Spare Tire Delete Kits - Why so Badly Designed?


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Apr 19, 2020
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Portland, OR
2020 Willys
Vehicle Showcase
I had a Kentrol spare tire delete kit on my 2010 JK and liked it, so I thought I’d look in to getting rid of the spare on my new JL. But after looking at the various kits available, I am left fairly underwhelmed. Either the design of the spare tire bracket location on the JL tailgate makes designing a proper kit more difficult than for the JK, or the companies making the kits for the JL have gotten very lazy, as all of the kits I‘ve seen leave a lot to be desired.

First, almost every kit runs the wiring to the new bracket through the left OEM hole in the tailgate, which in my opinion, looks like crap. It seems the wiring could easily run behind the bracket, thus concealing a silly looking wire sticking out of the left side of the bracket. And for those intrepid installers who decided to wire behind the bracket in defiance of the manufacturer’s silly designs, there does not appear to be a plug provided for that left OEM hole. Come on - how difficult could it possibly be to design a bracket with wiring behind it, AND supply enough plugs to plug every OEM hole on the tailgate?!

And then there is the location of the rear camera. For some reason, most of the manufacturers decided to place the camera housing at the bottom of the new bracket, instead of the top. This screws up the function of the OEM camera, as the guides on the dash display are calibrated for the camera at a higher position on the tailgate. Again, how difficult could it be to design the bracket with the camera housing up top? (Apparently not too difficult, since several companies have properly done this.)

Then there is the third brake light. This is the law, guys. New cars must have a third brake light! Yet many of these manufacturers have omitted this entirely (I.e., either not providing a third light, or not providing a bracket to remount the OEM third light.) Once again - come on, guys. Can you say, lay-zy?

And lastly, what is with the opportunism of placing your brand name on the bracket? (Yes, I’m referring to you, DV8 and Rough Country, among others. If you want me to advertise for you, pay me to do so. Otherwise, keep your brand names off of the stuff I buy from you.)

If I had a manufacturing facility, I’d design a proper spare tire delete kit and show these knuckleheads how it should be done. But I don’t. So, I guess I’m keeping my spare tire. For now.

Suggestions of a proper spare tire delete kit are welcome.

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