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.