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Jeep CJ Spare Parts Tire Carrier

by Terry L. Howe

Spare Tire Carrier

When I lived on the East coast, I used to wheel with Rick Boiros and the "Old Colony Four Wheel Drive Club" out of Massachusetts. A couple guys in the club had spare parts tire carriers where they would have entire front axle outers to hold on their spare tire. All of these were done on fabricated tire carriers, but I figured I could build one off the stock spare tire carrier. I thought about it a while and what I came up with was so simple, I wished I'd done it sooner. This modification could also be done easily to many after market spare tire carriers.

I've seen some spare parts tire carriers that even have a knuckle on them, but I figured spindle out would be enough for me. The tricky part is providing a mounting surface for the spindle that is out far enough that you can bolt a tire to the brake hub and not so far out that the tire becomes a giant lever waiting for the correct pressure to rip off your tire carrier.

The first thing I did was remove the stock tire carrier and grind, cut, and pound out the three bolts that hold on the spare. After removing the mounting bolts, I cut off the end right off just outside of where the two cross braces come from the top bar to the box (see top picture). I then removed the internal brace inside the box. I took the original end of the box and bent it a bit so it fit inside the now shortened box. I welded this in place, then I took a piece of sheet metal and welded it over the end of the box so I had a clean surface on the outside with no holes. Next I broke out a 3 1/2" hole saw I purchased for the project and cut a hole in the sheet metal. I took a spindle for a spare Dana 30 and placed it in the hole and marked out the bolt holes. Drilled out the holes and blasted the whole thing with flat black spray paint.

After it was dry, I took a spindle with short axle shaft and bolted it on with five 7/16"X3/4" bolts. I slid on a brake hub with bearing and secured it with two spindle nuts and locking washer. A spare hub went on next which holds the short shaft in place. I didn't put on a spare rotor, I figured it would just add weight. I put a bunch of washers behind the studs to make up for the room of the missing rotor.

I took my creation and bolted to the Jeep and put on my spare tire a 33"x12.5" BFG MT. It could have been about 3/4" closer, but it looked great. It is "full floating" too, which will surprise someone when the lean against it and it begins to spin.

Field Testing

I got the my full floating spare tire carrier done just before my trip to Las Cruces for the Winter Meeting. I hadn't tested it yet off road, so I was a bit nervous about it. It survived The Gauntlet, Wolf Run, and Broad Canyon with no problems and received rave reviews from other four wheelers.

When I was wheeling out in Moab a couple months later, I was coming down a real steep rock and managed to bend the entire carrier up. Probably if I used a 33"x9.5" tire for a spare, this wouldn't be a problem, but I was using a full size spare.

A couple weeks later the carrier came in handy when I was wheeling in Farmington. A friend managed to break a lock-out and sheer all the studs of in the brake hub except for one. Rather than drill out all the studs, we just used the lock-out and brake hub from my spare parts carrier. Currently it is bent up and has a ruined brake hub on it, but it still holds my spare!

Spare parts tire carrier II coming soon...

Spare Tire Carrier

July 23, 1997

Last modified Wednesday, 01-Dec-2010 09:18:11 MST

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