How to Remove the Rear Tire Carrier on the 6th Gen Bronco and Replace it with the True North Fabrications Spare Tire Delete Kit
Why Delete The Spare Tire Carrier? Bigger tires!
We own Badlands with a non-sasquatch package, so we have the smaller fitment tire carrier built for 33″ tires. Instead of searching for a sasquatch package tire carrier to fit a 37″ tire, I’d rather put that money into a rear bumper. For our rear bumper, I am debating between a permanent swingout for a spare 37″ tire or a hitch-mounted tire carrier for the tire. Regardless of which one I choose, we will need to delete the factory spare tire carrier as I’m not going to use it any longer. I am going to run a True North Fabrications rear bumper so we decided to run their spare tire delete kit.
Without any more, let’s jump into it.
Find it online:
- True North Fabrications Tire Delete Kit: Check Price
True North Spare Tire Delete Kit
Table of Contents
True North Fabrications Kit Contents
Most tire delete kits are somewhat the same, however, there are a few differences that make the True North delete kit stand out.
The cover plate is cut from ⅛” steel and uses all factory hardware. Because it’s compatible with the factory bumper, the True North bumper, and most aftermarket bumpers, you won’t have any challenges fitting this kit with your preferred setup. The plate relocates the factory-issued third brake light and backup camera system. A couple of cool features of this plate are (1) True North allows you to get a custom powder coating option and (2) it comes with a built-in bottle opener grommet replacement cover. The best part is that its all built right here in the USA, Saratoga, Florida.
Tools and Materials
- Sockets & Wrench: 10, 13, 18, & 19 mm
- Torx Bit: T20, T25, & T30
- Phillips screwdriver
- Flathead screwdriver
- Needlenose pliers
- Klien wire Strippers (optional)
- Klien Crimps (optional)
- Heat Shrink (optional)
- Braided wire sleeve (optional)
Step 1. Disconnect Negative Terminal
Depending on how you approach your installation, you may need to disconnect your battery.
Step 2. Remove all 8 Tire Carrier Bolts
Use a 13 mm socket to remove the 8 black mounting bolts that hold the spare tire mount on the swing gate. Support this tire carrier as the last few bolts are removed and then save this hardware for future use.
Step 3. Disconnect Spare Tire Mount Studs
Remove all three bolts from the studs.
Step 4. Disconnect Third Brake Light
Disconnect all Torx screws holding the brake light bracket onto the carrier.
Step 5. Disconnect Brake Light Housing
Disconnect all Torx screws holding the brake light housing together.
Step 6. Disconnect the Light From the Housing
With the back of the brake light exposed, disconnect the plug and use a T20 Torx to remove the brake light. Save these two brake light screws for future use. Unravel and disconnect the wiring harness from the final locking tab to fully free the wires. Clean up the harness by snipping/removing any clips still attached.
Step 7. Remove Bracket Support
Remove the stud bracket and gain access to the factory reverse camera. Gently dislodge the camera and disconnect the cable.
Step 8. Disconnect Camera
Remove the Torx screws on the bracket and unclip the reverse camera.
Step 9. Pull out Grommet
Remove the rubberized grommet with the wiring harness.
Step 10. Pull Grommet Through Swing Gate
Open the swing gate and locate the interior cover panel. Remove this panel by pulling it out along the left side. There are three (3) push clips running along this left side and will disengage with the proper amount of force.
Step 11. Pull Harness Through Breather Vent
Relocate the wiring harness through the breaker vent. You can also remove the long plastic trim cover on the inside of the swing gate for future steps.
Step 12. Remove Tail Light Plastic Trim
In order to tap the new license plate light wiring harness into the OE license plate harness, you must run the True North harness underneath the Bronco over to the driver’s side. In order to drop the harness underneath the Bronco, you have to remove the tail light trim plastic on the passenger side.
To remove this plastic trim, use a 10 mm socket to remove the bolts and a Phillips head screwdriver to remove the screw clips. Work the panel free from the bottom to the top and allow room for the supplied wiring harness.
Step 13. True North Wiring Harness
Feed the provided True North Fabrications license plate light wiring harness through the breather vent and run the harness along the existing harness.
Step 14. Feed Harness Under Bumper
Run the harness down the trim plastics until it falls underneath the Bronco.
Step 15. Locate OE License Plate Light Harness
Now head over to the driver’s side.
True North Fabrications recommends that you remove your rear bumper to gain access to this connecter, however, I was able to achieve the installation without removing the bumper. If you want to remove the bumper, you will need a 13 mm and 18 mm socket. Take the necessary steps to remove your bumper and disconnect the license plate light plug.
Step 16. Cut Open License Plate Light Harness
Option 1. Locate the male end of the factory bumper wiring harness. Install the supplied T-tap connectors on the ground (black) wire and power (colored) wire. Connect the corresponding wires from the supplied wiring harness to the T-tap connectors.
Option 2. I try to avoid using t-taps whenever possible so instead of using the provided t-taps, I will be using waterproof butt connectors.
I started by removing about 3″ of sheathing to gain some real estate on the harness.
Step 17. Cut off OE Connector
Make sure you have the battery terminal disconnected on your battery.
Now cut off the connector with 1-2″ of wire showing.
At the same time, prepare 24″ or more of additional positive and negative wiring that will mate up to the True North provided license plate wiring harness.
Step 18. Connect Leads
Connect the new length of wires that you prepared to the OE harness. Black to Black and Red to Colored Wire (yellow).
Step 19. Crimp Harness Connectors
Feed some heat shrink onto your harness and then crimp your waterproof connectors onto the harness.
Step 20. Heat Shrink Harness
Heat shrink the connectors first. Then slide your heat shrink over the connectors and apply heat again.
Step 21. Apply Braided Sleeve & Heat Shrink
Apply a length of braided sleeve on your 24″ black and red wires and then heat shrink the end of the leads to prevent the braided sleeve from smoving. Now you can clip your OE connector back onto the main harness.
Step 22. Connect License Plate Light Leads
Determine how much of your new lead you can cut off. Cut everything to size and then connect your leads with waterproof connectors.
I used zip-tie mounts along the cross member to attach the wiring harness.
Step 23. Apply Braided Sleeve & Heat Shrink Harness
After you place the heat shrink, apply heat to the harness. You now have a fully waterproof wiring harness.
Step 24. Connect Camera to Triangle Bracket
Connect your OE camera to the provided triangle-shaped bracket.
Step 25. Connect Brake Light
Bolt down the reverse camera bracket and attach the third brake light to the bracket using the OE hardware.
Step 26. Prep License Plate Lights
Align your license plate with the existing holes on the tire delete. Place the supplied 1⁄4” washers over these holes and thread the license plate bolt light wires through.
Step 27-A. License Plate Light Option 1
On the inside of the tire delete, thread another 1⁄4” washer and the serrated 1⁄4” nut onto the bolt light wires and fasten onto the bolt. Secure the lights so the LED is facing down. To wire your lights to the provided Deutsch connector, run the red to red and black to black. Place each of the exposed wire ends into the supplied male pins and use a pair of needle nose pliers to crimp securely. Now slide these male pins through the orange grommet of the plastic, female side of your Deutsch connector.
Step 27-B. License Plate Light Option 2
The first option works well if you’re never going to change out your license plate. If however, you plan on changing out your license plate, I would recommend mounting the LEDs above the plate to make a plate change easier. If you mount your LED leads through the license plate holes, then you would have to disconnect the Deutsch connector barrels in order to pull the leads back through the license plate for removal. This is just an extra step if you ever need to change your license plate.
Instead of mounting our lights through the license plate, we drilled new holes just above the license plate and then used new hardware to mount our plate.
Step 28. Bolt Main Plate & Brake Light Bracket
Once your wiring harnesses are ready, you can install the tire delete plate. Before you bolt down the main plate, make sure you pull your brake light and backup camera harness through the hole at the top. After your plate is installed, connect and install the brake light and backup camera bracket. Hand-tighten all bolts down.
Step 29. Bolt on Bottle Opener
Install your provided bottle opener to cover up the grommet opening.
Step 30. Reinstall Everything
The provided Phillips head plastic push tabs break easily upon removal so I used 1/4″ push taps for re-installing the plastic trim.
Test License Plate Lights and Brake Lights
Connect your negative battery terminal and test your lights.
Man, this thing was ugly.
After (Final Thoughts)
This True North Fabrications kit is made of extremely high-quality materials!!
TNF provides everything you need to install this spare tire carrier delete; the plates, brackets, mounting hardware, wiring harness, Deutsch connectors, and to top it off the bottle opener that covers the grommet. Everything in the kit was clearly labeled and packaged very well. Finally, each metal part provided had a very nice matte black powder-coated finish. I am extremely impressed with all the parts provided and the final result.
If you’re looking for a high-quality spare tire carrier delete kit, look no further.
Problems with Large Spare Tires
This video is a good demonstration of how large spare tires can damage the swing gate on the Bronco, and clearly much more.