I know there are a lot of these out there but here's one more. A friend gave me a rear bumper (I think it's Rugged Ridge??) a few weeks back and I finally decided to install it. It didn't have safety chain hooks or d-ring brackets so I set the thing up in the garage and started to work on it. As I did I realized my existing spare tire carrier wasn't going to work with it so I decided to build one of those. Following are the photos with very little commentary. I don't know how to insert comments between photos so it'll be five per post.
Rather than drill a 1 1/4" hole (I don't have a bit that big) I used the Oxy-Acetylene torch to cut the hole top and bottom plus a slot from top to bottom to weld to. The hinge is from AtoZ Fabrication.
You can see the d-ring brackets and safety chain catch in these photos. D-ring brackets are installed through the bumper and welded inside and out. I fabricated the carrier out of 2X2X1/8" square tubing. I bought 20' of it at a local steel supply for $44.00. The welds on the inside of the bumper on the d-ring bracket aren't that ugly, I was just too lazy to clean the slag off in there. I used 7018AC stick rods on all welds.
The tire support plate is part of a basket attachment that I've had laying around. I attached it so it is about 1/4" shorter than the tire is deep so it would pull the tire up tight against the frame and avoid having the dead weight of the tire hanging on the bracket. You can see the gusset welded to the bracket to help support it.
I didn't like the way I'd fabricated the lower part of the frame so I changed it...made it a little stronger. I spent a lot of time worrying with the latch for the carrier. I finally settled on using a 3/4" grade 8 bolt with sleeves imbedded and welded in the bumper and in the lower arm of the carrier. This is probably over-kill but I've heard so many horror stories of hinges breaking that I didn't want to take any chances. If the hinge breaks that bolt will hold, at least long enough to stop the Jeep. I also like that it takes some of the lateral load off the hinge while running down the road.
These photos just show the latch, and some of my anal overkill. I couldn't help myself and fabricated an additional latch out of a mini-boomer from Tractor Supply. Plus there is a place for a pad-lock on the boomer. The handle on the end actually helps quite a bit. Another piece of junk lying around the garage. It took a few tries to get the 3/4" bolt adjusted just right.
I did quite a bit of "mocking up" with the carrier mounted on the Jeep. That spare gets heavy putting it on, taking it off......I debated a lot about whether or not to add a Hi-Lift bracket but finally decided to do so. The tire and Hi-lift are all mounted low enough so that I don't completely lose my rear view mirror view but it does obstruct the view. And yes the receiver hitch will still work but I have to use a drop hitch to clear the tire. After fabricating I painted the thing up in my "paint booth". I used Eastwood rust encapsulator, the Krylon primer and Krylon Automotive final coat. The white is courtesy of my wife. I would've gone black but what the heck. She thought it was "pretty".
So there it is all finished up. It is very sturdy with no movement at all. When you shake it you move the frame and the Jeep. Also no rattles or movement when driving. I am thinking about placing a small crossbar, hinge and latch at the top of the tailgate tied in to the carrier and in to the back of the Jeep. Again, this is probably overkill but it would absolutely eliminate any concerns about the weight of the tire pulling the carrier over. The entire fabrication probably took the better part of three or four days and cost around $100, not counting electricity for the welder and gas for the torch.
Any chance of a side view shot of it now that its done? Just out of curiousity couldnt you have put the hi-lift jack down a little lower?
The way I built it I could only get it about 1/2" lower.....on the back side of the carrier. Had I planned a little better, or taken a little more time I would have mounted it on the front side of the carrier and dropped it down several inches. The last day of work on it I was getting tired and careless and I just wanted it done. I may take the time to move it down later. As you can see from the photos I could probably move it several inches down. That would also move some of the weight forward of the center of the carrier and help balance the weight of the tire.
Also I need to thank all the folks on JF that have posted their builds. I looked at tons of them before I decided how to build mine.