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
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