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Sport with rear tire carrier


Well-Known Member
November 23, 2004
Reaction score
City, State
Bismarck ND
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Explorer SportTrac
I found an aftermarket swing out tire carrier on a 88 BII in a wrecking yard a couple of days ago" you can see the difference in the hinge brakets/mounts" and got the bug to install it. I had to do some modifications to the carrier latch.." cut it apart, lengthen it down and offset the top mounting holes to clear the wiper. I was able to weld a piece I cut out to lengthen it!
The bracket below the tail light did not fit snug against the body curve,about 1/2 inch gap "not bad" but I can fill that part in with a fabricated piece of metal. All in All..It attaches really secure....I would have to strengthen the sheet metal support behind the top tailight bracket if I had to haul around a 35" tire!
I think it looks pretty cool on the back of my X. I had to give it all a fresh black paint job! :D


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Looks pretty good. I don't know if I'd have the guts to drill through the body like that. I'd prefer the tire carrier swingout bumper, but your tire carrier turned out really nice. :thumbsup:

Thanks Bryan...It did feel odd swiss cheesing my quarter panel and rear hatch..he..he!!
Nothing ventured..nothing gained!! I like the idea of not having the spare under the truck...It is really nasty to get to if you have a you have bigger tires on yor X..The new size spare would not fit under the X!
I found out how cheap or thin the sheetmetal is on the newer Explorers..nothing like the older BII's and maybe the 1st Generations!!!

Looks good but i'd be a little weary of the hinges. I've seen threads where hinges much beefier than that have failed.

I just typed a long reply and lost it....dang.

Anyways looks good!
Stock BII carrier is tough, the hinges last forever and can handle a 35 no problem.
The tailgatge mount needs some help however, it will rip the fiberglass unless you use a plate inside the gate and spead the load.

the stock BII hinges are re-enforced from inside the BII rear quarter panel. I suggest you do something similar in there.

I think it looks great, about time an Ex started using BII parts. :) Now go get the BII gas tank and skid plate!

I am planning big mods to my stock tire carrier (275K miles) to handle the 35's with out bouncing around....

looks awesome i always like tires mounted there...

Thanks....I did use the reinforcement plates on the back of the mounts...The hatch mount is different than the normal BII mount..they are normally small with a backing plate..I had one of those laying around..but the 2nd Gens are really weak for a seemingly stand alone mounting area. The mount I used spreads the carrying load out more and relieves the stress on the hatch sheet metal. It sure seemed like I was working on an alluminum can...the sheet metal seemed to have a lot of flex to it!!

The BII fuel tank has crossed my mind!!!

FYI those hinges look identical to a full size Bronco :)
I would STILL spread the load on the other side of the tailgate (behind the trim, inside) to keep it from ripping, especially if you plan to run larger and larger tires.

The size of the BII hatch mount varied throughout the years, as the trucks got later and later they got bigger and bigger, but never large enough IMO

I had thought about this mod myself, but I was worried about the hinges ripping out from the 1/4 panel. What did you do to reinforce that area? Any pics of it from behind the plastic pannel inside your cargo area? I am sick of seeing my 32" spare stuffed up under my truck, especially once i get a 3"BL, it will really be hanging down there.

Do you have any install pics or any closeups of the mounts that are bolted to the truck and tailgate. I like this option for one of my daily drivers.

I have no pics of the mount behind the interior panels..I put my X back together....The top hinge mount was a bugger to get is finger tip work, hold the backing plate on, while starting the bolts. The 2nd Gens have boxed in the area just below the rear side windows, leaving only a limited access area. If I had to really reinforce that back plate area..I would have to cut metal to gain acces to the inside of the quarter panel. To reinforce the area behind the bottom hinge mount..I cut and bent some 1/8 sheet metal to match the inner curve below the tailight..I drilled the needed holes and used that as a back plate for the bottom mount.
I found a carrier that would work..with some cutting and massaging of it. I do not know how the more common BII mounts would be made to work...
410 said some of the full size Broncs had the same type of carriers.
The upper hinge mount is different than any other BII mounts that I have seen...That is why it worked out so well...It was a stinker to install...I will get the namerof the after market maker of the carrier!!
On the will see the difference in the lever and hatch mount compared to the common BII carriers you see running around!!
Do some research, keep checking wrecking yards and you might stumble on the carrier that will work!!


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Bestop is the manufacturer of that carrier. Thanks for the pics. I may have to try this :)

Shoot...Sorry for not posting the brand of tire it are right about Bestop.....This is what the sticker says:

Longmont, Colorado

I did a quick Google search and found the Bestop name, but no tire carriers...maybe someone will have better luck if they are interested!!

I gave this a posting a bump from the year 2005 since there is some interest in mounting a tire carrier on the back of their X.:p:

Excellent mod! I missed this 5 years ago!

Nice time travel .

But to know , the spare carrier is still working or you have any problem ?

very good job , i´m doing some reserch to do something like this .


Nice time travel .


The time travel was virtually painless.:)
The carrier is still working great. the weakest point is the mount below the tail light. I knew this before but really noticed it when I neglected to fully latch the swing arm onto the hatch pin and proceeded to drive down the road. The carrier swung open "Hard" all the way to the end of its swing point. The area around the lower brackets quarter panel got bent in. I easily straightened it out. Sadly, I did this more than once,:rolleyes: but there was no permanent damage.
I said all this to point out the need for a little more support on the inside of the quarter panel for the lower mount. The carrier I found to use had a perfect top mount design that was strong.
Thanks for asking