Project Cherokee: Ramsey Grille Guard Installation

Jeep Cherokee with Ramsey Grille Guard
Jeep Cherokee with Ramsey Grille Guard

Project Cherokee: Ramsey Grille Guard Installation

I decided that a winch would be a nice addition to the Cherokee. Increase its already capable off-road prowess, and add to its durability and good looks.

I looked around for awhile to find some sort of winch mount for my Cherokee. I knew that I wanted to keep it pretty much stock looking so that automatically eliminated a bumper mount. I am not really too fond of the class III receiver mount either as then you have to carry the winch around with you either all the time or when you think you will get stuck.

Not wanting to replace the bumper left me with a grille guard type mount as an option. This lead me to the Warn Trans4mer grille guard. After looking at that, I wasn’t too impressed. TO ME, I thought it looked very 80s ish. No offense to anybody that has it. I then headed over to Ramsey’s catalog to see what they had to offer. After looking for awhile, I decided that I would get the Ramsey Combo mount.

I checked all the dimensions on both Ramsey and Warn winches to make sure the Warn X8000i winch would fit. After checking and rechecking, it was time to find a place to get it from. I called around to get prices…and boy did the prices vary. One place had it as high as $560, but the best price I found was $392 at National Tire & Wheel. It was only $427 delivered to my door.

Please note: This is an illustration on how to install Ramsey’s Combo Mount Grille Guard. This is a simple documentation and not a substitute for the manufacturer’s directions. This shows other Cherokee owners what they can expect installing a grille guard on their vehicles. As with any install, use extreme caution and always read the directions.

Remove bumper endcaps.

Step 1: The first step in the installation process is to remove the bumper endcaps. There are 4 different bolts holding them on. Access them from underneath. The first two are held on by nuts and bolts, the nuts are located inside the bumper area. They require being held by a wrench otherwise they spin. The other two are located way up inside the bumper end cap area into the flares. (Annotated) These are just screws. You must do this for each endcap.

Remove tow hooks and brackets.

Step 2: The next step is to remove the front tow hooks. This is only done if you have them. (Either aftermarket or from the factory if you have the Up Country Group.) There is also a reinforcement bracket on each side if you have the Up Country Suspension Group. This will have to be removed. The tow hooks will fit back on with the grille guard, but the bracket will not. You must do this for each side.

remove bumper and vacuum canister.

Step 3: The next step is to take the bumper off. However, before actually doing this, there are a few small steps to do. First off, if you have the factory driving lights in the air dam, you must disconnect them. This is an easy step as there are disconnects. The next step is to undo the vacuum canister from the bumper. This is accomplised by undoing two torex screws. To take the bumper off, there is four torex bolts. Tow on top, two on the bottem. They are T-47.

Remove bumper reinforcement brackets.

Step 4: You will now remove the two black brackets that reinforce the bumper. These will not be reused. The winch mount kit comes with heavier duty brackets that provide support for the winch.

Removing bumper bracket bolts.

Step 5: Now remove the vehicle bumper mounting bracket bolts. The bolt in the back will be reused, so do not discard. You will need to loosen them to insert the side plate bracket.

Install the winch mount brackets.

Step 6: You will now install winch mount brackets. The brackets will slide in between the bumper bracket and the other piece. Here is picture of how it should look.

Install the upper winch mount brackets.

Step 7: Install the winch mount upper bracket assembly. This is held in place by 4 carriage bolts. You will need to get behind the frame rails to loosen the existing bolts and to tighten the new ones. If you have the front skid plate that comes with the Up Country Suspension Group, you will need to remove this to get back there. This is accomplished by loosening 3 bolts across the front and two bolts in the back of it.

This is what you are left with.

Step 8: Reinstall the bumper and endcaps. You will also want to reinstall the vacuum canister at this point. Make sure you reconnect up your driving lights if you have them. YOu will be left with the upper winch brackets coming through above the bumper, and the lower brackets down by the tow hook area. If you DID NOT have factory tow hooks before doing this, you will need to notch the air dam to allow the bracket side plates through.

start bolting together the grille guard.

Step 9: You will now install the winch plate onto the frame rails sticking through your bumper. This is done with four carriage bolts. This will also allow you to install the left and right side uprights. Loosly tighten each of the bolts to allow it to line up right. Once you are sure you can get bolts through, then go around and tighten them all up.

The grille guard is now installed.

Step 10: Now put in the cross tube and the brush guard pieces. (headlight bars) The head light bars are optional. I opted to install them at the moment. I may go back and take them off later.

Reinstall the front tow hooks.

Step 11: I went back and put the tow hooks on since there was room for them. They won’t be as strong as they were since the reinforcement bracket is missing. It won’t fit on since the grille guard bracket is now in the way.

Now follow along as we bolt a Warn X8000i Winch on.