Thanks for the tips Mike. All kinds of ways to hurt yourself with these things.
With the undervan storage box in place I need to find a way to mount the spare tire. I've been carrying it around inside the van since I removed it's mounting bracket under the van. It's always in the way. Especially when camping.
So I ordered a Surco brand Ford tire carrier. It's around $70. Pretty basic. Didn't even come with any instructions. Just the carrier and a few nuts and bolts.
You have to drill four holes in the door. Here's how it looks after I installed it.
There are two bolts that go through the edge of the door above and below the hinges.
Two more bolts go through to the inside of the door. I added the metal plate as a reinforcement.
After installing it I didn't really care for it. My spare tire weighs around 79 lbs and this carrier didn't feel very substantial. It puts the tire weight onto the door and other people who have a similar carrier report that over time it will cause the door to sag.
Another problem is that the carrier is designed such that there is a four inch gap between the back of the tire and the door.
I believe that gap is to allow the door to swing fully open with the tire attached. If there wasn't that gap the edge of the tire will contact the back of the van when it's opened.
With the tire sticking that far out it will interfere with my bike rack.
There are a couple different ways to tackle this. In retrospect if I'd known how much time and effort I'd spend I might have chosen a different path. Or maybe not.
I noticed that with the Surco carrier if I lowered the tire it would rest partway on the rear bumper. Got me to thinking.
So why not build a new carrier which keeps the tire closer to the back of the van, so it doesn't interfere with the bike rack. Design it so the tire rests on the back bumper to keep the weight off the door and a way to raise and latch the tire when opening the door.
This is the beginnings of version 1.
Didn't like that one so started again with version 2.
Here's what the tire would be bolted to.
With this design a good part of the tire would be resting on the bumper as planned.
I worked on this carrier off and on for several weeks.
Then something happened. I bought a metal lathe.
Having the lathe along with my new mill meant I could kick my fabrication ideas to the next level. This caused me to rethink my design. Instead of hanging the tire off the door have it hanging off the hinges. Time to scrap version 2 and start on version 3.
I'd have to modify both the door hinges. Something I have no experience with. I was afraid this was beyond me but figured I could always get a couple replacement hinges from the junkyard if I screwed it up.
Start with the top hinge. The part on the left bolts inside the door. Other side bolts to the door frame.
Grind off the bottom of the hinge pin and see if I can punch it out.
That didn't work. The hinge pin is in too good. Use the mill to drill down into the center of the pin. The black clamps are to hold the hinge steady and vertical as it is drilled.
After drilling into each end of the pin I was able to use a punch to pop it out.
Inside the inner hinge, the part that bolts to the van frame, were these two bushings. Not sure what they are made of.
Next up fabricate new hinge parts and pin.