Jeep Wrangler Tire Carrier Test - OlympicPosted in How To: Wheels Tires on July 20, 2007
Olympic 4x4 Products:
Model number(s): 553-11X (57" Rock rear bumper with hitch for YJ), 700 (tire swing), 707 (HD tire mount)
Price As Tested: 549.75 (199.99 (bumper), 289.99 (carrier), 59.77 (HD mount))
Material (Bumper): Formed 7 gauge steel plate
Material (Carrier): 2.5"x0.120 wall tube
Latch Type: 3/4 inch removable pin
Hinge Type: 1" diameter allen headed bolt
Hinge Hold Open: none
Recovery Points: None
Receiver Hitch: Yes
Hi-Lift mount: No
Frame Tie In: on bottom of bumper to frame
Max Tire Rating: 36"
Available Optional Items: cargo rack, Finish: Black wrinkle powder coat
Instruction Rating (1-5 high): 3
Installation Notes: There were a lot of parts to be bolted together. Had problems getting the "hinge" through both holes (had to whack at it with a hammer, thanks to the powdercoating). If you just start assembly per the instructions that come with the components, you will end up with the bumper mounted before the carrier is on. Read all directions first, and then start. The carrier mounting plates need to be bolted to the bumper, then mount the swing out arm, then mount the plates for the "latch", then and only then should the bumper be mounted to the Jeep. Due to the modular nature of this system,
Tools Needed: Simple hand tools, and liberal use of a hammer
Usage Rating: 3
Usage Notes: The first thing noticed was that the tire hits the body before the swing away is open all the way, which means that for YJ and TJ guys with the swing-open door-style tailgate, the tailgate will no longer open all the way.
Rattle Rating (1-5 [being rattled the least]): 2
Vibration Rating (1-5 [5 being vibrated none at all]): 3
Rattle and Vibration Notes: While the swing arm started out tight, as the powder coating on the plates that the hinge rests on and the coating on the "latch" pin wore, we noticed it got looser. Also, even though lock washers were used to assemble, the hinge plate bolts (the ones behind the bumper) still worked themselves loose, resulting in a lot of rattling, which required us to remove the whole bumper, locktite the nuts, replace a nut that had worked itself completely loose, and then put the bumper back on. The bumper started off a 5, with no rattling at all, and ended with a 2, with much of the 5000 miles it saw being miles that it rattled.
Perceived Durability Rating (1-5 high): 2
Perceived Durability Notes: The latch pin, over time, became so loose that it could be popped out from the bottom with no effort at all. By the end of testing, we were concerned that it would just jump out on the road, after hitting a bump. It never did, but was certainly a possibility. The crinkle type powder coat is neat to look at, but after a few trips through the mud, it just wasn't coming clean as it should: the mud stuck to it really really well. Overall, we put just under 5000 miles on this setup, had to remove it once to retighten, and by the end of the testing cycle it was showing significant signs of wear.