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Spare Tire Carrier Restoration

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My MJ is decently rust free for being from Detroit, but the rust it has is mostly concentrated to the back half of the truck. I decided to start with the spare tire carrier and tailgate handle, since they were easily removable and the cable must have broke at some point before I bought the Jeep.


I was able to fit them in an 18 quart wash bucket, and filled it with 2 gallons of Evapo-Rust. I've used this stuff before, it's non-toxic and given enough time to chooch, will dissolve all the rust away chemically. From what I've been able to find, it is a chelate, which is a large molecule containing a ligand that is attracted to iron, and pulls the iron out into a sulfur solution. The attraction is only strong enough to pull iron from oxide however, leaving the base metal intact, clean and rust free. (Forewarning, it will also remove any sort of zinc/oxide coating or bluing from a part, if you want to keep that coating)


2 gallons covered enough of the carrier to do about 3/4 at once, I just flipped about 24 hours after I put them in. The stuff will last as long until it turns dark black and smells like dirt. After about 3 days, I pulled them out and only the hardened areas were left, which were mostly solid still, so I'm not worrying about them. If I had scraped the part first, I might have been able to dissolve these too, but I forgot. 


3 days later, this thing actually still had paint on it! At this point, I manually scraped and sanded it down, then painted with some rusty metal primer I found at Tractor Supply, then with black paint.



Since the cable broke, I was missing the bracket that holds the tire up, so a trip to the junkyard to pull one from a Dakota and doing the same thing to that solved that problem.


To attach it, I picked up some 1/8 inch ferrules and fender washers from TSC, and used a swaging tool to crimp them to the cable. It installed much easier than it came out after some rust removal and painting under the bed, and looks much better.


All I need to do now it put the spare back under, but mine doesn't hold air, and I'm finding out they weren't meant to be serviceable, so no one will touch it. I'm thinking about getting a full size 31x10.5 spare, and supporting it with ratchet straps if it will fit.

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