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Old 02-04-2012, 02:29 PM   #1
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2012 Jeep Liberty base plate installation

Has anyone installed a base plate on a 2012 Jeep Liberty? I am trying to remove the bumper cover and struggling getting to the top clips holding the fender flair onto the bumper cover. I have removed the two lower clips. The Blue Ox instruction does not really help-- its just says remove clips. I had thought about trying to cut the top clip, however Jeep does not show this clip in the parts diagram, so the dealer could not find one for me.



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Old 02-04-2012, 04:29 PM   #2
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Mike- I just went thru this on a 2012 Nissan Frontier & Roadmaster adapter instructions. Their photos suck. In a couple places they did call the correct # of clips or fasteners, but in a couple the instructions were wrong. My conclusion is that w/the # of models & recent possible variants of '12 model year changes, the instructions are bound to be off by some amount.
On mine I just kept blundering thru, and when a body part wouldn't come off, I flexed it some till I could guess where it bound- gotta be another clip or screw or something.

As to the clips themselves, if they are the pop-in-place type, I found a stubby flat blade screw driver worked to get the center to pop up. On several, now that the clip was loose, I could use the stubby to pry the whole 2 piece (inner keeper and outer ring) up (or down for underside clips) and out of its socket. Bullying didn't help, tho I understand the sentiment. Another trick once the center keeper was popped up- try rocking the clip out in one direction; if no joy, try rocking it out at 90 degrees to first attempted direction. Oddly these little things can be hard as heck to address, until you hit a variant on removal action that almost makes the clip fall out unassisted, almost.

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Old 02-05-2012, 09:05 AM   #3
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Go to etrailer.com and see if they have a video for you to watch on installing them...worth a try
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:55 PM   #4
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Thanks Mark and EngineerMike for your encouragement and ideas-- I used them all!!
An update on the installation of a Blue Ox BX1131 Base Plate to a 2012 Jeep Liberty Limited. I thought I would add this update to document my lessons learned and make it available to other’s who may decide to use the 2012 Liberty as a toad. A few suggestions and installation notes could make this installation go much faster than the number of days it took me. I would like to thank Blue Ox and in particular Mike at Blue Ox who worked with me, over the phone and via email exchange until we got this job done! Great customer service!!!
My following installation notes follow the Blue Ox Installation instructions supplied with the Base Plate.
The removal of the three (each side ) wheel well rivets is easily accomplished using a razor blade to slice through the head.
The three clips ( Installation Instruction item 3) where what prompted my original post . After hours trying to find a way to remove the top clip that fastens the front fascia to the fender extension, I decided the most efficient way was to cut the top clip using a hack saw blade-- 5 hours invested in trying to use picks and other tools became less than a minute to cut the clip. Save yourself the headache and just cut the clip. Afterwards I went to my local Jeep dealer to purchase replacement clips and they could not identify or find the clip in their parts catalogue. My DW did a few minutes research and found the exact clip on line. For my Jeep Liberty this clip is supplied by Au-ve-co products and is part number 21154 Nylon Moulding Clip ( www.auveco.com) I actually purchased the clips on-line at http://www.clipsandfasteners.com/ . In retrospect, I bet any body shop has these in stock. I paid about $9.00 for a box of 15 and had them mailed to me. I have 13 spare clips, now.
Just below these clips is a “latch” between the fascia and the bottom of the fender, I found if I manipulated the fender and got one end of the latch out of the slot then this was not a difficult procedures-- again this took my an hour to figure out the first time, and less than 2 minutes on the opposite side.
Before pulling the fascia off the car, reach under and remove the bulbs from the side marker and turn signal, these are ¼ turn sockets and will come out easily
There are three tabs under the car along the bottom of the fascia that need to be released—simply pressing on them while sliding the fascia forward 1/8” will unlock and clear them
Once the fascia is off I found the Blue Ox instructions where a good guide. You will be drilling a 13/32 hole for the third bolt on each side of the base plate. This hole will need to be drilled through three layers of the Jeeps sheet metal. A sharp bit and a bit of cutting lubricant made it a much easier job and safety glasses where a must.
Blue Ox supplies the nut plates with a long metal rod tack welded on the side of the nut. It is much easier to remove the rod from the nut for the two bolts that you drilled holes for. The other 4 bolts ( 2 per side) the rods are helpful to guide the nut into the frame channel. Once the nuts have been tightened down the rods come off easily with a few up and down wiggles. Blue Ox requires the use of thread locker on these bolts—and once this installation is compete you have no way to easily go back and check bolt torque-- so yes use thread locker!! On my installation, I needed to push the base plate as far aft as possible before tightening the bolts-- this I figured out after several attempts to reinstall the fascia.
If you are also installing a break away device onto the fascia, I suggest doing that before you reinstall the fascia. In hindsight I wish I did. The installation of the fascia was the most challenging aspect of this project and where Mike from Blue Ox really came through to help me. It is important that the fascia install over the two round tubes that protrude from the center of the baseplate-- these tubes are used to mount the electrical connector in the correct position. These tubes need to slide through the fascia’s lower black plastic grille, in the second from the bottom opening and the safety chain tab’s in the third from the bottom grille opening. If you don’t get this right the fascia will not fit. It takes a bit of an effort to get the fascia to slide back on. What I discovered is the black plastic grill on the fascia fits snuggly against the base plate. Once I got the fascia mostly on, I reinstalled the bolt on just one side behind the fascia ( bolt removed per Installation Instruction step 4) and then using a fair amount of force (palm of my hand) encouraged the opposite side of the fascia into place and then quickly tightened both bolts down. Once I aligned the plastic clips it was easy to snap the fascia and fender back together. It is a tight fit—but the base plate fits and afterwards the installation looks good!!

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Old 02-16-2012, 08:39 PM   #5
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Wow sounds like a real chore, frustrating in finding out just how simple it would be to do it a second time. Great write up on this.

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Old 09-10-2012, 04:58 PM   #6
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MJFZ, I had to register to say thank you so much for your instructions! I had the Blue Ox BX1131 Base Plate on order for my 2012 Liberty Jet when I found this post. I ended up ordering the fastners from the link you provided before attempting my install. I had the fascia off in 30 minutes by cutting the top fastners. Your instructuctions on how to reinstall the fascia saved me a ton of time as well.

Total time of install, including Ready Brake and Break Away was just under 4 hours. If I hadn't found your post, I would still be trying to figure out how to get that clip out.

Thanks again! The wife and I our taking our first trip this weekend with Liberty in tow
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:50 PM   #7
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installed BX1131 on 2012 Liberty 10-25-2012

Blue Ox installation not completely accurate and also the response from MJFZ on 02-16-12 was most helpful but still lacking.
I did buy in advance the Clipandfasteners part no. 5188180-AA Jeep front fender flare moulding clip (pkg of 15) @ $9.33 + shipping $3.95 as suggested by MJFZ. I used (6) because I immediately chose to cut each existing clip - it's much faster to do that and with 15 bought; why not.
The Blue Ox inbstructions only state to notch the grille where the tow hooks would have been and where the Attachment Tab Assembly will be used. Wrong! One must cut out the entire grill and also notch the outer upper ends of this same grille housing to accommodate the base plate. I initally tried MJFZ input of trying to reinstall without any removal of grille other than the area for the Tab Assembly - won't work! The front bumper will not go back into its lockable tabs at the bottom of the bumper due to the grille restricting such.
eTrailer has a video of installation and YES, they show to remove the entire grill and they are RIGHT! Sorry that Blue Ox does not make that clear.
Anyway, other than that, the install would have been a snap. So, bottom line: a little cutting of the outer upper portion of the grill area and the removal of the entire grill and it goes pretty well provided there are two people doing this. It's tough for only one person to do the install-can be done but not preferrable.

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