Jeep Wrangler Smittybilt SRC Oversize Tire Carrier (2007-2017 JK) Review & Install

Jeep Wrangler Smittybilt SRC Oversize Tire Carrier (2007-2017 JK) Review & Install


I’m Ryan from ExtremeTerrain.com, and this
is my review of the Smittybilt SRC Oversize Tire Carrier, fitting all 2007 to 2016 JKs. When you have larger tires on your Jeep, you’ll
want to be able to run a full-size spare. But when you put a large, heavy, full-size
spare tire on your factory spare tire mount, you can run into three major issues. One is that the tailgate hinges themselves
can start to wear out and sag, which will mean you need to lift up the tailgate every
time you open it and close it. The second issue that can occur is breaking
of the tailgate welds themselves. The tailgate is made from a few pieces of
metal that are welded together, and those welds can fatigue and break, causing a lot
of noise, and eventually the tailgate can fail. Finally, the spare tire mount itself that’s
on the tailgate has a weight limit. And if you’re running a much larger, heavier
spare tire than the factory one, the metal of that mount can fatigue and eventually break. Now, something like this is one solution to
a couple of those problems. You can install a bumper-mounted tire carrier,
a tub-mounted tire carrier, or you can replace the factory spare tire mount, which is what
this Smittybilt system does. This system does include these tire bars,
which allow you to keep your spare tire tight up against something, which keeps it from
torqueing around, which is partially what fatigues that factory spare tire mount. However, this is not going to address the
issue of the tailgate welds or of the tailgate hinges. That being said, this is significantly less
expensive than those other tire carriers that address all of the issues of running a larger,
heavier spare. So this is priced appropriately. As I said, this is designed to replace the
factory spare tire mount, and it mounts in the same location on the tailgate, so you
don’t need to drill anything, which is a really nice feature. This has three different mounting locations,
which means you can move the mount up and down, depending on whether you’re running
a larger or a smaller spare tire. If you’re running a smaller spare, you can
move the mount down, giving you maximum visibility out of the back of the window. But if you’re running a 37-inch spare, you
can move the mount up to give you enough clearance between the bottom of the spare tire and the
bumper. Now, these tire bars are also included in
this kit, and as I mentioned, they’re very important. Part of the reason that a factory mount can
fail is having the tire torqueing around or moving every time you hit a bump. So you want that tire to be pressed tight
up against something other than just the mounting location in the center of the hub, and that’s
what these bars do. By the nature of the attachment mechanism,
this does have some in/out adjustability. So regardless of what width tire you’re running
or what back spacing you’re running, you can make sure you get that tire nice and tight. The piece itself is gusseted. It’s fully welded. It’s covered in a textured black powder coat
finish, which means it’s going to hold up pretty well over time against rust and corrosion. Something that I really like is right over
here. It allows you to use your factory third brake
light. It gives you a mount to put that third brake
light up a little bit higher over whatever size spare you’re running, which means you
don’t have to purchase an additional third brake light. Something that makes this setup pretty unique
is what I alluded to earlier, which is the actual attachment mechanism for the tire to
the mount. It is this threaded rod with this piece here
that goes in the three lug nuts that you would normally use to attach your spare to your
spare tire mount. This is something that makes it a little bit
easier to get the spare on and off. You don’t necessarily need a tool. However, you’ll need that socket set to actually
change the tire anyway. So I’m not sure that this saves you a ton
of time. To get this spare tire mount installed on
your Jeep, all you need to do is first remove your factory spare tire mount. In order to do that, of course you’ll remove
the spare, and then remove the eight bolts that are holding that mount onto the tailgate. At that time, you’ll also have to remove a
couple of Phillips head screws from your factory third brake light and remove that as well. Once everything is removed from the tailgate,
you can lay your spare tire face down, lay the mount on top of it, and attach it to the
spare tire. Once that’s done, you can line up your third
brake light mount to make sure that you have the height correct. You want the third brake light just peeking
out over the top of the spare tire. Doing it on the ground will ensure that you
don’t have to lift up the spare tire and mount it and unmount it to get your spacing figured
out. So once you have the third brake light bolted
up to the mount itself, then it’s a matter of attaching the mounts onto the Jeep. Now, as I said, there are three different
mounting locations and the instructions for this tell you which hole you should be using
for different size spare tires. Or you can take a couple of measurements if
you prefer to do it that way. Once the spare tire mount is attached onto
the tailgate, you can move on to attaching the tire bars. Once the bars are installed with the included
hardware and spacers, it’s just a matter of attaching your third brake light onto the
third brake light mount that you’ve already screwed onto the tire mount, putting the spare
tire onto the Jeep, and you’re pretty much finished up. The whole process shouldn’t take you more
than about two hours, and you won’t need any specialty tools at all, just some traditional
hand tools. Now, whether you’ve tried mounting your larger
spare tire on your factory mount and found that you physically don’t have the room or
you’ve been reading horror stories of having a heavy spare tire on the factory mount, and
you’ve been shopping around for other solutions, you’ll know that this one is much less expensive
than a full tub-mounted tire carrier system, or a bumper with a bumper-mounted tire carrier. There’s a reason for that. Like I said, this solves really just one of
the few different problems that mounting a large, heavy spare on your factory location
will cause. So if you’re looking to just be able to physically
fit the spare tire by moving it up a little bit, and make sure that it’s tight up against
something so the tire is not torqueing around, this will solve that problem. If you’re looking for something that will
also ensure that the welds on your tailgate don’t break or that your tailgate hinges don’t
wear out, you’re going to want to look at one of those more complete and more expensive
systems. So that’s my review of the Smittybilt SRC
Oversize Tire Carrier fitting all 2007 to 2016 JKs, that you can find right here at
ExtremeTerrain.com.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. For those who are interested in this item, I have it installed on my 2013 2dr to carry my 35×12.5 duratrac spare. For the price, it is a great tire carrier, as the ones that strengthen the hinges can cost around $700. If you keep the tire mounted against the bars, there is no bounce or flex to worry about. One thing they forgot to mention in the review (or I missed it) is that this carrier does have security. There is a notch and hole on one side of the handle that spins onto the tire, that allows a key/combo lock of your choice to be installed. This stops a tab on the handle from spinning last the lock, thus preventing your tire from being easily taken. Other than that I'd highly recommend this product!

  2. Do you have any pictures of the tire as it sits against the 'stabilizer bars'? Also, what are the specs on that wheel/ tire combo? I'm looking to keep my tire from jiggling and I've already addressed the hinges and gate- just looking for sucking the tire closer to the body now.

    My current wheels are 17*8 level 8 Trackers.

  3. This looks like an ok product. Be sure to keep those three issues in mind, they do happen! I've seen gate and weld failure in person due to heavy oversized tires on oem equipment. I would never put a heavy, oversized tire on the stock carrier. You take the chance of making your spare into a giant bouncing projectile if you hit a good hard bump on the highway and it cuts loose. I personally like the RR Spartacus HD Tire Carrier and the TeraFlex carriers better than this style of carrier.

  4. So what's the point of this thing? If your hinges and your welds are still going to fatigue what is this doing other than allowing you to mount a tire that WILL fatigue your hinges and welds?

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