March 27, 2015 at 10:40 am #1581
Installing 33’s on our Fort has been fairly straightforward but there wasn’t a lot of info compiled in any one place about doing so. So I figured I would compile what I learned along the way here on BCT’S forum for future owners to check out.
My wife and I bought a used Fort from BCT. It was a demo trailer they’d used for trade shows and the like. Before we took delivery, I had Ron install the 2″ axle lift. With the included 31″ all terrains this made the trailer ride nicely behind our lifted Rubicon Unlimited that is on 34″ Pro Comp Xtreme MT2s.
I use the factory tow hitch and have a spare on the stock carrier that rests nicely on the factory bumper. This will be relevant later in the story.
Once we got the trailer home I started working on installing bigger tires. I wanted to match the 34s that were on the tow rig, but a quick mock up showed they would fit in the fenders. I had some 33″ (305/70R17) and after some maneuvering discovered they would fit and in an extreme emergency would work as a spare for the tow rig.
The installed hubs were 5×4.5. My JK is 5×5 so hubs/drums would need to be changed. I called Ron and found out the drum/hub assembly is a 10″ electric brake drum and most any trailer suppliers would have it. A search on etrailer.com revealed these.
Easy to install and fit my Ballistic Jester 17x9s great. A -12mm offset provided enough standoff to miss the trailer and fit the tire within the fender with just enough room to spare.
Speaking of spares. The spare tire bracket presented a problem when trying to mount the new, larger spare tire. For one, the lugs were welded into a 5×4.5 pattern that wouldn’t fit my rim. To fix this issue, I ordered an adapter/spacer. The spacer is 1.25″ thick and converted the 5×4.5 pattern to the 5×5 pattern” I needed, but a bigger problem presented itself.
When the spare was mounted, the gate would not shut due to the tire pressing into the bumper. I then discovered the spare tire bracket was bolted on with three M8 rivnuts. Maybe plenty for a smaller tire, but not something I wanted to trust carrying a 33. I decided to weld the carrier onto the gate an inch higher than before. This modification along with the adapter made the spare ride perfectly. The lugs snug the tire against the gate and it rides maybe 1/4″ above the bumper. Perfect.
So on to the next challenge. After putting the larger tires on the trailer, I hooked it up to the tow vehicle only to notice a pretty serious nose-down attitude. I tried a taller rise hitch but this blocked my tow rig’s tail gate from swinging open due to the spare hitting it. I tried a hitch riser, but this created two more hitch pin points and made the tongue too long for the light cable to connect.
I ended up buying a 24″ length of weld on receiver tube and having a fabricator weld it on under the original receiver tube. This in effect raised the tongue around 2.5 inches. Problem solved!
Now the trailer rides level, is on 33’s, and has a full-sized spare. It can also provide up to three spares for the tow rig in extreme circumstance (although I can’t imagine a scenario so dire that would flatten more than 4 of the tow rig’s tires without having flattened the trailer’s tires).
So there you have it. All the info in one place. Rick and Ron make a beefy trailer.April 6, 2015 at 5:52 pm #1599
Nice write up! I asked for 35s to match my tow rig and Ron made it happen. My spare is also mounted with the riv nuts. I did have to add some thread locker to the three bolts (which I believe they are doing standard now), but the riv nuts have actually been perfectly stable, even with a 35″ tire. Not that welding is a bad idea, yours is bulletproof now, just adding my experience.
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