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rear bumper & tire carrier

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  A rear bumper with integrated swing away tire carrier serves two purposes for me.  #1, it will have a reciever hitch which will hold a bike rack, thus placing all that weight on the frame where it belongs.  #2, it will place the weight of an over-sized spare on the frame as well.  The main reason I had to wait so long for this was money.  Many rear bumper/tire carrier setups go for well over $800.  I found TKH fabrication in Ohio that sells quality heavy duty products for much less.
  Basically, I paid about $500 after all was said and done.  This included a bare metal bumper/tire carrier (shipped), and the money I spent on paint and hardware.
  When the bumper arrived first, TKH shipped the two pieces seperately, I felt like a little kid with a brand new toy.  To say this is heavy duty is an understatement.  Just picking it up told me it was built with some serious steel.  Once I unwrapped it I was very impressed with the welds and workmanship.  One thing about having it sent to me unpainted is that it was completely revealed.  I could really see how it was designed and built.  For instance, the d-shackle mounts that go all the way through the bumper.  I was quite pleased.  The next day when the tire carrier came, I was just as happy with what I saw. 


  The most important part of painting bare metal is to clean it well beforehand.  I used brake cleaner (because it's all I had laying around) to get most of the residue off.  The day I painted, I used laquer thinner to give it a final wipe-down.
  After taping off the necessary areas, I applied several light coats of self-etching primer.  Then several light coats of Rustoleum satin black. 

  I removed the spare tire, spare tire carrier/third brake light, and rear bumper.  I drilled 4 more holes into the frame approximately 7 3/4" from the original mounting holes.  Since I would be using 1/2" x 1.5" (grade 8) bolts, I enlarged my 4 new holes to 9/16" to allow for some play while mounting the bumper. 
  I used the same satin black paint on the rear section of the frame to touch up & combat rust.  I will be doing the same to the center and front sections of the frame as I add rocker guards and a new front bumper.

  It was time to install.  I used a chair with a phone book on it to hold the bumper in place while I inserted the 4 outer bolts.  Installing the 4 inner bolts was a bit trickier.  A wobble extension was needed for holding the nut on the inside of the frame while I tightened down the bolt with a box wrench.  For all 8 of these bolts I went bolt/washer/frame/lock washer/nut.  Next I inserted the 2 bolts that go up into the frame ( I re-used the original 18mm headed bolts).  Everything was torqued down to 45 ft/lbs.
  I then greased up the 1 1/4" solid pivot and installed the tire carrier onto it. 
  The frame tie-ins utilize two of the outer bumper bolts on each side as well as the rear-most 1/2" hole in the frame on each side.  I have no idea how I would have reached that far inside the frame to use a nut, so I tapped each of those holes to 9/16" and tightened down a grade 8 bolt of that size on each side. 



  In order to plug the holes left in the tailgate after I removed the spare tire carrier and the rubber bumpstops, I bought nylon hole plugs which can be found in most hardware stores.  I picked up the black d-shackles at tractor supply company.  Although there is a nifty place to mount a Hi-Lift behind the spare tire, I still like my location on the rollbars.
  I plan on mounting a 2" led in the center of the spare tire for a 3rd brake light and also fabbing up a cb antenna mount behind the swingout.  (The bumper came with an antenna mount on the passenger's side corner, but i'm not crazy about that location.) 
...stay tuned for more info & pics