Read end clearance with spare and hitch

Riley

Riley

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Jun 20, 2003
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Fort Langley, BC
As I stare at the bum of my 80 I have 2 issues with the departure angle (I think). For sure this will get better when I get my planned OME springs but research tells me that it's only a 2" gain (with the lower version springs).

I'm comparing to my 60 which I know barely clears when going into my fav 4X4 fishing lake.

Biggest issue is the hitch. It's mounted with the usual 6 bolts and it's made by "Valley hitch" out of Calf. The rect frame of the hitch is about 1" below the bumper and then the square receiver is welded just below the hitch frame. Is there a better hitch that sits up tight to the bumper? It's too bad that the hitch isn't built into the step bumper. I'm not thrilled to go buy a hitch but .... maybe that's what needed.

Also the bottom of the spare tire ends up being much lower than my 60. I guess there's nothing I can do for this except to get a rear mounted carrier. But that's a pain for my wife as this is her "soccer mom' rig for during the week. Having the tire underneath gets it out of the way.
Is it OK to have a spare that is narrower than the other tires? I know it's not great but I rarely use my spare.

Any ideas on the above issues?

FYI the 60 is bigger all around, sits up better in the rear. It's just such a pain to drive and ride in.
 
landtoy80

landtoy80

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North Front Range, CO
I had the same problem with the 60 having more clearance than the 80. I just put a 285 on the spare and it sits way to low for off road(I have stock suspension). When in CO I just put the spare tire in the back of the 80. I was on a hard core trail and only hit the hitch a couple of times. I was expecting to get hung up on every rock and dip but it didn't. It is a pain to drop the spare but the viscous coupler in the t-case likes it when you run all the same size tires. I was going to get a 255 with the same diameter tire but I think the rim would get damaged if you hit to hard on a rock.
[Any ideas on the above issues?]
What I did is sold the 60 and now looking for a vehicle for the wife to drive :)
kurt
 
Riley

Riley

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There's no way I can put the spare in the back. It will be gammed with all my gear. That's like a Jeep Cheroke thing to do :)

I figure the spare could be same diameter just not as wide. If I needed it
I would just baby it home or to town.
 
landtoy80

landtoy80

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After spending $2000+ on a new t-case becouse the VC was shot. I am very carefull to keep the tires the same size.
If you had to drive a long distance you could drop the front drive shaft and lock the center diff ( if you have the switch) to keep the VC from over heating.
kurt
 
scottm

scottm

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Below the Mackinac bridge
As you mentioned, the hitch is just 6 bolts. From the 80scool list (thread size M9X1.0):

Raising Spare
I unbolted(3 bolts per side) the spare carrier from the mounts on the
frame, got some longer bolts(sorry i forget the size) and used some
nuts(4 on each bolt) that were just a tad bigger than the bolts, to
use as spacers between the mount and the carrier, this raised the
carrier up 1.5-2" which is about as far as it can go without some
other mods, I can still get the hand crank in to raise or lower the
carrier, but just barely. I would like to use something besides nuts
for spacers, but they seem to work just fine and the chances are i
will never get around to changing it ;)

Got a better picture of the carrier at home if you would like a
picture, but once you look underneath it will be very easy to see
what I'm talking about, and it's a super easy mod.

John Holmaas
USA
 
Rogue

Rogue

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Jefferson
Both myself and C-Dan have also done this spare tire lift mod. It will raise the spare almost 2" and the lowering mechanism is still very easily accessible. My spare is now tucked up at the same level as my hitch and my hitch works as a wonderful skid plate. :D
 
MTNRAT

MTNRAT

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Fernie B.C.
Benie, untill you get a rear bumper-tire carrier, I found the valley hitch, (same as mine), just scraped along the rocks etc and kept the stock rear bumper from being ripped off. Changing the rear spare mounting postion like has been suggested is a great idea, as with a 285 I was always shaving down or removing the balancing weights on the spare. 2" should keep the weights intact.
Sean
 
Riley

Riley

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Thanks guys, raising the spare sounds like what the doctor ordered. Looking at from the rear it does look like it's lower than in needs to be. I'll drop the spare tomorrow and have a peek
 
S

stlcruiser

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Mar 29, 2003
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St. Louis Area
I have been wanting to raise the spare for some time. It seems as though the part of the spare (closest to the bumper) is as high as it can go. Raising the mounting bracket will bring the front of the spare up and more parallel to the ground. Does this sound correct, or does the entire spare raise up somehow?

Thanks,

Steve
94' 110,000
 
T

tiorio

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Apr 11, 2003
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377
Just got back from 5 days in the Eastern Sierra's and have to say...

I remove the hitch (factory) before I go anywhere off-road. It rusts like nothing else anyway. As far as the spare in concerned, nobody seems to get the fact the 5 wheel tire rotations make tires last A WHOLE LOT LONGER (as long as you do not have directional tires of course). That being said, I remove my spare and hoist it up to the roof rack and strap it in. Sure, the truck doesn't really like that extra weight up there but I need the space in the back for the princess-dog. All of this until I can get the rear carrier of course!
 
cruiserdan

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As Rogue mentioned I too have raised my stock carrier. I used 5/16 fender washers instead of nuts to space it up. I have a puzzle lock tha goes on the end of my jack handle and in order to be able to use it I had to drop the hoist down from the crossmember. I lowered it about 1/4 the distance that I raised the crossmember. the tire still seats up against the crossmember. As it is now, my 305 is a bit higher up than the 275 was stock.
 
Riley

Riley

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Fort Langley, BC
OK well isn't this just perfect starter mod...

Anyway tonight I've got the crossmember off and dropped the crank thingy down about 1/4". I could do that because I had the nuts on hand to do it and the old bolts were still long enough. Next question:

Where's good place to get odds and ends like the longer bolts I need (12mm head and I guess about 6mm bolt size - self tapping). Any ideas? There needs to be a good place I get metric odds and ends like this.

Also as I looked at this tonight I'd have to agree with Steve, it does seem that the back end of the spare is tight and even raising the cross member won't help the back end of the tire. Any comments?

I'd like to get the spare back on as my wife is giving me a hard time that she has to drive around without the spare. As if the roads to the soccer fields are laced with nails and other sharp objects. ::)
 
ParadiseCruiser

ParadiseCruiser

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I suppose this is too obvious, but raising the spare carrier doesn't work so hot if you've got an aux fuel tank sittin' in that hole.

Any of you with plans of putting a second tank in there can plan on a rear carrier. Not so bad really... inconvenient at times, but it seems that everything is a tradeoff.

Cheers, R -
 

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