Review & Install Video
I'm Ryan from extremeterrain.com, and this is my review of the Teraflex HD Hinged Tire Carrier with Adjustable Tire Mount, fitting all 2007-2016 JKs. This is the kit that includes both the carrier and the mount, but you can purchase these parts separately if you choose.
If you're running larger tires on your Jeep and you have a full-size spare, there are a couple of issues you can run into from putting a much larger and heavier spare tire on the factory spare tire mount. The hinges of the factory tailgate can start to wear out, and you'll need to start lifting up on the tailgate every time you open it and close it. The welds on the tailgate itself can fatigue and break, causing rattling, and the factory spare tire mount does have a specific weight limit so, when you put a much heavier spare tire on it, you can end up causing that metal to fatigue and break as well.
And there are a couple different solutions to all three of these problems. One is a bumper mounted tire carrier, and the other is a tub mounted tire carrier like this. I really like the tub mounted tire carriers because they allow you to open and close the tailgate in one motion with one hand, where the bumper mounted tire carriers first require you to open the tire carrier and then open the tailgate separately. Having a tub mounted tire carrier like this also allows you to run whatever bumper you want on your Jeep without being limited to the options that include a tire carrier.
Now, this tub mounted tire carrier, in particular, is a very nice piece. It's one of the top quality tire carriers on the market. It has full adjustability, and it also has the price tag to go along with a top-tier product. But, in my opinion, it's definitely worth it for the quality and the adjustability that you get out of this tire carrier.
As I said before, this kit is two pieces that are available separately but are really designed and built to work together. One is this T6 aluminum-hinged tire carrier that replaces your factory hinges and adds the reinforcement to your tailgate which means you don't have to worry about the welds on the tailgate breaking like you might otherwise have to. This is a really, really strong, solid piece. It comes covered in a textured black powder-coated finish. It's aluminum, so it's lighter-weight than it otherwise would be, and you never have to worry about it rusting. The hinges are designed to hold up to a ton of weight, and it's completely bolt-on. The tire mount is itself, again, is bolt-on, designed to work in conjunction with this tire carrier.
And my favorite part about this, other than how well it's built, is the adjustability. You can adjust the tire up and down, and also in and out to make sure it's nice and tight up against the tailgate. Now, I like to run my tire as low as I possibly can to give me maximum viewing out of the back window, but also it needs to be high enough to not contact the bumper when you open and close the tailgate. So the up-and-down adjustment gives you the ability to set it exactly where you want it. The in-and-out adjustment is very, very important because, if you have the tire sitting way far out from the Jeep, there's a ton of leverage out there which can fatigue the metal, and it will also move and bounce around which will also cause that metal to fatigue. So this allows you to slide the tire nice and tight up against the carrier, bolt everything nice and solid, so it basically becomes the tire, the tire carrier, and the tailgate, all one piece. Nothing can move, nothing's gonna rattle, make noise or fatigue.
Along with these two main pieces, you also get a mount which allows you to put your factory third brake light right in the center of the spare tire, which means you don't have to buy an additional third brake light. And it comes with all of the gaskets, the spacers, the hardware, everything you need to get this bolted together. As I said, this really is a top-tier product, and when you take it out of the box, you can really tell.
Like I said before, this is designed to be completely bolt-on, which makes the installation pretty quick and easy. The first step in the installation is to remove your factory spare tire mount and, also, your factory third brake light, all in one piece. You will be able to take the third brake light assembly out of the mount and hang on to that because you are going to use it later. After that, you'll remove the plastic covers over your factory hinges, and then use some spare blocks of wood or wedges underneath the tailgate, between the tailgate and the bumper, to hold up the weight of the tailgate. You're going to be removing your factory hinges, and you don't want the tailgate to move around. You want it to stay in the alignment that it is right in the factory.
Once the tailgate is supported with those wedges, you can go ahead and unbolt the factory tailgate hinges, and then go ahead and bolt on the hinged tire carrier. First, you'll bolt it on to the tub. Check for alignment with the tailgate, tighten down the hinges on the tub, and then bolt the carrier onto the tailgate itself. After the hinged tire carrier is installed, you will install the adjustable tire mount. That will install in the same bolt rotations as the factory spare tire mount. There are eight threader holes in the tailgate that hold that into place and, after it's installed, it's just a matter of putting your spare tire on and adjusting it.
Again, I like to run my tire as low as possible without interfering with the bumper, and you wanna make sure that it's nice and tight up against the tailgate. In order to do that, you wanna put the spare tire on the mount, push it tight up against the tailgate, remove the spare tire, put the mount another eighth- to a quarter-inch closer to the tailgate, and then tighten it down. That means, when you put the spare tire on for the final time and tighten those lug nuts, the lugs will actually be pulling the tire nice and tight up against the tailgate.
Again, the whole process should take you right around an hour, and you won't need any specialty tools. But, you will need some torque bits, a good socket set, and make sure you follow the instructions.
As I said before, this tire carrier set-up with both pieces is pretty expensive. There are some bumpers with bumper mounted tire carriers out there that you can get both pieces together for about the same price as this. However, they're certainly not going to be the quality of this piece. You can rest assured that, no matter what size tire you put on this set-up, you're going to have the adjustability to make sure that everything stays nice and tight, and this really solves all of the problems of running a large, heavy spare tire in what otherwise would have been your factory location. As I said before, I really like this set-up because it allows you to run whatever bumper you want without being limited to one that has a tire carrier. So, all of that said, I have to say, this is worth the price. I know it's a lot, but I definitely think it's worth the price. There are some other carriers out there that might look similar to this one, but they don't have the same adjustability or the same build quality.
So, if you're running larger-than-factory tires on your Jeep and you wanna be able to run a full-size spare on the tub, without the risk of damaging your hinges or your tailgate or your tire mount itself, I definitely recommend taking a look at this set-up. It gives you the strength, the build quality, and the adjustability that you need to run that large spare tire with the peace of mind, knowing you're not going to damage anything.
So that's my review of the Teraflex HD Hinged Tire Carrier with Adjustable Tire Mount, fitting all 2007-2016 JKs, that you can find right here at extremeterrain.com.