Jeep Wrangler Forum

Jeep Wrangler Forum (http://www.wranglerforum.com/)
-   TJ General Discussion Forum (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/)
-   -   Bestop Highrock Oversize Tire Carrier Review (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/bestop-highrock-oversize-tire-carrier-review-98113.html)

s3nt3nc3d 06-14-2011 01:25 AM

Bestop Highrock Oversize Tire Carrier Review
 
Just installed my Bestop tire carrier tonight and figured I'd post a short review on the product...

Overall rating: 6/10

Pros: Once installed, it's extremely sturdy, rattle free, and looks pretty nice. Installation wasn't too terribly difficult if you follow the directions--directions are very thorough.

Cons: Powder coating had a few chips in it already, does not hold my factory spare tire/wheel very well (my guess is there is too much backspacing in the rim). It fell off the thing about 3 times before I finally got it to stay put long enough to bolt it together. Biggest issue I ran into was my upper backing plate did NOT come even close to fitting my holes I had drilled. Bottom fit perfectly and top matched the drilled holes so I was able to rule out mis-measurements. I ended up putting the backing plate into a vice and beating on it with a large sledgehammer until it almost matched up to my holes and then I drilled new holes in it just a fraction of an inch off from where the original holes were. Where the tire rests against the carrier, the carrier puts a lot of pressure against the tire right on a corner...I'm afraid eventually that could puncture the tire.

Aside from that, it seems to function as it should...though I've noticed trying to close the tailgate by pushing on the tire doesn't usually get the tailgate to fully latch. Once I get my 33's mounted on the new wheels and install my spare on the carrier, I may add another point or two to the overall rating depending on how it fits. It may fit better since the wheels have less backspacing...BUT the tires are wider...so I'm not sure.

Edit: I also attached my 3rd brake light, but after my tire kept crushing up against it every time I tried to close the tailgate, I just pulled the dang thing off. Again, this may be due to backspacing issues...but I was tired of messing with it.

s3nt3nc3d 06-17-2011 10:45 PM

You know if any of you folks have this product you're more than welcome to throw your own reviews in here... the point of this thread was to offer input on it for those considering it for their own ride...and the more reviews people post on it, the more helpful it'll be. lol

Jeepoffroad04 06-17-2011 10:47 PM

Pics?

UnlimitedLJ04 06-17-2011 11:01 PM

i might be installing mine sunday.....we'll see if i have time to get to it. already it ain't off to a good start, since the kit was missing a key bracket, and trying to get it from Bestop's warranty department was like pulling teeth with a paint can.

dfry 06-17-2011 11:49 PM

2 Attachment(s)
I installed my Bestop Tire Carrier a few months ago. I would rate it 9 of 10 for me. Like the OP, my upper support bracket didn't quite line up with the outer bracket holes, which were dead-on according to instructions. But what I did was tilt or angle the support bracket toward the holes, then start the bolts through the outer bracket and previously drilled holes in the tub and into the support bracket. That drew the support bracket tight to the outer bracket, at which point the part of the support bracket that gets bolted to the roll cage can be drawn down to the roll cage supports. The hardest part was the time I spent starring at the support bracket and drilled holes that didn't quite line up. The holes were perhaps 1/8" lower than the support bracket wanted to go, hince the reason I tilted it toward the holes. Gotta give credit, however, to a local body shop owner for this course of action. After much "starring" on my part, I dropped by his shop for an opinion. He looked at it a while and said the Jeep tub is extremely solid in the back corners and he recommended what I described above. A leap of faith on my part...but it worked like a charm and I didn't have to re-drill any holes. Everything lined up perfectly. The tire fits snug to the career and rubber stops.

Regarding mounting the tire, I mounted the tire holder to my wheel while the tire was on the ground. Ran the three lug nuts tight, then hoisted the tire/holder onto the tire carrier and ran the single really long bolt through to tighten tire to carrier. No problems here.

As was mentioned, you can't really close the tailgate by pushing on the tire. You have to push on the tailgate itself. No big problem here.

I really like this tire carrier and it fits my requirements perfectly.

I contemplated the OR Fab carrier, but didn't like the price, or the separate step of swinging the carrier away before opening tailgate...same reason I didn't get a bumper mounted carrier (bought new front & rear bumpers at the same time).

What brake light?? :O

Here's a pic of the tire carrier sans tire...and one with tire.

s3nt3nc3d 06-18-2011 02:31 AM

Thanks for posting the pics and adding in your review...I was gonna go ahead and take some tomorrow, but doesn't look like I'll need to now.

Something I noticed with mine... my spare on an OEM wheel sits at an angle when mounted. Again probably due to the backspacing on the OEM wheel. I'm curious, what size is your spare tire and when standing off to the side, is it pretty straight or tilted?

By the way...to add in, even though I did give a preliminary rating of 6/10, I would still go this route. I think this design is superior over traditional bumper mounted swing away carriers with the weight all sitting on that one single pivot point.

dfry 06-18-2011 07:26 AM

Glad I could add something. My tires are 31x10.5/15 and the rims are 15x8 w/3.75" backspacing. It does tilt ever so slightly in at the top by 1 or 2 degrees at the most. Pictures taken from the side don't really show it because it's so little, and you really have to look to even notice. I think at first there was more tilt, but I adjusted the tire and tightened the carrier against the rubber bumpers and that helped level it out.

TJDave 06-18-2011 07:35 AM

My Bestop carrier is also sitting in it's box on my garage floor. I am also waiting for time to install it. Looks like I better open it and check the parts list.;)

dfry 06-18-2011 08:13 AM

I was thinking about this last night while lying in bed...:( If I could do the install all over again from the start...

I put masking tape on the tub where the hinge brackets were to be placed so I could mark the holes and be able to see the marks. Then I center punched the marks and drilled pilot holes. BTW I thought the provided instructions were pretty well written. Now this is what I should have done...don't know that it would have made any difference. After marking the holes for drilling and using the masking tape not only to mark the holes but also as a stencil to draw the bracket arms, I should have measured the centers of the carrier (were they mount to the brackets) and compared that distance to the centers as marked on the masking tape. That measurement MIGHT have moved my upper hinge bracket up by 1/8", which would have aligned with the upper backing plate. I have no way of knowing for sure now, but in hindsight wish I had thought of it at the time and before drilling the upper holes. And wish the instructions had suggested checking this distance. They put a lot of effort into measuring the distance from the tailgate opening, but neglect the distance between the hinges themselves, relying on the carrier to provide that distance. However, there is at least 1/8"-1/4" play combined in the hinges, and plenty leeway for fine adjustments BEFORE drilling holes.

Also, just remembered, the bolt used to install the jack nut in the tailgate (I only had three factory rubber bumpers so needed to drill a mounting hole in the tailgate for the lower tailgate hinge) was too short to engage the threads of the jack nut. Fortunately I had a longer bolt of the appropriate size and it worked great. Don't even mess with the supplied one...way to short when you put the jack nut wrench between the jack nut and supplied bolt.

TJDave 06-18-2011 10:00 AM

dfry, Thank you for all the information you have provided. This is definately going to help me out when I finally install mine.
You would not happen to know the size of the longer jack nut bolt would you? I have a 3 bumper TJ as well, and want to get everything ready before I start. I guess I could take the supplied bolt to the fastener store, and ask for a longer one. How much longer?
Thanx, Dave

s3nt3nc3d 06-18-2011 11:41 AM

Another suggestion I would recommend to help speed the process along... remove the bolts holding the roll bar to the passenger fender before you do it. Just make sure they're going to come out without any issues. Mine stripped out on me and I spent probably an extra 45 minutes trying to get it to come out with PB Blaster and vice grips before finding a stripped nut extractor socket that was a bit too small...I was able to beat it onto the head of the torx bolt with a hammer just enough that I was able to get it to grab with an impact wrench (got very lucky). To get the upper backing plate underneath the roll bar...get a small prybar and pry between the rollbar and the fender and that plate will slide right in. If you try using your muscles to lift the bar just high enough to slide the plate into place you'll struggle. And then just pray your holes line up when it's all said and done...lol.

On an unrelated note...I also learned my passenger side inner fender (the tub itself) is rusted clear through after I beat a large hole through it with my hammer trying to make my bracket line up. *facepalm*

dfry 06-18-2011 12:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TJDave
dfry, Thank you for all the information you have provided. This is definately going to help me out when I finally install mine.
You would not happen to know the size of the longer jack nut bolt would you? I have a 3 bumper TJ as well, and want to get everything ready before I start. I guess I could take the supplied bolt to the fastener store, and ask for a longer one. How much longer?
Thanx, Dave

The supplied bolt is 1/4"-20 x 3/4". I used a 1/4"-20 x 1". It's just that with the jack nut wrench between the jack nut and bolt, the bolt just misses being long enough without a lot of hassel and possible stripping the jack nut threads

^x2 on making sure the roll cage bolts can be removed before you start. That is actually one of the reasons I went to the body shop. Input on the upper backing plate and how to get my stripped torx bolts out, because yes both of them were stripped. He ended up using an impact chisel and had them loose in under five seconds. Seriously, five seconds. I replaced them with slightly longer grade 8 hex bolts and washers.

Also, and maybe I didn't read the instructions correctly, I bolted my upper backing plate on top of the sport bar. I figured with the cut out on it that was the way it installed. Hmmmmm.... Maybe my instructions were different.

jtalar 06-18-2011 12:26 PM

I have had mine installed for nearly two years and have had no issues with it at all, I first saw this setup at SEMA on a new JK and fell in love with it. Installation was very easy and only took about an hour, of course I am a mechanic and I have all the tools needed. The only downfall I came accross was when I was installing my rear custom bumper, I had to notch out the corner of the bumper to make it fit flush up against the tire carrier lower mount, other then that 10/10

Geoff@Bestop 06-18-2011 12:34 PM

Quote:

BTW I thought the provided instructions were pretty well written.
This may be the first time I've heard someone say this. I've heard things like "Who wrote these, and is their first language Tagalog?" But never, "pretty well written." Cool.

Our video on this product. It's for the JK and YJ/TJ versions. The two are very different. The JK version is much simpler. I think all the reviews above except for JTalar's are for the TJ version.

YouTube - ‪Oversized Tire Carrier from Bestop‬‏

dfry 06-18-2011 12:44 PM

Geoff, I've gotta say that when I was making my decision on which carrier to buy, your video is what helped me choose Bestop. It's exactly the carrier I was looking for!!

Crap...I'm supposed to be outside painting my new Rick sliders, NOT reading forum stuff. :O

Beer30 06-18-2011 12:58 PM

I've had one for about 10 months now. I wasn't so sure about it at first, but it has served me well. I'd give it an 8/10. Installation was pretty simple. I really, truly despise jack nuts but I suppose maybe there aren't many other options where those are used.

I don't plan to keep it much longer though. I want to put on some corner armor, and I also want to do the fold down tailgate mod. Neither of which can be done with this tire carrier.

Geoff@Bestop 06-18-2011 01:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dfry (Post 1314974)
Geoff, I've gotta say that when I was making my decision on which carrier to buy, your video is what helped me choose Bestop. It's exactly the carrier I was looking for!!

Crap...I'm supposed to be outside painting my new Rick sliders, NOT reading forum stuff. :O

Thanks! I'll send this to my boss!

Somehow or another, he sees the posts where I say things like "Joe the Quadratec rep kicks puppies for fun," and totally misses posts like this. How is that possible?

dbbd1 06-18-2011 01:44 PM

I will add to the positive reviews as well.

As for how it is described and sold- 10/10

Mine was solidly packed and no chips on the powder coating. Install was okay and, I too, had the same issue with the upper body mounting point. I just hogged out the holes a wee bit and it worked for me (figuring that the carrier was actually mounting to the bracket and only supported by the tub).

My only wish is that the horizontal tubes were a little longer (to push the spare more offset to the driver's side) so when I put on my Fourtreks clamps for my hi-lift, it would sit upright and vertical, not at a slight angle. No big, though.

All in all, nicely done.


Edit- I do wish also that they would include longer bolts and WASHERS. Given all of the pivot points, I added longer bolts and used washers on mine. Under the bolt head and against the nut. I also added a jam nut for the 1/2" bolt that holds on the spare mounting point (just so it could not back off).

Geoff- I was going to PM you with this stuff but never got around to it until, well, now.

BTW, Geoff gives outstanding customer service and if you have issues (i.e. missing parts), PM him.


I was thinking about using the YJ roll bracket as a cb antenna mount. Bolt it to where the 3rd brake light should mount on the upper holes on the door, drill a hole and there you go (you could also use the 3rd brake light mount angle iron provided).

KidRock171 06-18-2011 05:47 PM

Dear Geoff at bestop. Why is your high rock front bumper so expensive? It makes me sad that I can't afford the best looking bumper on the market.

Strebs 06-18-2011 06:38 PM

I've had mine on for a bit now and give it a solid 8 out of 10. It's very functional and holds my spare perfectly. It does what it claims and it really makes having an oversized spare easy. I would recommend it without a second thought.

:thumb:

The install went smooth and probably took me about 3 hours. No problems that I can think of during the installation.

jtalar 06-18-2011 06:45 PM

Not meaning to dissapoint you Geoff@Bestop but my rig is a TJ 04........

dfry 06-18-2011 07:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dbbd1
I was thinking about using the YJ roll bracket as a cb antenna mount.

My only advise here (not you need any) is you'll probably need to run a good ground wire to the antenna, as I can't think of anything on the carrier that's directly mounted to frame without paint and/or powder coating acting as an insulator. I could be wrong. It's happened once before.

UnlimitedLJ04 06-19-2011 05:35 PM

well i got mine installed. overall I give a 7.5/10.

Pros: It's solid once you get it installed. Overall a good design. Reasonable price.

Cons: Top hinge bracket was missing from kit. A few bolts, washers and nuts were missing. The hardware included sucks. I had to buy a die ($20) to chase the 3/4"-10 bolt, cause it wouldn't thread into anything. The 3/4" nut was also burred up bad enough I couldn't use it - had to buy a new Grade 8 nut. Also had to buy a die for the 1/2-20 UNF bolt, since that was also burred up a bit. Overall, the rest of the hardware is worthless. Geoff needs to take a trip to McGuckins up in Boulder and compare their hardware with real Grade 8. When installing the nutsert (03-06 only), the bolt needed to suck the nutsert down was 1/4" too short, and I ended up destroying the nutsert & bolt. Luckily, an extra was included and I used a longer 1/4" bolt I had to get the nutsert installed. The threads on the 3/8"x3" hinge bolts & nylocks are poorly cut and I'll be replacing them ASAP -actually cross threaded one just trying to test mount brackets. The tub side mounting bracket hardware also crap & too short. I had to drive to the hardware store 1/3 the way through the install to get new hardware. I didn't even use the Bestop flat washers. I bought new Grade 8 5/16" mounting hardware and the only 3/8"x3" bolt (for hinge) the ACE had in stock. Honestly, I'd still buy it if it was $20 more, but included nice Grade 8 hardware....because you gotta spend at least $20 on new hardware anyway.

Word of advice - read the instructions carefully, but don't pay too much attention to the measurements for the hinge brackets. Get the tailgate brackets mounted, then mock everything up, with the hinges. You can then line everything up, and use a center punch to mark the outside hinge screw hole. Unmount everything, drill that one hole, then remount everything and tighten the hinge bracket down. Then unmount everything, center punch & drill the second hole, and remount everything to line it up, loosen the bracket, retighten. Repeat this for top and bottom brackets. This method made the tire swing really nice, but the Bestop instructions had the measurements maybe 1/8" or so off. I also black siliconed the holes drilled in the tub. Make sure to use the drill bit sizes the instructions suggest, and always drill a pilot hole with a 3/16" or smaller bit. If you don't have the 11/32 bit, get one...don't try to use a 5/16", the burrs left from the bit will prevent the bolts from fitting.

s3nt3nc3d 06-19-2011 05:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dfry (Post 1314918)
Also, and maybe I didn't read the instructions correctly, I bolted my upper backing plate on top of the sport bar. I figured with the cut out on it that was the way it installed. Hmmmmm.... Maybe my instructions were different.

Or maybe I didn't read my instructions right...:whistling:

Now I'm gonna have to go download them and see if I'm an idiot. That may also make the holes line up............we shall see soon enough. If you catch my new thread about patching my rust holes, the upper backing plate will be getting removed soon so I can get those holes fixed and then I'll see how things line up. If they do line up better I'll be raising my score...after I press the bracket back into shape...

Edit: ARGH... I'm an idiot. Well, when I get a chance to press the bracket back straight, I'll let you know if it lines up better. lol

Geoff@Bestop 06-20-2011 09:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtalar (Post 1315576)
Not meaning to dissapoint you Geoff@Bestop but my rig is a TJ 04........

AWESOME! Far from disappointed. You mentioned seeing it on a JK, and then said: "Installation was very easy and only took about an hour" which I guess made me assume incorrectly.

For most of us, this install will take more than an hour, and most of us won't describe it as "very easy." But I very much like that it was for you!

s3nt3nc3d 06-20-2011 11:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Geoff@Bestop (Post 1318435)
For most of us, this install will take more than an hour, and most of us won't describe it as "very easy." But I very much like that it was for you!

Agreed on time requirements...especially if you have a stubborn vehicle that wants to strip the bolts out as you try to remove them....:facepalm:

As far as difficulty goes, I think anyone who has the ability to read and follow directions with a little common sense can do this install without too much trouble provided they have access to a decent set of tools. On a difficulty scale I'd give it like a 4 or 5/10.

dfry 06-20-2011 03:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by s3nt3nc3d
As far as difficulty goes, I think anyone who has the ability to read and follow directions with a little common sense can do this install without too much trouble provided they have access to a decent set of tools. On a difficulty scale I'd give it like a 4 or 5/10.

X2. I was just getting ready to type the same thing...but work got in the way, and just now getting back. I'm fairly well mechanically inclined and have a few decent tools. I'm not easily put off by installations such as this. I've never removed an engine, trans, or axle...yet, but that's primarily because I don't have the larger tools, like an engine hoist, and most things I have do by myself with zero help.

For me, not counting the problems with the torx bolts, it was an enjoyable experience and when done, and each time I use it, it puts a smile on my face knowing I DID IT MYSELF!! Then again, I smile each time I gaze toward my Jeep.

TJDave 07-03-2011 02:23 PM

Just installed mine last night, and part of today. Like mentioned above, the hardware was the only difficulty I had with my install. But, I made a trip to the hardware store and stocked up on some grade 8 bolts in the sizes provided with the kit.
Did anyone catch a glimpse of that grade 8 bolt on the Bestop TJ video? On the top passenger side mount when they open the tailgate. Only for a second, but I swear it is a gold head on that bolt. I find that very interesting.;)
The jack nut was a big PITA also. Had to oil and work the threads with a pair pliars, a new longer grade 8 bolt, and a wrench until it went in and out smooth enough to attempt installation. Good thing they gave me two!
I also ignored the measurements provided and used the methods suggested above (mock-up, center punch, remove, drill, mock-up, center punch, remove, drill, install bracket). Tedious, but well worth the effort. Holes all lined up, and the carrier swings easily.

Now that it is all together, I am very happy with it. Love the design, it works great, and no rattles.

TJDave 07-05-2011 11:58 AM

Here's a couple pics.

http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/j...1309880698.jpg
http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/j...1309880702.jpg

s3nt3nc3d 07-05-2011 12:07 PM

Looks good! I'm gonna try and get my spare mounted and balanced today so I can get it on my tire carrier...thats one of the last things I've got left to do.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:29 AM.