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Old 01-07-2020, 05:52 PM
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My first Jeep problem - advice?

My first Jeep problem has cropped up. I have large tires on my Jeep. 34's. I have an external carrier on the back for the spare. I had been noticing that there was a lot of movement coming from that spare, and it was starting to affect the rest of the ride after each "bump" in the road. We have a lot of bumps here, and, with those big tires, and lift, it's not supposed to ride like a cadillac! Anyway, my curiosity got the better of me one day, and after I got home I took a look at the spare. I gave it a wiggle. It's HEAVY, and I'm not a champion weight trainer, but I could totally wiggle it. What I noticed was that it wasn't just a wiggle, it was twisting the bumper. It's already put enough of a twist in the bumper that when I open the back door, the corner of the door scrapes on the bumper. So, in the interest of preserving things, I simply took the spare tire off for now. Still, I'm going to need a way to replace that carrier with something that can actually handle the weight of the spare without wrecking something else on MY JEEP! I'm not looking for a sales pitch, but some honest thoughts or advice on what to do, what not to do, what to watch out for, etc.


Thank you folks! I truly do appreciate your thoughts! I also have a couple of photos of the current carrier. If that will make any difference, drop me a note and I'll put them up here on the thread.

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Old 01-07-2020, 06:15 PM   #2
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Which tire carrier and bumper is it? I would like to see some photos because it might be an install issue. Or not a complete setup.

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Old 01-07-2020, 06:16 PM   #3
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How does your current setup mount? does the carrier mount to the bumper? Does it mount to the tailgate?


The teraflex HD Hinge is a solid setup if you are looking for something to simply reinforce the hinge and provide a mounting location. It allows for easy one hand opening of the tailgate without having to unlatch any sort of external tire carrier. A benefit is also that you can then choose any bumper that you want. Smittybilt and Rugged Ridge also make a similar setup.


I have a bumper/tire carrier combo that i have been happy with. Havoc is the brand. Was relatively cheap, the tire carrier integrates to the bumper and the tailgate so it is still one handed opening.
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:53 AM
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Picture of the tire carrier

Here is what I have for a tire carrier, please pardon my mud.

I'm not sure what the brand is just now. But the carrier does mount directly onto the bumper, as shown on the right side of the photo. The lever on the left side allows one to swing the tire carrier out, and then you can operate the back door separately. Not a one step operation. Even now, with the tire off, you have to negotiate with the simple lever closure on the carrier to get it to line up properly such that you can secure it. At no point does the carrier mount to or connect to the back door of the Jeep.
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Old 01-08-2020, 12:12 PM   #5
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There are a number of ways to address this. As mentioned before, the Teraflex hinge reenfocement mount would work. There are several companies that make similar ones. I run epithet AEV rear bumper with swing arm tire carrier. Single had operation as it's linked to the tailgate. Very sturdy. I'm running 315 70 17 tires and there is no movement. I also have their aux fuel tanks which mounts "inside" the spare giving you 10 extra gallons. I've been using this setup for over 5 years with lots of off roading and rock crawling and don't have any issue with movement or bending. Not real cheap though. You can get from Quadratec.com. Good luck.
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Old 01-08-2020, 01:39 PM   #6
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That is an upgraded tire carrier. But not all upgraded tire carriers are equal. The AEV bumper / tire carrier that @Kraxler mentioned is really nice. That is what we have as well. It is solid.
But I suspect that is not what you need to know. You likely want to try to fix / secure the one you have. I would start by taking it apart and seeing where the play is originating from. Clearly it should not have that amount of play. It may be something just needs to be tightened down, but more likely something is worn out and needs replacing (like the bushing it pivots on).
Perhaps someone will see this that also has the same brand tire carrier and can give you better advice.
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:54 PM
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Nothing lasts forever...

Thank you for the advice so far! It is honestly appreciated. Nothing lasts forever, and I'm not above just replacing the carrier. It has already annoyed me, and twisted my bumper. I LIKE the bumper, just not the spare carrier. If the end result is a sturdier, tougher, and better operating device, then that's what I shall look into. I will look at any of the brands/models you recommend. I liked the idea too of the gas can addition. Ran into a bit of an exciting moment in that area once already. No repeat is really necessary!


Thank you all, any further comments/advice/ideas are still most welcome!!
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Old 01-08-2020, 03:38 PM   #8
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Here is what I think is happening. I bet there is play in the spindle. To check this, open the carrier and try to lift it up and down. I am betting you will see at least a half inch movement at the latch side. That would allow for the tires weight to shift. I bet that caused the whole bumper to pivot. If you look at where it bolts to the frame I am going to bet you see the powder coat or paint is all messed up around the bolts.

This might be correctable by loosening the bolts on both sides of the frame then placing a jack under the bumper to correct the position and then tighten them down to around 75ft lbs. As for the spindle I would need some more pics to help you figure out how to tighten it. But in general there is likely a large nut below it and an equally large nut just under the top cover. Sometimes they don't get tightened enough at install, sometimes you there are poor tolerances and you need to add a washer(sometimes several) so the spindle can preload the bearings.
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Old 01-09-2020, 10:42 AM
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Sounds like a weekend adventure in the garage is in order. Thank you for the advice! I'll start taking it apart and see how much travel there is in that thing, and how I might be able to tighten it up.


Thank you everyone!
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Old 01-09-2020, 12:03 PM   #10
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If it cant be fixed and you want to pull it. It is very likely that the top cap of the spindle will plug the hole in the bumper.

I would recommend going the route of a hinge reinforcement and an aftermarket carrier that attaches to the tail gate. There are single action bumper/carrier combos but you will spend way more on those to get one that is reliable out of the box and will last a long time. But if you want to add more capacity back there, like for gas cans and a highlift mount and 37" tires. You should go the full bumper and carrier route. But even with 35s you could add a gas can or a highlift mount on the hinge.

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