After getting home from SoCal, I decided to rotate tires. When I pulled the spare off the Aluminess spare tire mount, I noticed the arm had too much play at the pivot point.
What I found when I took it apart was a little distressing.
First, the arm that pivots and its support are aluminum (Aluminess, right?) and have a steel bolt that goes through both parts. Eventually, the bolt threads will wear away the aluminum, and they did on mine. I had about 1/8" play in the pivot.
The hole is not round, and much larger than the bolt.
To remedy this, I drilled out the hole:
Hole drilled to 1/2"
Pressed in an Oilite bushing
Upon reassembly I discovered the bolt could wear out either the arm or the support. Since I put the bushing in the arm I decided to make sure the bolt will not rotate in the support. No picture here. I simply put the bolt through and peened the hole to make it a very tight fit on the threads and the bolt will no longer rotate.
It was late in the day, and I was tired so that is the fix - and it will work. If I was to do it over, I would go for a larger bolt - ideally a shoulder bolt - and thread the support and use a locknut. Then the unthreaded part of the bolt would make a good surface for the bushing and the threaded support and locknut would make certain the bolt cannot rotate except where the bushing would take the load.