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Old 04-22-2013, 09:30 PM   #1
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Beefing up the Tailgate hinges? Help

I know it's not recommended, but due to budget reasons (I can't afford an aftermarket tire carrier) I am going to mount a 35 inch tire on the tailgate, I have a heavier duty carrier that bolts onto the tail gate that will have no problem with a 35 but is there any way anyone knows of that I can make the hinges alot sturdier? Maybe there's even a kit out there I don't know about? But I NEED to have a spare tire when on the trail since I go out about every other weekend for a whole day I just need something that will work for about 2-3 months until I've saved up enough for a proper one (I'm still on a high school budget) and I've sat on the carrier before and opened it to see if it holds my weight, I weigh 180Ibs and it was just as easy to open and swing open as my buddies with a stock tire on it

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Old 04-22-2013, 09:32 PM   #2
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Why not just throw the spare in the back since its only 2-3 months before you get another tire carrier.

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Old 04-22-2013, 10:00 PM   #3
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Undercoverfab makes an HD door hinge.

Here is the link, I dont think they say what its rated for but it does say it "greatly increases the strength. Might be worth a look. Let me know what you find out though.

Under Cover Fabworks, LLC - UCF Heavy-Duty TJ Tailgate Hinge Set
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:08 PM   #4
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I also found this thread about it. Hope it helps.

Heavy Duty Hinges and Tailgate Reinforcement. - JeepForum.com
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:20 PM   #5
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Exogate looks nice but heck may as well get me an aftermarket bumper with tire carrier for that price
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:31 AM   #6
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Anything that beefs up things enough to support a larger tire will probably be more than you want to pay, so until then you'll be stuck trying to make things work. I have two suggestions that have worked well for me:

1. If you can, leave the spare at home when you're not on the trail. That will at least lessen how often the tailgate needs to support the extra weight.

2. Extend the rubber bumpers on the tailgate so that they are all touching the 35" tire, and also move the rear bumper up so that the tire rests on the tailgate when the gate is closed.

Many people will extend the rubber bumpers which does help prolong the life of the tailgate hinges, but not many will move the rear bumper up. If you have an aftermarket rear bumper already this may not work, but it will if you have a stock bumper. I simply remove the rear bumper, cut out the bolts that are welded into the bumper tabs, drill new holes for a more raised mounting position, and bolt the bumper back up.

I don't daily drive my TJ anymore, but so far my tailgate has held up well with both 33x12.50 and 35x12.50 tires for a few years now without any issues. It was my daily driver for a few years so I've had plenty of miles with a 33" tire hanging off the back. By having the tire rest on the bumper, you're taking a good bit of the weight off of the tailgate.

I eventually want to get some sort of carrier for the rear, but for now this works fine and I can spend the saved money elsewhere.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:17 PM   #7
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With the addition of hinges like that would you also need to do something with the latch? Because if all I need is those $150 hinges, that would be perfect
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaTJ View Post
With the addition of hinges like that would you also need to do something with the latch? Because if all I need is those $150 hinges, that would be perfect
If those $150 had greaseable bolts, they may be worth it. It doesn't look like they are though. The Currie bolts might fit though and would depend on the design if the grease was able to get to where it is needed.

I got new hinges years ago (I forget the brand, but they weren't cheap either) and they are way beefier than the stock 97-02 hinges. Problem is, my tailgate is slightly tweaked. I'm not sure if that was before or after I swapped my hinges. Mine got worn out from a bike carrier I used to have mounted to the spare.

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Anything that beefs up things enough to support a larger tire will probably be more than you want to pay, so until then you'll be stuck trying to make things work. I have two suggestions that have worked well for me:

1. If you can, leave the spare at home when you're not on the trail. That will at least lessen how often the tailgate needs to support the extra weight.

2. Extend the rubber bumpers on the tailgate so that they are all touching the 35" tire, and also move the rear bumper up so that the tire rests on the tailgate when the gate is closed.

Many people will extend the rubber bumpers which does help prolong the life of the tailgate hinges, but not many will move the rear bumper up. If you have an aftermarket rear bumper already this may not work, but it will if you have a stock bumper. I simply remove the rear bumper, cut out the bolts that are welded into the bumper tabs, drill new holes for a more raised mounting position, and bolt the bumper back up.

I don't daily drive my TJ anymore, but so far my tailgate has held up well with both 33x12.50 and 35x12.50 tires for a few years now without any issues. It was my daily driver for a few years so I've had plenty of miles with a 33" tire hanging off the back. By having the tire rest on the bumper, you're taking a good bit of the weight off of the tailgate.

I eventually want to get some sort of carrier for the rear, but for now this works fine and I can spend the saved money elsewhere.
I don't need new hinges, but I like that idea. I took my rear bumper off because I kept landing on the rocks with it. I might try that trick.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:53 PM   #9
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I don't mean to hijack the thread, but it's kinda related. Are the factory hinges supposed to be ridiculously tight to open and close? I need both hands and some of my body weight to open the tailgate. there is no apparent damage.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:57 PM   #10
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I don't mean to hijack the thread, but it's kinda related. Are the factory hinges supposed to be ridiculously tight to open and close? I need both hands and some of my body weight to open the tailgate. there is no apparent damage.
No. It should open easily. You might want to work some lube in yours.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:09 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Kewrock View Post
I don't mean to hijack the thread, but it's kinda related. Are the factory hinges supposed to be ridiculously tight to open and close? I need both hands and some of my body weight to open the tailgate. there is no apparent damage.
Mine swings open with one finger with a 33x12.5 tire on it...
Thinking your hinges must be rusted or tweaked maybe?
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:11 AM   #12
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I don't mean to hijack the thread, but it's kinda related. Are the factory hinges supposed to be ridiculously tight to open and close? I need both hands and some of my body weight to open the tailgate. there is no apparent damage.
Spray some penetrating oil and let it soak into the hinges; work the gate, let it soak, work the gate some more, etc... My old TJ had the same issue, but that fixed things. I think I let some ATF/Acetone mix soak into the hinge if I remember correctly.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:04 PM   #13
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My tailgate was making a loud creaking sound when going over bumps with a 33x12.5x15 tire mounted. I made an L shaped bracket and bolted it to the bumper such that it pushes up gently on the tire. It does a good job supporting the weight of the wheel and the creaking is gone. It does make the tailgate a bit difficult to open as the rubber drags across it but I don't open it much. I lined the top of the bracket with Teflon tape to reduce the friction. Cheap and simple.

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