installed OEM trailer hitch yesterday on my 11 - Jeep Compass Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-07-2011, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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installed OEM trailer hitch yesterday on my 11

so i decided to install a trailer hitch on the jeep, and after comparing all the different brands i decided to go with the OEM hitch. even though all the aftermarket companies offered a 2" reciever, i didn't like how low it hangs. the OEM style came with a template to trim out the rear valence so it sits higher, and i just liked how it looked that way.

since i was in an accident with it in august and the rear bumper was being replaced (and working at the jeep dealer, the replacement would come here), i decided that it was easiest to cut the bumper while i had it in my hands rather than to crawl under the car to do it. so i cut the bumper out and sent it to the body shop to be installed. then, i installed the hitch myself yesterday.

it was a fairly easy install, although i did have to unbolt some box in the passenger side so i could get to the bolts easier (i could have made due, but this made life easier).

after it was installed and i looked at it, i noticed the cornersin the middle where the plastic was cut was sagging a little bit. there is two plastic brackets behind the bumper cover that the bumper cover attaches to, but they still allowed the corners to sag a little bit. i didn't like how it looked, so i rigged something pretty smart up.

i seperated the bumper cover from the brackets, then i drilled a hole in the brackets about 1/4". i then took long zip ties and zip tied the brackets to the hitch itself, then re-attached the bumper cover to the brackets. it's hard to explain, so i took a few pictures. the first two pictures show the sagging i'm talking about on the right, and the modified version on the left. the second two pictures show my modification, with and without labels (picture came out really dark).

this way is stronger as well, because it does not allow the corners to move or bend, so it also acts as a re-enforcement. i do no know if the 07-10 compass is set up this way, with a bracket behind the bumper cover, but this method will work for any 11-12. here are some pics.

Hitch far
Hitch close
Zip tie
Zip tie with lables
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-07-2011, 07:08 PM
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I like the cut-away for the OEM, with my hidden hitch they only cut away enough for it to pass the hitch mount, but the benefit is no flapping bumper

Did you install the wiring harness, was it easy to connect? And did you do the engine cooler? (i don't have either yet)

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2011 Jeep Compass North 4x4 Cherry Red
Options: OWL tires, Sun & Sound, North All-Season
Extras: Magellan GPS, Hidden Hitch Class II, iPAD 2
Traded for '13 Ford Edge



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post #3 of 6 Old 10-07-2011, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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i did the wiring harness from etrailer.com. i chose that one over the OEM one because it was only $75 and it was all plug-n-play. the t-plug harnesses plug into the main tail light harness behind the tail light, and only 1 wire is run to the battery for power. the OEM harness is more complicated, requires you to drill into the floorpan of your jeep, and costs twice as much.

my method of putting the zip ties in to hold up the corners completely eliminates any flapping that the corners may have had. that was one of the reasons i did it, but i mainly did it to raise up the corners of the cut back to level. look in the second pic i posted. on the left, i have installed the zip tie. on the right, i have not.

i haven't yet done the engine cooler, but eventually i'd like to. i wanted to find a compass with the trailer tow prep package which had the wiring harness and the engine cooler already on it, but few dealers order that package. people don't like paying for options they can't see.
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-07-2011, 07:52 PM
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Good job. Sound like the oem fits better anyway, mine is universal for all Compasses, but it didn't fit without removing bumper and lights to investigate, then grinding back the edges of the mount brackets to avoid something on the chassis legs!

$250 all in though, so not too bad considering. I'll probably get the wiring and cooler done at the same place next summer, if we decide to tow.


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2011 Jeep Compass North 4x4 Cherry Red
Options: OWL tires, Sun & Sound, North All-Season
Extras: Magellan GPS, Hidden Hitch Class II, iPAD 2
Traded for '13 Ford Edge



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post #5 of 6 Old 02-08-2013, 12:11 PM
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Wiring Harness- Power to the battery?

I am installing a hidden hitch and also purchased the T- connecting wire which just plugs in, but I also need to run a positive to the battery? Can anyone share how they ran this wire? Interior or exterior? If in Interior were you able to find a hole in the firewall to run wire through, or if exterior how did you run. THanks for the help- J
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-08-2013, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imjus4u2nv View Post
I am installing a hidden hitch and also purchased the T- connecting wire which just plugs in, but I also need to run a positive to the battery? Can anyone share how they ran this wire? Interior or exterior? If in Interior were you able to find a hole in the firewall to run wire through, or if exterior how did you run. THanks for the help- J
you should start your own thread for this one
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