Tire carrier spindle sheered off - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 11 Old 01-18-2013, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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1983 CJ7 
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Tire carrier spindle sheered off

So I'm cruising down the highway on my way to school today and I hear a bang behind me and look back to see my spare tire carrier falling off. It bounced off the tire and took it's place right in the middle of the left lane. Luckily no one hit it and I was able to pull it off the road and get it back in the jeep. Needless to say, I'm pissed. It's a good thing no one was tailgating me this mourning.

Link to the spindle I used here.
1" thick and 1.25" where it goes though the bumper. Drilled hole for it with my neighbors magnetic drill press and welded top and bottom.

I don't think I had too much weight on the carrier. The tire is around 87 lbs and I have it pulled as far in as I can. I don't know how much that high lift weighs. The A frame can't be much more than 35 lbs.

I'm thinking now to just grind out what's left and weld in the same spindle. Maybe I can give that guy enough crap to send me one free. Doubt it though. I see now where I can get a 1 1/2" spindle, but I'm not sure I'd be able to open up that hole and still be able to weld it straight.

Edit: Maybe I could go get the 1 1/2" spindle or even the 1 3/4 and have the machine shop down the road from me cut the part down that goes in the bumper. I'm thinking that might be the best way to go about it.

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post #2 of 11 Old 01-18-2013, 04:07 PM
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Atozfabrication.com has a heavy duty spindle. Their light duty one says max 31" tire

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post #3 of 11 Old 01-18-2013, 04:25 PM
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I like using the 1 3/8" diameter (at the bearing surface) "Type 84" spindle. It's 1.75" where it welds to the top of the bumper (the part that the seal rides on), and has a 1.5" diameter shank (part down in the bumper). They also have a nice big radius where they neck down from 1.75" to 1.375" for the bearings.
Conversely, those smaller spindles are only 1" diameter where the bearings ride.. necking up to 1.25" where they are welded to the top of the bumper. You used Comp4x4's 1" spindle. You know they also sell the larger 1 3/8" spindle kit as well.

I've never had one of the "Type 84s" fail.

Also, just as important as the pivot end.. is the latch end. Was the latch locking the end of the arm "solid"? Also, you don't want too much of a gap under the latch end, that the latch pulls the end down more than about 1/16"-1/8" when you lock the latch closed. Otherwise, you're flexing that spindle everytime you lock/unlock the latch... eventually work hardening the spindle at its base.

As for removal. If you welded the spindle at the top/bottom of the bumper, you should be able to just grind the welds down and probably pound the spindle thru the bumper with a large hammer/punch. Maybe grind the top part down flush with the bumper, then use a 1.25" dia hole saw to cut most of the weld away..

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post #4 of 11 Old 01-19-2013, 06:47 PM
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that sucks. this is the part i dont really get about the atoz mega duty spindle. the part that the bearings ride on looks like the same size as the standard one they offer.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-19-2013, 07:50 PM
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I would be curious to see what the crack looks like. Is the area rusty like it was cracked for awhile or all at once.
Was the spindle for a bicycle trailer? Ha-Ha. You had a whole lot less weight than a loaded snow mobile trailer. It should have bent a long time before shearing off.


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post #6 of 11 Old 01-19-2013, 08:22 PM
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I had the same thing happen to mine about a year and a half ago...it was also a 1" spindle kit i bought local at a trailer parts place...

I've since replaced it with a 1 3/8" spindle kit.

The rocking back and forth with a heavy wheel and tire that far up has alot more force/leverage than most think...and those spindles are made of a hardened steel..which means it will break before it bends when it's put passed it's capacity.

The thing that helps most people's designs is the if they put a latch at the other end that helps the tube directly to the spindle from twisting so much....that was my mistake with the one off latch i built for mine and mine is made of round pipe,i'll be adding a sqaure design to mine to help prevent the rocking back and forth and twisting motion at the spindle side.

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post #7 of 11 Old 01-20-2013, 07:41 AM
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AtoZ advertises that the mega duty spindle is made from 4140 cromoly. i used that one, im going to be pissed if it falls the hell off.
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-20-2013, 09:58 AM
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Wow, I hope I bought the big one. I don't remember now. I think it was the smaller one.
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-20-2013, 10:44 AM
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I use the 1 3/4" spindle kit from Comp4x4 that BESRK mentioned.


They list them on their site for 84.95 and 10 bucks shipping, but you can find them on ebay for 84.95 shipped. I opted to go as large as possible on the one of only two spots a carrier can fail. (hinge and latch)

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post #10 of 11 Old 01-21-2013, 01:30 PM
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i also used comp 4x4 spindle kit but i went with the double shear mount. I am not sure which weight capacity i used. So far no problems. I have a lot of weight on mine. on top of the tire i have a beer cooler mounted on a receiver tube inside the center of the wheel. I have no idea how heavy it is but when it is filled with ice and drinks it is heavy.

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post #11 of 11 Old 01-21-2013, 03:04 PM
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First off, Sorry about the failure. It's never convienent when something like that happens. I'm glad no one was injured and you got your stuff back. But still, never a good time.

I've heard about spindles failing. It seems to be due to a couple of factors. The first is the rapid heating and cooling during welding. Pre-heating and a slow cool down makes the spindle less susceptible to fracturing. The second is fatigue. Your bumber/swing-out looks well built, I'm amazed it broke in this manner.
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