Monday, December 14, 2015

Spare Tire Hell

Did you know American Chevy Silverados (and Camaros) use metric sized bolts? I didn't either.

Anyone who has a truck for hauling (or daily driving), please go to the back of your truck and try to take the spare tire down. Before you have a flat and realize you need the jaws of life to remove said spare tire. Or bolt cutters. That's what we used.

Three jacks to support the spare tire so it didn't fall on Husband's head while he was trying to prod/pound the secondary latch.
My truck was inspected last week, and I wanted to go over the tires and make sure I could remove the tire by hand (Dad had a car come back that was tightened in a way that the hand tools in the trunk couldn't get the tire off- he needed power tools to do it so now I'm paranoid). Since winter is coming in and I'm still hauling the trailer around, I also wanted to make sure I had the right air pressure. This past weekend was so nice and warm, Husband and I decided to take a look on Sunday and get the spare tire down too to check it's air pressure.

Note the cut and bent support arms.
How do I know my American truck was made using metric bolts? We had to break the spare tire hoist to get my spare off, and then Husband took the whole hoist off the truck so we could replace it. A metric bolt holds the hoist to the frame. Something I think is funny because Chevrolet/GM is an American company that uses metric measurements in the building process.

Removing the bolt to get the hoist off.
The secondary latch holds up the tire in the event that the cable that holds up the spare tire breaks. This is also the biggest, piece of crap part in the whole system. My husband had to cut and bend the arms that hold up the spare in order to get the spare out from under the truck. At that point, the hoist became a piece of rusted garbage, and banging on the secondary latch didn't do any good, so husband took the whole damn thing off. Which now needs to be replaced, but at least I won't be stranded somewhere unable to get my spare tire off!

Voila! No more spare tire hoist.
I'm ordering an aftermarket part from Amazon which does not have a secondary latch, so hopefully this never happens again. We're going to keep after it- taking the spare down once or twice a year to check it and make sure the cable holding it up isn't wearing since there won't be a backup method of keeping the tire under the truck.

Rusted piece of garbage now.


  1. I am so glad you learned this the "easy" way instead of being stuck on the road.

    1. Me too!!! I keep US Rider and AAA, and if I had gotten a flat with the trailer I would have been calling both. Which is a totally dumb reason to have your horses rescued and your vehicle towed! There was no way to get the spare off without Husband's set of tools at home. I'd never taken the spare down on either of my trucks in the 4-5 years I've been hauling myself around (thankfully never needed to!) so this was a learning experience for me!

  2. That's an impressive chunk of rusted metal. Glad you got everything straightened out there!

    1. I saw all the rust under the truck and was like, "Holy crap, you let me buy a rust bucket?!?!" And Husband was like, "No, it's all surface rust. It can all be scraped off and it would look fine since the metal is fine." I think I may see about scraping a lot of it off next spring and oiling the entire underside to protect it from winter. I'd do that now, except it's a little late for that since winter is here!

  3. goooood to know - thanks for posting (and glad you got it all figured out)