Jeep Wrangler Tire Carrier Test - MOREPosted in How To: Wheels Tires on July 20, 2007 Comment (0)
Mountain Off Road Enterprises:
Model number(s): JRB900
Price As Tested: $950.00
Material (Bumper): Formed 7 gauge steel plate
Material (Carrier): 2"x0.120 wall tube and 2x3 inch, 3/16 wall square tube
Latch Type: Pull Action Clamp
Hinge Type: Tapered Roller Bearing
Hinge Hold Open: Automatic spring loaded pin. Hold open @110 degrees and closed.
Recovery Points: (2) Shackle Mounts
Receiver Hitch: Yes, load rated
Hi-Lift mount: Yes
Frame Tie In: Sort of (see Perceived Durability)
Max Tire Rating: 37"
Available Optional Items: None but comes with a standard Hi-Lift mount.
Finish: None, shipped raw
Instruction Rating (1-5 high): 5
Installation Notes: For a tire carrier priced in this range, we really don't feel that cleaning, and painting should be needed. The carrier arrived raw, with oil on it, which we cleaned off. We then shot it with Rustoleum gloss black Stops Rust paint. It took 2.5 cans to get what we felt was a decent covering. We really like the idea of being able to get the bumper raw, for custom powercoating colors or for adding things to it, but this one isn't even offered with a finish. The instructions tell it exactly like it is, and no modifications were needed to the bumper to get it on any of our test Jeeps. However, the tie in requires removal of the rear most body mount bolts and the lower portion of the bushing. For many Jeeps, this isn't feasible. Also, this doesn't really tie the bumper into the frame, but rather another place on the crossmember and the body, we really would like a frame tie in. All hardware was included to mount the bumper. The tapered roller bearing hinge took some assembly, but no more than any other of this type. Simple hand tools can be used for the entire assembly. In fact, we painted and installed it in the parking deck of the office on the first test Jeep.
Tools Needed: Simple hand tools
Usage Rating: 5
Usage Notes: The De-Sta-Co latch holds the bumper tight and provides for easy opening. This is still a two-handed carrier in that it will take two hands to close the latch, and to open it one hand to release the safety latch (hold open) and one to actually open the carrier. That said, the effort is minimal, as is normal for a roller bearing based tire carrier. The spring loaded hold open works great in keeping the tire in place for those off camber situations. The actual tire mount is beefy with the lug mounting plate made from 1/4 inch plate and drilled to accept both 5 on 4.5 and 5 on 5.5 lug patterns. The drilling of the dual pattern is well thought out with 6 holes (two complete patterns 180 degrees from each other) rather than 5 holes with minimal material between two sets of hole. With our 31-inch tire on it, there were minimal vibrations, but once we went to a 33 or 35-inch tire, vibrations were greatly increased (about 2 inches of total oscillation). The most unique feature of this carrier is the laser cut M.O.R.E logo in the carrier itself. Unfortunately, as soon as any tire larger than 6 x 1.5 is mounted on the carrier, the logo can't be seen. Also, the bumper does a decent job of protecting the bottom corners of the body from nasty rock damage.
Rattle Rating (1-5 [5 being rattled the least] ): 5
Vibration Rating (1-5 [5 being vibrated none at all]): 3
Rattle and Vibration Notes: Surprisingly, with as much vibration as there was, there wasn't any rattling to be found. There is a composite pad on the bumper itself which the lower arm of the carrier rests on when closed which keeps vibration down. Also the pull-style clamp holds the carrier tight and has plenty of adjustment to keep it that way. The hinge too, is adjustable to preload the bearings, which keeps vibration away there.
Perceived Durability Rating (1-5 high): 3
Perceived Durability Notes: This one is tough to call. The hinge is made with the new style hinge and corresponding larger diameter shaft means that it's much less likely to break the shaft off at the bumper over time. However, the bumper itself is what flexes, allowing all that vibration we observed. There are only so many times steel can flex before it starts fracturing. Additionally, the "frame tie-in" isn't really. It only ties into the body bolts. Over the years, we've seen plenty of rear crossmembers tear off in snatching and rescue operations. This tie in doesn't tie into the frame, just the rear crossmember and body. As such, for dropping off of rock ledges, the tie in will help keep the crossmember from ripping up from the bottom when the bumper or tire hits hard on a drop-off. However, for snatching, the tie-in brackets included with the bumper still rely on the stock thin factory crossmember and the welds holding it on. In a good snatch, that is what fails so we think this would pull the crossmember off with the added benefit of affecting the body through the rear body mounts. Also, the shackle brackets are 1/2" thick weld on shackle tabs, which don't provide for anchoring on anything but the outer piece of metal on the bumper. For straight snatches and winch pulls, this should be just fine. For angled pulls and especially snatches, depending on just how stuck you get, this could bend.