You just bought your new Jeep Wrangler, and you want to add larger tires, a sweet lift, and run your favorite trails with all your friends. There is only one problem. Those new tires won’t mount to the stock tire carrier and if they do fit your tailgate now points down when you open it.
How do I carry my spare?
So what are you, as a new Jeep owner, supposed to do? We have looked at the MOPAR factory kit and were left wanting something stronger and less pricey.
Thankfully the aftermarket is full of companies who are there to give us what we desire the most – better parts at better prices.
EVO MFG JL HD Hinged Tire Carrier
The latest trend in tire carrier design is to mimic the factory brackets and mount the carrier as flush to the tailgate as possible. I am a massive fan of this concept. The closer the tire can be carried to the tailgate surface, the more secure the setup is. The EVO MFG carrier is no exception.
The carrier is designed to take the entire load of the tailgate and tire on the hinge assembly. The carrier is made from laser-cut 3/16 and 3/8 inch thick steel with gussets to add rigidity. You can see in the pictures how the carrier is given a three-dimensional look adding style and durability.
Install and Performance
The directions provided by EVO MFG are very detailed and easy to follow. Peeling the dust cover stickers under the interior plastics was the hardest part. Because the tire carrier uses the factory studs for the tire mount, the camera is also carried over without modification.
Using the tailgate is the same as stock. Pull the handle, open the tailgate, and close it again. I have not had any issues opening or closing the tailgate with the extra weight.
It does take some effort and patience to get the whole assembly lined up, so the tailgate closes smoothly. You have to adjust it close to where you think it should be, mount the tire and do it all over again. Like hanging doors on a car, the weight of the tire causes sag that you have to compensate for by adjusting the mounts.
Is it a buy or a bust?
In this case, it’s a buy. Compared to some others that require wiring modifications to accommodate the backup camera the EVO MFG carrier is an easier install. The build quality is excellent, install was simple and straightforward, and it has an effortless, smooth operation. At $762.28, the price isn’t bad either.
The most important factor has to be the lack of rattle and tailgate noise overall. Every once in an awhile you get a thump from a particularly hard hit. The noise only occurs when I hit a seam in the road that causes both rear wheels to skip.
You can pick yours up by going to the EVO MFG website and selecting one of their vendors.