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Blue Ox Base Plate Kit Installation - 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

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How to Install the Blue Ox Base Plate Kit on a 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Hi there jeep owners. Today on our 2020 Jeep Wrangler unlimited. We're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install Blue Ox's base plate. There's five main components required to flat tow your vehicle behind your motor home, your base plate being one of the main ones for your vehicle here. This is the attachment point where our tow bar is going to connect as well as our safety cables. Our safety cables are also part of our setup that we're going to need.

It's a supplemental connection in addition to our tow bar. The tow bar is also necessary, which is the connection between the motor home and the vehicle and is what allows you to pull it behind you. You'll also need your diode wiring, which takes them all the lighting signals from your motor home and transfers them to the light to the back of your vehicle so people behind you know your intentions when going down the road.Lastly, you'll need your supplemental braking system, which will apply the brakes in the vehicle when you hit the brakes in your motor home to help them come to a safe stop. This is what our base plate looks like when it's installed. It does install below the bumper, so you will be able to see the cross beam in pretty much the entirety of the base plate, but the black powder coat finish on it and the robust look of it just blends in pretty well with our Jeep, and it kind of just makes it look like an off-roading front end if you're not familiar with a flat tow setup.

Our base plate is going to allow us to hook up our Jeep behind our motor home and flat tow it with us.It provides a connection point for our tow bar to attach to. We've got one located on each side and currently we've got the removable arms disconnected, because this will give you a flush cleaner look as everything's pretty well flushed with the front of our bumper there. When we're ready to connect our base plate, though, we do have removable arms and these arms simply just slide in. We'll just push it in, twist it until the pin locks into place, and now our attachment point is there for our tow bar. This will hook to any Blue Ox tow bar and it'll work with other manufacturers' tow bars as well, as long as you purchase the appropriate adapter, which we have available here at

In the middle of our base plate, we do have an attachment point for our wiring here, and you can see this gives it a nice clean look and we've got our six pole connector mounted right on to it, which bounced directly up with the holes there and the screws that you need to install it come provided with the base plate.If we go to the right of our six way connector, we'll have our breakaway switch, which also has a mounting point provided on our base plate. The little tab comes off the back of the base plate, and I like that because you can't see where it mounts up here. It's nice and flush. It looks good. Having a stick off the back of the base plate helps bring that breakaway switch further back so it's not sticking out real far.

On each end of our base plate, we have an attachment point for our safety cables as well. The base plate has a solid steel construction, which gives it a nice durability. We already talked about the black powder coat finish making it look nice, but it also protects it from rust and corrosion. It's a fairly simple installation, especially compared to many other vehicle models' base plate installations.Most of the time you have to remove a facia. With this one, this bumper does have to come off, but it comes off relatively easy and we will have to do some minor drilling, but what I like about this base plate is that it's only one on each side. When we go put it up, there is hardware that we can pre-install to hold it in place so we can use the base plate as a template. Now you can take a look at what our base plate looks like on our Jeep here, let's rewind time and you can follow along with me on how to put this on. We'll begin our installation underneath the front of our vehicle by removing the belly pan here. There are two bolts we'll need to take out using an eight millimeter socket.Then across the front of the belly pan towards the top, we've got some push pins we need to remove. There's a total of seven of these. To remove these, you can take your flat-bladed screwdriver and we're going to go in between the grooves of the two pieces. We're just going to kind of twist the screwdriver to pry that piece down. Once you got it popped down, you can just grab it with your hand and just pull it out of there. We're going to repeat that for the remaining six clips. There's a little notch kind of cut out in the bumper beam where each one of these pins are going to be located. Once you've got your last clip out, we can just take this off and set it aside. There's an electrical connector we'll need to disconnect on the passenger side. This is just behind the bumper in front of the tire on the passenger side. You'll see on the side of the frame here.We'll press in on the release tab here, and then we can pull the connector apart. Behind our belly pan, we have a cross brace that's right here. There is one bolt on each side that we're going to take out using a 16 millimeter socket.This panel has a couple of tabs in it that hold it in place. They're located just above the bolts. To get it out, you're going to have to just give it a little tap up on each side, pop those tabs loose. Then we can just set this aside out of our way. We're now underneath the vehicle, and looking at the backside of our bumper beam. Where our frame meets the bumper beam here on each side of the frame, we're going to have two studs, and on each of those studs, there's going to be a nut. We're going to remove all these nuts on this side, and then over on the other side, there's four more just like this. We're going to remove those as well. We'll use an 18 millimeter socket to remove those.Now back on top of our bumper, we've got two more pins we'll need to take out. These are similar to the ones below you. Just take your flat bladed screwdriver. You'll put it in between the centerpiece and the outer piece. Then we can just pop that bottom piece out after that.There's another one located on the other side as well. Now with our pins are moved up there, we can slide the entire bumper beam off. Sometimes you got to wiggle it a little bit. It's the bolts sometimes like to get stuck inside the holes that they we're in, but once we've got it removed, we're going to set it aside where it's not going to get damaged. We'll now need to enlarge the hole located here at the bottom behind our bumper beam. Our handle nuts will need to pass through there and you can see they're not going to fit, so we can use a metal cutting blade here on our jigsaw, and we're just going to cut a couple of slips going up on each side, and then we'll use our hammer to tap that in, to make it large enough.We'll then use a pry bar to bend that tab in. Now we'll just test to make sure our handle nuts will pass through. Once we're good on this side, we're going to do the same thing over on the other side. Just on the outside of the frame, we're going to remove the bolt. This is the part of the little bracket for the piece that we just notched out here. We'll use our 16 millimeter socket to do so. We're just going to set this aside and take off the one on the other side as well. Take the two smaller diameter bolts that come in your kit. Place lock washers and flat washers on them. We'll be using these to get our base plate held up. It's still a little easier if you already got everything together. We can now take our base plate. We're going to lift it into position.The base plate will slide over the side of the frame and the holes at the front of the base plate will line up with the holes from the bolts that we just removed. We're going to take those bolts we prepared then. Thread it in to the factory weld nuts through our base plate to hold it in place. We'll do this so we have one on each side and that will make it easier as it will hold the base plate up for you. We'll now take the larger diameter bolts that come in our kit and we're just going to be using these kind of as alignment pegs.We'll take our base plate and we're going to line it up to where this bottom hole lines up with a hole coming off of the bottom of our frame there, and we're just going to slide it in. We're going to do the same thing over on the other side. Now we're just going to temporarily snug down the top bolts that we put in. I'm going to take the base plate and kind of just pull it forward until it seems like it's nice and level and flush. Then we'll just snug up those bolts on each side, using a 17 millimeter socket. We don't need to get crazy. We're just trying to use it to keep our base plate in position as we're going to be using it as a template to drill out some hardware.We'll use the top hole now as a template and a half inch drill bit to drill it out. We've got these snugged down. If you're going to, just to double check to make sure that you're both slide in and out nice and easy, that helps you also know that your bolts are lined up and they will likely line up nicely once we finish drilling. We're just going to put it in there and drill it out now. We'll then repeat the same process over on this side.Now that we've got everything drilled out, we can go ahead and take that bolt back out the bottom and then loosen this top one back up. We don't want to take it all the way out. We just want it to be loose. We can loosen up the other side as well. We're now going to be applying red Loctite to our hardware and all the hardware that holds our base plate on is going to be receiving this. We're going to use the larger diameter bolts that come in the kit. We can then take that bolt, place a lock washer on it. We're then going to slide it through our base plate, as well as our spacer here.You may need to adjust the base plate a little bit so your spacer will fit. I'm just going to bring it over. I'm lining it up with the hole that we just drilled out to where it goes in the frame there. Then we'll take those handle nuts that come in our kit. We're going to slide it through the hole that we enlarged, lining it up with the bolt. You kind of have to look down through the little hole that we enlarged.Sometimes you need to bend the handle metal a little bit to make it properly line up with the bolt. Just need to bring it over just a little bit like that. Now that we've got it hand tight over on this side, we're going to repeat the same process over on the other side. The connector we disconnected earlier just pops out of a little tab here on the side, and you can just usually just push this up and the connector will sit on top, but we need to get that plastic tab out of the way for our spacer over here on the passenger side, we can just use our flat-bladed screwdriver to pop that out of there. It's no big deal.If you do you have a difficult time with your flat blade screwdriver though, if you can get it to come out some, a pair of side cutters works really good for getting these clips out. You don't want to squeeze them all way because we're not trying to cut it with the side cutters. We're just using their jaws as a grip cause they get very well. Now we've got that out of the way, our spacer will fit in there nice and flush. With the top one started on each side, we can use the same bolts with the lock washer on it. This time, we're going to slide it through that bottom hole. Well then attach that using a handle nut that we can just slide in up through the bottom. Then we'll do the same thing over on the other side. The bolts that we first put in when we got our base plate held up, we're going to take those back out now. Keep all your lock washers and washers together. We're going to use those with the bolts still. We're going to place some red Loctite on it now,We're going to put our brackets that we had removed back into position. Then I'll just line it back up with the hole and re-insert our bolt. We're going to do the same thing over on the other side. Now that we've got all of our hardware in, we can go back and snug up all of our bolts. The only thing we want to look out for is this bracket here is going to still be a little loose, so just make sure you kind of line that up. So that way, when we go to put our bumper back on, the studs are going to slide through it smoothly. We'll use our 17 millimeter socket to tighten down the small bolt. Then we'll use our 19 millimeter socket to tighten down the larger bolts. We can then go back and torque all of our hardware to the specifications found in our instructions.We can now take all of the handle nuts that we had installed and trim off the excess. The easiest way to do this is to use a pair of side cutters. Go ahead and grab it, and then once you've got it grabbed, you can squeeze it, but it's going to be pretty hard to squeeze that. The easiest way to do it is actually just kind of give some minor pressure on your cutters and just bend that metal piece back and forth and it'll cut through it relatively easy. We'll do the same thing here on the bottom.Now with our base plate fully tightened now, we just need to put our cable on. This cable we're something is going to run it over the top of the frame here and then attach it with the quick link here to the bottom of our base plate. Each end has got a loop then to slide it onto that quick link and then tighten it down. Once you've got your cable on one side, we'll repeat this over on the other side. With our base plate fully torqued down and everything completed here. We can. Re-install our bumper beam in reverse order of how it removed it. But I highly recommend at this point that you leave your bumper beam off and do the rest of your flat tow set up because while you're installing your base plate and you've got these components off, it's going to make it significantly easier to install your braking system and your diode wiring.I'm going to go ahead and finish all the rest of our flat tow setup up, and then I'll meet back up with you here for getting our bumper and everything back on. We'll see you then. We've got our bumper back on and all that stuff, and we're now we're going to put our underbelly on, but the underbelly is not going to fit. You'll see here where I did it to make some modifications to the under shield in order for it to fit, as it is going to slip around your new base plate just like that. Then we can get all of our clips back in. On our under shield here where we cut it out, you'll want to cut it about an inch wide to slide around it easily. You'll want to cut down about six inches. You may also want to take a little inch off the top here near it so wiring and things like that can pass through as well.Once you've got it all trimmed out, we're just going to re-install it in the same way that we took it off. We're ready to attach our Jeep to our motor home. We'll want to bring our tow bar down, remove the pins from the tow bar. You do want to pay attention as your tow bar is labeled, which side is up. Then the ears are just going to mesh in line there and we can take our pin and reinserted it through the tow bar, as well as through our base plate. On the other side, we'll lock it in place with our linchpin.Then we're just going to do the same thing over here with our other arm. With our tow bar attached to our base plate, we can then hook up our safety cables. We'll go ahead and attach it to our base plate. I just looked at onto the passenger side of our Jeep. When we go to hook it to our motor home here, we want to make sure we cross our cables, so we're going to hook this to the driver's side. This is going to create a cradle with the two cables underneath of our tow bar here, so in the event we did have a catastrophic disconnect, it would catch this and prevented from digging into the pavement. We're going to do the same thing with the other side, making sure we cross it to the opposite side over there. With the rest of our connections made for our braking system and diode wiring, we are ready to place our Jeep into flat tow mode and then hit the road. That completes our installation of Blue Ox's base plate on our 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.

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