The Rust Cruiser Spare Tire Winch Replacement (1 Viewer)

Joined
Oct 17, 2016
Messages
184
Location
Louisville, KY
I was unable to lower the spare tire using the winch on my 2006 LC because it was pretty much rusted solid. I ordered the winch from ToyotaPartsDeal.com for $110 and decided to tackle the project yesterday.

My winch had the theft prevention doodad on it and there was so much rust that I likely stripped it out using the factory supplied key. The new one did not have this feature and I'm happy about that, for sure. It was just one more thing to lose or strip out. Instead, you just use the same hook that you use for the spare tire jack to turn the winch and raise/lower the spare.

This should give you an idea of the kind of rust I was dealing with:

IMG_6134.JPG


Yeah, I know, you can hardly tell there is a spring in there. Since I could not lower the tire due to the rusted winch, I placed my 3 ton floor jack under the center of the tire (with the AHC on "L") to support the tire while I took a pair of tin snips and cut the cable between the tire and the winch. After lowering and removing the spare with the jack, I got my first look at the winch:

IMG_6135.JPG


Yes, that is a ridiculous amount of rust on the winch and everywhere else for that matter. This is what you get when you buy a rust belt vehicle from NY (sight unseen, mind you). Probably not the smartest thing I have ever done, but the mileage and price were right. If you think that is bad, take a look at the bumper (or what is left of it) from underneath:

IMG_6136.JPG


Yeah, I know, sucks, right? Here is the back of the factory hitch. I am a little wary of pulling anything with it:

IMG_6137.JPG


More to come in Part 2...
 
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Joined
Sep 25, 2016
Messages
29
Location
Minnesota
That is rusty, but not horrible. Makes my 99 look new though. There is nothing wrong with that hitch from that picture. That is just surface rust from where the powder coat has peeled.

When you reinstalled the winch cradle did you space it up to get some extra clearance for the spare tire?
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2016
Messages
184
Location
Louisville, KY
The bolts on top of the spare tire winch were difficult to remove without being able to see them. The key was to use a 6 point 12 mm wrench. I started out with a 12 point wrench but couldn't get a grip with it. The 6 point wrench did the trick and I was able to get them all out without breaking anything or rounding off the heads. Here is another photo of some rust along a weld:

IMG_6138.JPG

And here's the old rusted winch once it was removed. You can see where the cable is supposed to come out of the hole. I still wasn't able to get it freed up after removing it.

IMG_6141.JPG


IMG_6142.JPG


IMG_6143.JPG


The new winch ready to go in:

IMG_6144.JPG
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2016
Messages
184
Location
Louisville, KY
The new winch installed:

IMG_6145.JPG


I did not make any changes to get more clearance for the spare but I can see how it might be done. I mainly wanted to get the spare out so I can get 5 new tires mounted. I also noticed that this is the original spare and that flat spots had been rubbed on the tire from the support bracket that the winch mounts to. The spare had never even been used but the tire is pretty worthless with the spots rubbed on the sidewalls. I wish I had taken a photo of it as it would be easy to explain. I'm not sure if the tire was winched up too tight or if it somehow had movement in it that allowed it to rub the flat spots.

Here's the spare mounted back underneath. The hitch actually hangs lower than the spare, although you can't see it from this photo. I believe the hitch interferes more with the departure angle than the spare would at this point. If I were to want to improve the departure angle, the first thing I would do is remove the factory hitch.

IMG_6146.JPG


I have a steep incline to get into my garage and I have scraped the hitch on the garage apron backing straight into the garage on the AHC "N" setting. If I raise the height to "H", I don't have that problem. It is a 22" fall from the garage floor to the alley over 5 feet. Given the condition of the metal underneath my rear bumper, I will likely replace it with a better bumper with better clearance and one where I can mount the spare on it.

Overall this repair took only a few hours total but I sprayed plenty of Kroil on the bolts and threads to help loosen everything up. Now that I can get the spare out, it is time for new tires! Yes!
 
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Joined
Sep 18, 2015
Messages
158
Location
Chicago
My rear bumper support looks similar underneath. I believe what happens is that along with the salt corrosion you also get that entire area filled with moisture from the exhaust which barely clears the bumper at all. Essentially that rear bumper is a steam chamber, the perfect environment for insane rust. I purchased another one of those bumper support pieces, I just haven't installed it yet knowing full well that I'll have to drill out every bolt on the bumper cover.

My spare tire winch was the same (05 LC, rust belt) but I was able to free it up and now I lower that spare and hit the entire area there, body underside and frame and everything with Fluid Film at least once a year. Seeing that new one makes me want to replace it though, very nice!
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2016
Messages
184
Location
Louisville, KY
My middle skid plate/splash guard is sitting in my garage now because I took it off to replace the AFR sensors and broke 2 bolts off trying to put it back on. The PO removed the front splash guard and it is completely missing with at least 3 broken bolts that will have to be drilled out to install a new one. Everybody hates drilling out bolts and I'm no exception. Everything puts up a fight when working underneath and I get a face full and mouthful of rust every time I crawl under there.
 

Hornd

SILVER Star
Joined
Dec 18, 2013
Messages
2,599
Location
Toledo, OH
Invest in some Fluid Film (Zoro on Ebay) and go to town with wire wheels and then sprayer. It won't improve anything but it will stop/slow the self destruction.
Propane Torch and PB Blaster or Kroil your best friend, but your still gonna twist some bolts off
If you want to do stuff right then drop the hitch, tow hooks, Wiper Arms and such and have the stuff powder coated then reassemble with new hardware.
Be prepared to chase threads and have to replace some hardware.
 

slowpok3

SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 5, 2013
Messages
197
Location
Annapolis
KYLandy, thanks for posting this. My 2002 LX has the corroded anti-theft receiver that dissolved when I tried to lower the spare. My truck has been subjected to the harsh road treatment of NoVA and MD its entire life.

I put a Home Depot orange bucket underneath the spare, and used a hacksaw blade to cut the cable.

Now I see more ugly rust that I will try to clean up before I mount a new hoist.
 
Joined
Sep 8, 2018
Messages
78
Location
CT
Thanks for posting. Looks exactly like my rig that came from NY as well. Im going to need to replace my winch but thankfully the spare is already off.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Messages
114
Location
Louisville
I know this thread is a bit old, but I finally got around to tackling this today and thought I’d share my experience with my 2002 LC to help others. My LC also has some rust on the undercarriage due to coming out of the mid continent snow belt. As mentioned by the OP, the cross member is held down by 4 12mm bolts. There are square nuts welded on the underside of the cross member where the bolts thread into. Despite four rounds of PB, I was unable to loosen these bolts. Laying on your back in the garage makes it difficult to get leverage, and I gave up. Next I tried the 4 12mm bolts holding the winch to the cross brace. I hit these with PB as well; however, I gave up trying to get them out as wel because fitting your hand through the wheel spokes is tough, and operating a ratchet is even harder.

I knew my winch was frozen with rust and would need to be replaced, so I put my floor jack under the winch and wheel and used a hacksaw to cut the cable (good luck using cutters...). Anyway, after a few minutes sweating my @$$ off, the wheel was free.

I found the original tire on the wheel (2001 vintage) and a lot of corrosion in the wheel itself. I also found indentations in the tire where the cross member pressed against it. The tire is shot, but I don’t love the thought of the new tire getting indentations as well.

Anyway, once the spare is out, access to the winch bolts is much easier. I hit those with PB again and they came out pretty easily. The winch was rusted beyond repair and I couldn’t move it on my workbench in the vise.

Last comment is even after I removed the tire, the bolts on the cross member still did not want to give. I decided not to press my luck and risk stripping the bolt heads. I think as long as you oil the new winch and winch bolts regularly, you’d never need to remove the cross brace because you could always let down the tire and unbothered the winch. Some pics below. Hope my experience helps someone else in the future.

1998715

1998718
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2017
Messages
76
Location
Washington, DC
I was unable to lower the spare tire using the winch on my 2006 LC because it was pretty much rusted solid. I ordered the winch from ToyotaPartsDeal.com for $110 and decided to tackle the project yesterday.

My winch had the theft prevention doodad on it and there was so much rust that I likely stripped it out using the factory supplied key. The new one did not have this feature and I'm happy about that, for sure. It was just one more thing to lose or strip out. Instead, you just use the same hook that you use for the spare tire jack to turn the winch and raise/lower the spare.

This should give you an idea of the kind of rust I was dealing with:

View attachment 1446621

Yeah, I know, you can hardly tell there is a spring in there. Since I could not lower the tire due to the rusted winch, I placed my 3 ton floor jack under the center of the tire (with the AHC on "L") to support the tire while I took a pair of tin snips and cut the cable between the tire and the winch. After lowering and removing the spare with the jack, I got my first look at the winch:

View attachment 1446633

Yes, that is a ridiculous amount of rust on the winch and everywhere else for that matter. This is what you get when you buy a rust belt vehicle from NY (sight unseen, mind you). Probably not the smartest thing I have ever done, but the mileage and price were right. If you think that is bad, take a look at the bumper (or what is left of it) from underneath:

View attachment 1446634

Yeah, I know, sucks, right? Here is the back of the factory hitch. I am a little wary of pulling anything with it:

View attachment 1446637

More to come in Part 2...
I have the same situation with my rusted out and frozen/stripped spare tire winch on a 2004 LX470. Do you know if
the toyota part number is the same for an LX470 for this part?
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2017
Messages
76
Location
Washington, DC
I have the same situation with my rusted out and frozen/stripped spare tire winch on a 2004 LX470. Do you know if
the toyota part number is the same for an LX470 for this part?
So this seems to be yet another rust weak spot on the hundy. Mine was dropped with tin shears and a hacksaw. The bolts were a little corroded and had to use pb blaster and wire brush on the heads so I didn’t round them off but I want new ones.

Does anyone have the part numbers handy for the winch bolts and washers?

F971787C-9971-47D8-A2FA-6A67CCE2E8E7.jpeg
636F0E0C-B230-44D5-B76E-D4CC13D3C958.jpeg
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2017
Messages
76
Location
Washington, DC
So this seems to be yet another rust weak spot on the hundy. Mine was dropped with tin shears and a hacksaw. The bolts were a little corroded and had to use pb blaster and wire brush on the heads so I didn’t round them off but I want new ones.

Does anyone have the part numbers handy for the winch bolts and washers?

View attachment 2348216View attachment 2348217
FYI The part numbers for the bolts on the spare tire winch are 90119-08701 and they come with washers.
 
Joined
May 31, 2016
Messages
20
Location
Boston
I was unable to lower the spare tire using the winch on my 2006 LC because it was pretty much rusted solid. I ordered the winch from ToyotaPartsDeal.com for $110 and decided to tackle the project yesterday.

My winch had the theft prevention doodad on it and there was so much rust that I likely stripped it out using the factory supplied key. The new one did not have this feature and I'm happy about that, for sure. It was just one more thing to lose or strip out. Instead, you just use the same hook that you use for the spare tire jack to turn the winch and raise/lower the spare.

This should give you an idea of the kind of rust I was dealing with:

View attachment 1446621

Yeah, I know, you can hardly tell there is a spring in there. Since I could not lower the tire due to the rusted winch, I placed my 3 ton floor jack under the center of the tire (with the AHC on "L") to support the tire while I took a pair of tin snips and cut the cable between the tire and the winch. After lowering and removing the spare with the jack, I got my first look at the winch:

View attachment 1446633

Yes, that is a ridiculous amount of rust on the winch and everywhere else for that matter. This is what you get when you buy a rust belt vehicle from NY (sight unseen, mind you). Probably not the smartest thing I have ever done, but the mileage and price were right. If you think that is bad, take a look at the bumper (or what is left of it) from underneath:

View attachment 1446634

Yeah, I know, sucks, right? Here is the back of the factory hitch. I am a little wary of pulling anything with it:

View attachment 1446637

More to come in Part 2...
 
Joined
May 31, 2016
Messages
20
Location
Boston
Thanks for sharing. I have the same problem New England car. My spare underneath is flat so tried to lower it to refill it with slime to keep air and the crank is rusted solid my is a chain version. Going to cut It like you suggested but not replace. I never used the spare anyway in 24 years. May get better gas mileage May actually get rid of third row as well. This is helpful!
 
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