This Thread is Featured in our Tech from our Forum Members section!
A couple members on the board wanted a build thread for a couple spare tire carriers I built so here it is. If you'd like any more info feel free to ask.
'83 MiniMaterials Used
• 1.25" Sch 40 Pipe (24')
• 2" x 1/8" plate steel (2')
• 1/16" wall 1.5" sq. tube (2')
• 5/8" x 4" grd 8 bolts w/washers & nuts (2)
• Mini truck spring bushings
• 1/2" x 1.5" bolts w/washers & lock nuts (3)
• used mini truck brake rotorCost
Most of the stuff I used I had lying around with the exception of the sch 40 pipe and the bolts. That being the case the cost for me was relatively low.
• $70 for 32' of pipe (have extra)
• $10 for the bolts, washers, and lock nuts.
• $20 welding wire
• $10 cut off wheels
Most of the other stuff you should be able to find cheap or free if you don't already have it sitting around somewhere. My suggestion to keep the cost down is take what you have and make it work for your application. Build
As this is basically a build to fit project and there aren't any real complicated part to figure out or fabricate i'll just give an overview of the main idea.
I started out with the part of the carrier that bolts to the bed and is the hinge for the gate. Reason I did it this way is that if I were to make separate hinges for the gate that just bolt to the bed itself it would not be able to support the weight that it should. The frame strenghens the bed and allows you to put the hinges anywhere you need them.
For the frame I just cut the horizontal pipe to fit within the span of the bed, and the uprights cut to length from the bottom of the bed to the bed rails. I did 45's at each end but i've been told that if I coped them it would be stronger. The two that i've built have been strong enough the way I have them so to each his own.
Bed side mounts:
For all the mounts to the frame I used the existing bolt locations for the tailgate hinges, and the latches on the sides. I used the square tubing I had to make these brackets. You could also use angle iron for this as I cut the square tubing along 2 opposite corners to get the same effect. I folded the ends up to box them in and bolted them to the bed before tacking the pipe to them.
Next were the "hinges". Made tabs for the frame from 1/8" plate and then cut pipe to fit the bushings. I assembled the hinges w/the bushings, bolts, and tabs before tacking them to the frame to make sure they were the right spacing apart as well as high enough to get the nuts on. On the 83 we used some bushings we found at kragens. They weren't very long but fit the tube diameter perfectly. On the 84 I used the spring bushings and I would go this route if I did it again. They allowed for a little more tube to be used and the tollerance between the hinge tabs and the tubing wasn't so close. They didn't quite fit tight enough so I ran some welds inside to hold them in better.
After the hinges were tacked into place I measured, cut, and notched the lower bar for the gate.
Then I had to decide on how large of a spare I wanted it to be able to carry. Both that I built will hold an aired up 36" tire. Then I chose the angle if any that I wanted the spare to sit at on the gate. Decided to slant it about 45 so the top hoop had to go out from center about 12" to matche the 12" in separation between the hinges.
I chalked out on the ground the layout of the upper hoop.
After I got the measurements I wanted I marked a center point and the center points for the bends at both ends.
I used a HF pipe kinker so I also marked a center point on the die I was using to line up with the lines marked on the pipe. I know this isn't the best way to do it but with what I had available it worked great and used this method for both. I got the bender for $40 on sale so adding that to the cost if you havn't got one bumps it up to $150. Still not bad I think.
From there is was just bend, pull out and check, and bend some more until it fit the chalk. If you use this pipe bender go slow, if you go fast you'll flatten out the bend, trust me on this one.
Once the hoop is the shape you want, notch it and tach it, I made sure I supported the hoop at the level I wanted with a small jack until the center support was tacked in to place.
At this point I havn't got any pictures of the different pipes I cut and put on. It's up to you on how you want it to look. I started by supporing the corners down to the center and then went from there.
The spare mount was the final and easiest part. I welded in the bolts to hold the spare down to the rotor then bolted it to the spare. Sat the spare on the carrier and positioned it where I wanted. I measured the distance I needed for the support tubes, cut, notched, and welded them to the rotor. I set it back on the carrier along the center pipe where I wanted, made it level with the carrier and tacked it.
Made sure I test fit everything before fully welding all the joints. Then pulled it all off the truck and burned it all in making sure to remove the bushings from the gate before hand. Let it cool down, knocked off the spatter and used a flapper disc to grind down some rough spots and then it was good to go.
If you get your hinges aligned and take your time, you'll easily be able to flip the gate from inside to out when needed. One end of the gate gets bolted and the other can be pinned. I havn't got the pins for mine yet but i'm planning on using tractor pins chained to the gate frame.
This is just an overview of what I did. There's a bunch of different ways it could have been set up from the hinges to latching it to mounting the spare etc. etc.. If you want any more details on anything for the way I did it let me know, i'm sure I left a few things out.
Was a nice project and i'm very happy with the end result.