Jeep Wrangler Tire Carrier Test - Rock HardPosted in How To: Wheels Tires on July 20, 2007
Rock Hard 4x4:
Model number(s): RH2001-C
Price As Tested: $729.95
Material (Bumper): 3/16-inch wall 2x4 steel square tube
Material (Carrier): 1/8-inch wall and 3/16-inch wall 2x2 square tube
Latch Type: double safety latch
Hinge Type: Tapered Roller Bearing
Hinge Hold Open: Yes, automatic
Recovery Points: Yes, CNC D-Ring shackle mounts
Receiver Hitch: Yes, Class 2 rated
Hi-Lift mount: Yes
Frame Tie In: Optional
Max Tire Rating: 38 inch
Available Optional Items: Left and Right side gas can mounts, cargo rack, third brake light, license plate mounting plate, Frame tie-in
Finish: gloss black powder coat
Instruction Rating (1-5 high): 2
Installation Notes: The instructions weren't misleading really, in a perfect world they would have been right on the money. However, this is the world of Jeep, and we ended up having to hog out the holes in the rear crossmember so the bolts would thread into the bumper straight, without cross threading. We needed a hammer to get the aluminum piece into the end of the tire carrier at the latch. The latch mechanism itself was a little tricky to get together, but after re-reading the directions, went together fine. If the directions had pictures, it would have been clearer. Instead, there is a single page, single spaced sheet with words that directs you to the website for pictures, and that procedure easily doubles the time to put the bumper assembly together and on the Jeep. We also had to add a bunch of washers to get the reused stock rubber bumper. While we did need more washers than we would have if the tailgate was straight, we still would've needed more than were included, even with a straight tailgate.
Tools Needed: Normal hand tools, a computer on the internet, hammer, and rat tail file
Usage Rating: 5
Usage Notes: The latch mechanism, while a little trick is awesome to use. Also, the beefy stop for the swing arm, and hold open mechanism worked flawlessly. The bearing loaded hinge made for effortless opening and closing. The bar across the tailgate really helped with the tailgate rattling, and made for a good brace for the swingout. We did catch the spare tire on a few obstacles, thanks to how far off the bumper it sat. We didn't damage anything, as it was only a few times, but the possibility is there for damage to occur.
Rattle Rating (1-5 [being rattled the least]): 4.5
Vibration Rating (1-5 [5 being vibrated none at all]): 4.5
Rattle and Vibration Notes: Going into it, we thought it was going to rattle a lot, thanks to how far out the tire is from the carrier. However, while it did vibrate a little bit, there weren't any rattles, except for large undulations in the freeway, and some higher speed washboard runs.
Perceived Durability Rating (1-5 high): 5
Perceived Durability Notes: With a door-striker style latch, a swing-arm stop that has more metal in it than most new cars, a beefy hold open bolt, and top end reinforcement on the hinge, this thing should last longer than your Jeep. Our only two concerns were that we caught that rear tire when departing a few obstacles, and the way it bolts on. We aren't concerned about the bumper itself, but rather the Jeep it is attached to giving way. We'd like to see some bigger and better frame mounting points, but that is our only gripe with this bumper. The single shear on this bumper isn't an issue, as the hinge pin is press fit through the bumper and welded to the bottom. What this means is no crystallization of the metal on the top of the bumper.