I had decided some time ago, that I didn’t like the look of my spare tire hanging off of my YJ tailgate. Because of the weight it wrecked the original hinges and they had to be replaced. I could buy or build a swing away tire carrier. But, that leaves the tire basically where it is now. Hanging off of the back of my YJ. I have been thinking about this for some time now. One day I had this crazy thought about putting it inside the YJ.
My first thought was a side mount above the wheel well. But, when running topless it would stick out like a big spare tire, wouldn’t it? Then I thought wait a minute, my YJ, probably like yours, has a fold and tumble rear seat that has never been unfolded or un-tumbled as far as I can tell. It is a musty moldy piece of upholstery that takes up about the nearly the same amount of space my spare tire uses. I also decided to incorporate the stock spare tire holder also. Then I decided to use the threaded inserts to anchor this tire holder down since they are already there aren’t they? I run a stock height
28” tire but decided that I should build this carrier to accommodate a 31” tire.
Next decision was what to build this carrier out of. My first feelings were
1 ½” or 2” square tubing would be good. I didn’t price out the actual cost of this stock. I just assumed it was going to be expensive. You know what they say about assuming anything don’t you?
So I started scanning Craigslist for materials. One day some ‘material’ showed up on CL for sale. You'll never guess where this guy got this stock from, and I mean never.
BUT, I give you a hint in my first picture. Got two lengths for $20.00….I needed every inch I bought, the way it worked out. The odd shape of the stock I bought was a pain in the neck to make any angle cuts. So I made a 'few' (a dozen)
bad cuts. The stuff is “L” shaped so when flipping it, etc, you have to keep the orientation correct or it won’t match up with the adjoining piece. And I found it impossible to cut this stuff accurately with my 4 ½” angle grinder….so that meant buying a chop saw. See where this is going cost-wise?…..no you don’t… not just yet my friends.
So I start pricing out chop saws. Lowes had a DeWALT 14” unit for $200.00. That was a bit steep for me so I looked around and Bam! My local HF had a $149.00 chop saw ‘on sale’ for $99.99. So I go to HF, scoop one of those suckers up, bring it home and proceed to cut my first piece of stock. The cheapy Chinese blade was glazed before I finished the second cut. I could have hit it with my grinder wheel dresser but it was off to Lowes for a good blade instead. I bought a DeWALT blade and 8 cuts later the HF chop saw dies. I swear I did not lay on this saw at all. It just went belly up. Must have been made on Chinese New Years Day by some hung over Chinese child.
Now I am madder ‘n hell with myself! I have to box up this POS chop saw and bring it back to HF……..and go to Lowes to buy the DeWALT chop saw I thought was too expensive in the first place! Annnnnd
if I bought the square tubing in the first place I could have made all my cuts with my 4 1/2'”angle grinder! Live and learn, but I do gots me a fine chop saw now don’t I!?
The pictures tell the rest of the story I guess. The final fit gives me about
21” of space between the face of the spare tire and the tailgate.
Forgot to post this picture....
These measurements are approximate.