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Northern Virginia Jeepers Association
November 23, 2017, 02:38:10 AM

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Author Topic: Stock Tire Carrier Modification  (Read 6405 times)
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Runner
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Posts: 1727
« on: January 14, 2016, 09:11:21 AM »

I recently added a slightly larger spare tire to the Jeep (LJ/TJ) and ran into a problem with the tire hitting the third brake light housing.  A trip to Lowes resulted in a quick and easy fix, which cost under $10.

Parts required:
1. 8 - 1 x 3/8 x 3/8 nylon spacers (they come in packs of 2, so four (4) packs are needed) - the part number is P/N#88048*
2. 4 - M8 1.25 60mm bolts (they come in packs of 2, so two (2) packs are needed) - the part number is P/N#880684
3. 4 - flat washers for the M8 bolts (I didn't buy these, because I had plenty of 3/8 washers in my bolt collection)

* Item #1 can be substituted with 10 -12 3/8 washers for each hole (available in bulk at Tractor Supply), but it's a bit of a pain to keep them in alignment, and another thing to rust!)



Procedure:

1. Remove the spare tire from the carrier
2. Remove bolts (4) that hold the third brake light housing to the steel tire carrier (be careful to hold onto the plastic housing, because there isn't an easy way to disconnect the electrical connection to the third brake light)
3. Place 2 nylon spacers over each bolt hole in the steel tire carrier
4. Set the third brake light housing on the 4 sets of nylon spacers (again being careful not to let go!)
5. Install the 4 new M8 1.25 60 mm bolts, with a flat washer on top of the housing hole
6. Tighten the 4 bolts down snugly, but don't over tighten (it's plastic, so no need to over do it!)

A couple of recommendations (optional):
1. Spray the 4 original bolts with something like PB Blaster, before removing them (because they may be rusty)
2. Put anti-sieze on the four new bolts (so they don't rust in the future)
3. Consider cutting the wires (in the center of the housing) and crimping or soldering in connectors that will allow you to easily completely remove the third brake light housing in the future.  In my case I cut the wires after step #2 above, soldered in connectors, used heat shrink tubing over the connector ends, then applied dielectric grease to the connector ends so they wouldn't corrode.

Here's what the finished product looks like, which gains you almost an additional 1" of height:



 Cheers
 

   

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2004 Wrangler Unlimited - "Owning a Jeep is a sickness. However, it's one I'll gladly endure!"
my95yj
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2016, 09:22:33 AM »

Runner,
Nice write up - I did something similar back in the day when I still used the tailgate; since putting the Garvin bumper/rack on I haven't run the 3rd brake light, keep waiting for VA to force my hand.
-W

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'95 YJ
Safari Jeep XJ
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Remember that 2012 Winter Ride? Yeah...
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2016, 10:43:23 AM »


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1990 XJ Laredo
Renix 4.0L, AX-15, NP231J
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"He'sa comin' down from the Cumberland Gap to Johson City, Tennessee..."
sticksout
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Posts: 1910
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2016, 12:56:32 PM »

Cool, thanks Runner...I'll be doing this to mine shortly since my 33" spare is still sitting in the backyard. Don't remember, but on your blue LJ do you have the stock 3rd brake light or the circle type that fits in the center of the wheel?

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2001 TJ Sahara - black
Runner
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2016, 01:39:44 PM »

Cool, thanks Runner...I'll be doing this to mine shortly since my 33" spare is still sitting in the backyard. Don't remember, but on your blue LJ do you have the stock 3rd brake light or the circle type that fits in the center of the wheel?

The blue one has a UCF rear bumper and tire carrier, so the third brake light is in the center bore of the tire. 

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2004 Wrangler Unlimited - "Owning a Jeep is a sickness. However, it's one I'll gladly endure!"
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