Review & Install Video
Hey guys. So, today I'm here with the Smittybilt XRC swing-away tire carrier. This is gonna be for you guys that already have the XRC rear bumper mounted up on your '87-'06 YJ and TJ and you're looking to complete the package. This will be a great option if you're looking to upgrade your tire size and you don't want all of that weight hanging on your tailgate and stressing out your hinges. Because you need the XRC rear bumper in order to mount up the swing-away tire carrier, together they're roughly gonna cost around $725. Now, personally, I think that is an average price for a quality tire carrier that's gonna give you a lot of features compared to the other basic and skeletal options that we offer on the site.The install is gonna be a one out of three wrenches on the difficulty meter and shouldn't take any more than 2 hours to install. So, speaking of that, we can jump into the install now.The tools that we used for our install were a set of snap-ring pliers, a 19-millimeter deep socket, a 17-millimeter deep socket, a 16-millimeter deep socket, a 13-millimeter deep socket, a 3/8-inch deep socket, a 16-millimeter short socket, a 5-inch extension, a ratchet, a 16-millimeter wrench, a 17-millimeter wrench, an 18-millimeter wrench, a Philips-head screwdriver, a tape measure, and an impact wrench.So, our first step to installing our new tire carrier is to remove our tire, so we're gonna start by removing this cover. So, after the cover's off, we can take a 19-millimeter deep socket and remove our lugs.So, now we can open up our tailgate in order to disconnect our third brake light. So, you're gonna need a Phillips-head screwdriver to remove this plastic cover. And then, you can disconnect your contacts. Once you have it disconnected from the contacts, you can push the grommet through.So, in order to access the bolts on our spare-tire carrier, we need to remove our third brake light housing first. So you're gonna remove these 4 bolts with a 13-millimeter socket. Now we can remove the 4 13-millimeter bolts holding on the spare-tire carrier.So, in order to give ourselves enough room to work with when we're actually installing our tire carrier, we wanna remove our passenger-side taillight and you can use a Phillips-head screwdriver.So, in order to remove these bolts, you will need a 3/8-inch socket. Once those are removed, you can carefully remove your taillight.So your stock tire carrier is great at holding stock tires. However, when you upgrade your tire size, putting all that extra weight on your tailgate can stress out your hinges and make it sag and lose its functionality overall. A great option is to move over to a bumper-mounted tire carrier like the XRC one that we have here. This will also be a lot more durable than your stock tire carrier, made of heavy-duty steel with a black powder coat finish, so it's not gonna rust like you see that we have on our stock carrier. This will also hold up to a 37-inch tire and you'll be able to adjust it up and down, as well as in and out depending on the backspacing of your wheel. Where your stock one, you really can't do much and you only have one option. So, enough about the stock carrier, let's get our new swing-away tire carrier installed.So, in order to install our pivot shaft, we need to remove this plate that's covering up the hole. Now you can install your pivoting shaft and you're gonna make sure that the hole for the positive stop is on the outside of the bumper and you can take your provided hardware and bolt that down with a 16-millimeter socket. So, loosely install all of your hardware.So, this next step is gonna be a little bit hard to see, however, after you've installed your pivoting shaft, there is a threaded bolt hole behind here with a welded nut on the back of that. You're gonna thread in your jam bolt through there until it hits the pivoting shaft. Once it hits the pivoting shaft, you can tighten down your jam nut until your bolt is stuck in place. So, in order to secure that down, your jam nut comes into play where you tighten that down up against the welded nut on your bumper that secures it into place.So, our next step is to install our latch bracket. This is gonna place right on top of the bumper here and you're gonna have an L-shaped nut plate with a handle on it so you can reach it up and around the back of the bumper and secure it down with the provided hardware. So there is a decent amount of room to work with when you're installing this nut plate. And if you have small hands like me, you can break off this handle. However, if you don't, this is actually a pretty neat thing to work with.So we are gonna loosely install these bolts here, so when we mount up our tire carrier, we can line up our handle. And Smittybilt does provide us with shim so we can make some minor adjustments at the end.So, now we're ready to install our tire carrier, but we do have to remove this tape because it is protecting a coating of grease underneath here that otherwise would get all over the place if it was not there. What I like about this compared to other tire carriers is that this has a Zerk fitting and you can grease this as needed so it doesn't seize up over time.So Smittybilt will provide two nylon washers to avoid metal on metal contact when you're opening and closing your tire carrier. And you're also gonna get a snap-ring that's gonna hold that down and hold it in place. So, before we install our tire carrier, we wanna install one of these nylon washers. After your nylon washer is on, we can install our tire carrier in the open position. Now that it's seated on the nylon washer, we can install our top nylon washer.So now we're ready to install our snap-ring with some snap-ring pliers. Now, I would be really careful with this stuff because, when you have a lot of tension on your snap-ring, it can snap back. So, put on some safety glasses. When you're putting this around your tire carrier, just cup your hand over it so it doesn't lash back.So, our next step is installing our positive lock. This is gonna mount right on the back of our tire carrier and it's gonna prevent the tire carrier from swinging all the way out and hitting the body of your Jeep. So you're gonna use the provided hardware, as well as the support plate, to mount up on the back of it. You can attach your hardware, and then a capture support plate. I would loosely install this because we will be making some minor adjustments later down the line.So, after we've installed our positive lock, we can install our handle. Smittybilt does a good job at giving you a little bit of option when it comes to this because they do give you two handle styles. We are gonna use the one that's already on our handle base and go ahead and install it on our tire carrier with the provided hardware.You can install your hardware and the nylon locknut on the back. And again, make sure that you're installing everything just snug because we'll tighten down everything at the end and make adjustments there.So, what I do like about this handle is that it has this little release pin here so it's not just flopping around freely like a lot of other options on the market but this will just stay in place when you lock in your tire carrier.So, now we're ready to mount up our actual tire mount on our tire carrier. So, like I mentioned before, this is fully adjustable up and down, as well as in and out. I would recommend measuring out your tire before you mount it up to your tire carrier so you can see how low or high that you want your tire to sit. So, since our tire is 29 inches, we measured half of that at 14.5, so we can go to our tire carrier and measure out where we want that 14.5 inches to be. So, if we wanted the bottom of the tire to sit here...So, to keep that in place while we mount up our actual tire-carrier mount, we can tighten that down with a 19-millimeter socket and an 18-millimeter wrench. So, just like you can adjust your tire mount up and down depending on your diameter, you can also adjust the studs in and out depending on your backspacing. So we roughly measured about 5.5 inches, so we're gonna go up to the tire carrier and measure that out from the center bore, or the mounting location of this, from our actual tire carrier.So, since this has multiple mounting holes up here, we can measure out roughly 5.5 inches from our tire carrier arm to the mounting face of our wheel. So, for our stock TJ tire, we are going to be out at the third hole. Now, if you have a shallow backspace, less than 5.5 inches, which most aftermarket wheels will, you can adjust that a little bit more inwards.So, I recommend to keep this in place to insert the top bolt first just so you can line everything else up. Now that's on there. So, now you can tighten down the bolts with a 17-millimeter wrench and a 16-millimeter socket.So, for the top bolt, I'm gonna use an extension to reach the nylon locknut, inside the tire carrier, with a 17-millimeter socket, and then a 16-millimeter wrench on top.So, now that the carrier is fully assembled, we can put our tire on and make those small adjustments and tighten everything down. Smittybilt will also give you three new lug nuts. So, you can put that on and make your adjustments with all of your shims. So, now with the weight of the tire on the actual carrier, you can see where it will sit day to day, so then you can go ahead and make your adjustments with all of your shims.So, one of our last steps is to reinstall our passenger-side taillight, so you just reconnect it, attach the 3 13-millimeter bolts and the 4 Phillips-head screws around the reflector.So, our final step is to tighten down our 3 lug nuts with a 19-millimeter socket.So that's it for my review and install on the Smittybilt XRC swing-away tire carrier. For more videos like this keep it right here at extremeterrain.com.