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2018 Explorer XLT - Front Tow Recovery Hook?

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by Bobs2018Explorer, April 14, 2019.

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  1. Bobs2018Explorer

    Bobs2018Explorer Elite Explorer

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    I noticed today that my spare tire jack also has a "front tow recovery hook" clipped into place on the scissor jack.

    While I've seen that some earlier models do appear to have a small circular plug located on the passenger side of the front bumper cover, which appears to give access to a threaded place inside the bumper cover... mine has no such plug. Additionally, an in-depth search of my owner's manual only mentions the inclusion of such a hook as being mounted in a clip on the scissor jack... but not a word on how or where it is to be used.

    Anybody have any idea why this accessory is included, if there is no mention of its use in the owner's manual? Or, if there is indeed a threaded insert hiding somewhere behind the front grille, where the heck is it? (I was unable to find any such thing, using a powerful flashlight).

    I am confused... what am I missing here?
     
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  3. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    A place to thread the hook.:D
    Seriously, I have no idea why that has changed. I wonder how many other 2018 owners have found this out?

    Peter
     
    Last edited: April 14, 2019
  4. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Just checked out some of the pictures on the Ford website and did not see any place, similar to the pre 2019 Explorers where you could screw in that recovery hook. The 2020 seems to be the same. Perhaps Ford has an abundance of those hooks and is looking to get rid of them.:dunno:

    Peter
     
  5. Bobs2018Explorer

    Bobs2018Explorer Elite Explorer

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    I was able to find replacement hooks on the Ford Parts site (about $10), and it does come up under a 2018 model year search, going as far as into the 2019 model year. If I search by my own vehicle information, their parts page will also show an installation diagram that has it going into a round hole just to the left of the lower grille (on the passenger side)... which again indicates a small removable holeplug... a holeplug that my 2018 front bumper cover fails to have.

    Here is a link to the part (you may have to enter info for a 2018 Explorer, in order to view the actual diagram, that is also shown in their link).

    Bracket Assy - Towing Hook Supp. | FordUS

    Ah, yet another Ford mystery!
     
    Last edited: April 14, 2019
  6. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    The 2019 Manual even shows a diagram of where to place the hook. My 2017 Manual doesn't even have that but does mention the hook but no instruction as to how to use it.

    Peter
     
  7. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    Silly questions, but did you buy new or used? Any accident/repair history on the carfax showing front end repairs/collision? Possibly a repaired or aftermarket bumper was installed.

    If not the above, did you ask your selling dealer about it?
     
  8. Bobs2018Explorer

    Bobs2018Explorer Elite Explorer

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    I bought it new a couple of months ago... but haven't been back to the dealer for anything yet.
     
  9. Adrian Gitch

    Adrian Gitch Active Member

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    I can verify the '15 has it under the passenger headlight on the bumper.
     
  10. Bobs2018Explorer

    Bobs2018Explorer Elite Explorer

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    Does your front bumper also have a small removable plug in that area?
     
  11. PlatinumOwner

    PlatinumOwner Active Member

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    The threaded hole is behind the plug to the right of the right side fog light. EDIT: After looking at some photos of 2018's, it appears that not all of them have this on the front bumper.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: April 15, 2019
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  12. Adrian Gitch

    Adrian Gitch Active Member

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    Yes, there's a threaded anchor behind it.
     
  13. PlatinumOwner

    PlatinumOwner Active Member

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  14. Bobs2018Explorer

    Bobs2018Explorer Elite Explorer

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    Yes, it is odd... and mine doesn't have the hole plug.
     
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  15. 15Limited

    15Limited Elite Explorer

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    My 2018 Sport and 2015 Limited have the plug.
     
  16. Bobs2018Explorer

    Bobs2018Explorer Elite Explorer

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    And, the story gets stranger, as my 2018 XLT doesn't have it (but came with the hook anyway)! LOL!
     
  17. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    According to the Order Guide, the 2020 has the recovery hook, but again, it remains to be seen if there is a place to screw it in.;)

    Peter
     
  18. Exit32

    Exit32 Elite Explorer

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    I looked and confirmed that my 2018 Platinum has the hole plug on its front bumper. My 2018 Explorer was built on November 16, 2017. Maybe the early 2018s have the hole plug and later 2018s do not have this feature?
     
  19. Bobs2018Explorer

    Bobs2018Explorer Elite Explorer

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    Hmmm, good point... as my 2018 was built in November of 2017 as well!
     
  20. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    That specific ebay listing may not be the best example as it was in a 'severe' front end collision with airbags deployed - it may have an aftermarket/repaired bumper cover???

    It seems odd that ford would have two different bumper covers with and without the recovery hook hole, but anything is possible...
     
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  21. RhinoQuartz

    RhinoQuartz Active Member

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    Well, Ford also has 2 different driver door trim panels - one w/keypad and one w/out. The ones w/out are for Base and Interceptor models only.

    Same applies to the signature lighting and (I'm pretty sure) the lack of glove box lighting.

    They also include a wiring connector for my 2nd row seats - even though they're fully manual...

    Ford works in mysterious ways apparently.
     

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