The Rust Cruiser Spare Tire Winch Replacement (1 Viewer)

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What is theft protection thing look like and where is it located?
The theft protection female part sits in the cone of the spare tire winch. The matching male tip (with a pattern like a theft protection lug nut) should be attached to a rod in your tool kit. If it’s not, you’ll likely have to go to a dealer or bang on it like some other threads here describe. But if you’re just getting rid of the spare then you can use a hacksaw and/or tin snips to cut the tire down then remove the winch from the cross member via the 4 nuts on top. Make sure you have something under tire to support it when you cut it (like a jack, 5 gal bucket, my yeti cooler 😆, etc).
 

flintknapper

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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:

View attachment 1446947
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.

View attachment 1446950

View attachment 1446953

View attachment 1446955

The new winch ready to go in:

View attachment 1446958


Always makes me cringe to see that kind of rust. Glad I don't live in the 'rust belt' and certainly would never buy a vehicle from there.

Here is the Spare Tire Winch I took off of my Texas LX470 (99 model) to give to another forum member. I wanted to have a chain type under mine. Not brand new looking still....but almost.

Spare Tire Winch LX470.jpg
 
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The theft protection female part sits in the cone of the spare tire winch. The matching male tip (with a pattern like a theft protection lug nut) should be attached to a rod in your tool kit. If it’s not, you’ll likely have to go to a dealer or bang on it like some other threads here describe. But if you’re just getting rid of the spare then you can use a hacksaw and/or tin snips to cut the tire down then remove the winch from the cross member via the 4 nuts on top. Make sure you have something under tire to support it when you cut it (like a jack, 5 gal bucket, my yeti cooler 😆, etc).
Thanks for the response. My 97 LC has a hook at the end of the crank so I am thinking my car does have theft protector or do they all have theft protection? And I missing a part?
 
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Thanks for the response. My 97 LC has a hook at the end of the crank so I am thinking my car does have theft protector or do they all have theft protection? And I missing a part?
No they do not al have theft protector. The “regular” one just has a slot that the standard jack hook fits into and turns. If there is a metal object with a pattern on in it in the middle of the cone, then you have theft deterrent. If so, there should be a silver matching tip on the end of one of the brown rods in your toolkit. Sometimes they are missing from previous owners.
 
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Oh my god, getting the winch off is a real PITA if you're dealing with a lot of rust (which I am). Cut the cable with a dremel which was surprising easy to get around the spare. After that, things got more annoying. It was definitely a lot harder because I didn't want to take off the cross member due to rust concerns with getting it back on. All in all, it took a lot of scrubbing with a wire brush, heat, and WD40 to get the bolts to move. With all the rust, the bolts were like butter to every wrench and socket and I had to file a couple millimeters just to get to some good metal. I ended up breaking the plastic casing to get a better look at the bottom of the bolts and I think being able to get some WD40 in from the bottom ended up helping. An extractor socket finally found something solid enough to bite into... Easily the hardest simple thing I've had to do in quite a while.
PXL_20201009_051408798.jpg
 

flintknapper

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Oh my god, getting the winch off is a real PITA if you're dealing with a lot of rust (which I am). Cut the cable with a dremel which was surprising easy to get around the spare. After that, things got more annoying. It was definitely a lot harder because I didn't want to take off the cross member due to rust concerns with getting it back on. All in all, it took a lot of scrubbing with a wire brush, heat, and WD40 to get the bolts to move. With all the rust, the bolts were like butter to every wrench and socket and I had to file a couple millimeters just to get to some good metal. I ended up breaking the plastic casing to get a better look at the bottom of the bolts and I think being able to get some WD40 in from the bottom ended up helping. An extractor socket finally found something solid enough to bite into... Easily the hardest simple thing I've had to do in quite a while.
View attachment 2460537


Pains me to see that kind of rust. I know its a fact of life in the Rust Belt States and I pity those who have to work on vehicles with that kind of corrosion. In contrast....here is mine (21 years old) right off of the truck. I removed it and gave it to a forum member here. I wanted to use the 'chain' type winch off of my 80 Series....since I don't keep a spare under that vehicle.

Pretty much rust free.

Spare Tire Winch LX470.jpg
 
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Pains me to see that kind of rust. I know its a fact of life in the Rust Belt States and I pity those who have to work on vehicles with that kind of corrosion. In contrast....here is mine (21 years old) right off of the truck. I removed it and gave it to a forum member here. I wanted to use the 'chain' type winch off of my 80 Series....since I don't keep a spare under that vehicle.

Pretty much rust free.

Oh it's brutal. I took a chisel to the bolts a few times to try and loosen things up and it rained rust down on me. I got my truck in Utah, but it grew up in Buffalo...
 
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Pains me to see that kind of rust. I know its a fact of life in the Rust Belt States and I pity those who have to work on vehicles with that kind of corrosion. In contrast....here is mine (21 years old) right off of the truck. I removed it and gave it to a forum member here. I wanted to use the 'chain' type winch off of my 80 Series....since I don't keep a spare under that vehicle.

Pretty much rust free.

View attachment 2460588

Some LC100's and LX470's require use of a "security key" as shown at the left hand side of the first pic below. This is attached to the end of the long multi-piece jack handle used to engage and operate the winch. This "security key" is easily lost -- if so, resupply from a Dealer using VIN may be the best bet as not all of these "keys" are the same.

LC100 spare wheel key 4.jpg
 

flintknapper

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Some LC100's and LX470's require use of a "security key" as shown at the left hand side of the first pic below. This is attached to the end of the long multi-piece jack handle used to engage and operate the winch. This "security key" is easily lost -- if so, resupply from a Dealer using VIN may be the best bet as not all of these "keys" are the same.

View attachment 2460878


I recommend anyone with the security key version REMOVE it. I took mine off. It will NOT deter a thief from just reaching in and snipping the cable (takes all of 30 seconds), so it's useless anyway. You'll eventually lose the part that goes on your let down tool OR the key will become packed with dirt or rust away *if you live in the rust belt*. Worthless IMO.
 
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I recommend anyone with the security key version REMOVE it. I took mine off. It will NOT deter a thief from just reaching in and snipping the cable (takes all of 30 seconds), so it's useless anyway. You'll eventually lose the part that goes on your let down tool OR the key will become packed with dirt or rust away *if you live in the rust belt*. Worthless IMO.

I'll second this. While my LC was parked at a hospital(wife working Covid cases) some fool crawled under and did what you just described. This happened in Fort Worth FYI, but yeah, the bottom line is they just need to get to that wire with a set of plier sized wire cutters and the tire is easy to steal. Per my discussion with a local Discount Tire store, these thefts happen fairly consistently.

Ditch the key, it won't stop anyone.
 

flintknapper

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I'll second this. While my LC was parked at a hospital(wife working Covid cases) some fool crawled under and did what you just described. This happened in Fort Worth FYI, but yeah, the bottom line is they just need to get to that wire with a set of plier sized wire cutters and the tire is easy to steal. Per my discussion with a local Discount Tire store, these thefts happen fairly consistently.

Ditch the key, it won't stop anyone.

The 'chain' type winch from an 80 series can be used to replace the cable type. But you'll want to let it down every once in awhile and lubricate it if you live in the rust belt or are coastal.
 
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I'll second this. While my LC was parked at a hospital(wife working Covid cases) some fool crawled under and did what you just described. This happened in Fort Worth FYI, but yeah, the bottom line is they just need to get to that wire with a set of plier sized wire cutters and the tire is easy to steal. Per my discussion with a local Discount Tire store, these thefts happen fairly consistently.

Ditch the key, it won't stop anyone.
That sucks.
Was anything else taken?
I ask because I don’t know how long it would take me to notice my spare was missing unless I spotted the cut off support piece with the spring on the ground.
 
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That sucks.
Was anything else taken?
I ask because I don’t know how long it would take me to notice my spare was missing unless I spotted the cut off support piece with the spring on the ground.
Nope. So clearly it was in a sitaution where they made a decision to grab some quick cash. It's never parked alone, save my driveway which is a quiet suburb, the hospital is the only non secure place that it ventures.

The parking garage where it was parked is surrounded by a giant construction zone, so my belief is that someone with the requisite tools saw a quick way to cut the spare and grab some cash. Also, it was likely a night shift.

But to your point, I didn't notice until I had a leak in the other tire and thought about swapping out the spare.
 

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