Hey, before I did this mod I looked and looked and i couldnt find anything on putting a blazer tire carrier on a YJ or TJ, so I had to go into it blind. Here is some information for thoughs that my be interested in doing the same thing.
-saves tail gate
-labor intesive (at least for me)
-not as strong as 500$ smitty built
-drill w/ good drill bits
-pipe to bend metal with
-normal hand tools
Things that have to modified
-blazer tire carrier hinges
-blazer tire carrier latch catch
-build support brackets
Ok, so first, expenses. I got the tire carrier for 20$ at junk yard, 10$ for grade 8 bolts(I wouldn't get anything less), and I had some scrap metal laying around for the support brackets so it was free for me, but shouldn't cost any more than 10-15$.
The first thing I did with the tire carrier was modify the hinges. the top one I cut in half and gave it more of a bend to match the YJ corner(hinges are cast steel so kind of a pain to weld) and the bottom one I just cut off right between the second and last bolt hole because the bottom hinge not cut will interfere with the fender flare.
The next thing I had to do is grind the hinges flat because the body couture of the blazer is curved and obviously the YJ is flat. This part was pretty time consuming.
Next I had to cut the latch catch from the mounting plate and extend it. I did 4 inches but I recommend 3 inches. I will be shortening mine down when I get the chance. As you can see in the second picture I cut down one of the stock YJ tire bump stops and slid it into the center of the latch catch so that it didn't rattle. If you don't do something like this it will rattle.
I then had to build support brackets so that the tire carrier doesn't rip off and trust me you'll need them. From just the weight of the tire carrier it looked like it was going to rip off the side of the jeep. I don't have any exact measurement on hand but here are some pictures of the brackets I built.
And that's basically it. Im very happy with it and its super strong. Please feel free to ask questions. Here's some more pictures of the finished product.
The one of me sitting on it, I'm 145 lbs and the tire is about 35 so 180 lbs and it didn't budge.
what size tire is the biggest you can fit on there and hold strongly
Im sure it will hold a 35 no problem because the picture of me sitting on it with the tire is aroud 180 pounds and it doesnt budge and thats with it open. So with it closed im sure it will hold over 200 pounds.