This isn’t a sexy modification – like new bumpers or killer wheels and tires – it is a modification that makes using aftermarket bumpers and accessories easier and protects a simple but vital component at the same time.A vacuum pump removes air from a location to create a low pressure “vacuum”. Without the pump removing that pressure your brakes would be significantly harder to push, in some vehicles your accessories will not work, and there are even some older vehicles where the door locks and trunk were actuated with vacuum. Most modern vehicles use electric switches and motors for these items but engine vacuum is still used for brake and EGR actuation.
Why did Jeep put it in the bumper?
We have no idea. Considering the number of places the pump could have been located that are not in the way, the choice to place it where it was most likely to be abused and relocated seems shortsighted. We assume the engineer just didn’t think about consequences and chose the path of least resistance.
There are a ton of relocation kits that move the vacuum pump back and sideways but still in the bumper. What we ran into was the installation of our Currie Anti-Rock left us with a conundrum. The torsion bar path was exactly where the relocated vacuum pump had to sit in order to fit our winch. So the choice was move the pump or ditch the winch. Thanks to TnT Customs we were able to easily and elegantly relocate the vacuum pump. What’s great is it moved to a more protected location at the same time – we love a double win.
Removal and Install
This is easier with the bumper off but we did it with the bumper installed and the skid plate mounted. Remove the pump from the stock bracket. Disconnect the rubber vent hose, and remove the green clip that retains the vacuum hose and slide that connection off. Find the plug attached to the wiring harness and disconnect. Take the pump to the top of the engine and get ready to install.
There are a couple of ways to begin. For us we installed the vacuum pump to the bracket and then mounted the bracket to the fender using the factory bolts to hold it all in place. Once this is located trace the vacuum hose off the side of the intake and find the joint. Separate at this point and reroute it under the ABS tubing. Remove the green connector from under the bumper and reinstall in the newly routed tube. Plug this back into the front of the pump. Now remove the vacuum pump hose and the vent hose that ran from the original pump location to where we just disconnected them from the engine compartment.
The last bit is the wiring. Breathe deep, you will need to splice your wiring harness. Don’t worry it is easy and painless. Everything you need is included int he kit. Crawl back under the front and find the plug you disconnected. Trace it back to the main harness. Cut at a point that leaves you plenty of wire attached to the plug and coming out of the wiring harness. We put our wire in the wire loom before fishing it from the top of the motor to make it easier. There is plenty of wire sticking out so it is not in the way to do your splice.
We did green to green and white to black for the wire colors. Using the supplied crimp connectors attach your wires directly to the harness. Use some heat to shrink the connector ends and wrap them in electrical tape for extra protection. Go back to the top and attach the plug to the other end using the same wire color connections and finish routing your wires to your preference. We ran ours behind the plastic tray to keep the out of sight and well protected from heat. Plug the harness back together and you are done! Congratulations you now have plenty of room around your bumper, your vacuum pump is protected from trail damage, weather, and it also looks great with that shiny new bracket.
There are other relocation kits out there but most leave the pump in the bumper. This is definitely one of our favorites as it moves the pump away from that cramped space all together and gives it a more protected home. We also like the fact that the vacuum line is closer to the pump source so it has to work less to do its job. Priced at $39.95 it is right in the middle of the competition on price. We do like the beefier bracket and the vacuum port going into open area instead of at the ABS unit.
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