Smittybilt JL HD Pivot Tire Carrier (7743) - Install / Review / Comments

NTX Black Moab

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Picked this up this morning and will be mounting on Saturday of next week. There doesn't seem to be a thread specific to this Smittybilt TC. This was just released into the wild though from what I understand has been out for a little bit.

Link to this TC: https://www.smittybilt.com/product/index/330.htm

This seems to be very similar to other hinge based tire carriers. I did notice one thing as I was going through instructions is that it includes a reinforcement bracket for the hinge bolts (see attachment).

Overall finish looks good. Smooth finish which works well for me. I'll have more comments on fit when I do the install next weekend.

One more option for hinge based tire carrier is awesome. We don't have a lot of options and some have noted issues (there are plenty of threads on the shortcomings of the other products. As I (and others) find things, please post here.

Of note, I am currently using the SB Tire Relocation Kit (7721). It works for my wheel / tire combo. TX roads suck and there are a few potholes so there is probably more than average "shaking". I've had it for 4 months and it has served me well.

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NTX Black Moab

NTX Black Moab

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Some initial unpacking. Wife isn't particularly happy that this has taken over the kitchen table....LOL

The hinge support bracket is 3/8 in steel. Powder coated the same as the other pieces. Looking forward to the install.

Initial thoughts on instructions: pictures don't always match up with the instructions. New technical writers need to be hired. Or if these are being done overseas...let's get them redone in the US :LOL:

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I am generally not a fan of smittybilt, but this looks like it is built very well. Looks clean too. What size tire are you mounting?
 

mudmonster

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I am generally not a fan of smittybilt, but this looks like it is built very well. Looks clean too. What size tire are you mounting?
I ordered this back around Christmas and still waiting, though they told me it would be soon. I like that it replaces the hinges and seems to be solidly built. Hope install isn’t too much of a pain.
 
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NTX Black Moab

NTX Black Moab

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I am generally not a fan of smittybilt, but this looks like it is built very well. Looks clean too. What size tire are you mounting?
I'm running a Fuel Beast with Nitto RG 37x12.50 as my spare.

I ordered this back around Christmas and still waiting, though they told me it would be soon. I like that it replaces the hinges and seems to be solidly built. Hope install isn’t too much of a pain.
This is my first Jeep Wrangler. From looking at and talking with friends about older iterations of SB products, I would be apprehensive. That said, the few pieces I've seen within the last few years has helped me to form a different opinion.
 
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NTX Black Moab

NTX Black Moab

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Daughter isn't feeling well so plans for the day have been cancelled so that means I'm home with time on my hands. So installation has started, but not without issues NOT related to the product. The person that installed the SB Tire Relocation bracket striped a screw on the rear camera housing so I had to spend an hour driving to various places to get a t-handle for my screw extractor (apparently lost my old one) and go to TSC to find a replacement screw.
 

mudmonster

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I'm running a Fuel Beast with Nitto RG 37x12.50 as my spare.



This is my first Jeep Wrangler. From looking at and talking with friends about older iterations of SB products, I would be apprehensive. That said, the few pieces I've seen within the last few years has helped me to form a different opinion.
Ya I was surprised at how many members I’ve found around here that have had less than ideal things to say about SB, the finish and longevity being a recurring theme I think. From my research though it really fit the bill,very excited to hear how the install goes for you and any tips you may pick up along the way!
 
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NTX Black Moab

NTX Black Moab

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Some updates on the install. I am at a slight standstill on installation. The tech that installed the SB spare tire relocation stripped the screw holding the rear camera frame. I've literally lost 3h to it. I finally got it out, but need to pick up the frame cause I managed to destroy mine. A fellow Jeeper has one that he isn't using to picking up shortly. Once I get that, then I can finish the install.

Just to be clear: the install thus far has been SUPER SIMPLE. The instructions leave a fair amount to be desired, BUT I've been able to figure it out so far.

I only need to mount the rear camera and my third party third brake light and I should be able to mount my spare tire.



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Cleaned up old install. There was some rubbing of the paint from the SB Spare Tire Relocation Bracket. It's covered so I'm ok with that.
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Applied some painters tape prior to removing stock hinges. Helps a little in holding it up, but more importantly helps me find stock mounting height once I put the new hinges in.
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Need to move right tail light. Actually VERY easy to do. This is where the hinge reinforcement bracket will go.
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You will want to pound with a rubber mallet your T55 so it is all the way in there. It WILL be tight because of the paint and you want it all the way in there so you can get it started. If it isn't all the way in, you could potentially strip it. You will NOT be keeping the old hinges.
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bare metal underneath, but expected
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hinge reinforcement bracket. again, this is 3/8" steel. really hoping that this provides significant stability and prevents the "droop" that others experience on other solutions. If not completely prevent, maybe significantly reduce.
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you will want some thin walled sockets. it's a bear to get in there without them.
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ExitLeft

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Great install so far. Question for you @NTX Black Moab how much height adjustment is there? My rear bumper does not have a recess for the spare so the spare can’t hang lower than the tailgate door. Would the smittybilt allow the spare to be mounted high enough?
 

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The sb carrier installed hides any unpainted areas, correct?

And just to clarify, you’re not going right from stock, you had a precious sb relocation bracket to fight with?

I believe the one I bought said it came with an adjustable third brake light, are you just opting to use a different one?
 
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NTX Black Moab

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Great install so far. Question for you @NTX Black Moab how much height adjustment is there? My rear bumper does not have a recess for the spare so the spare can’t hang lower than the tailgate door. Would the smittybilt allow the spare to be mounted high enough?
There is plenty of adjustment up / down as well as in / out. I can adjust specifically for my tire size and wheel back space. EDIT: just reread your post again. There is about 6” additional height adjustment. I’ll confirm that tomorrow when I plan to finish the install.

The sb carrier installed hides any unpainted areas, correct?

And just to clarify, you’re not going right from stock, you had a precious sb relocation bracket to fight with?

I believe the one I bought said it came with an adjustable third brake light, are you just opting to use a different one?
I had the SB spare tire relocation bracket. The screw I’ve been dealing with is in the OEM tire carrier housing. I am using a halo third brake light which my wife prefers. I don’t use the OEM third brake light.
 
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NTX Black Moab

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Some updates. Picked up the camera frame from another Jeeper and got everything installed. Still need to finish electrical, but the installation is essentially done. There should be plenty of upward / forward adjustment to accommodate various tire sizes as well as wheel offsets.

Overall I am pleased with the look. Installation WAS straightforward, but as I indicated, instructions leave a lot to be desired. The instructions are NOT specific to this product and include a couple of other products as well and this is where the confusion will be.

I'll provide updates over the next couple of weeks on my thoughts for this product.

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Thanks for the update @NTX Black Moab
Looks like there's quite a bit of adjustability.
Would you be able to measure the distance from the tire mounting plate (where the lugs are) to the tailgate? I'm trying to determine how far from the tailgate the wheel mounting surface will be. If you've already got your wheel mounted up and can't take a measurement, don't worry about it. Don't want to inconvenience you. Thanks!

Edit: Nevermind the measurement. Looking at it again, I see that it can be adjusted in and out based on your tire and wheel. Thanks anyway
 
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mudmonster

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The big question is: do you feel it’s doing a good job of support the wheel and tailgate? Is the hinge reinforcement really working?
 

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Just picked up this exact hinge kit. Will be watching yours as it progresses.


On another note I ordered my kit from cjponyparts friday...ended up having a fraudulent charge on my card today. smh.
 

                           
























































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