Spare Tire Delete / License Plate Relocation

Jerpy

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I originally ordered the Suparee Spare Tire Delete Kit after seeing a video someone had posted online showing their installation. I'm not the most technically inclined when it comes to automotive stuff, but it seemed pretty straight forward. Unfortunately, it was not (is it ever?).

First things first, this video shows a basic removal of the spare tire and installation of the kit. There's a few little things that aren't addressed such as the precise order in which stuff needs to be installed and, in my case, removal and relocation of the pedestrian alert speaker. Before I did any of the following, however, I spent some time preparing the Suparee bracket by connecting all of the pieces (brake light, camera, license plate lights) and soldering the wire to the license plate lights.

NOTE: Make sure you label the connectors! The connector for the brake light and the pedestrian alert speaker look VERY similar (and I think they have the same connection type). Also, I'd recommend watching this video before performing the removal of the stock spare tire mount as it has some additional tips that I found helpful. Lastly, here's a good video showing where to properly fish and connect the wire for the license plate lights.
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Once the spare tire housing is removed, you'll notice there's a couple of plastic grate pieces with rubber flaps to keep out the elements (see above). I wasn't super crazy about these, so I ordered a RedRock Vent Cover to use instead. To me it just gives a much cleaner look underneath and is probably slightly more weather resistant. The problem with this, however, is feeding through the wires for the third brake light, backup camera, and license plate lights -- the vents aren't large enough to get the connectors through and there's really no grooves in the plate to allow the wires to be fed.

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I didn't want to take my chances with cutting the wires and resplicing them and, ultimately, I wanted something a little more user friendly should I decide to a) sell the vehicle, b) put the spare back on, or c) upgrade to an Artec Spare Tire Delete; so I drilled a 1" hole into one side of the vent cover to get enough clearance to feed the wires (and their connectors) through. In addition, I used a deburring tool to scrape the inside of the drilled hole to remove any sharp edges.

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Luckily, I live close to an electronics store and found these awesome little 1¼" rubber grommets that I could mod to fit in the hole and allow the wires to come through, but still provide some shielding from water or mud. I simply drilled the center hole a little bigger and used a box knife to cut a slit in one side to accommodate the wires. Feel free to DM me your address if you want me to mail you some of these grommets (they're 3/$1).
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With the wires fed through the vent cover and the grommet in place, I was finally ready to mount everything to the rear door. You have to connect the brake light first, then the rear camera (otherwise the camera connector partially blocks the brake light connector). I used the plastic washers from the original spare tire mount to provide some space between the vent cover and the door to hopefully avoid any scratching of the tailgate, then placed the vent cover, and finally mounted the Suparee assembly (again using the bolts from the original spare tire mount). I also added some rubber tailgate plugs to cover the hole where the wires originally came out of and the spare tire bumpers. Overall, I think it looks pretty clean:

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I'm still trying to figure out where to mount the pedestrian alert speaker, but for now my spare tire is gone, I have increased visibility out the rear window, and a new spot for my license plate.

One thing I'm not terribly crazy about is how exposed the wires are: if someone wanted to be a real dick it wouldn't take much for them to snip the wires and disable your rear camera, brake light, and license plate lights.
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garyji

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Soooooo, what are you doing for a spare??? Never leave home without it!!

Nice write up.

G.
 
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Jerpy

Jerpy

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Soooooo, what are you doing for a spare??? Never leave home without it!!
I figure (for regular in-town driving) if I have any problems I can just have it towed by AAA, but if I'm going off-roading I will definitely be throwing the spare in the trunk.

Nice write up.
Thanks!
 

rent

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I thought that was a joke. But it's a thing on the 4xe! Good stuff.
 

Rhinebeck01

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I figure (for regular in-town driving) if I have any problems I can just have it towed by AAA, but if I'm going off-roading I will definitely be throwing the spare in the trunk.



Thanks!
@Jerpy

You will need to call UBER ...... 8-) ........ for a flat tire but for no start situations and such.....

I'm pretty sure you probably are aware of this ......... but for other's, say reading this thread...... NEVER have your JL/JLU "towed" anywhere. FLAT BED truck transport your JL/JLU.

IF your JL/JLU/JT is under warranty, call Jeep Road Service, etc.. Ph. 1-800-992-1997 and tell them you need the vehicle taken to the nearest dealership on a flat bed truck.... not towed.. Flat bed truck is per the Owner's Manual.

Be sure you stress both flat bed and closet Jeep dealer. Must go to closest dealer or the towing will not be paid for by Fiat Chrysler America (FCA).

IF, if you want to flat bed to another, not closest dealer... call Dedicated Jeep Customer Care: Ph. 1-866-362-2146 and work it out with them.. You will be charged a small fee as long as the dealer is not to far away.

.
 
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Jerpy

Jerpy

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For the uninitiated, pedestrian alert speaker?
It's this pretty monstrous 4" x 4" x 2" speaker module that sits inside the stock spare tire mount and emits a sound (it's somewhat oceanic) when the vehicle is in reverse or travelling below 20mph. I could probably tuck it inside the tailgate behind the outside latch, but I'd rather figure out a way to keep it outside the cab.

I thought that was a joke. But it's a thing on the 4xe! Good stuff.
Thankfully it doesn't disable the vehicle when detached.

I'm pretty sure you probably are aware of this ......... but for other's, say reading this thread...... NEVER have your JL/JLU "towed" anywhere. FLAT BED truck transport your JL/JLU.
Oh, yes, yes -- of course. "Towed" is always just short hand for "transport," but I appreciate you catching that and it certainly does bear repeating for those who may not be aware.
 

brennaman

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Pretty sure you can tow with all 4 wheels on the ground. Transfer case and transmission in neutral.
 

Rhinebeck01

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Pretty sure you can tow with all 4 wheels on the ground. Transfer case and transmission in neutral.
@brennaman

Sure, indeed flat towing is aok. Done all the time... For a JL/JLU/JT, you have ignition off, transfer case in neutral and auto tranny in park. IF you have a manual shift, the same same but most will say leave tranny in highest forward gear. Never leave a flat towed JL/JLU/JT in neutral.

BUT, a tow truck guy coming to snatch up your JL/JLU/JT is going to be doing the deed with either a flat bed truck, with dollies so all 4 wheels are off the ground or using a hook... You do not want a hook was the gist of my earlier post.

.
 
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Jerpy

Jerpy

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Of course as soon as I do this and post about it, Artec comes out with their V2 JL Spare Tire Delete Kit (ships 9/3). 🙄
 
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