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Spare Tire Hoist

This is a discussion on Spare Tire Hoist within the GM Trucks forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Our Suburban came out of southern New York and has a little rust going on underneath. I have wire wheeled ...

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    Spare Tire Hoist

    Our Suburban came out of southern New York and has a little rust going on underneath. I have wire wheeled and painted the frame and crossmembers to arrest the rust and everything has been holding up good. I noticed last year that the spring on the spare tire hoist cable had broken, but there was still enough of it there that the spring worked. Recently, the rest of the spring gave out and I began to hear a thumping noise under the back of the truck, so I figured it was time to order up a new hoist. I installed it yesterday, and it appears that the GM replacement has been modified. The new hoist does not have the safety catch that hooks the tire in place to retain it in the event of a cable break.

    I know the safety lock has been an issue in the past. I installed air bags on a friend's Suburban and had a hell of a time removing the spare tire to gain access to the springs. I always kept our spare tire mechanism clean and lubed, so I never had an issue dropping it down. For all you guys with the locking style spare hoist, I strongly recommend that you check to see if it is still functioning correctly before you actually need your spare. On my friend's truck, I was able to modify it with a die grinder and lubricated the pivot point just a bit to get it working again. I bought our hoist through the local dealership with the price discounted to $105. Installation was a snap as it is held in place by only a single bolt and the plastic guide tube for the crank comes apart easily.

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    Here are pics of the stock hoist and the locking mechanism. The small hook at the top left of the carrier assembly is what hangs up and makes it all but impossible to remove the spare.





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    Senior Member 5.0THIS's Avatar
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    SO glad I don't live where everything rusts to shit in no time flat.

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    I like where we live but for two things -- the length of time I have to park our cars for winter and how quickly rust can get a foothold.

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    Here's the trick I use to get those spare tires down. I spin, rock, and jiggle the heck out of the tire as I lower the hoist. Spinning it really fast is usually enough. If it doesn't go the first time, I'll spin it as I raise it back up and spin it as I lower it down. Works 90% of the time.
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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    I like where we live but for two things -- the length of time I have to park our cars for winter and how quickly rust can get a foothold.
    When you get older it will be 3 things....

    Your body will start complaining about the cold and you'll seek warmer climate

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if my 2005 pickup is designed the same way but I'd bet it's at least similar. I had the spare down recently when I blew a tire and it worked flawlessly. Has a key lock to remove which provides a hole access to the crank. Was pretty easy to lower and remove from there. Reinstalling was easy, and the crank mechanism has a ratchet feature much like a gas cap when it's tight enough.

    On my 79, it also has a cable wind up feature for the spare, it's just a little more primative. No lock for the access hole, and no clicking ratchet when it's tight enough. It's just basically a cable/pulley system that still works fine after all these years.

    That rust is a bitch for sure, I feel for ya.

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    Ours has the lock in the access tube as well, FBJ.

    I will keep the "spin it" method in mind if I ever encounter another stuck one, Aaron.

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    About a month or two ago I had to lower my spare tire on my 2001 Silverado. I was happy/surprised to find out it didn't have the locking tab. Not sure when they started doing that but it sure is easier with out it.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutlass View Post
    About a month or two ago I had to lower my spare tire on my 2001 Silverado. I was happy/surprised to find out it didn't have the locking tab. Not sure when they started doing that but it sure is easier with out it.
    I'm not aware of any locking tab so I'm not sure if I have it or not. Once I removed the key lock to access the hole it was as simple as installing the crank and lowering the wheel (if I remember right). So I'm guessing no locking tab on mine

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    I've done a lot of EVAP vent solenoid replacements on the 07 and newer body style SUVs which requires lowering the spare. That's when we started noticing the lock tab. But I assume that was a normal thing going back earlier than that. Now I'm thinking it's probably a newer thing

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    I lower and raise my spare about every 4-6 months just to make sure everything moves freely and nothing is bound. This is a common problem with the GM trucks as well as Trailblazers and Envoys.

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    The only reason I found out that there was a locking mechanism was that the spare was completely flat when we purchased the truck in 2010. The bead would not seal so I had to drop it and take it back to the dealer for it to be fixed. Since then, I have dropped it at least once a year to make sure it still worked.

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    yep...fought the one on my truck forever getting it down when I had to put the new rearend cover on. I cussed GM, the hoist maker, and anyone else involved with that thing the whole time. Wish I would've known about the spin method then it would've saved me a lot of time. I ended up using a long screwdriver I think to get it to unlock. FBJ.....you have one I'm pretty sure. Look at that picture and you can see the catch at the top of the hoist. If it works as designed you'd never know it was there because that's how it's supposed to be. For the rest of us you find out as soon as the tire lowers a few inches and then won't go any further. I now tell everyone I know with a GM truck to lower that thing every year and lube that lock.

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    Thanks Orion,
    I'm going to pull it down before the cross country trip and have a look at things.

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    like I say....you can see the catch in his picture and it pivots at that center point. It just gets crap and rust in there and doesn't want to pivot.

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    Senior Member 5.0THIS's Avatar
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    I should really start operating that thing once in a while to make sure it's freed up. I admit I've never done it. lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    Thanks Orion,
    I'm going to pull it down before the cross country trip and have a look at things.

    Living in Arizona, I am guessing that yours probably looks better than new. Let me go smack the frame of our Suburban with a hammer -- I'll sweep up the rust that falls off and mail it to you FBJ. I know you must miss it!

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    Tires are so much better quality and durability now then the past and nobody even needs to use the spare tires anymore. More and more cars and SUVs are coming without a spare or it optional.

  20. #20
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    Living in Arizona, I am guessing that yours probably looks better than new. Let me go smack the frame of our Suburban with a hammer -- I'll sweep up the rust that falls off and mail it to you FBJ. I know you must miss it!
    Haha, yeah I sure miss all that rust in my eyes

    It's probably why my spare still works I guess. I just had it down about 6 months ago when I blew a left front tire. Still makes me want to check it again before the trip though.

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