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Fullsize Spare Solution

Posted in How To: Wheels Tires on January 1, 2012
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If you wheel a fullsize pickup then you might think carrying a spare tire is an easy thing to do. After all, most stock trucks are equipped with a fullsize spare from the factory, right? But what do you do when your truck’s tires are much larger than the factory cleats? Sure, you have a 6-foot bed you could just toss it in, but once the tire is back there how are you going to secure it? And what about all of that valuable bed space you just lost?

Tossing the spare tire in the bed for road trips and around town driving might work OK, but when you’re blasting through the mud or rolling in the rocks you’re going to need something to anchor it down so it doesn’t fly out and hurt you or your truck. The Tire Gate by Wilco Products is an excellent solution.

The Tire Gate is an entirely bolt-on spare tire mounting system that replaces your pickup’s factory tailgate. Available in a vertical, horizontal, and Pre-Runner series, the Tire Gate is designed to hold up to a 40-inch-tall spare tire. We recently got the opportunity to install one of Wilco’s Pre-Runner series gates on our buddy’s ’07 Nissan Titan. Seeing how the Titan runs 35-inch treads and the OE tailgate was in pretty rough shape from years of wheeling and use, the Tire Gate was a stylish and worthwhile upgrade for the 1⁄2-ton.

The installation took less than an hour, and we found the heavy-duty spare tire system to be both well built and easy to use. For a complete line of Tire Gate products and applications check them out on the web at

Most factory tailgates don’t require any tools to remove, although you will need to unbolt the latching hardware and straps from the bed. With the stock hardware discarded you’ll insert the new metal pivot bushings into the Tire Gate’s lower brace bar. The bar bushings fit over the tailgate’s original lower hinges.

The carrier side mounts come with new Grade 8 hardware and bolt into the existing bedside mounting holes. No drilling or bed modification was necessary on our Titan.

The Tire Gate comes with bushings installed at each corner of the rack. One side of the rack is equipped with slotted bushings, while the other has a centered hole. The slotted side allows for the quick-release pins to drop easily in place, while the opposite bushings keep it firmly secured.

The Tire Gate doubles as a swing-out tire carrier so you can easily access parts and cargo in your bed. There are even jack and accessory mounts available for those looking to secure a few more items.

The Tire Gate is capable of holding up to a 40-inch-tall spare tire. To anchor the tire down, it uses a Y-handle quick-turn bar that threads into the base of the rack. The handle of the bar applies pressure to the heavy-duty rim wedge to keep items from shifting around. And to prevent would-be thieves from running off with your spare, Tire Gate includes a Master Lock cable to thread through the welded cable rings. The lock is sold separately.

Since we mounted our Pre-Runner series gate outward, we didn’t lose any valuable bed space. The Pre-Runner series can be easily flipped around for an inboard-style mount as well. Both inboard and outboard mounting styles allow you to swing the gate out. The entire install took us less than an hour. Arriving in a nice semigloss black finish with all required hardware, the 2-inch-diameter steel Tire Gate is a stylish and functional upgrade that works great to keep your tire in place without any strange rattles or clunks.

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