I started on a drop down tire carrier for the 79' today. If I like the way it turns out I'll build the same thing for the 83'. I'll be using 2" .188 wall square tube for the frame work because I don't have access to a bender. The rest of the materials will be a mix of 1/4 inch diamond plate, 1/4 inch plate, wheel studs and some 3" .250 wall round tube that I have laying around.
I started by cutting an 8 inch circle out of some 1/4 inch plate. Then I marked and drilled out the bolt pattern to make the mounting plate for the tire. The wheel studs will get installed and welded on in the back of the plate.
What I'm planning is to have two vertical tubes that run off the bumper and hold the tire between it and the body. I'm going to run another tube horizontally between the back of the cage inside the tub and build the rest as I go. Sorry, no fancy drawings.
I ordered two sets of urethane bushings (http://www.energysuspensionparts.com...sp?prod=9.9488
) to use in some 2 inch .120 wall tube on the square tube ends to make it pivot on the bottom and lock in place on the top. The bushings will also isolate most of the vibes.
I don't have a functioning tailgate on my fiberglass tub and it's a two seater so I don't mind taking up a few inches of the rear cargo area with the added horizontal tube. I'll make sure to position it so I have room to reinstall the rear seat if ever choose to. It'll make a good anchor point for shoulder belts for the kids.
It looks good in my head, we'll see how it turns out. I don't think my 110 welder is up to this task so I'll just be tacking stuff together and having my friend finish it all off with his 220 miller.