2nd Generation Tow Hooks? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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2nd Generation Tow Hooks?


September 7, 2011
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City, State
Pacific NW, WA
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 Explorer XLT
I'm looking for advise and photos if available of front tow hook options for 97 Explorer. I'd like to have a stock look if possible, but would consider other options. I'm also considering a front trailer hitch with tow hooks added.
Appreciate any info you may have,

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This is something i looked into. There have been a few people who have done this with success. A front hitch is one way to do it. I always thought the tow hooks from a 97-2003 f150 would be a good match up since the design of the tow hooks would drop the loop below explorers bumper. This has a pretty good picture of mounted tow hooks.

I haven't measured it up, can you fit the hooks on the frame without a body lift, or removing the lower valance?

I haven't measured it up, can you fit the hooks on the frame without a body lift, or removing the lower valance?

I know for mine which is a 98 most tow hooks wouldnt clear my bumper let alone the valence cover. Thats why i like the f150 hooks becuase they drop a bit. If you had a body lift that would simplify things. But for us with out them we have a bit tougher challenge. I have been meaning to pick some tow hooks up but just havent gotten around to it yet. I think the f150 hooks would come close but still might need an additional 1/2" or so to clear the bumper with out a valance cover. I put chevy 1500 tow hooks on my 93 ex and had much more play room as far as the bumper and frame go.

I think without the valance something can be done. With the valance you would have to see if you can get them spaced right so you can hook through the opening in the valance, which would probably be more complicated. Someone did do that, I can't remember if it was a 99+ or a 95-98 though, hell, maybe they had a body lift, I can't remember.

Here's what I ended up doing: generic tow hooks bolted through the frame rails just behind the front bumper mounts. Not sure of your mechanical skill but it wasn't too hard in my opinion. I did need to cut a bit of the front valance in order to access them, but I think it actually looks better.

One option for the 97 is to notch the valence and mount them under the bumper, but on mine i drilled holes in the bumper and put them on the inside