Driver side spare tire latch repair (1 Viewer)


Jan 3, 2012
Olympia, WA
I know there were only a couple years of the FJ40 that made use of the plate style spare tire carrier on the drivers side(‘75-‘77?). On my ‘76, the hoop had worn down, chipped away, was all fouled up for the past 15 years or so. Bungee cords, cable ties and springs have all been used to keep the carrier from swinging open while driving. Non of the methods ever worked well, had to cut the cable tie, the bungee would eventually get brittle and break and the spring would stretch if/when the tire swung open, rendering it useless.
So I looked online, classifieds and reputable dealers, no one had the driver side latch for sale. I’d occasionally see one that was not in much better shape than mine, so I would pass.
Finally decided to do something about it. I recently purchased a passenger sided latch from City Racer. The latch is brand new, all shinny and stuff. The only difference between the driver side and passenger sided latches are the brackets. They are handed, everything else is the same.

So I began to take them both apart. Had to drill and punch the pins out. Kind of a PITA, but I got it done.

I used the original bracket(driver side) and the “guts” from the new one(handle, hoop and spacers). With everything lined up, I drove a 5/16th rolled pin down through the parts. This held everything together nice and firm, but for added measure I punched and tapered pin down the rolled pin, not only expanding the rolled pin, but adding some strength to the latch itself.

Once I was satisfied with the setting of the tapered pin and all, I cut the tag end off and used a flapper disc to smooth them out a bit.

With it installed everything feels real nice and tight. I’ll continue to use the spring for now, although not quite necessary.

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