|At some point in time, you're going to get stuck. Lets face it, it happens to all of us at one point in time. Well, what are you going to do, when that time occurs, and you need to be pulled forwards to freedom? I certainly hope you werent planning on hooking a strap up to the stock bumper. Unless of course, you like having a bent bumper. Or even worse, no bumper, when it busts off and wrecks the rear of the truck pulling you out. Well, i decided to address this issue.|
|The simplest idea at the time seemed to be to just go out and buy a set of tow hooks to bolt up to the frame. Unfortunately, when i opened the package and held the hook up to the frame, i noticed a problem right away. No clearance! Time to whip out the trusty air grinder!|
|The first thing that needs to be done, is the black trim on the bottom of the bumper needs to be removed. Purely a cosmetic item, i drove around for a couple weeks without this piece on, trying to decide if i was going to put it back on after the tow hook install.|
|The trim is held on by nothing more than a bunch of small screws going into clips. Easily removed, most of mine were already loose, which made it that much easier, but i still needed a wrench for a few; if i recall correctly, they were 10mm|
removed the trim, i held the hook up against the frame to
see how much of the bumper needed to be removed.
After doing that i decided that the best way to do it was
to cut out a square notch in the bumper that matched the
frame rail in width, and went up the bumper to a point
equal to the bottom of the frame rail.
After i cut away the bumper, i put the hook back up against the frame so that i could drill a hole to hold the hook to the frame.
To the right:
A: the notch i cut in the bumper
B: the hole i drilled through the frame rail
C: a hole that was in the frame from the factory
D: another hole from the factory, partially covered (about half) by the anti-sway bar bracket
|The hook was bolted through the factory hole and aimed straight ahead. I used this to be able to mark where the other hole had to be drilled into the frame. After that was done, it was a simple task of bolting the hook to the frame. Unfortunately, the bolts that came with the kit had shoulders that were too long, and wouldnt allow the nuts to be tightened enough to hold the hooks properly. So i went to the local hardware store and bought newer, shorter grade 8 bolts. Then i bolted it up, to have what you see to the right.|
|And for the finishing touches, i decided to put the plastic trim back on the bumper. However, the hooks stuck out past the bumper, so i had to cut notches in the trim as well. When all is said and done, this is what i ended up with:|
|As you can see, with the trim back on, the hooks look like they are supposed to be there from the factory. They barely stick out past the trim, just enough to be able to hook something on there, without having to worry about them getting caught on anything. And they look good, too!|