By Aric Waldron
I was tired of having a spare tire in the bed of my 1977 F-150
so I decided to fix it. Having no attachment parts at all I began looking at
LMC and NPD. No carrier (the sheet metal bracket that the tire mounts to) was available
and the cost was $25 for the hangers (bolts for under tank style mount). Having
changed the tire on a 1991 F150 I got curious about interchangeability. After a
few measurements I decided it was do-able.
I located the parts at a junkyard. $20 for
an early 90s F 150 setup. You'll need a 9/16" drill. I will refer to the
hangers as front (near the axle) and rear (near the rear bumper).
With my favorite third hand I help the bar up to the frame
and decided where I wanted to drill the holes for the hanger bolts. As you can
see the carrier goes diagonally. Left to right or right to
left are both options. The carrier is not heavy, but you need to
measure, mark and double-check both ends. I invariably moved the carrier trying
to look at the other end.
These are the hole positions. Yours
may differ based on specific carrier and frame dimensions.
The threaded part of the clip goes above the frame and the tab
goes below. I always have at least one thread exposed above the clip to ensure
The finished mount. The tire is
easily removable in normal situations by unscrewing the rear hanger partially
and lifting the carrier off. This setup with no changes is OK.
However as you can see the tire is not evenly clamped or
centered. The rear bolt is a little short, and the front is a little long. You
can change this by buying a longer front bolt and sawing off the excess length
of the rear bolt. This is probably the best option.
Or you can mount it backwards. This gave me enough room to
change the tire with my short exhaust setup, and the stock bolt lengths are