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theksmith

Custom Spare Tire Hoist on a Jeep Wrangler JK with 37s

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Posted (edited)

what & why

 

i realized that i couldn't really lift a 37x13.5" tire/wheel and line it up on the carrier at the same time, so i made a hoist that can raise or lower it effortlessly.

 

i keep a battery powered drill in my rig, which runs the hoist quickly - but in a pinch i could also just use a ratchet.

 

i'll probably make a better video, but here's an early test:

 

 

 

 

building it

 

the main component is an LCI RV Spare Tire Winch, which is designed to mount under a camper or trailer just like the factory one on many pickup trucks. it's really just a specialized worm gear hand winch - i prefer the worm gear style over a simple two-way ratcheting winch as it gives you more precise control, can switch direction at any time you need, has less moving parts, and the design is inherently load-holding.

 

i drilled holes across an extra splined lug-nut key and attached it to the winch so that i can turn it using anything with a 3/4" socket (i.e. a ratchet or drill with a socket adapter). FYI, this inexpensive drill-adapter would be an even easier choice if anyone decides to tackle this project themselves.

 

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i cut off the wheel grabber that it came with and put a loop in the end of the cable instead, mainly because i needed to pass the cable through a small slit (more on that in a moment). then i made a new wheel holder that hooks onto that loop and fits more securely in two of my wheel's lug nut holes.

 

original part on left, new wheel grabber on right:

 

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here's how it fits into the wheel:

 

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i made a simple bracket to mount the winch to. it bolts into the upper 4 tire carrier mounting points. i actually have a Teraflex Alpha Tire Carrier, but it mounts to the tailgate in the same holes as the factory one.

 

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i needed a slit cut into the Teraflex spare mounting plate for the cable to pass through. to create it, i drilled 2 holes and then connected them using a rotary tool with a carbide burr.

 

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then this pulley got bolted to the plate (or this one would work as well):

 

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the little piece of aluminum over the top of the pulley is just to hold the cable in the groove even when there's no weight on it.

 

here's the final product:

 

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cable extended, ready to attach to the spare using my wheel grabber (still sitting on top of the tire in this photo):

 

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after the spare is raised and bolted onto the tire carrier, only the cable loop is visible slightly...

 

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...but that gets covered up by my custom license plate / third brake light / camera mount: 

 

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here are the Ryobi tools i carry under the rear seat in a JeepSwag DirtBagz bag

 

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besides the 1/2" impact wrench, there's a JobPlus base tool and 3 interchangeable heads: right-angle drill, rotary tool, and reciprocating saw. i use a 3/4" socket on the impact wrench for lug nuts, and then just move that socket over to the drill (with a socket adapter) to run the hoist.

 

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improvements & other ideas

 

this project was pretty straight-forward and seems to work well. the only potential issue i see thus far is the length of the LCI RV Spare Tire Winch's cable. it's just barely long enough to reach the spare on the ground with my current lift and tire size. there's also no additional room on the drum, so it can't be easily extended.

 

this Dutton-Lainson 1500lb is the next smallest worm-gear winch i could find which would have plenty of room for extra cable. but you'd need to build a small fairlead for it to keep the cable lined up with the slot in the tire carrier plate. Harbor Freight has a cheap slightly bigger one, but it's actually kind of large and heavy in-person.

 

i also strongly considered using a small electric ATV winch, but in the end i was dissuaded by nearly 15 pounds of weight and added complexity of running decent gauge wires to it. sometimes simplicity wins out, even on a "Gadget Jeep"! i did find this incredibly cheap Tyrannosaurus 2k synthetic ATV winch that would probably work quite well. in fact, if i you have a heavy duty bumper-mounted tire carrier and 40's then IMO, that would be the way to go.

 

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Edited by theksmith
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Aren't you cleaver! Lifting big wheels/tires to the height of the spare carrier is definetly a problem for us now. G is going to love this Gadget invention. 

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Posted (edited)

Damn Kris, that’s awesome!!!

 

Nice job!

Edited by jgaz
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That is pretty epic Kris! Necessity is the mother of invention they say and this proves it true. 

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Despite me teasing you about it, this is cool!! Adding to the hubby's project list!

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11 hours ago, jgaz said:

Damn Kris, that’s awesome!!!

 

Nice job!

I agree!  Very nice gadget!

smiles, ladybug

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Very nice! Great idea for lifting those heavy tires!

 

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Cool Beans Kris...   nicely done... ;)

 

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You are a rock(crawler) star! :yourock:

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We picked up a trailer hitch mounted game hoist when we were thinking about rack mounting the spare, worked great but I didn't like the feel of the weight up here. Nice job!

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