Many of us will add larger tires to our JL Wrangler and doing so will reveal that many tires larger then 33″ will not fit on the factory tire carrier. This will vary depending on the brand of tire and the type of bumper your Jeep has. In general the factory steel bumper will fit a 35 and the plastic will fit a 33. Some have squeezed a small 37 (like a BFG KO2 37″) on a steel bumper but it’s tight.
An easy and inexpensive solution is the Rough Country Wrangler JL Spare Tire Carrier Relocation Bracket. This bracket moves the tire up and out allowing for a larger tire to clear the bumper and tailgate. The bracket is nicely designed and installs quickly.
The bracket is rated for a 35″ tire but we went crazy and mounted a 37 to it with no issue. This may not be the best idea since the bracket doesn’t reinforce the tailgate or provide longer bumpers for added tire support. The Cooper STT Pro 37″ tire isn’t heavy compared to other 37″ tires and the Mopar Performance wheel we used is about the same weight as the factory wheel. Exceed specs at your own risk.
Follow the instructions, as always this article serves to enhance the supplied directions. Remove the camera cover and spare tire. Remove the rear half of the 3rd brake light mount and reroute the wiring as stated in the instructions. This will provide extra wiring length to accommodate the added height. If the 3rd brake light is to be raised for a larger tire remove the lower screws, raise the brake mount and use the top screws only. In the raised location a 37″ tire will fit with the brake light.
We used a bungee to hold the carrier once it was removed from the tailgate. The carrier can be removed and suspended to the side.
Line up the new bracket and loosely install the bolts. Tighten down the bolts and mount the tire carrier to the bracket using the supplied bolts. Check the wiring, make sure it’s not pulled tight or pinched. Mount the spare tire.
The two pictures above show the carrier with the factory 33″ tire on the left and a 37″ tire on the right. The carrier seems to have no problem with the Cooper 37″ STT Pro tire. The tire seems stable and the tailgate operates smoothly.
For more information check out the Rough Country website.