(approx) 1 Hour
Light to Moderate mechanical skill required.
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I'm Ryan from extremeterrain.com and this is my review and installation of the Smittybilt Pivot HD Tire Carrier fitting all 2007 to 2016 JKs. Today we're going to talk about the construction, some of the features and of course the pricing of this carrier. This is for those of you who are running larger than factory tires on your Jeep and want to be able to carry a full-size spare. The factory spare tire mount is really only set up for a factory spare tire. When you put a much larger and heavier spare tire on that mount, you can run into a couple of different issues. You can wear out the hinges of your tailgate which will require you to lift up on the tailgate latch every time you open it and close it. You can break the welds on the tailgate itself causing rattles. And, the metal of the spare tire mount can fatigue and break over time under the extra weight of a heavier spare tire. There are a couple of different solutions to fix all of those issues, and a tub mounted spare tire carrier like this one is one of them. When you use a tub mounted spare tire carrier like this one, you can run any bumper you would like. If you choose to run a bumper mounted spare tire carrier, you have to get the bumper specific for that carrier. A tub mounted carrier like this one also allows you to open and close the rear tailgate with one motion with one hand as opposed to a lot of tire carriers on the market that first have you open the bumper mounted tire carrier and then open the tailgate separately. This tire carrier is made of cast aluminum which means it's going to be very strong but also pretty light. It allows you to replace your factory tailgate hinges with the ones that are included on the kit and gives you all of the strength you need to carry a much larger spare tire. It also has an adjustable mount which will allow you to put the tire as low as possible without having clearance issues with your bumper if you're running a smaller spare tire and give you the maximum viewing out of your back window. However, if you're running up to a 37-inch tire, you can adjust the mount up and run a large tire again without having any clearance issues. The setup comes complete with a factory third brake light mount so you don't have to go out and purchase a third brake light separately or a third brake light mount. Everything comes right in the kit. You can even get a high lift jack mount separately that will go with this setup allowing you to mount some additional accessories. If you've been shopping for tub mounted tire carriers before, you've probably seen one that looks very similar to this. Both Teraflex and Rugged Ridge have a very similar tire carrier. Teraflex was the one who pioneered these tub mounted tire carriers and really came up with this design. Rugged Ridge and Smittybilt came in a little bit afterward with very similar designs that are slightly less expensive. This whole setup is designed to be completely bolt on so the installation doesn't require any drilling. The first step to getting this bolted up is to remove your factory spare tire mount which will come off by removing the eight bolts that hold it onto the tailgate. You'll also want to remove the plastic trim on the inside of the tailgate to expose the plug for your factory third brake light. Once you unplug it, make sure you hang onto it, because again you are going to use that with this installation. After that, you can remove the plastic hinge covers and get ready to remove your factory hinges. Before you do that, you'll want to block and tape the tailgate into place to make sure that it's not going to come out of alignment. It's a lot easier to take the time to block and tape everything into place now than it is to try and realign your tailgate after the fact. Once everything is taped and blocked into place, you can go ahead and remove those factory hinges and reinstall the hinges that come with this setup. You'll actually just be installing the tub side of the hinges. Remove the hinge pins and bolt these into place using factory hardware in the factory location. After that, you'll install the rest of the hinge part of the carrier onto the tailgate and finally the reinforcement bracket which is where the tire carrier section gets bolted. This tire carrier will bolt onto that reinforcement section and then you'll install the third brake light. Again, all of these parts are completely bolt on. The kit includes all of the hardware to get this job done. You don't have to drill anything, so the installation is very easy although there are a lot of steps and a lot of hardware. As long as you take your time, this is an easy installation that anyone can do. I would recommend setting aside two to three hours to get this installation finished. You won't need any specialty tools, but a good set of Torx bits and sockets will come in handy. As I said, there are really three tub mounted tire carriers on the market that are of a similar design: this one, the one from Rugged Ridge, and of course the one from Teraflex which was the original to pioneer this design. Teraflex is still the most expensive. They have the most time under their belt so they've been able to make the most improvements over that period of time. I would say that there may be a reason to spend a little bit more and go with the Teraflex. It's tried and true, where this is a slightly newer design. But, looking at this one out of the box, the finish is nice, it seems really well built and really solid, and in some respects, the beefiness, the strength of this tire mount, in particular, is something that I think may even be stronger than the Teraflex one. The Teraflex one adjusts a little bit easier than this one does, so there are definitely pros and cons to both. If it comes down to budget, this is less expensive and it is very solid. If you have the money and you want the original, the Teraflex option is always out there. If you're looking to run a larger than factory spare tire on the back of your Jeep but you don't want to be limited to a bumper that has a tire carrier specifically built for it, I would definitely recommend taking a look at this option, especially if you're looking to save some money over the most expensive tub mounted tire carriers out there. That's my review of the Smittybilt Pivot HD Tire Carrier fitting all 2007 to 2016 JKs that you can find right here at extremeterrain.com.
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Features, Description, Reviews, Q&A, Specs & Installation
CA Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov
(approx) 1 Hour
Light to Moderate mechanical skill required.
What's in the Box
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