The tow hook mounts should certainly be adequate to provide an attachment point. If they aren't strong enough to tow the Jeep with a chain, then they shouldn't be there. I wouldn't be afraid to use them, as long as you use good grade 8 bolts, double nutted. And any brackets that need modifying or welding should be done by a licensed welder. Also, the tow bar should be kept level, same height at the hitch and the Jeep.
1998 Triple E F53
1995 Jeep Wrangler toad
"PLEASE DON'T HONK, I'M FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS ON MY GARMIN!"
Disagree. There's a Big Difference between "pull me out of this sand once" and "tow me thousands of miles."
I helped a neighbor install a Blue Ox "baseplate" onto a Hummer. Whichever model the smaller one, gussied-up Blazer was. Although the attaching points worked off of the tow hook bases, it included extra brackets and bolts that went behind those bases, and required drilling.
An OP here has already had one fabbed by DEMCO. BlueOx and RM can't be far behind. If they're behind at all. Have you called the companies?
If God's Your Co-Pilot Move Over, jd
2003 Jayco Escapade 31A on 2002 Ford E450 V10 4R100 218" WB
I would hope they design a base plate around the tow hooks and leave them on. That way you can go off road and on road.
BlueOx mounted a baseplate at one time on the tow hooks of either a Ranger or Explorer, and learned the hard way that the tow hook mounting points were not strong enough to handle the bending loads at that point coming from vertical loads towbar to baseplate. These come from acceleration, braking, traversing bumps and dips.
Tow hooks might work for flexible connections, cable or chain, but that won't brake the toad for you, or let you push back. There is also sometimes a situation that those hooks are basically cosmetic, rather than functional, like "fog lights" not really designed for use in fog.
Not all tow hook mounting points may be inadequate, but the requirements are different enough that we can't simply assume that if the hooks are good for a pull they are good for towbar loads.
I'm not sure of just how sturdy the steel or, frame design or, mounting system in general is for the tow hooks on that Cherokee but, the Blue Ox base plate(s), yes PLATES, are direct replacements for the tow hooks on our present toad, a 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Extended Cab. All I had to do to install them was drill one extra hole per side and then, install two long bolts w/nylox nuts per base plate, right through the frame.
It's a very sturdy system and, I've checked it constantly while towing and there is absolutely no evidence of weakening or, stress, or deterioration of the strength in any manor. Now, again, this is our truck and, not a 2014 Cherokee. So, I cannot vouch for the strength in that kind of system, on that kind of vehicle. If it were mine, I'd take a good look at the system to see if it would/could work.
But, I'd sure as heck do whatever re-enforcements needed to make it work, if I was going to do it that way. Good luck
Scott and Karla SDFD RETIRED
2004 Itasca Horizon, 36GD Slate Blue 330 CAT
2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Ext Cab 4x4 Toad 2008 Caliente Red LVL II GL 1800 Goldwing KI60ND