The very popular Jeep Wrangler JK has certainly cemented itself in the off-road world, and gotten many people involved in one of the greatest hobbies mankind has ever invented.
But getting into off-road means you’ll be getting upgrades; just ask Mary MacGregor, our resident JK project owner who’s received everything from bumpers and armor to a lift kit, bushings, and wheels and tires.
The latter has caused some unexpected wear and tear to the Jeep, but not for any fault by the manufacturer. It’s more to do with the stock tire carrier mount and hinge, which have had trouble supporting the added weight of the aftermarket tire and wheel.
Thankfully, we’ve worked with Extreme Terrain and found a terrific solution – the Rugged Ridge Spartacus HD tire carrier kit (PN 103911). Using tough metal yet still having a cool and sturdy appearance, the Spartacus kit looks to be a great addition to Mary’s Jeep, but first, we wanted to find out why.
We spoke with Extreme Terrain’s Robert DeFrancesco, who was able to explain the kit in some more depth. Asked what happens to Jeeps that have oversized tires and wheels mounted to the stock tire carrier, DeFrancesco said, “Putting that much weight – 60 pounds or above – on the tailgate can really damage the sheet metal.”
“That sheet metal on the back is not the same you would find on a bumper,” he continued. “The Rugged Ridge setup offers the kind of backing to support the tire and wheel and not put wear and tear on the Jeep.”
It has been quite some time since we installed the Deegan 38 tires and wheels on the Jeep (over a year and a half ago), and that spare has been hanging on that whole time. Thus, it was no wonder when Mary rang us up to tell us her tire carrier was starting to sag, especially around the hinges.
“Putting a heavy enough tire on the stock tire carrier, combined with everyday driving and off-roading, can do a number on the metal,” said DeFrancesco.
With the Spartacus HD tire carrier kit, our expectation is that the sturdier aluminum and forged steel construction of the kit will fare better over stock. We feel comfortable that it will, considering the kit has been tested to meet MIL-STD-810 for stress and vibrations of off-roading.
We’re looking forward to getting the Spartacus HD tire carrier kit installed on the JK and seeing how it will help keep the spare tire situated and secure. For more information, go check out the Extreme Terrain website and Facebook page.