Hanson XJ Cherokee rear bumper and tire carrier install

Article by Jason Dietz.

I first started by pre assembling most of the parts on the bumper before I got started, the bear claw latch, as well as the studs for the spare and bushings on the swing away. The easiest way to install the bushing is to use the bolt through the bushing and use a hammer to tap it home. I used this method on each side to install the plastic bushings.

Hanson XJ Rear Bumper and Tire Carrier Hanson XJ Rear Bumper and Tire Carrier

Here’s a look at all of the mounting brackets, which is essential for any rear swing away as stock bumper mounting will not hold up to a large spare as you are simply mounting to sheet metal.

Hanson XJ Rear Bumper and Tire Carrier
rear bumper brackets
Hanson XJ Rear Bumper and Tire Carrier
outer frame brackets
Hanson XJ Rear Bumper and Tire Carrier
inner frame bracket nut strips

Step 1 is to remove the stock rear bumper, if you have a 97 and newer you will also have to remove the rear bumper end caps.

Step 2, install the inner frame rail and nut strips on each side.

Hanson XJ Rear Bumper and Tire Carrier Hanson XJ Rear Bumper and Tire Carrier

On 97 and newer Jeep Cherokees’ you will notice that there is a heat shield as well as the exhaust hanger, these will need to be modified or removed to clear the lower frame rail support.

I cut the heat shield to clear the bracket and removed the old exhaust hanger, you will see later how I resolved holding the tip up.

Hanson XJ Rear Bumper and Tire Carrier Hanson XJ Rear Bumper and Tire Carrier

Step 3 install the bumper supports

Hanson does not supply you with replacement bumper bolts, so you are expected to reuse yours. For some reason my bumper was only being held on by 4 bolts, 2 per side, so I replaced the ones that were missing with grade 8’s

Hanson XJ Rear Bumper and Tire Carrier Hanson XJ Rear Bumper and Tire Carrier

Step 4 loosely bolt everything together, do not tighten anything down as you may have to make adjustments to get the bumper to mount up.

You should have all of the brackets installed and loosely bolted up at this point and it will look like this:

Line up the bumper, it will sandwich between bumper brackets (inside) and the lower frame brackets (outer). As long as the bumper slides on, bolt down all of the brackets nice and tight.

Step 5 Install the bumper and bolt it to the brackets using the supplied carriage bolts.

Hanson XJ Rear Bumper and Tire Carrier Hanson XJ Rear Bumper and Tire Carrier

Step 6 Install the rear swing away, I had to file down the bushings to get it to slide in the mount since it was a very tight fit.

At this point you will need to do some adjusting to the striker pin to make sure everything lines up well. I had to put some washers under mine to lower it down enough to catch the bear claw latch.

Hanson XJ Rear Bumper and Tire Carrier Hanson XJ Rear Bumper and Tire Carrier

Mount your spare

Don’t forget to relocate your plate. I plan to get a plate relocation bracket and light through ORO.

Hanson XJ Rear Bumper and Tire Carrier Hanson XJ Rear Bumper and Tire Carrier

One of the biggest problems I faced with this install was the exhaust hanger really isn’t compatible with the rear frame brackets. I wasn’t about to cut mine to make it fit, and I was also having trouble getting the bolt on that side of the frame so I decided to leave it off. I opted to build my own hanger and came up with this.

Hanson XJ Rear Bumper and Tire Carrier Hanson XJ Rear Bumper and Tire Carrier
Sources
JeepinOutfitters
Lewisville, TX
972-221-5286
http://www.jeepinoutfitters.com
4WD Hardware
800-555-3353
http://www.4wd.com
Hanson Off Road
Oakhurst, CA 93644
559-683-7790
http://www.hansonoffroad.com/
2 comments

2 Comments so far

  1. Will Rogers July 14th, 2011 7:58 am

    I put this bumper on my 99 yesterday. If you disassemble the exhaust hanger, take the 13mm nuts off that hold the rubber part to the mount and turn it around you can then bolt the hanger up backwards. In order to make this work you have to cut your heat shield a bit but you have to do this anyhow.

  2. Kevin June 12th, 2014 3:04 pm

    I know this post is a few years old, but I was wondering how you liked the tire carrier now that you’ve used it for a bit. I have one on my older Cherokee and the tire wobbles if I don’t attach it to my roof rack. Now that I have a newer 2001 XJ, I was wondering if the Hanson version was any stronger.

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