Custom
Rear Tire Rack
Note to Readers: I've since modified this tire rack.  The tire racked worked out
wonderfully and was extremely strong.  I modified it for several reasons. First, I wanted improved
visability for backing up on the trail.  Secondly, I wanted to downgrade the spare tire size to save
weight.   Today, the spare tire is a 33x9.5-15 which is stored back under the truck in the stock
location.  The gas can is still stored on the ex-tire rack, but it's reconfigured.  It now also stores a 5
gallon water container.   See bottom of page for pictures.
This page is about my custom rear tire.  All of the work was performed by my
Dad and much thanks goes to him for building it.
My Dad built a custom rear tube bumper a while ago, out of stainless steel heavy gauge
tubing.  This bumper was built to mount high to provide rear protection while not impeding
departure angle.  After adding 35x12.5-15 tires and lockers front and rear, a full sized spare
was a requirement. With 33" tires, I could easily fit a 33x9.5-15 spare under the truck, but not
with 35s.   For a while, I mounted the spare under the canopy, but this took up a lot of valuable
space.  Finally it was decided to build a rear tire carrier.  This would create a ton of room.
The completed tire
rack with 35" tire and
5 gallon jerry can.
The heart of this tire carrier is the hinge.  While any number of hinges could be used, the
Rockstomper
hinge is by far the best bang for the buck hinge ever made.  In this design
the hinge supports the entire weight of the rack, the spare tire, the gas can and anything
that is hung on the rack.  It not only has to be strong.  It has to be bulletproof.  And the
Rockstomper hinge is just that.  
Here's what the Rockstomper hinge looks like.

They start with a 1000-pound rated trailer spindle, add two Timken tapered roller bearings, a
custom made-in-house outer sleeve, a seal, a cap, and make the whole thing greasable for long
life.
Approximate dimensions: 8" long overall, 2.25" large OD, 1.25" small OD, roughly 4" of
weldable outer area, 3.75" of small-OD post.

For the Rockstomper page about the hinge, click
HERE.
The beginning was drilling a hole
into the stainless bumper.  This was no
easy task. Stainless is not easy to drill
through, but soon enough step one was
completed.
The rack is little more than 1.5 x 1.5"
square tubing.   Here, my Dad does the
welding.  Many thanks go to him for
putting this together.
The rack almost completed.
This is the latching mechanism.  Not the
standard latch that many are using.  I
would prefer that set up, but I never got
around to buying one and installing it.  
This was only suppose to be a temporary
way of securing the tire carrier, but it's
worked so well, I've left it this way, for now.
The completed tire rack partly open.  I now
have a cable attached  to keep it from
swinging around and hitting the truck.
With a little extra space behind the rack I
added a spare axe and a few other things for
emergency use.
The completed rack.  A carrier for a 5
gallong gas can was also added.  Both the
spare and gas can were mounted in the bed.
 Now there is a ton of room back there and
on some recent trips, even used it to sleep in.
Note the fire extinquisher.
With the high mounted rear bumper and
high mounted tire, rear clearance is actually
increased over the stock bumper.
New Configuration
Today, the spare tire is no longer stored on the rack.  The spare gas tank was moved to the
right side closest to the hinge, since it's usually the heaviest thing stored on the rack.  5
gallons of water can be carried in the blue container for long remote trips.
With the ARB air locker up
front, I'm now able to carry a
smaller, lighter spare tire back
under the truck.
The rack still opens up to reveal
storage of a hand saw and allow
access to the back of the truck.
Click on images for larger view.