Spare Tire raise and lower GMC truck

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  #1  
Old 08-18-15, 02:27 PM
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Spare Tire raise and lower GMC truck

This is just a rant, but if it has any value in the auto forum feel free to move it.

The spare tire on my GMC truck is neatly tucked up under the rear bed, and that is the only good thing I'm going to say about it. If anyone owns a GMC of any model that uses the crank up and down system (mine is an 05 Sierra) they had better test it often and practice, practice, practice.

I had to repair my safety mechanism as the spare tire was in the back of the truck when I bought it. Little did I understand WHY. Besides the mechanism rusting solid and failing, it leaves the spare in the secured position where it is next to impossible to get out. Even when that works, you have to get on your back, slide under the truck, and then lift the tire one handed while you attempt to get the metal plate back up through the center of the rim with the other hand.

I taught both of my daughters how to change a flat tire. GM has limited that possibility to 10% of the owners and that would be in good weather.

Shame on GM.

Bud
 
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  #2  
Old 08-18-15, 04:05 PM
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It's not just GM. I've dealt with that on Ford & Dodge too. Please edit your rant.
 
  #3  
Old 08-18-15, 04:29 PM
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I don't know how other manufacturers solve the spare storage issue so I'll let your post be the edit. But from the complaints about failed mechanisms, the GM seems to have a reputation all of its own. maybe others are as bad.

Example, on GM you have to run a long shaft down to a square nub and engage it to operate the crank. When all done I wanted to try it to be sure the safety mechanism would be retracted. It was impossible for me to get the long shaft onto the square nub. I had to crawl under and watch through the holes in the rim to see where the shaft was headed. All they had to do was install a section of that shaft all the way to the access plate in back. Of course that still leaves the spare lying on the ground under the truck, still attached to the supporting cable mechanism. Crawl under, lift the wheel (no small task) and fiddle with that plate to get it through the center hole.

Sorry, I'm releasing a ton of frustration.

Bud
 
  #4  
Old 08-18-15, 04:46 PM
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And then when you get it down 1/2 the time it's flat or at least severaly dented on the side wall from it rubbing.
Just to change a tire I had to remove everything behind the seat's undo a knob, tip the sets foward to get the cover out, then try to use a jack that had a tiny base.
Now I keep the spare in the bed of the truck and carry a real jack and a 4 way lug wrench.
Turns an hour job into 10 min.
 
  #5  
Old 08-18-15, 04:47 PM
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I won't say that the other systems failed but they certainly aren't easy. I happen to know some women who could handle it but the majority couldn't.
 
  #6  
Old 08-18-15, 04:51 PM
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It's okay to vent, Bud, I do it here all the time.

It has been some 25 years since I got rid of my Dodge (Mitsubishi) mini pick-me-up but I think it had the same type of spare tire holder that you are referring to. On that vehicle the jack handle was inserted through a guide plate just above or below the bumper back to engage in what I think was a worm-gear drive. that in turn engages a chain that had a plate on the end that fit through the center of the wheel and had a lug or two that fit into the lug holes of the wheel. You used the tire wrench through a sleeve on the end of the jack handle as a crank to raise and lower the tire/wheel.

I don't remember any kind of safety lock and I never experienced any problems with the device. Then again, I only had that truck for about ten years.
 
  #7  
Old 08-18-15, 05:20 PM
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I have a 2005 Safari van and although it's been about a year I never have had trouble with lowering it or threading the spare back on. One nice thing with the van is because it sits so high off the ground the underside gets very little crud and corrosion. Anytime I get under the car it looks clean.

But the other side of the coin is that in today's world changing a tire is a very last resort with most people and almost unheard of for most women. AAA is what is used nowadays. So for the car manufacturer its a non-issue. You're gaining valuable interior space for a small cost to spare tire storage.
 
  #8  
Old 08-18-15, 05:26 PM
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I have a 1999 Ford E-350 van. I have a full size tire that is held up with that cable and crank system. I had it down in 2000 and it hasn't been done since. I'm expecting it to be on the highway behind me one day.
 
  #9  
Old 08-18-15, 05:42 PM
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One of GM's problems is their safety mechanism in the case that the cable breaks. Unfortunately it has been the failure of that safety device that has created much of their problem.

Ironically, in their attempt to keep the wheel from falling when a cable breaks, they failed to consider how to protect against that mechanism rusting solid, which it does. Under the weight of the wheel the safety catch is retracted and that is where it will stay if a cable breaks.

I will eventually pick up a better spare, that rim looks in poor shape after 10 years of Maine winters, and find a way to mount it on the side in back. Like Joe said, with a good jack and lug wrench.

I don't travel a lot way up north, but on the back roads in the NW they often carry 3 or 4 spare wheels. Sharp rock on the roads.

Bud
 
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Old 08-18-15, 06:33 PM
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Dodge Ram 3500 flatbed, dually. No spare at all. One of the back ones goes flat, it will make it just fine to the shop. Front goes flat, swap it with an outside on the rear.
 
  #11  
Old 08-19-15, 05:41 AM
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Just wait until you have to change a tire road-side on one of the mini-vans that has the spare mounted up under the passenger compartment with the crank-down in the middle between seats!
 
  #12  
Old 08-19-15, 06:39 AM
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My spare is 20 years old. I had it down twice.. ( BFG T/A)

Once for the trailer hitch install
And once to change the fluid in the rear.

Goes up and down no problem. I add air if it needs it once a year. Valve stem is aimed to rear or truck as its always been.
 

Last edited by lawrosa; 08-19-15 at 08:34 AM.
  #13  
Old 08-19-15, 07:51 AM
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You all got me thinking that I should check mine out. All is good. Although I'm not too thrilled about rusted wheel. Had to add air.

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  #14  
Old 08-19-15, 08:31 AM
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Oh, those pictures give me the shivers. Once on the ground, how do you get the cable mechanism disconnected from the wheel. On mine, that has to be done by manipulating a plate from below and that can't be done until the safety mechanism is lowered below the plate. In other words, I have to tip the wheel up high enough so the safety mechanism falls below the plate and then I can twist the plate vertically to feed it up through the center hole.

Bud
 
  #15  
Old 08-19-15, 09:14 AM
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Mine just has a small hub that you turn 90 degrees and it slips right out. It took me all of 10 min to unload fill tire and re-load it. Of course I did not have to jack up the car.
 
  #16  
Old 08-19-15, 01:51 PM
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Mine just has a small hub that you turn 90 degrees....

Same with my 89 K1500, pretty easy. Guy I bought it from told me to keep the cable well oiled so your spare doesn't pass you at a stop sign.

Also a small floor jack and 4-way lug wrench in the back. Last thing you need when it's -30 is messing around with a mickey mouse jack behind the seat.
 
  #17  
Old 08-19-15, 03:01 PM
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Now just in case I'm doing something wrong, here's a video (short and simple) of the lift mechanism and safety device I'm dealing with. When the tire is all the way down and on the ground, that flange and safety device are under the wheel. When together the flange and safety device will not fit up through the center of the wheel. The wheel has to be tilted up enough to work under it and drop the safety device below the flange. Then the flange can be turned vertically to fit up through the center of the wheel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pV3DLNgGIn0
Any tips or tricks for this specific arrangement?
Bud
 
  #18  
Old 08-19-15, 06:34 PM
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Okay, now I see your heartaches. Mine looks more like the new one he bought. If you want to go without the safety latch just cut it off??
 
  #19  
Old 08-19-15, 07:41 PM
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Oh, man, Bud, what a piece of crap! The only thing worse would be no spare tire at all...which I gather is what some manufacturer's are doing. Not just a "donut" spare but no spare tire at all.
 
  #20  
Old 08-19-15, 08:35 PM
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I know I have old truck but I have no saftey latch or spring in the end period. I dont remember any on my chevy trucks having it...

I have to say the truck I have now is the newest I have owned,,, 1996 so dont know when they changed that...

Sorry..

If I did have that and issues as stated I would be doing this I think...

PU of course.. van , suv, IDK...





But I guess all you guys with the latch have got to lube it....

Who knew....


https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=11&v=qhZ2LP7nfLU
 
  #21  
Old 08-19-15, 10:22 PM
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Sorry, didn't see the forest for the trees.


When the tire is all the way down and on the ground....

So, you can't get all this junk through the center hole in the rim once it's down. Hmmmm...good question.





Maybe you need to unwind the cable more to give you additional slack?


Curiosity question: how is that supposed to work? Lower the tire till it stops, crank it up a bit to release the catch then lower it to the ground? I watched both videos a few times and still don't get it.
 
  #22  
Old 08-19-15, 10:30 PM
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It's a PITA, my Dad had an old GMC and it was similar. Lower the tire, then a bit more, lift the end of the tire and flip the bracket to slide through. I think my '98 Dakota was pretty much the same thing.

Although their cargo capacity wasn't that great, the old step sides with the tire on the side were my kind of truck.
 
  #23  
Old 08-20-15, 02:40 AM
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Baldwin, in that picture in post #21, spring to the right with the safety mechanism poking through the metal flange to the left. On the right end of that safety mechanism there is a button of sorts sticking out that the spring pushes against when the weight of the wheel is there.

When that button is pushed in the latch on the left end of the safety mechanism is retracted. If the cable were to break, button pops down and safety catch pops out and hopefully prevents the wheel from falling more than the length of the safety device, about 3 to 4 inches. Apparently that will pop out at some point and not retract so even when trying to lower the wheel the catch will prevent it from coming down, thus the many YouTubes explaining how to get out of that situation.

@GG, "Lower the tire, then a bit more, lift the end of the tire and flip the bracket to slide through."
Easier said than done. At 68 years old a 275-70-17 wheel is not something I can easily lift, at least by reaching under from behind the truck. Only way for me is on my back in beside the wheel, now on the ground, two hands to tip it up and hold it there with my left arm while spitting out old rust that is falling in my face. Then with my right hand, fiddling with that safety mechanism and bracket to get it up through the center hole. And the ends of that bracket are shaped differently so only one end goes up through.

I actually don't know how long the cable is as I was reluctant to unwind it all the way. That assembly does not come apart so a tangled cable inside would mean a new assembly.

But then there is getting the shaft of that cranking mechanism onto the square nub, as previously described. Took a deep breath and back under the truck to guide the shaft onto the nub. I have seen in some videos of some brands where they have a tube that guides the crank shaft. I may have to fabricate something of that sort.

I will need to be sure my AAA is active because there is no way I'm changing a tire on the side of the road. That or putting the spare back into the back of the truck.

Thanks for all of the listening, I just hope this helps someone in some way.

Bud
 
  #24  
Old 08-20-15, 08:57 AM
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Oh I know it's easier said than done Bud. Like I said, total PITA. Easier on the old GMC as it sat a bit higher, that Dakota was insanely difficult because of the clearance. It would probably take me 10 min just to get the tire out now with my bad knees. At least that old GMC had the jack under the hood instead of under a seat.

Btw, referencing an earlier post, the Ex's Kia doesn't even come with a jack, let alone a spare. Before she leaves the area I'm at least going to pick up a can of Fix-a-Flat to complement the mini compressor she has now. Good thing the new car includes road service for 3 yrs.
 
  #25  
Old 08-20-15, 09:49 AM
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Bud, give the AAA guy a nice tip if you have a tire changed; he's not making much for the call.

Vic, quite a few people get the surprise of no spare tire nowadays. Can of fix-a-flat and/or mini compressor instead. Not much good when the sidewall is blown out, of course.
 
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