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  #1  
Old 27 Sep 2004
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LR spare wheel carrier - yes/no?

Hello all,

LR Defender 90 -- Is a heavy duty spare wheel carrier a must for an Africa overland trip? I have read reports about broken back door hinges, but are these a few exceptions or is that what is going to happen?

I just don't want to overload my vechile with bells and whistles that are less useful

I'm pretty careful driver and the spare wheel will be an usual Mangels 8-spoke steel wheel with a BFG MT.

And if it is a good idea to have one, is the quality of a Bearmach one OK? It seems as heavy duty as Mantec, but is about 50% cheaper.
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  #2  
Old 27 Sep 2004
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You don't need a sparewheel carrier as long as you don't mount the spare on the door (on the roof or in the car).

An alternative solution is to mount extra hinges to cope with the strain, but still I think it's easier to keep some of the dust out without a wheel on your door.

Even a carefull driver will bang in a pothole so once in a while, and there's no way you'll escape the corrugations.
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  #3  
Old 27 Sep 2004
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Its a good idea to use a spare wheel carrier esp. if you are wanting to take 2 spares. If the spare carrier can lock, it then helps with security.

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  #4  
Old 27 Sep 2004
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IMHO For a short trip (say two weeks) I would be content to carry a spare on Land Rover's standard spare carrier on the rear door (Provided that door and hinges are in good condition).

For an extended trip I would either carry the spare on the bonnet or invest in a decent rear spare wheel carrier (Mantec do a good one).

The down side of the Mantec rear wheel carrier is its weight.

The downside of carrying one on the bonnet is aero dynamics and impaired vision for the driver.

If going on a prolonged expedition I would want at least one spare wheel (rim & tyre mounted and ready to go) and another spare tyre for when I rip one of my other tyres. I would also run the tyres tubeless but would carry tubes for ease of repair in the field.

I hope the above helps.


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  #5  
Old 27 Sep 2004
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I'm planning my trips to be several months long legs -- Africa, Asia, Australia etc. I will not have a roof rack, but Moggiolina Airland rooftop tent mounted on 4 Thule roof bars. So roof is not an option.

Basically what I wanted to know is if the broken hinge/door problem is a real one or amplified. Has it happened to someone personally or people have just "heard" that this may be a problem?
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  #6  
Old 27 Sep 2004
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My experience is on a disco. I'v never seen/hearth of broken hinges, but I've noticed the rear door sagging. At a certain point, it get's difficult to open the door because it rubs the rear bumper. That's where I decided to move the sparewheel in the car, and the spare tyre on the rooftent (maggiolina extreme).

Doesn't help to keep the dust out either.

I took of with the spare on the back door with the idea that I'm an easy driver anyway, and that it wouldn't be so bad after all... .

On the road, there was a series 3 with the spare on the back door. They had installed a third hinge, and had no problems with a sagging rear door.

CU,

Rob
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  #7  
Old 27 Sep 2004
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No smoke without fire!

However I have no personal experience of rear hinges failing as I fitted a Mantec rear wheel carrier to avoid the problem.

For an idea of the stresses involved pick up a tyre which is mounted on the rim and imagine holding onto it whilst doing 40 mph over corrugations.

There is no doubt in my mind that given time the door will sag.

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  #8  
Old 28 Sep 2004
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On a trip around Algeria (5800km) one spare, a very heavy one at that, was mounted on my 110 rear door on LR's own mounting. The door frame had already been welded 3 times and that was just from UK road use! The desert trip didn't do it any favours. The thing crashed and rattled continuously.

I now mount both spares inside but this means difficult access, although I have not had need of the spares since my Algeria trip, if I do it will be a struggle to extract them even if I do try to travel light.

I have considered a rear door mounting, but this adds problems of it's own (on a 110 at least) putting a lot of extra weight right at the arse end, not good for soft sand.

IMHO roof mounting is not the best place, especially on tall softly sprung Land Rovers, maybe ok for stiffer sprung and physically wider Jap cars though.

Bonnet mounting on a LR reduces visibility, not so good if you are not so tall, but if you use HD front springs which I have, you get better front ground clearance, the weight distribution is much better than rear door mounting, and access is perfect.

I was somewhat underwhelmed at the quality of Mantec products, but have not looked at any other manufacturers stuff. Any comments anyone?

Andrew.
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  #9  
Old 28 Sep 2004
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The weight of the wheel on my old 110 had caused the the skin around the lower hinge to crease and distort, the door had sagged quite a bit and did`nt really lock properly, I had an internal strap to help keep it closed as when the body flexed the door would sometimes pop open.

I would recommend something, my old 110 spent most of its life out in Dubai and had been well used and abused in the sand.

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  #10  
Old 28 Sep 2004
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my old 1996 110 broke the rar door frame just by road driving in the UK with the factory 7.50 wheel and steel rim on it.

on my "off road" 90 (and soon to be also fitted to my 110) i have a Bearmach carrier. like you say, it's about half the price of the mantec one, and in my opinion just as good. certainly strong, mine had only broken once and thats when i had a 35" simex and hilift jack hanging off of it and i reversed into a ditch! so i can't really blame it for that.

the standard LR hinged are plenty strong enough, it's the door frame itself that breaks, not the hinges. but either way, the bearmach carrier is great.

if you're any good at welding then i have all the dimensions taken off of the bearmach carrier, but for th £120 odd UKP it's not really worth striking up the MiG!

regards

jamie
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  #11  
Old 29 Sep 2004
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Hello all,

Possibly the simplest option is to use a ratchet strap attached to the roof rack that pulls the spare wheel carrier upwards and takes some weight off the hinges. The downside is that you need to undo the strap each time you open the hatch door.

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  #12  
Old 10 May 2005
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Well, I finally ended up installing Mantec spare wheel carrier. If anybody is interested, I have some images of the installation process on my web site.
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  #13  
Old 16 May 2005
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Hi folks, I fitted the cheaper bearmach one, seems very similar having looked at the photos on the previous link....

I must add though - the stories about damage are true... When I rebuilt my 90 I put new rear door hinge bolts in them - they come with all the bits and pieces.... When I removed the old ones they were badly bent and showed signs of bearning near to breaking...

Having said that the vehicle was 19 years old at the point and had probably had the same hinge bolts since new with the rear tyre mounted on them all the time....

It did make a big difference when it came to closing the door though - it's a solid fit now rather then being all over the place until it locked into the striker unit bolted to the door and frame...

hope it helps, Tony.
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