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I just got this CJ and it did not have the tire carrier installed, just had it sitting in the back. It has all the brackets and everything on the body, ready to go. I just have to bolt it on the hinges.

My question is, what kind of bolts do I need to use? Anything specific to make sure it swings ok?
 

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The OEM bolts are a bit different than the common hardware store bolts as in they have a wider than normal shoulder that extends down through the brackets. Although any bolt will do, if not the correct fit, the vibration and movement will elongate the holes and the rack will rattle a lot. Body stress cracks could also form as a result of the rack moving around.
After 200 thousand miles, mine was loose and the holes slightly ovaled, I redrilled one size up and used a set of bolts out of a YJ that had the shoulder length I needed. Then I measured and cut off the extra.

OEM bolt

New bolt before I cut it.
 

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Factory OEM bolts are 7/16-14 x 2-1/4"L but are special because the length of shank part of the bolt is 1-3/4"L so the threaded portion is not through the hinge bracket. You could purchase 7/16-14 x 3"L bolts and cut off the excess threads since the shank part of those bolts @ 1-3/4" are long enough to pass through the hinge bracket.

I was able to find 7/16 diameter S.S. Shoulder bolts like 20 years ago for mine and they work great and won't rust. Photo below is what I use.

 

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Need spare tire carrier shoulder bolt measurements

Factory OEM bolts are 7/16-14 x 2-1/4"L but are special because the length of shank part of the bolt is 1-3/4"L so the threaded portion is not through the hinge bracket. You could purchase 7/16-14 x 3"L bolts and cut off the excess threads since the shank part of those bolts @ 1-3/4" are long enough to pass through the hinge bracket.

I was able to find 7/16 diameter S.S. Shoulder bolts like 20 years ago for mine and they work great and won't rust. Photo below is what I use.

I know this is a super old thread and i'm hijacking...but I was on the site below trying to order some shoulder bolts as pictured above in Keith's post for my spare tire carrier. Anyone feel like chiming in on the shoulder diameter and thread length?...I can't seem to find a 7/16 option (I'm also assuming I need the shoulder to be 1 3/4"

Or if anyone cast post a link to the bolts I need that would be great. I know I can probably get some standard bolts from the hardware store and cut them down but I'm about to order some heim joints and figured I'd buy some shoulder bolts while I was paying for shipping anyway.

Thanks yall.

https://www.mcmaster.com/shoulder-bolts/thread-length~1-2/?SrchEntryWebPart_InpBox=rod+ends
 

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Mcmaster-Carr is where I got those 7/16" SS Shoulder bolts a long time ago. They weren't listed in their catalog, before the internet, and they are not listed online either. I ordered them the old fashion way, called them up and they said they can get them for me and they did.
7/16" bolts are not easy to come by, by any means. I have since gone back to 3/8" bolts with the extra thread cut off since my tire carrier sports flange bushings in hinge holes now. Much smoother than the old 7/16" bolt that was steel on steel.
 

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Back when i was an electrician I used to end up doing just that at Fastenal, lol.

I ended up ordering some of the flange bushings like Keiths setup...figured I'd give that a whirl and see how it goes. Eventually I'll buy new bumpers with a swing out spare carrier. All in good time I suppose. Maybe after I get the jeep regeared and locked...just more money haha.

Thanks again for the info Keith...
 

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If you are going with the flange bushing setup, which I recommend, the holes in carrier tubing need to be drilled out slightly larger but just under 1/2". You want the bushing to be a press fit in the tubing.

There is also no need for the plastic factory washer that was used as a thrust washer since the flange bushings, when installed, will bear the load on top and bottom. The bushings when installed, will just fit between the U-shaped mounted brackets. My factory tire carrier with the weight of a 32" tire can be swung open or closed with one finger now, after it is unlatched of course. Never rattles while driving either.
 

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Just finished installing those flange bushings last night. What a world of a difference and such a simple fix. No more rattle! Thanks again Keith...you've been solving all my problems lately, lol :cheers2:
 

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It's a simple and easy fix. While I don't condone AMC/Jeep Engineering, they always looked at ways to save money and their design for the stock tire carrier was adequate for the lifespan of a typical CJ carrying a stock size tire. It was never meant to bear the weight of oversize tires and the constant jarring ride that eventually does them in.

I think the sheet metal, on the latching side of the body tub, is the first thing to go. Even though there is a backing plate for the latch receiver bracket, it is not enough. I installed a second angle bracket there, like the one on the passenger hinge side, and it has been yet another simple upgrade that greatly increases the strength of the factory tire carrier latch system. No more sheet metal tearing and makes for a solid mount.
The added bracket has a support plate underneath to displace the stress being put on it.

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Mcmaster-Carr is where I got those 7/16" SS Shoulder bolts a long time ago. They weren't listed in their catalog, before the internet, and they are not listed online either. I ordered them the old fashion way, called them up and they said they can get them for me and they did.
7/16" bolts are not easy to come by, by any means. I have since gone back to 3/8" bolts with the extra thread cut off since my tire carrier sports flange bushings in hinge holes now. Much smoother than the old 7/16" bolt that was steel on steel.
Would it be a good idea to put the bushings on the brackets also that way it takes up any slop the 3/8 bolts have? Or does it all pinch together when you tighten the bolts.
 

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Following Keith's work I did the same mod to my original carrier. Was very straight forward. I just drilled out the holes to accept a sleeve that would go from top to bottom of arm and then welded the sleeve in place. I used a hardened bolt that fit snuggly into the sleeve mount and greased it up. Works fantastic. No slop, no drop in the swing movement.

I also followed Keith's mod on adding an additional support bracket behind latch on drivers side. Simple construction. Bolted it in just as Keith did with a steel plate underneath.

Great mod Keith!!
 

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Would it be a good idea to put the bushings on the brackets also that way it takes up any slop the 3/8 bolts have? Or does it all pinch together when you tighten the bolts.
It all tightens down and the two "flange" bushings, four all together, in each of the square tubing does not allow the carrier to shift out of place. But you must use flange bushings.
So far, after 10 years of use with a heavy 32" spare tire mounted, it remains rattle free and no damage or tears to the sheet metal it is mounted to. Opens and closes like a brand new tire carrier.
 

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It all tightens down and the two "flange" bushings, four all together, in each of the square tubing does not allow the carrier to shift out of place. But you must use flange bushings.
So far, after 10 years of use with a heavy 32" spare tire mounted, it remains rattle free and no damage or tears to the sheet metal it is mounted to. Opens and closes like a brand new tire carrier.
Awesome! That is what was thinking but wanted to make sure. I am putting the same size tires on it. Glad it is working well. Thank you!
 

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Following Keith's work I did the same mod to my original carrier. Was very straight forward. I just drilled out the holes to accept a sleeve that would go from top to bottom of arm and then welded the sleeve in place. I used a hardened bolt that fit snuggly into the sleeve mount and greased it up. Works fantastic. No slop, no drop in the swing movement.

I also followed Keith's mod on adding an additional support bracket behind latch on drivers side. Simple construction. Bolted it in just as Keith did with a steel plate underneath.

Great mod Keith!!
I have added additional support brackets also. I looked for oem ones like Keith has but ended up making some. Yours look a lot beefier than mine.
 

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There is some great information in this thread. Thanks for sharing the bushing info. I like the idea of making and installing the “Doublers” that go on the backside of the tub skin. I plan on beefing up my tub skin when I do my tub overhaul in the future. For now mine is OK, with the little OEM wheel & tire on the back.

Something I will suggest, to help make the installation even stronger, is the use of structural adhesive, while assembling these components. In the aircraft sheet metal trade these are referred to as “Fayed Surfaces”. All “fayed surfaces” go together “Wet” with structural adhesive while manufacturing and repairing aircraft. The structural adhesive is very strong and will fill voids or gaps when parts don’t meet, or line up perfectly. Structure adhesive when cured is soft like rubber, and amazingly strong, it is not brittle like other adhesives. Structural adhesive also provides a barrier, that will seal the parts preventing corrosion.

Mix a batch, apply it to both surfaces that will be in contact, and then install the part. If bolts are used, dip or coat the bolts before installing them. Each fastener should be coated before installation. When the fasteners are installed, excess adhesive will be compressed out on the edges. If you wet install a doubler, it will have superior strength and be resistant to corrosion, that’s a win/win.

MIL-PRF-81733 sealant is the preferred sealant on military aircraft, because it has corrosion inhibitors. I bought a kit of 3m structural adhesive for about $20 if I remember correctly. Your local Napa store can order it for you.

When I repaired my windshield frame, after my wiper linkage failed and bent the sheet metal, I used structural adhesive when I installed my doublers. This stuff will stick to anything, and is very strong. Once it has cured, you would have a hard time removing any part that was put together with this stuff.
 

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Mine came to me 'pre-wore-TF-out,' but I slapped it back together and got another 15 years out of it anyway. In 2009, I decided to replace the corners and ditch the factory style spare tire rack altogether. Made my own out of 3.5" square tubing, 2" square tubing, 1.5" pipe, and a piece of 3" pipe with a Grade-8 bolt & trailer axle bearings stuffed inside. Then again, I've had larger than factory wheels since '96.







Keith, Ax, and torkman have lots of great advice on how to restore the factory rack 'better-than-new.' I don't think Jeep ever intended for the rack to hold anything bigger than a 29" wheel/tire combo, however. After replacing the corners because of the damage, I did not want to ever go through THAT again, so all the spare tire weight is now carried on the rear crossmember, like it really should've been all along.
 
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