Less than a year ago I went to a 4x4 shop to get my '99 Wrangler upgraded. Spent nearly $4000 there, on new wheels, tires, lift, shocks. Nice package.
When they installed the 33" spare tire (had 31" tires before) the shop used an extension to hold the tire out, because it wouldn't fit under the 3rd brake light. All well and good. Unfortunately, the rubber support bumpers no longer were supporting the tire, and it was just hanging out there on the extension. Although I've been jeepin since 1982, I never had this situation before (3rd light, with a 33" spare on an extension)
Needless to say, a few months later, I parked in my garage and while walking around back, realized that my spare was literally moments away from breaking off entirely... possibly causing a major wreck behind me. The bracket that the extension was bolted onto, broke from the constant unsupported wiggling. In retrospect, this seemed like it was obviously destined to happen. But I figured the shop knew what it was doing when they set me up that way. They never mentioned anything about the potential problem, that they clearly knew about.
I went back to the 4x4 shop and explained, and asked them to help me out here. They said there's nothing they can do. Sorry. They told me that happens all the time. I asked who would have been to blame if it had fallen off and killed someone. They said I would have to take it up with Jeep corporation. It's not their responsibility. I asked why they didn't mention this problem if they knew about it. I may have been able to extend the supports or something. or taken the light off.. or.. just something, rather rthan risk it breaking and falling off. They got an attitude and said trhey don't know why they didn't say anything and theres nothing they can do for me.
I reminded them of all the $ I'd spent there. Is there nothing they can suggest to help me out? No.
So I'm stuck with a broken bracket, no way to carry my spare. They won't weld it cuz of liability.
Am I being a A-hole here? I'm really pissed off at their lack of professionalism. Weren't they responsible for telling me this would happen.. at the very least?? They are the experts. Some kind of solution to this seems appropriate. But all I get is an attitude.
Get a swing out tire carrier/bumper. I wouldn't trust the added weight, even with bumpstop extensions.
Also, drive around town with a large banner telling why no one should use that shop. Does your local news have an "In your corner" segment where a viewer has a problem and the news team helps solve the problem? Whenever our local news has one, they get things solved. Extremely bad publicity if the company doesn't try and fix things.
Yeah, unfortunately the factory spare tire mount isn't strong enough to hold anything much bigger than the stock spare tire. Neither is the rear door. When people get oversized tires, they generally remove the factory mount and get something like this bumper mounted carrier.
They got an attitude and said trhey don't know why they didn't say anything and theres nothing they can do for me.
A Jeep shop that doesn't know how to mount an oversized spare tire? That's pretty basic knowledge that anyone on the forum can tell you how to do. The idiot behind the counter should have at least been able to offer you a solution. So yeah, your instincts were correct. Those guys are morons.
They are the experts.
Roads? Where we're going we don't need... (puts on sunglasses)... roads.
Pretty funny how they said "take it up with Jeep". Jeep isn't the ones that poorly modified the stock carrier. The stock carrier works fine for a stock tire. I would ,at the very least, file a complaint with your local Better Business Bureau. At least that way other customers have the chance (if they do the research) to see who they are REALLY dealing with.
Thanx, everyone, for your support. So it's just as I thought.
Yes, they have lost my business. But... on the bright side... they did finally end up offering to sell me a bumper mounted spare tire carrier that they removed from a wrecked truck, and were going to sell it to me for a "smokin' hot deal" as the manager put it. He took me in the back room to show me. "How much was it originally?" I asked. "$399... but I'll let you have it for $250. And I'll just charge you $100 to mount it for you". He's willing to do all this for me, to make up for them destroying my bracket.
What a guy! I wonder if this national 4x4 shop, that even has an off road racing team, knows of the integrity of some of their managers.
So now, aside from following up with this rotten shop.. I need to better understand my next move regarding mounting my spare. As I said, it's a 33". My off-roading isn't extreme. The worst of it is some heavily washboarded dirt roads, that I take at a careful speed. And the usual rocks and ruts. My wheels never leave the ground. And I'm never in a hurry. I don't off-road simply for the fun of it. I do it because I need to get myself to some very remote areas. And get back.
So my question is, is my rear gate truly at risk if I just find an appropriate gate mounted tire rack, with proper supports? Or do I absolutely need a bumper mounted style? I've found many makers of both kinds. Times are hard, so of course budget is an issue.
Yes, I see the extended supports you're suggesting. Seems like that would have been one way to go, and it should have been at least suggested.
The shop, by the way, was in fact a 4WheelParts. Perhaps I should contact a higher-than-store-level representative, in that corporation. I hate to be taken for a shmuck.
And seriously... that tire falling off could have literally and easily caused a fatality behind me on the freeway. I can't believe the flippant attitude the manager had, toward that subject. It's frightening.
When I looked, a good 90% of the metal bracket was torn. Holding on by only about the remaining 2". Was really ready to go. I'm counting my blessings.
FYI - It's only like 6 bolts to remove the bumper. It took me all of 15 minutes to swap mine out. Jeeps are pretty easy to work on.
So my question is, is my rear gate truly at risk if I just find an appropriate gate mounted tire rack, with proper supports?
Depends on how much the wheel weights. You could probably get away with it, but personally, I wouldn't risk it. It puts a lot of stress on your rear door and on those hinges. Plus, with the larger tire, it makes it difficult to see out of the rear window. You can get a new bumper mount for around $250, vs the extended door mount for $100. So it doesn't cost much more to do it the right way, plus it will make your rig look a lot cooler. You could also get a safari rack and put it on the roof.
Roads? Where we're going we don't need... (puts on sunglasses)... roads.
Had a 35x12.50r15 mounted on my stock tire carrier on the hatch with an extension, bumpstops and a little doo dad bolted on my bumper to support the added weight and it did great. Started sagging the gate after awhile and replaced the bumper and added a swing arm. I'd say get the swing arm for long term spare carrying.
The three most common expressions (or famous last words) in aviation are:
- "Why is it doing that?",
- "Where are we?"
- and "Oh Sh!t!"
A swing out isn't necessarily the end-all be-all.....mine just broke last week. Granted i do have a 35" tire, jerry cans, and my hi lift jack on it, it shouldve still held. Fortunately it didn't actually fall off, but it was hanging at about 45 degrees by the time I got home. I'm gonna take it to the base hobby shop and weld the living crap out of it with extra supports..
1990 YJ- 6" Lift, 35" Baja Claws, 4.56, Cam, etc
1993 Wrangler- Dead
2006 Mustang- Cammed, Slammed, And fully bolted