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Old March 29th, 2012, 10:22
frijolee frijolee is offline
NAXJA Forum User
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Tustin, CA
Posts: 377
Re: Joel's multipurpose XJ build (rocks/boulevard)

Thanks for the compliments all. Please keep the advice coming. I got into engineering because of my love of wrenching so my vehicles tend to progress slowly over time. E.G. the RX7 recently went widebody.

Spare Tire Carrier:

One of the first orders of business was what I could do about the full sized spare. A spare’s not doing me any good if I don’t carry it with me but when I purchased the vehicle it only fit lying down in the back and that seemed to take up the whole trunk.

Did a bunch of poking around, looked at some pre-fabbed units but didn’t find what I was looking for. I ended going the DIY route using a 1750 lb trailer spindle kit with sleeve (<- liked that because it made integration into my existing bumper easier.)

Lots of folks seems to be using 3/16 wall tubing but that seems crazy heavy given I’d drag on my bumper before I hit this. I went with a couple sticks of 2x2x0.125” tubing and doubled up the section at the pivot.

Should vastly improve the moment of inertia where the bending is highest at the base of the cantilever. I also ground all the critical welds smooth to get rid of any notch factor and improve fatigue life. I also have a limit strap (black and yellow webbing sticking out in the above shot) to keep it from over rotating.

Latch is a DeStaCo 344-R w/ redundant safety catch.

Only downside I’ve found is that the red rubber handle deteriorates slowly in the sun. It faded to pink and then started exuding black sticky crap. I just scrape it with a blade periodically and it’s been fine.

The key twist to my carrier: I designed it to use two positions. I can rock the spare down low when I’m driving on the street so it doesn’t mess up rear visibility but then rig it up high when I’m out wheeling so I don’t compromise departure angles.



The tire interface portion is held on via two large bolts interfacing to three holes w/ crush sleeves so all I have to do is loosen one, pull the other and then flip the assembly upside down.

Naturally the license plate holder is reversible as well.

I don’t have a good picture of it installed but I found a pretty cool little product for the license plate light. It’s one less reason to get pulled over at night and LED’s bring out my inner ricer.

Definitely happy with the end result. It’s within a 1/2” of the hatch, both down and at the license plate molding. Random shot on the trails to give you an idea how tight this is to the bumper…

Jeep flexes well, albeit I keep knocking off the rear fender flares. I probably have some additional trimming coming. The build was just me and chop saw (plus an angle grinder to notch the bumper). Definitely had fun figuring out all the angles to handle the horizontal jog to help keep it tucked tight. Had a friend with a TIG burn it all together for me.

BTW: Props to Luke from Frontier 4x4 (glad you found me fella) for the initial build. I didn’t buy this 2000 miles from home for nothing.

Last edited by frijolee; March 29th, 2012 at 10:32.
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