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Old 12-20-2018, 05:42 PM   #1
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Unable to obtain KL Jeep Cherokee flat tow wiring loom in Australia

I need access to a Jeep Dealership in USA or Canada who is willing to obtain the 'Accessory Kit to Enhance Flat Tow Performance' for a 2016 KL Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk and post it to me in Australia.

Briefly, I purchased the vehicle in 2016 after receiving advice in writing from FCA Australia that the vehicle was approved for flat towing in Australia. I flat towed the vehicle from time to time over a period of about 1 year before I sufferred the 'death wobble'. I read up on the issue on this forum and others then approached FCA Customer Service in Melbourne, Australia. After a lengthy period of denial of responsibility FCA imported a wiring kit to test before they would allow it to be fitted to my car (so I am told). Most recently I have been told by a customer service officer that the Technical Department in Melbourne 'haven't got time to deal with it'. And so I am left with a vehicle that I can't tow, not to mention the considerable expense I went to, to import a Roadmaster frame, Invisibrake, plates, etc., and have them fitted.

I have attached the correspondence between myself and various people at FCA should anybody wish to read it.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf SUMMARY OF COMMUNICATIONS RE JEEP CHEROKEE TRAILHAWK.pdf (424.3 KB, 14 views)
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Old 12-20-2018, 06:36 PM   #2
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Wow, what a mess. We too purchased our 2015 Cherokee Trailhawk with assurance that it was flat towable per the procedure in the owners manual. Subsequent to many miles of successful towing, the death wobble issue became apparent and FCA released the flat tow harness to resolve the issue. When we contacted our dealer to get the harness installed on our vehicle, FCA informed us that it would NOT be performed at no cost because FCA considered it an ďaccessory featureĒ. We were told our cost would be $128 for the harness and $650 for installation. Despite our protests to FCA corporate, they stood firm with the quoted prices. So I purchased the harness and installed it myself. The installation instructions were pretty good and the installation was not difficult. You might try contacting several Jeep dealers in the US, order the harness from them, and install it yourself. The harness only powers up the electric steering and isolates the steering system from the carís CAN bus so no error codes are set in the computers. I donít see how the steering column lock can be an issue as you must already override it somehow to tow without the harness installed. Good luck with resolving this.
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Old 12-20-2018, 11:43 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply. The steering lock - fitted to all vehicles in Australia - is overcome by turning the ignition on, thereby unlocking the steering, then isolating the battery so that the steering remains unlocked. The Invisibrake is powered from the Motorhome and the Invisibrake, in turn, maintains the charge in the isolated battery.
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Old 12-21-2018, 05:02 AM   #4
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Steve, the standard install for the flat tow harness powers the electric steering from the bus that is connected to the carís battery. However, my Freightliner motorhome chassis has an ignition switched charge line in the 7pin light umbilical connector. I used that pin through the umbilical to the car to power the carís flat tow harness directly instead of the carís battery so I didnít have to insert and remove the flat tow harnessís fuse every time we started and stopped towing. I would think this method of powering the harness would work for you too and would allow you to use your same method for defeating the steering lock and powering your aux brake.
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Old 12-21-2018, 05:33 AM   #5
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Steve, on further reflection, I believe (but am not positive) that the flat tow harness provides a relay to power the electric steering from the carís battery. I believe this must be true because it doesnít seem possible to power the electric steering solely through a circuit limited to 10 amps (120 watts). So while you can power the flat tow harness from the motorhome, I suspect the actual power steering will not operate with the carís battery isolated. You probably will need help from FCA to determine how to make the harness work with your car - either by defeating the steering lock through some other means than isolating the battery or enabling the electric steering through an isolated battery. It may not be palatable, but a less frustrating solution may be to just trade the car for one less problematic to flat tow. We had other issues with our Trailhawk that led us to do exactly that.
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Old 12-21-2018, 07:53 AM   #6
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Can't help with that but noticed you are kinda new on IRV2 and wanted to say hello! Have fun and keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 12-21-2018, 02:42 PM   #7
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Unable to obtain KL Jeep Cherokee flat tow wiring loom in Australia

Send an email to the FCA CEO and explain the problem and the run around that you have encountered.

Iíve sent 50 email to him and one of his associates always responds.

mike.manley@fcagroup.com
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Old 12-21-2018, 03:10 PM   #8
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I can't help with the tow harness, but try this to overcome the steering lock.
1) Insert key in ignition and turn to full ON

2) Turn key to full Off, DO NOT REMOVE THE KEY

3) Test to see if steering lock is disengaged by turning the steering wheel 120 degrees in both directions. If it is unlocked it will stay that way until the key is removed from the ignition.

This will allow the battery to stay connected and power the tow harness.
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Old 12-22-2018, 03:11 AM   #9
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Hi Jim, Thanks for replying to my post. Firstly, I have been contacted by a forum member who will source the wiring kit for me. Secondly, I understand what you are pointing out regarding powering up the electric steering and isolating the steering lock. I will certainly examine those issues when I have the wiring diagram. I already have a fused heavy wire from the battery, separate from the positive battery lead, that powers the Invisibrake while the positive battery lead is disconnected.. Also, I have established which fuse powers the steering lock and, whilst I haven't done it yet, I assume that I can isolate the steering lock by removing that fuse while the ignition is on.
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Old 12-22-2018, 03:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lass View Post
Send an email to the FCA CEO and explain the problem and the run around that you have encountered.

Iíve sent 50 email to him and one of his associates always responds.

mike.manley@fcagroup.com
Thanks for sending me that email address. I will forward to him the attachment I appended here.

Steve.
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Old 12-22-2018, 03:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lllkrob View Post
I can't help with the tow harness, but try this to overcome the steering lock.
1) Insert key in ignition and turn to full ON

2) Turn key to full Off, DO NOT REMOVE THE KEY

3) Test to see if steering lock is disengaged by turning the steering wheel 120 degrees in both directions. If it is unlocked it will stay that way until the key is removed from the ignition.

This will allow the battery to stay connected and power the tow harness.
Thanks for your response to my post. My vehicle has remote and button start but I have wondered about whether I could do that using the key provided for emergency flat battery situations. I know that what you are suggesting does leave the steering unlocked, however, I fear that after a period the ignition might time out and lock by itself. I will test the process over an extended period of time.

Steve
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Old 12-22-2018, 05:14 AM   #12
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Steve, here are the installation directions for the flat tow harness so you can evaluate how to install on your car when you get it. It sounds like the steering lock fuse pull idea should work to allow you to keep the battery connected and enable use of the harness. As I said earlier, the installation is really not difficult but is time consuming and has a lot of steps. The one issue I had was removing the tray in the electrical box to get at the steering wire you have to cut and splice in the harness. Be sure you just keep turning the screws until the tray will just lift off. No prying should be needed to lift out the tray. You will also need to install a charge line to the car’s battery to keep it charged during towing. Be sure to test the harness installation by powering it up with the ignition off and verifying that the steering is active. The steering wheel effort should be low exactly as when the car’s ignition is on. If it is not, there is an installation problem and you do not have wobble mitigation active. Many dealer installations have been problematic and did not get the steering active. Also note that after you activate the harness and then turn it off the steering will stay active for about 10 minutes or until you turn on and then off the ignition switch. When I installed mine and noted that behavior I thought I had a problem but it is just the way it works. Good luck with the install, I think you will be successful. It’s laudable how FCA came up the harness fix, but really disappointing how they implemented it and supported their customers.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_F...dFTmVycFU/view
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Old 12-22-2018, 05:00 PM   #13
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Much appreciated. I've had a read - many steps but simple steps. Steve
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