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Tire Carrier With a hoist

Posted in How To: Wheels Tires on July 27, 2015
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Having a bad back makes for some interesting problems. Those problems generally require some interesting solutions. Anyone with a disability or a permanent health problem will be able to sympathize. On our ’11 JK, we had installed Corbeau seats and harnesses to account for body movement. They did an awesome job in controlling those side-to-side rocking movements that happen off-road. With our driver’s comfort taken care of, the next thing we had to look at was being able to get our 37-inch spare tire down off the mount. We know that a lot of people just don’t carry a spare, but we didn’t want to be “that guy.” A lot of our trips with this Jeep take us to some very out-of-the-way places where it would be a very long round-trip to replace a destroyed tire. The problem is that our tire and wheel combination weighs over 150 pounds. That’s well beyond what our driver’s back can take trying to lift that tire on and off the mount. What we needed was some way to add some mechanical advantage into the mix.

Discussing options among friends and coworkers, we kept returning to the idea of using a small electric winch as a hoist. Doing that would require a tire carrier that could not only handle the weight but was built in a way that we could modify it to hold a winch above the tire. We took a look around at the available tire carrier options and decided that the only real option was a cage-style mount. A call to GenRight Offroad got us set up with their swing-away tire carrier.

The way the GenRight unit mounts to the Jeep is strong and solid, and it has a large weight capacity and is secure. We deduced that a single mounting bolt through the wheel center hole would be a much easier method to swing a tire than using multiple lugs. We found a Warn V2000 winch that is designed for use on side-by-sides or all-terrain-vehicles, and with a 2000-pound capacity, it has more than enough guts to lift our 150-pound spare tire/wheel combo. The trick was going to be making a mount for the winch that could withstand the load of the tire and winch but not be overly large or heavy. A simple piece of tubing welded to the rear hoop of the carrier, with a flat plate to mount the winch on, turned out to be strong enough, while only adding a minimum of weight to the GenRight tire carrier.

Luckily for us, GenRight Offroad was willing to help us install the carrier. Getting the mounting-hole locations right and making sure that everything is properly aligned wasn’t difficult, but having experience in installing these carriers definitely helped. It’s a well-designed tire carrier, capable of carrying up to a 42-inch tire. It bore than beefy enough to handle our 37-inch Kanati Mudhogs.
Drilling the holes and removing the hinge pin from the factory hinges are really the hardest parts of the install. Because the GenRight design uses half of the factory tailgate hinge, you have to remove the pin. After we ground the head of the pin off, we used a hammer and punch to knock the rest of it out. The body-side half of the factory hinge was replaced by the GenRight carrier mount bracket.
Next, the real fun began: We made up a mount for our Warn V2000 ATV winch and welded it in place. We set the winch a few inches high so we should have room if we eventually go to a 40-inch tire. While we were at it, we also got creative with a license plate delete kit from GenRight.
After we finished painting it, the tire carrier went on so we could start wiring it up. Along with the winch, we were added a quick-disconnect jumper cable plug, two white KC HiLiTES Cyclone LED lights as rock lights, and three red Cyclones as a third brake light. For applications such as this, we always recommend soldering the wire connections— off-road vehicles are high-vibration environments and the middle-of-nowhere is not the place to have wiring come loose.
To keep things simple, we mounted the switch right next to the winch. The switch is meant to be on the handlebars of an all-terrain-vehicle, so it’s about as compact as can be. As an added measure of security, we wired the relay activation wire to our rock lights. This way the winch can’t be used unless the rock lights are turned on.
Our brainstorming has come to fruition. We still have to pull the tire away from the mount, but there is no lifting involved. One thing we didn’t take into account was how easily the tire carrier swings. Yeah, we know; it was dumb mistake, but even we make them from time to time. A short chain was added after this story was completed to keep the carrier open when we’re hoisting the tire.

Sources

GenRight Off-Road
Simi Valley, CA 93063
805-584-8635
www.genright.com
KC Hilites
Williams, AZ 86046
928-635-2486
www.kchilites.com

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