Need a cheap way to mount a 31' offroad spare tire to the rear of my XJ... ideas? - JeepForum.com
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Unread 08-15-2007, 03:58 PM   #1
DoubleBET
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: NJ
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Need a cheap way to mount a 31' offroad spare tire to the rear of my XJ... ideas?

Ok, so I just bought a new set of tires for my XJ, spare included. I want to get the thing out of my trunk, and mounting it on the back seems like the most practical/most cool-looking way of doing it. Let me establish a few things first:

I have $500 at MOST to spend.
I don't want to mount the spare on the roof.
I don't know how to weld and don't know anybody who does.
The closest junkyard is like half an hour away, and I'm pretty sure the parts I'm looking for are WAY to specific to stumble upon with only one visit.
Yes, I know I can just leave it in the trunk. But I don't want to...

I've been searching the internet high and low for a cheap spare tire carrier, but all of them seem to also require an upgraded bumper (I currently just have OEM). Combined price for these two parts is usually upwards around $1000, and I still have to pay somebody with the proper tools to install the thing.

One cheap idea I've been pondering involves just buying one of those inexpensive bolt-on pieces and attaching it directly to the trunk door. Kinda like this:
http://www.jeep4x4center.com/popup.asp?number=708-404
Obviously, the main problem with doing this to an XJ is that the XJ's trunk swings upwards. Just for experiments' sake, I tied my 31' x 10.5' tire so that it would rest against the trunk door. I had a hell of a time trying to pull it up, and it slammed down with fury as soon as I let go. Not going to work... yet.

I have two possible solutions to this problem, neither of which I know much about, but both of which sound good in my head :

1. Buy and attach more trunk struts until they can support the weight of the tire. Like these:
http://www.car-stuff.com/performance...6&skipped=true
Would it be possible to attach multiple trunk struts to both sides of the trunk in a way that they produce a combined force great enough to lift it?

2. Buy some sort of hinge and re-configure the trunk so that it opens to the side instead of opening upwards. I presume this would allow the trunk to support the weight of the tire.

Would either of these ideas work? Could you send me links to either the parts I would need or, even better, links to a relatively inexpensive aftermarket spare tire carrier/bumper combo? Thanks guys, as always, for your good advice!

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Unread 08-15-2007, 04:13 PM   #2
blackxj99
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Having multiple struts on either side would be dificult because you neeed sme where for them to go when the hatch is shut. Converting to a side swinging door would be ver dificult as well because it would require new hinges and latches which would need to be fabricated.

Your best option is to try and find a factory reare tire carrier on ebay or somewhere similar.
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Unread 08-15-2007, 04:18 PM   #3
Jason, aka: Jeepin.com
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your "trunk" lid is fiberglass... a spare tire mounted directly to it wouldn't stay there very long before you had a nice big hole out the back of your rig.

And if all you can find are bumper/tire carriers approaching $1000, you're looking in the wrong places. Custom4x4's bumper/tire carrier combo is $535 plus shipping. Which is still out of your price range, but far below $100. Nates4x4.com has a bumper/tire carrier for $489.

Installation is extremely easy, and only takes a few hours and some basic hand tools. I think there's only about 3 or 4 bolt sizes to deal with, if that many.

You might also try ebay to see if you can find any of the factory bumper-mounted tire carriers available.
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'95 XJ, RE 5.5", 35" MT/Rs, D30 w/hubs & ARB, D44 w/Detroit, 4.56s, C4x4 bumpers, etc, etc.
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Unread 08-15-2007, 04:34 PM   #4
DoubleBET
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Hey, those are pretty good... I guess I haven't been looking in the right places :

http://www.nates4x4.com/catalog/prod...products_id=52

http://www.custom4x4fabrication.com/rear_xj.html

What do you guys think of these two? Are they sturdy enough for wheeling with? Will they rattle? Which looks better?
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Unread 08-15-2007, 04:45 PM   #5
Jason, aka: Jeepin.com
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I have no idea how Nate's mounts, so I can't comment on that. As far as look, C4x4 hands down. IMHO Nate's bumper is totally fugly because it doesn't match the body lines at all. Looks like a bumper from some other vehicle was stuck on an XJ. Beauty is in the eye of the beerholder though...

Because C4x4's tire carrier is mounted in double-shear, vs a spindle welded to the top of the bumper, it should move less and be stronger and more durable long-term. That's not to say I think Nate's is going to fall apart. Most CJ/TJ/JK bumpers have their tire carriers mounted in the same fashion as Nate's and they're all fine. A double-shear mount is better though.

Both would serve you just fine for wheeling. Nate's sticks out further so you may hit it more. I've been running a C4x4 rear bumper on my rig for 10 years now (10 years this month I think actually...), and I'm on my 4 tire carrier for it. 3 were upgrades, the last was because I bent the tire mount dropping off a ledge and caught the tire. I've run 31's, 33's, 35's, and now a 36" tire on it and it's held all of them just fine.



Now, all that said, Nate's bumper comes standard with the 2" hitch and d-ring tabs for the $489 price, whereas they're optional on the C4x4 bumper.
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'95 XJ, RE 5.5", 35" MT/Rs, D30 w/hubs & ARB, D44 w/Detroit, 4.56s, C4x4 bumpers, etc, etc.
'00 TJ, SOLD, wife's, RE 4.5" long-arm, 35" MT/Rs, D30+OX, D44+ARB, 4.88s, full cage, winch, C4x4 & Jeeperman bumpers, etc, etc.


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Unread 08-15-2007, 04:53 PM   #6
Bubba46
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this is where I got my used factory tire carrier:
http://car-part.com/
I had the carrier shipped to my door (CA to NC) for $80 and spend another couple bucks on new bolts.
http://memimage.cardomain.net/member...53_22_full.jpg

I had to modify some of the brackets to fit the hatch on my 2000 XJ:
http://memimage.cardomain.net/member...53_39_full.jpg

You can find some more pics on my cardomain site:
http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2661753/2

Hope you find this helpful.
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Unread 08-15-2007, 05:31 PM   #7
DoubleBET
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Wow. And I called Chrystler and they said there never was a factory spare tire carrier for the XJ. But sure enough, I just found one 28 miles from my home for $50 using car-part.com. Can't beat the price.

However, will a factory spare tire carrier support a 31' x 10.5' tire while offroading? Furthermore, will it support the tire for more than a few minutes after installation? Bubba, how big is that tire your jeep is holding? How long have you had it mounted like that? Have you taken it wheeling with the tire in back? Does it rattle while driving?
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Unread 08-15-2007, 05:52 PM   #8
Bubba46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleBET
Wow. And I called Chrystler and they said there never was a factory spare tire carrier for the XJ. But sure enough, I just found one 28 miles from my home for $50 using car-part.com. Can't beat the price.

However, will a factory spare tire carrier support a 31' x 10.5' tire while offroading? Furthermore, will it support the tire for more than a few minutes after installation? Bubba, how big is that tire your jeep is holding? How long have you had it mounted like that? Have you taken it wheeling with the tire in back? Does it rattle while driving?
Double,
Its holding up a 265/75R16 (31.6x10.4) Maxxis Bighorn. It was a little tough getting the wheel mounted w/ stock BS but I made it work. I've trailed w/ it and it worked ok for the most part. It did pop open once while going up a steep hill and trying to get over some rocks but I think that may have been b/c the carrier latch wasn't quite perpendicular to the latch pin on the hatch. You can tell if you look close to this pic:
http://memimage.cardomain.net/member...53_36_full.jpg
Afterwards, I adjusted the angle between the two but have yet to offroad again. Before I go again, I'll add a little cable with a quick clasp just in case.

Overall, I'm very pleased with it and would get it again. There is some droop when the carrier is completly open as the bumper flexs but no biggie. I'll reinforce it later. Its solid when closed though. The isn't any raddling b/c the two rubber bumpers are still in good shape. It required some trimming on the black plastic bumper end but thats not noticable unless you are right on top of it.
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Unread 08-15-2007, 05:55 PM   #9
Cody_00_XJ
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yes, a factory tire carrier should hold a 31" spare. i think balloo93 runs the factory one with a 31", althought there are i believe 3 different factory styles
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Unread 08-15-2007, 05:58 PM   #10
Bubba46
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by the way, I flexed the Jeep out plenty on a few trails without it opening. I just think I was driving more aggressively than nessissary when it popped open that one time.
http://memimage.cardomain.net/member...53_47_full.jpg
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Unread 08-16-2007, 09:23 AM   #11
Bubba46
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I've updated my Cardomain site with more pictures of my tire carrier and added more details of problems/solutions.
http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2661753/2
Hope this helps those interested in going this route.
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Unread 08-16-2007, 10:16 AM   #12
PESteele
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this is just an idea i had while thinking about this a while ago. If you have a hitch modify a bike rack so you can mount a tire on it. Seems like it would work and would only be like 200 bucks
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Unread 08-16-2007, 01:16 PM   #13
bz5xj
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Thought of that too but then thought about side to side forces bouncing over the trail. Could invision it bending/breaking to the left or right.
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Unread 08-16-2007, 10:03 PM   #14
DoubleBET
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So I'm going to check out an OEM rear tire carrier on Saturday. Hopefully it's in decent condition, because I had a hell of a time finding a junkyard that had one. What I failed to realize at first is that the car-parts website included something called an "internal" tire carrier in the search. Almost every place I called had only this type. I'll let you all know how it goes...
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Unread 08-16-2007, 10:10 PM   #15
wojtizzlator
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try to find a rear tire carrier at a JY like this


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