Jeep Wrangler Rugged Ridge Spartacus HD Tire Carrier Kit (2007-2016 JK) Review & Install

Jeep Wrangler Rugged Ridge Spartacus HD Tire Carrier Kit (2007-2016 JK) Review & Install


I’m Ryan from ExtremeTerrain.com, and this
is my review of the Rugged Ridge Spartacus HD Tire Carrier Kit, fitting all 2007 and
2016 JKs. This kit includes both the hinge tire carrier and the tire mount, which are
also both available separately. You want to take a look at this kit if you have large
tires on your Jeep and you want to get that big heavy spare tire off of the factory tire
mount, tailgate, and hinges. All of those components can fatigue and be damaged with
a large heavy spare which can actually put you in a dangerous situation. The hinges will
eventually sag, which means you’ll have to pick up on the tailgate every time you open
it and close it, the welds on the tailgate itself can break causing vibration and noise,
and the metal of the factory tire mount can actually fatigue causing the tire to sometimes
completely fall off, especially if you bounce your Jeep around off-road a lot. To avoid that damage, there are a couple of
things you need to do. One, you need to keep the tire tight up against the tailgate, so
it’s not vibrating and torquing around causing that fatigue we talked about when you go over
bumps on the road; and two, you need to get that weight of the spare tire off of the tailgate
hinges. You can do that in a few different ways. One is by installing a bumper with a
tire carrier that’s integrated into it or you can use a tub-mounted carrier like this
one. There are a few benefits to a tub-mounted tire carrier like this over a bumper-mounted
tire carrier. One of those is that you can still open and close the tailgate with one
hand, in one motion, instead of having to first open the tire carrier and then open
the tailgate. Another benefit to a system like this is that
you’re not limited to choosing a bumper that has a tire carrier option. So once you’ve
decided that a tub-mounted tire carrier is the right system for you and for your build,
there are really only a couple of options to take a look at. Like we said before, this
kit includes both the hinge tire carrier and the spare tire mount. The tire carrier is
made of a cast aluminum and the mount is made of steel. Both are finished off with a textured
black powder coat to resist corrosion and rust. You’ll be able to mount up to a 37-inch
tire on the back of your Jeep with this kit. When comparing this system to other systems
on the market there are some differences to note. Some of those other systems will allow
you to cut up the third brake light and install it in the center of the spare tire. This system
doesn’t require any cutting and provides this adjustable third brake light mounting bracket
which keeps the third brake light above the spare tire in more of a factory location.
Another thing to note is that this spare tire mount allows you to adjust the tire in and
out so you can keep it tight up against the tailgate, but it doesn’t allow you to adjust
the tire up and down. Getting this tire carrier installed on the
Jeep was pretty straightforward, thanks to the detailed instructions that Rugged Ridge
provides. I would definitely recommend reading through them before you get started and taking
your time to avoid any snags. A couple of things you’ll want to have on hand before
you dig into the install are some wooden wedges – to support the tailgate from the bottom
when you have the hinges removed – and a good set of torque spits. You’ll have all the hardware
you need to get this bolted up between the factory hardware that you’ll reuse and the
hardware that comes in the kit. We actually had a couple of spacers left over because
we were installing both the hinge carrier and the spare tire mount, so if you have a
few parts left over don’t be alarmed. Rugged Ridge also includes a length of wire
and some crimp-on connectors to extend the factory wire harness for the third brake light,
if you need to. We were only installing a 33-inch tire on our Jeep so that wasn’t necessary
for us, but if you have a larger spare tire and you move the third brake light up, you
may need to do some wiring. Once you get the carrier installed and the third brake light
set up, then you can make the adjustments for the tire mount. Now unfortunately, even
at its tightest, we weren’t able to get our tire tight up against the tailgate and the
carrier. I have used some other tub-mounted carriers that allow for that much adjustment,
and I really prefer to have the tire tight up against the tailgate. Aside from the torque
spits that I mentioned earlier, you should be able to get this installed with just a
socket set and some open-ended wrenches. The whole install should take about one hour and
it’ll be helpful to have an extra set of hands around. Like I said before, there aren’t a lot of
options on the market if you’re looking for a tub-mounted tire carrier, and while this
one is a little less expensive than some of the most popular options, it’s really well-built,
even if it doesn’t allow you to get the tire quite as tight up against the tailgate as
I would’ve liked. That’s my review of the Rugged Ridge Spartacus HD Tire Carrier Kit,
fitting all 2007 and 2016 JK’s, you can find right here at ExtremeTerrain.com.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Just did an install video of this kit on my channel a week or so ago with a 35×12.50R18 Nitto Trail Grappler M/T.

  2. I'm honestly thinking about throwing my spare up on my mbrp roof rack…but need a 3rd brake light option and something to clean up the tail gate.. anyone have a suggestion?

  3. I had to look this video back up to add another comment on this product. We have this installed on our 2015 Willys, carrying a 35×12.50R18 Nitto Trail Grappler M/T, mounted on an 18×9 Method Race Wheels "Fat Five" wheel for a total of 101lbs, held up great! Then we got rear ended by a drunk driver while sitting at a red light, and the tire took a direct hit. It pushed the tire in quite a bit and scratched up the carrier pretty bad. I was at the body shop today and they asked me about this carrier, they said man is it strong! They told me that they used it as a pull point to bring the body back to square while they had it on the frame rack. I said you have to be joking, they said don't worry it's getting replaced but it didn't damage it at all!!! Other than the damage caused by the accident. So I can say this thing is STRONG! The body was off by 8mm on the driver and 11mm on the passenger side, and they pulled it back to normal using this carrier as an anchor point, I couldn't believe it! Great product, even though people bash it and call it a "copy" of another brand that I won't name. Thanks to anyone that actually took the time to read this whole comment!

  4. Looking to buy this tire carrier kit along with Smittybilt XRC Gen1 rear bumper.. do you think I will be able to clear my 22" rim wrapped in 37" tire??

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