Jeep Wrangler Tire Carrier Test - A to ZPosted in How To: Wheels Tires on July 20, 2007 Comment (0)
A to Z Fabrication:
Model number(s): 200-RBTC
Price As Tested: $794.90
Material (Bumper): 3/16-inch wall 2x5 steel tube
Material (Carrier): 1/8 and 3/16-inch wall 2x2 steel tube
Latch Type: Screw-style
Hinge Type: Taper roller bearing style
Hinge Hold Open: No
Recovery Points: Yes, D-ring shackles
Receiver Hitch: Yes
Hi Lift Mount: No
Frame Tie In: Yes
Max Tire Rating: 37-inch
Available Optional Items: none
Finish: Powder coat. Standard color is black, others available at no extra charge
Instruction Rating (1-5 high): 4
Installation Notes: This bumper is retained by threading studs into the plates welded to the bumper and then putting the bumper on the Jeep. We ended up having to hold the bumper away from the Jeep in order to get the nut on and started threading the top hole on all Jeeps tested. Nothing was mentioned of removing the body mount, or the funky precarious balancing act that would be needed. If the included studs were shorter, this problem could have been averted. Aside from that, all holes lined up fine. We think that reusing a stock rubber bumper off the tailgate was intended to stop vibration, but wasn't included in the directions we had (see picture of space between tailgate and swing arm)
Tools Needed: Simple hand tools, and at least one assistant.
Usage Rating: 4
Usage Notes: The screw-type latch doesn't make it particularly easy or quick to get in and out of the tailgate, and without a hold open, or a stop, there is always the concern of the swing arm or tire swinging wide and either hitting your own Jeep, or neighboring vehicles. Also, with our 33x12.50R15 Mickey Thomson MTZ mounted on 15x10 Mickey Thomspon Classic Lock wheels, our tire didn't touch the stop mounted on the tire side of the swing out. A longer bolt (which wasn't included, nor did we have a tapered hex head bolt) and some washers would cure this problem.
Rattle Rating (1-5 [being rattle the least]): 5
Vibration Rating (1-5 [5 being vibrated none at all]): 3
Rattle and Vibration Notes: If the included stops touched the tailgate, the bumper would have vibrated less, however, since the bump stop was made out of a hard material, it would have rattled a whole lot more than it did. A possible fix would be to use one of the stock rubber pieces off the tailgate. Even though the rubber of the tire didn't hit the stop, we don't think this contributed to the vibration at all.
Perceived Durability Rating (1-5 high): 4
Perceived Durability Notes: We give this one slightly better than a middle- of the road life expectancy. While the shackle mounts are stout and welded on both sides, as is the receiver, the hinge pin is held in single shear only, which means that after X amount of vibrating down the road, the hinge pin can fatigue to the point where it breaks. We got 5000 miles out of it with no problems, and the Southern California freeways are the worst we've seen for this extreme hobby-horsing problem. Your Mileage May Vary.