Alko spare wheel carrier

This is an article for all newbies (like myself) to the Alko spare wheel carrier.

A recent post made by 'Thingy' inspired me to have a look at my spare wheel and carrier. Mines a recently acquired van and it needs both tyres replacing so I thought I ought to look at the spare also. Having never even looked at the spare wheel carrier before :blush: I decided to familiarise myself with its workings. Heres some photos of how I did it...

Firstly, heres a photo just showing where the carrier is positioned on my 2004 Swift Challenger...

AL-KO spare wheel carrier

And heres the carrier close up...

Close-up of the carrier

First off I removed the circular securing pin, then undid and removed the black plastic spindle...

Remove the circular securing pin

This allowed me to pull the carrier towards me and away from the chassis. It wont fall off as it remains fastenned to the opposite chassis rail...

The chassis can now be pulled towards you

I then pulled the carrier out and towards me to give access to the spare wheel...

Access to the spare wheel

The wheel was secured by both a clamp and a wheel nut. I first removed the clamp by unthreading it...

Unthreading the clamp

...and then the same with the nut (using a 19mm socket) to free the wheel from the carrier....

Freeing the wheel from the carrier

I pulled the carrier as far out towards me as possible thinking this would allow me to remove the spare wheel. But no! this didnt allow enough clearance between the wheel and the caravans chassis to lift it free! :( Even lowering the jockey wheel as far as it would go didnt help. Finally after much swearing I pushed the carrier back under the van, this then allowed me to lift off the spare wheel.

The spare wheel was eventually freed from the ALKO carrier

More about the condition of my spare wheel later. Whilst the wheel was off I decided to grease the carrier bars where they slide in and out of each other...

Greasing the carrier bars where they overlap

And grease the threads that the wheel clamp and nut were threaded onto...

Greasing the threads

Then with the carrier re-attached back into position (simply reverese the above proceeedure) I greased the spindle thread...

Greasing the spindle thread

And the circular clip....

Greasing the circular clip

On inspecting the spare wheel it still had its original unused spare tyre complete with sticker. Sadly this meant the tyre was out of date, being 8 yrs old :( so need replacing. On further inspection I noticed where the carrier had caused indentations to the tyre itself, in 4 places...

The indents on the spare tyre, caused by the carrier

The manufacturing date wasnt visible on the outside face of the tyre, but it was stanped on the inside face of the tyre.

Outside face...

Outside face

Inside face...

The date stamp showing '0404' which means made in 4th week of 2004...

Date stamp

Conclusions

It took me about 30mins to remove my spare wheel, but next time I could do it in perhaps 10 mins. When working on your own driveway the alko carrier is fine, if a little frustrating. If doing this on the roadside with the caravans nearside up agains a kerb it would be a complete pain in the backside to do!

Jacking the nearside wheel up would help, and perhaps you would be jacking it up anyway if changing that wheel, but if its the offside wheel on the roadside then forget it. And due to the maks left in the tyre wall I think I will now be keeping the spare either in the van, or in the back of my Land Rover when towing.

But a big thumbs up for my Hankook RA08 175/14 tyres, at 8 yrs old they look like new, but Ive already booked etyres to visit and replace them all.

'Thingy's' original post is here.

Thanks for reading.

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