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Unread 07-29-2003, 02:39 PM   #1
keys741
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What is the biggest size tire the factory spare tire holder will hold?

I have a 02 TJ Sahara and I was wondering what is the biggest size tire that my factory spare tire holder can hold?

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Unread 07-29-2003, 02:42 PM   #2
iffar08
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a 33" tire will FIT in there but most likely hit your bumper unless you space it out far enough. but the weight of the 33 is not good for door hinges. i have a 31" tire right now and have no probs.
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Unread 07-29-2003, 03:14 PM   #3
TJinWV
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Anything bigger than a 31 will probably require spacers to be added to the third brake light support to raise it up over the edge of the tire.
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Unread 07-29-2003, 04:35 PM   #4
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My tailgate is a little crooked just from the weight of my stock spare. I could probably adjust it and get it lined up better, but I'm getting a good tire carrier/bumper soon and am not that worried about it. You might want to consider something better for anything heavier than the stock spare.
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Unread 07-29-2003, 04:58 PM   #5
Jerry Bransford
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What size can fit on the stock spare tire mount is way different from the size of tire it can hold without damaging the tailgate or mount from the spare tire's weight. The weight of a 33" spare eventually cracked my TJ's spare tire carrier, even though the tire was snugged against extra-tall tire snubbers I made to keep the spare from wiggling around as I drove around. Allow the bigger spare to wiggle around on the mount without the taller tire snubbers would eventually damage the tailgate and/or spare tire mount.

Long-term, probably 32" is the largest it can carry without worry of tailgage damage. Shorter term, 33" and shorter yet, some have even carried 35" spare tires on their stock spare tire carrier which is just crazy in my opinion.
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Unread 07-29-2003, 05:25 PM   #6
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Jerry has it right - I've seen tailgates dished out and the mounting hardware torn right off. Don't even consider using one of those stupid racks that clamps to the spare - it's asking for trouble, especially when you load it up with a cooler, ice, and beer. Don't hang bicycles there either - the tailgate is stressed for a stock spare and no additional weight.

Having said that, the Rubicon stock tire (nominally a 31" but actually 30.7" diameter on the stock rim) sits about 1/4" off the stock bumper, so a 31" tire is the practical limit on a stock TJ.

Rubicon owners with a 1" body lift can fit 33" tires in the stock spare location, with some slightly longer hardware and a 3rd brake light spacer. I have seen some DIY hardware that is mounted to the stock bumper or even inserted in the rear receiver of an aftermarket bumper that supports the tire from below and removes much of the stress from the sheetmetal tailgate - I'd reccomend something like that for oversized tires.

Or you can go with the Bestop Tire Carrier - it's compatible with most stock or aftermarket bumpers and fairly inexpensive. It mounts to the rear of the Jeep but doesn't put all the weight on the frame - which is actually a poor mechanical design, popular as such bumper/tire carrier combos are. A frame-mounted carrier inconveniently must be opened seperately from the tailgate itself and when closed often racks forward and back and severely stresses frame crossmember and tire carrier hinge.
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Unread 07-30-2003, 09:54 AM   #7
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This reminds me of how bad it is for people to use the stock tail gate as a helper to climb in the back of the Jeep. I can't even count the number of times friends of mine don't think twice and climb in the back with one foot on the bumper and the other on the tailgate tire....
I know this is a little bit off topic.....but I thought that it was important to express how people should not to use it as a step to get in the jeep.
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Unread 07-30-2003, 10:43 AM   #8
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Not the sixe but the weight

I have a 33X9.50 and stock canyon rim for a spare. The rim and the tire way under 50lbs which is what the manual said is the max wight. I have had for a couple of years and know problems.

As for making it fit I had to raise the rear tail light and let most the air out of the tire. After I got a 1" bl I didn't need to let any air out.
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Unread 07-30-2003, 11:17 AM   #9
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Well....just to be the guy that goes against the grain....I've had a 35 12.5 15 MTR mounted on AR rim strapped to the stock mount for better than 2 years on the 00. I have a 2 inch body lift so that provides the clearance for the tire to just clear the rear bumper and the 3rd brake light was slid up a few extra inches.

I've been thinking about replacing it with a better mount almost since the day I tightened it on there, but never seem to get around it to. It hasn't fallen off, hasn't cracked the door, and only wiggles slightly on the bumpiest of highways.

I realize that this is the exception not the rule, but just thought I would share
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Unread 07-30-2003, 12:15 PM   #10
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i put a 33 bfg mud terrain in the back of mine around a year ago and still works fine. i got rid of the stupid looking third brake light. i put washers in the back of the tire rack and it works fine. and as much as i use my spacious trunk i don't worry about the tailgate. but i am careful when i open it up and close it
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Unread 07-30-2003, 01:32 PM   #11
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I don't have a spare tire at all until I can get some sort of spare tire carrier, either bumper or body mounted. Just can't see the sense in risking damage to my tailgate. Plus there's no way it would fit, and I'd never use one of those aftermarket spacers that bolts on to the factoy mount to extend it out another 2-3 inches past the bumper. That's just asking for trouble with the weight of a 35". another 2-3 inches away from the body would add a lot of leverage on the tailgate. IMO
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Unread 08-03-2003, 11:10 AM   #12
dupwee00
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i would def not put a 35 on the tailgate. 33 yes 35 just to much weight
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Unread 08-03-2003, 11:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shawno
This reminds me of how bad it is for people to use the stock tail gate as a helper to climb in the back of the Jeep. I can't even count the number of times friends of mine don't think twice and climb in the back with one foot on the bumper and the other on the tailgate tire....
I know this is a little bit off topic.....but I thought that it was important to express how people should not to use it as a step to get in the jeep.
Yea I know how you feel, this kid used my rear fender flare as a step to get into the back of my Jeep, thankfully hes like 5'2" 100lbs. everythings alright tho. For a 97 my tailgate isnt bent or anything
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Unread 08-03-2003, 01:59 PM   #14
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33 no problem

I have a 33 spare on my jeep. The rear bumper was taken off due to the tire hitting it. I would say 31 or 32 tire will clear the bumper, but not 33. Spacers might work to allow a 33. As for the weight of the tire... my friend Dave is 6'6" and 290lbs and he sits on the tire when he gets out of the Jeep. The mount is solid and the back door opens up just fine.
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