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Rugged Ridge Spartacus HD Tire Carrier (97-06 Jeep Wrangler TJ)

Item J108255
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Market Price $459.99 You Save 13% ($60.00)
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$399.99 (kit)

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      Video Review & Installation

      The Rugged Ridge Spartacus HD Tire Carrier Kit is for those of you that have a 1997 to 2006 TJ or LJ that are looking for a tire carrier that is going to be tub mounted for a larger spare. This is going to be a piece that installs very easily onto your Jeep. Definitely a one out of three wrench installation, and I'll show you exactly how to do that in just a second. So, if you are looking to mount a larger than factory spare tire in the factory location, you can run into a couple of different issues. One, you can wear out those factory hinges by having a lot more weight on the tailgate, the tailgate itself can start to break down, or the tire carrier, which is really only designed for the weight of a factory spare, can also start to break down due to metal fatigue from a much larger and heavier spare tire. So those are three issues that can happen to the tailgate and tire carrier area. But that's if you can even get your big spare tire on that factory mount. If you have a big 35, even some 33s, you may end up with the tire hitting on the bumper, where you can't close the tailgate completely. Even if you can close the tailgate completely, your back spacing wheel width and tire width are going to be different, so it may or may not make proper contact with the snubbers on the tailgate to keep everything from moving and torquing around. So, there's just a lot of different issues when you're putting a big, heavy aftermarket spare tire in the factory location. So, solutions to those problems are either a tub-mounted tire carrier like we're gonna talk about today, or a bumper-mounted tire carrier. The only downside, if you wanna call it that, to a bumper-mounted tire carrier is that they have to go hand-in-hand. They have to work together. You can't buy this carrier and this bumper. You need to buy them together, or at least from the same manufacturer that are designed to work together. With a setup like this, you can install a tire carrier on the tub of the Jeep and install any bumper you want to, because you don't need it to come with a tire carrier. So it gives you a little bit more freedom there. Another big benefit to a setup like this is that you can open the tailgate in one motion with one hand. When you have a bumper-mounted tire carrier, you first have to open the tire carrier, then the tailgate. With this setup, with the factory latch, the factory lock, you just open it. Everything opens at the same time. Now, that might not seem like a huge deal, but if you use that cargo area of your TJ on a regular basis, you put a lot of stuff back there often, this is going to be a big benefit to you. So, there are quite a few different benefits to running a setup like this one. I like this in particular because it's a combination of aluminum and steel. This piece here, which is a lot of metal, is aluminum, which helps to keep it a little bit more lightweight, but means it's still going to be very, very strong for you. This completely replaces the hinges, as well as spreading out the load across the tailgate. So, again, making everything much stronger, and then it also comes with this piece here, which is your tire mount itself. So this is going to be very heavy-duty. It is going to sit up a little bit higher, so you can mount a bigger 35 without the tire contacting the bumper. And it's just all about strength here. This is going to be strong enough to not fatigue and break down like that factory carrier might. Now, this is not going to be adjustable height-wise. You can't move the tire up and down, which generally I like. I wanna be able to mount my tire as low as possible, giving me the maximum visibility out the back window. So, that is one thing that is lacking on this that some of the bumper-mounted tire carriers are going to have. But it's a small price to pay for a setup that is very well built and very, very complete. This whole kit comes in right around $400. And I do call it a kit because it's really two separate pieces that you can buy from Rugged Ridge. If you buy them together in the kit, you're not really gonna save a ton of money, but it is a one-stop shop. It's going to solve all three of those problems of trying to mount a bigger spare in the factory location. For $400, I think this is a pretty good deal. You're going to get some good strength out of this. You're gonna get something that works really well, and is just a benefit for all the reasons that we mentioned before. Flexibility with your bumper purchase, one-handed opening and closing, a lot of strength, creating additional space. So I think this is a pretty good buy at $400. Now, I mentioned before that this is a pretty easy installation. We're gonna show you exactly how to do that right now. Tony: Tools used for this installation are as follows. We have a small impact driver and ratchet. A T40 and T27 Torx bit, a 13-millimeter socket, an 18-millimeter socket, and an 18-millimeter wrench. All right, now let's get started with the installation of our new tire carrier, and to do that we gotta remove our spare tire and our original tire carrier on our Jeep. Now, the tire carrier you're gonna see me remove from this Jeep does have an extension piece on it built, so you can have our bigger tire. But well, it's little outdated so we're gonna go ahead and update it with our new heavy-duty tire carrier for our TJ. All right, now we're ready to remove our stock tire carrier, and yes, you do see the spacer on here that we had equipped before on it. And while this is great, when you wanna move up to a bigger, heavier tire, it's time to strengthen up your whole tailgate. So, we're gonna begin by removing this one using a 13-millimeter socket on the three top bolts and the two lower ones. Now, your Jeep may also be equipped with a factory third brake light still, in which we're gonna have to go ahead and clip the wire on that because we're gonna have to extend it out. Now, the kit comes with the extension pieces for that, but we'll get to that later. Now, with the use of a T27 Torx bit, we're gonna go ahead and remove the rubber stoppers on the passenger side of our tailgate, because they're gonna be in the way of our new hinge. All right, now using a T40 Torx bit, we're gonna go ahead and remove the four Torx bit that holds each of our hinges onto our vehicle. There's gonna be two on the tailgate itself, one out on the outside of the hinge, on the body. And then once you flip the hinge open, you'll see another one hidden behind here. All right, now we're ready to go ahead and get our new hinge and tailgate reinforcement in place, and I highly recommend getting the help from a friend to do this because just a second set of hands will make it a lot easier with the weight of our new reinforcement. To line up the nut plates that are in the body it's gonna be a little wonky trying to hold this up in place and get those nuts in at the same time. So I'm gonna go ahead and get the help of a friend to assist me with doing this, so just follow along. Now, we're gonna insert the new bolts that come in our kit in our body first, and then we'll move over to our tailgate itself, and we're gonna use a 13-millimeter socket on a small extension to get those into place, because they're in slightly tight areas, and my hands are a little bit big to get in there with just my fingers. Once we have it all lined up, we're gonna make sure that the alignment on our tailgate is good, and we're gonna tighten everything down, then we'll go ahead and get our new tire carrier mounted up on top of that. All right. Now, once you get your inner bolts in, we're gonna take a little bit of time, line your tailgate up, make sure it opens and latches really easily. You don't want it binding up or you're having to lift the tailgate or slam it too hard. Take some time or you're gonna have to loosen and tighten and loosen and tighten and loosen and tighten quite a few times before you got it dead on. But once you got it where you want it, make sure everything is nice and tight and locked down in place so we can move on to getting our tire carrier on. All right. Now we're at the point where we can go ahead and get our tire carrier mounted up. Now, for you at home, if you still have your third brake light, this is where you would be adjusting the wiring on it. Now, unfortunately, I don't have that here to show you, but it's actually a very simple step. You're actually just gonna clip them, take the two wires that come in our kit with the butt connectors. You're gonna strip them back a little bit and just extend them out with the extensions that come with it. Then, go ahead, get your tire carrier mounted up, get it all back together. All right, now just line up your new tire carrier with the holes, and get your hardware installed. Now, on the driver side, we're gonna have to use these small spacers that come in our kit to make up the difference in between the tailgate and the tire carrier itself, that we just built up from our new reinforcement that we just installed. Now, they just simply go right in, and you sandwich it between with the bolt and start them by finger. Remember you're gonna have one on the top and on the bottom. And now, with the same 13-millimeter on your small impact gun or your ratchet, we're gonna go ahead and get those all tightened down. Now, the last thing we have to do is install the three bolts that are gonna act as our studs for our spare tire to sit on. Now, just make sure you pick the right bolt pattern for yours. These are dual pattern. We already figured out which one's ours. We're gonna use these two here, and this one in the middle down here. I'm gonna screw them in from the back, but make sure you put your lock washer on them. Now, our 18-millimeter wrench is all well and good, I'm gonna speed things up and use my electric ratchet here with an 18-millimeter socket. Now, we've reached the point where you go ahead and bolt your third brake light to the top of your tire carrier. I don't have it here to show you how to do that, but all you gotta do is find the four bolts that line up. Our Jeep was set up not to have it, so that's what we're going with. Now, after that, just go ahead, get your spare tire, bolt it up, and you're ready to go ahead and hit the trails. This is gonna be a lot safer and a lot heavier-duty when you open up your tailgate with that big, heavy 35, 37, whatever it is you may be running on your Jeep. I appreciate you viewing, my name is Tony, and visit us again at for more parts and videos just like these.

      Product Information

      Features, Description, Reviews, Q&A, Specs & Installation


      • Strong, Upgraded Tire Mount
      • Accomodates Up To 35" Tire an Wheel Combo
      • Die-Cast Aluminum Hinge
      • Hardened Steel Pins
      • Steel Tire Mount
      • Retains Stock Center Brake Light
      • Durable Black Powder Coat
      • 5-Year Warranty
      • Easy Bolt-On Install
      • Fits 1997-2006 Jeep Wrangler TJ Models


      Massive Mount. Give your Jeep TJ the tire carrier it deserves with the Rugged Ridge Spartacus HD Tire Carrier Kit. This upgraded tire carrier features a massive die-cast aluminum hinge assembly and a heavy-gauge steel tire mount. The upsized and fortified design carries up to a 35" tire/wheel combo with complete confidence. This kit does away with feeble stock hinges, yet allows use of the stock high-mount center brake light. If you're running upgraded tires on your TJ and spend any time off-road at all, you need this mount.

      Strong Construction. This mount uses the best materials to deliver great strength. The great-looking hinge assembly is high-grade die-cast aluminum and features hardened steel pins. The tire mount is oversized and formed of pressed, heavy-guage steel. The whole assembly is powdercoated in black for rust and corrosion resistance. This mount works great with all stock lights and accessories, and will make opening your tailgate a breeze. Say goodbye to needing to hold it up to get it to latch. Rugged Ridge stands behind this kit with a 5-year limited warranty.

      Easy Installation. This kit uses the factory-stock bolt holes. All needed hardware is included. It installs like an OEM replacement, but delivers far greater than OEM strength and performance.

      Application. This Rugged Ridge Spartacus HD Tire Carrier Kit fits your 1997 through 2006 Jeep Wrangler TJ, both standard and Unlimited models.

      Fitment: 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Details

      Rugged Ridge 11546.60

      CA Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm -

      Installation & What's in the Box

      Installation Info

      What's in the Box

      • (1) Hinge Assembly
      • (1) Tire Mount
      • (1) Hardware Kit

      Tech Specs


      Customer Reviews (100+)

        Reviews of Rugged Ridge Exterior products have an average rating of 4.5 out of 5

          Questions & Answers

          10 More Questions

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