Jeep Wrangler Tire Carrier Test - CurriePosted in How To: Wheels Tires on July 20, 2007 Comment (0)
Model number(s): CE-9173W
Price As Tested: 679.95
Material (Bumper): Formed 3/16" plate
Material (Carrier): 2x3 -3/16" and 2x2-1/8" wall tube
Latch Type: Spring loaded pin style
Hinge Type: Solid Post, grease lubricated
Hinge Hold Open: Yes, via friction in hinge style
Recovery Points: None
Receiver Hitch: Yes- non-tow rated
Hi-Lift mount: No
Frame Tie In: Yes
Max Tire Rating: 40" (per John Currie)
Available Optional Items: 5 on 4-1/2 mount and 5 on 5-1/2 mount available. Currie Center Mount Stop Light
Finish: Semi Gloss Black Powder Coating
Instruction Rating (1-5 high): 3
Installation Notes: Tabs on bottom of bumper needed bending so holes in cross member would align with holes in bumper. Bolting from the inside of the cross member is a PITA, nuts would be easier. Instructions call for removing body mount, not necessary. Bending of pinch seam needed for no body lift to run frame tie in. Needed to buy metal screws and washers, and then reuse rubber bumpers from stock tailgate. We used almost 1" worth of washers to properly space the rubber bumpers per instructions. Instructions state, "leave bumper loose and then install tire carrier": In reality, the bolts aren't long enough to leave "loose" (we did, but needed a hammer).
Tools Needed: Drill, ratchet, assortment of sockets, ratchet wrenches, combination wrenches, pry bar, BFH, lug wrench.
Usage Rating: 3
Usage Notes: Latch is designed with about 3/8" clearance and will rattle if rubber snubbers from stock tailgate aren't reused. Bolts used to tighten hinge appear too short. The more they are tightened, the harder the carrier is to open. When tightened to comfortable opening tension (force needed), the nuts fall off the bolt during everyday driving due to the bolt not engaging nylon in the nylock. When tightened so the bolts engage the nylock, opening and closing becomes a two handed operation. The carrier strikes the face of the bumper upon closing with a 33" tire and proper adjustment of tension on the hinge, but doesn't without the tire.
Rattle Rating (1-5 [5 being rattled the least]): 4
Vibration Rating (1-5 [5 being vibrated none at all]): 4
Rattle and Vibration Notes: Will rattle without rubber snubbers properly installed. Also, if your tailgate rattles now, it will rattle once the snubbers are properly installed albeit much less so. All in all, we were pleased with how little this bumper vibrated, but that latch did rattle, despite our best adjustment efforts.
Perceived Durability (1-5 high): 4
Perceived Durability Notes: As simple as it is, it should last quite a while. While our tailgate did rattle before, it rattles less now, and with the adjustment in the hinge, should maintain that level of rattle until we destroy the bumper in rescue operations. Concerned about the 3/16" base material, and over time the latch will most likely egg out it's hole. Also, when abused in winching or especially snatching applications due to the receiver being the only attachment option, concerned about the bumper twisting and tweaking... or twisting the rear cross member. Also, with the snubbers mounted to the carrier, there will inevitably be damage to the tailgate paint. In rust environments, this could become a problem. And, with the base of the carrier striking the bumper with tire, but not without, something is flexing under the weight of a 33. We suspect it's the bumper itself flexing, and eventually if you flex steel enough, it will give.