Homebuilt Spare Tire Carrier - Ford Transit USA Forum
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Old 03-22-2019, 11:54:PM Thread Starter
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Homebuilt Spare Tire Carrier

So recently, I had a small door failure that rendered my previous spare tire solution non viable. I have a short wheelbase van with 245's and my new spare will not fit in the stock location without hitting the differential. Long story short, I take my van on a lot of trails (which likely contributed to the failure due to all the flex in our unibody vans), and needed a heavier duty option that didn't cost $3100. All in, I'm at $300, reuse the stock bumper cover, and will hopefully have a killer spare tire solution. It's still a work in progress, I had to get at least the tire carrier finished because I'm leaving Sunday for Baja. I'll post more pictures when I get back but I'm taking a painting break and, being super stoked about almost being done, had to share with everyone.
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Old 04-01-2019, 01:35:AM Thread Starter
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So I'm back from Baja. I ended up pulling the swingarm off because I wasn't happy with the latch or how secure the tire was. This is where it was at 1am the morning of my 4am departure. My departure time was hardset because we went to Baja with our church's high school group for a spring break mission trip.

Realizing I was beginning to rush through things a bit, and I was at the last minute I stopped. I definitely didn't want a failure on that trip so I played it safe and rocked the tire in the cargo area of the van.

Hopefully I'll get it buttoned up this week with a squared away latch and better support for the tire and then summer can officially come!

I'm open to some suggestions on the swing arm. I need it high to clear the backup sensors. I tried to keep it as light as possible by minimizing tubing usage but will end up with a few more supports I think to prevent any fatigue failures on the hub. My Hi-lift will fit between the tire and the door on the driver taillight side, so that will get added in that spot. But this is the gist of it:
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Old 04-03-2019, 04:36:PM
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Nice! Would love to see some of the dirty build detail!

2017 Transit HR Quigley
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Old 04-05-2019, 11:34:PM Thread Starter
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Ok, so first, here's what happened to my door from the door mounted tire carrier. It was an awesome idea, but didn't pan out completely. You can see the big crack/tear on the lateral (hinge side) seam of the door and the smaller tears around each of the bolt holes on the medial (latch side) of the door which I didn't notice until I pulled the trim panel off to remove the carrier.
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Old 04-05-2019, 11:43:PM Thread Starter
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I wanted to design a simple, strong, straight forward bumper that would allow me to mount a swing out carrier on both sides of the van without taking away from departure clearance. The driver side will have a tire, hi-lift, shovel, and axe. The passenger side will have a platform that is elevated above the license plate and rear-view camera and be able to hold a 60-75 quart Grizzly cooler or generator.

I wanted to keep the main tube within the stock bumper cap to minimize additional weight and extra fabrication. My goal was to hide as much of my inability to fabricate as possible!

I used a 1/4" thick, 3"x4" structural steel tube for the main tube so first I joined some 2x4s together to mess with the shape of the ends. My goal was to reuse the stock bumper supports and weld to that to maintain a crumple zone.
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Old 04-05-2019, 11:50:PM Thread Starter
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I soon realized using the stock bumper brackets was going to lead to "crumple" just from regular use because of the weight of the bumper. And the stock step/bumper cover needed some support to stay a step.

So I made a support for the step out of 3/16" plate and decided to try to bend some supports out the same 3/16" plate to mimic the factory bumper mounts.

Trying to bend the bumper supports turned into an epic failure. I couldn't bend both sides in the bender I got from Swag offroad. I also didn't want to bend it in halves and have a welded seam in the middle because I'm planning on reusing the factory hitch to maintain the weight rating sticker when I rent trailers.
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Last edited by bajafrenzy; 04-06-2019 at 12:20:AM.
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Old 04-05-2019, 11:54:PM Thread Starter
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Back at the drawing board, I realized the 3"x4" tube stock inside width was 1/4" wider than the width of the frame rails the bumper mounts to, giving me a 1/8" gap on each side which I could live with or crank together with the mounting bolts.

So I took the template I made for the bumper mounts and cut down the tube stock to fit. I took 2" off the stock measurement and was able to gain an additional 2" of departure clearance off the rear too. So it was a win win...I think.

I also bent up some mounts to hold it close to the van like the factory mounts out of 3/16" plate.
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Old 04-06-2019, 12:01:AM Thread Starter
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I mocked it all up again and figured out a good spot to put the spindles to allow me to clear the hinges when I wanted to remove the swingarms. I also used some cardboard to mock up a box to fill in the now trimmed stock bumper caps.
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Old 04-06-2019, 12:02:AM Thread Starter
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All the plate was cut and everything was tacked together for a mock fit to double check clearances
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Old 04-06-2019, 12:07:AM Thread Starter
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I ended up leaving the ends of the bumper tube square so I can add rocker guards at some point to protect the rear rockers. The ends don't stick out further than the tires and you can't see the bumper at all from the front of the van.

I pulled the bumper off and painted it for my trip to Baja, leaving the spots I was going to have to drill and weld for wire tabs, hitch, etc. just primed so I could take care of that when I got back. At this point, I was a bit under the gun and had to focus on the parts that were essential for getting it mounted and functional as quick as possible.
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