicle as our example recovering vehicle. The two vehicles are attached with the strap, loose at first. The recovering vehicle proceeds forward with a bit of gas, reaching only 5 mph when reaching the end of the strap. At this point the vehicle has gathered kinetic energy equal to 1/2*mass*velocity^2.

KE = 0.5 * 5000 lb * (5 mi/hr)^2 = 5.7 kJ

We will assume for this instance that the stuck vehicle will remain stuck and will not budge (worst case)… so all of the recovering vehicle’s energy transfers into the strap and is turned into elastic potential energy. This stored energy will be equal to the kinetic energy that the truck had. This stored energy relates to the force exerted on each end by the following: energy = average force * distance. The distance is how far the strap stretches. The average force is assuming the rope exerts constant force, which ours does not. Because it’s force exerted most closely resembles a linear relationship to the stretch, the average force should be multiplied by 2 to get the maximum exerted force (which is all we are interested in here)… assuming the system reaches equilibrium without failure.

In instance 1, we will use a dynamic strap, which can stretch about 6 feet.

5.7 kJ / (6 ft) * 2 = 2,089 lbf (well within the safe range of most straps)

For instance 2, we used a static strap, which we will assume stretches only 4 inches before reaching equilibrium.

5.7 kJ / (4 in) * 2 = 25,072 lbf (enough to snap a strap or possibly rack your frame)

For the last instance, what if we used a chain, which has extremely minimal stretch. So we will say 0.5″…

5.7 kJ / (0.5 in) * 2 = 200,576 lbf (you will certainly break something!!)

So, I hope this gives you a real world, numerical understanding of why dynamic straps should ALWAYS be used in dynamic vehicle-to-vehicle recoveries.

* I did not show unit conversions for the sake of simplicity (there were a lot)

Good communication between the drivers is important. The recovering vehicle needs to be sure that the stuck vehicle is ready. If possible, a 3rd person, called a marshaller, can keep an eye on the tow rope and both vehicles at the same time. This can be a valuable resource. If you are performing a dynamic recovery on your own, it can be helpful to lay the slacked strap so that it is visible in your driver’s side rear view mirror. This way you can see when the jerk will take place.

95riogrande 01-11-2010 11:58 AM

just my luck of course they are on backorder! :banghead:

95riogrande 01-11-2010 12:06 PM

Thanks for the info redwrangler. I'll have to check out that recovery strap. For now my tow hooks are on backorder.

RedWrangler 01-11-2010 12:12 PM

While you are on Amazon, you might want to check out the tow hooks too. I saw the three bolt from Smittybuilt on there for 10.99. A lot of the time you can get free standard shipping too, something you're unlikely to get from Quadratec. Smittybilt 7505 Chrome Tow Hook Kit: Automotive

They also have the Rugged Ridge three bolt at $13.99 Rugged Ridge 11236.02 Tow Hook Kit Black Bolt On: Automotive

95riogrande 01-11-2010 12:36 PM

Yeah the ones I ordered are the rugged ridge ones. I think i'm going to look locally for a recovery strap for now. If I can't find one i'll order the Keeper 2"x30' off amazon.

scott howard 01-11-2010 01:03 PM has the smittybuilt snatch strap rated at 17,000 lbs for 49.99
cost a little more but is worth the extra money .
I used mine during the blizzard we had here a few weeks back and pulled out
59 cars 3 cops and 1 ambulance and my strap still looks new.
I have used tow straps from the parts store in the past and they seem it break very easy if the car/truck your pulling out is really stuck at all.

95riogrande 01-11-2010 03:47 PM

is a snatch strap the same as a recovery strap?

RedWrangler 01-11-2010 04:46 PM

Yes. A snatch refers to the method of extraction. You want a dynamic strap for this, see above, to minimize the jolt when it tightens up and to take advantage of the stored energy in the stretch.

95riogrande 01-18-2010 04:06 PM

ok so I got my tow hooks today but I am not sure how to install them. It came with hardware bolts, nuts, lock washers. I noticed the holes in the frame are threaded and maybe have a nut welded inside. Do I just thread the bolts into the threaded holes. I dont see anyway of installing the nuts inside the frame. I know I have to take out the bumper bolts and use that hole also.

cheapjeep71 01-18-2010 04:32 PM

Yeah, just thread the bolts down into the frame. There is no room for a nut. That is just a generic bolt kit for various applications.

95riogrande 01-18-2010 04:44 PM

thanks cheapjeep71 for the quick reply. I have one more question if I just drill a hole through the plastic cover I wont be able to take it off with out removing the tow hooks. Is there a easy way to cut out a notch so it can be removed with them in.

cheapjeep71 01-18-2010 06:49 PM

You could use a Dremel tool or a real sharp utility knife.

95riogrande 01-18-2010 08:39 PM

Ok I got them installed. Trimmed the plastic to fit around the tow hooks. Did you put any washers on top of the frame to level it with the thickness of the bumper?

RedWrangler 01-19-2010 12:41 AM

Washers are a good idea, just be sure you use SS.

Manolito 02-23-2010 12:28 AM

I just received my winch mounting plate and it says do not re-install tow hooks. I am guessing I can just purchase longer bolts and re-install the hooks. Does this effect the air bag sensors? Is there a better place to attach tow hooks? Or am I making a mountain out of a mole hill? I am mounting a Tabor 9K to the front of a 2004 Unlimited.

ratfink4545 02-23-2010 02:42 PM


Originally Posted by 95riogrande (Post 521432)
Yeah I just ordered a couple off Quadratec. $12.99 a piece plus shipping. I didn't want to drill any holes into the frame and it has the hardware and clip. Does anyone use the clip? I like the open look.

these are the tow hooks i have, they look good and are crazy strong
plus they only took about 10 minutes to install, all you have to do is remove the four bolts that hold on the plastic thing that says jeep on it in front of the grill, there is a threaded hole under there that lines up with one of the holes in the hook, then drill a hole in the plastic cover where you need it. You gotta remove the torx bolt that holds the bumper on and replace it with the hex head they provide, real simple and damn they are helpful on the trails!

Lando 02-24-2010 02:04 PM

Do any of you guys have problems with the black or chrome hooks rusting? I want to get some, but I hate buying parts that rust after 6 months. I live in Ohio; rust is and actual color here.

Blazin420 02-26-2010 10:18 AM

I like the Rampage D schakle much better if you are using for offroad use.

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