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  • OR-FAB Swing Away Tire/Jerry Can Carrier Install

    I've learned a lot about how to put on aftermarket parts since I've owned my JK. I've put on an S-Pod, Daniel Stern headlight harness, HIDx windshield lights, stubbed my MOPAR front bumper, opened my Warn winch for a 12Volt guy in-cab winch control, switches for my rubi lockers, a complete Poly Performance Skid Plate set, Poison Spyder Fenders and Body Armor, and mounted my tires on my wheels. All of these without any extra hands to help me... even the skids. I'm sure I've left something out, and I realize it may seem like I'm bragging... I just wanted to let you know that while I am no expert, I'm no stranger to putting things on my Jeep either. So, that being said, here is the mother of all ass pain installs that I've come across so far. The OR-Fab Tire Carrier.

    I bought this from a JKO member that never mounted it and decided to go in a different direction. 400 shipped is about 25% off, and I knew I was going to need it for the wheel/tire combo I was upgrading to. I want to start with some disclaimers and hopefully helpful advice to solve the various problems I encountered. I will color these helpful nuggets o' wisdom GREEN to make them easy to identify.

    1. If you can't find a 1" hole saw, or are uncomfortable using a hole saw, BORROW, BUY OR STEAL A DIE GRINDER! I have a nice battery operated Dremel that was VERY overmatched for one of the steps here. I only had the single battery also, so I had a lot of time waiting for the thing to recharge. Also, Dremel grinding stones suck ass at grinding the amount of metal needed. If I had it to do over again, I would've gotten a hold of a die grinder.

    2. I bitch about instructions all the time. I really like instructions that are thorough... almost thorough to a fault. DOWNLOAD THE UPDATED INSTRUCTIONS. The included instructions are vague, almost to the point of ineffective. They allow plenty of room for interpretation and they like to add notes at the very end of the step that would definitely be more helpful at the beginning. This last part is a minor gripe, since the notes are in the steps, it would just be better if it was at the beginning. I checked to see if OR-Fab had updated the instructions, and they had... with much needed improvements.

    Ok, remove the spare tire mount/3rd brake light and hinge covers. Take off the outer tail light screws on both sides and remove the tail lights. Pull the foam from the bottom of the tail light wells. Label these items upper or lower, left or right to facilitate ease of reinstallation.


    Next, support your tailgate with a block of wood against the bumper or something similar. The wood wouldn't fit on mine, so I was able to make do with some strategically folded polypro pants. Use a #50 Torx bit to remove the 4 bolts holding the hinge to the tailgate, then remove the the 6 #50 Torx bolts on the body to remove the hinge completely.


    Now, use your die grinder and clearance the area around the outer tailgate hinge bolt hole. You need to make it large enough for a bolt with a 13mm box end wrench attached to be loosened/tightened/adjusted. Here's a side by side comparison.


    Next, follow your awesome instructions to install the spacers for the hinges and the tire carrier mount. ROUNDED EDGES GO AGAINST THE BODY, and THE TAILGATE SPACERS ARE UPPER/LOWER SPECIFIC Remount your tailgate, and spend the next 45 minutes or so learning how to align it back on the striker. It can be done.


    LOL... All I'll say about this is that OR-Fab and I have different ideas what "Up", "Corner", "Edge" and 4 and 11 mean. I plugged the non-necessary holes with some RTV for now. Again, THE NEW INSTRUCTIONS ADDRESS THIS STEP MUCH MORE THOROUGHLY These are nice 1/2" holes. They're used to mount the striker support for the tire carrier and I recommend test fitting it to make sure you're at least in the ballpark for the actual hole location. Lesson learned on my end.


    Here's about the best pics I could get of the striker support. You can see the foot of it at the bottom. It also has a bolt that attaches at the top, and I used a right angle drill and 1/8 inch bit for a pilot hole then opened it to 3/8. Worked well for me.




    This is what took the majority of the time, and I really wish I had looked harder for a hole saw. These directions are for a die grinder or Dremel. You drill a 1/8" pilot hole beside your driver's tail light that lines up with the striker support bracket. The hole goes through to layers of sheet metal, and through the provision in the striker support bracket. Then, you open the hole in the outer layer to 1/2", taking care to not drill through the inner layer. Then, open that 1/2 inch hole to 1 inch. I used about 3 grinding stones and 6 battery cycles and it took about 5 hours. DON'T BE LIKE ME! USE THE HOLE SAW OR GET THE DIE GRINDER!! Also, the stones were difficult to keep in the hole, so I have some lame ass scarring on my rear near the tail lights. I just used touch up paint for that. After you get the hole opened to 1", drill the hole on the inner layer of metal to 1/2", install the spacer, and use some RTV to keep the water out. Mine looks like ass, and I'll eventually fix it. Then, use the 1/2" bolt to loosely attach the striker plate.




    I totally spaced on getting shots of the spacer/washer/carrier set up. Do the bottom bolt first: From bolt head to thread, the order is Washer, mounting bracket, wave washer, brass washer, large spacer, brass washer, tire carrier, brass washer, small spacer, brass washer, mounting bracket, washer then nut. (I'll add a close up picture here soon) MAKE SURE THAT YOU FLIP THE LARGE AND SMALL SPACER SET UP FOR THE TOP BOLT

    Now, for the inner support bracket that attaches to the top outer hinge bolt. First, take the remaining nuts and place them on the new hinge bolts that you installed earlier, but leave the top outer hinge bolt alone. Slide the support bracket over the top bolt and get the nut as tight as you can on there. I just marked the hole that needed to be drilled near the roll bar and estimated where I had to drill to attach the bracket. I was close to dead on.


    Here's a shot of the bracket from the passenger tail light hole. Oh, good luck to you getting these nuts on the hinge bolts started. I have very lady like small hands and still had problems. Maybe go at them from underneath if you're having trouble


    Install the bumpstop on the bottom portion of the tire carrier on the handle side of the tailgate. I had a fucked up threaded insert, so I cut about 3/4 inch off the bumpstop bolt. Install the included piece of stainless steel first, or you could get a small dent in the bottom.


    Put the hinge covers on, the foam back in and the tail lights back on. Mount the tire holder to the carrier and then mount the tire to the holder. mount the urethane protector, the steel pressure disperser and the T handle to hold the tire on. I'm not sure how to set the pre load, but mine's not off by very much.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: OR-FAB Swing Away Tire/Jerry Can Carrier Install started by JohnnyWalker View original post
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