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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I think those of us who have wheeled the JK enough know that the stock rear license plate mount can get hung up on tress, rocks, etc. when you get in tight spots. After almost ripping my mount off a couple of times, I finally ordered the parts to relocate my license to the spare tire area. The best solution I could find for the spare mount was the Rock Hard Spare Tire Relocation Bracket. It is available from several sources for $45 + shipping.



I also wanted to stay legal and have a license light at night, plus I wanted to get something that had a third brake light built in since my stock one is now all but covered by a 37" tire. I found a few cheap chrome ones on ebay, but I finally found a quality piece made by Carriage Works. It is chromed billet aluminum with stainless hardware. I found it on sale at Summit Racing for $64.50+ handling fee.



When removing the stock license mount, you can get MOPAR part number 55397112AA which is a Body Plug that fills the hole in. The European Jeeps use that plug when they get their HUGE license mounted on the rear bumper.



I didn't take pics along the way due to time constraints, but here are a few basic tips for wiring it up.

The Carriage Works license frame has only TWO wires coming out of it, one for the license light and one for the third brake light. There is no ground wire, and I didn't get instructions with it. Evidently it did not have a good enough ground when mounted to the powder coated Rock Hard Bracket. I ran a ground wire from one of the four bolts that hold the CW frame to the RH bracket, and grounded it to one of the bolts that hold the spare tire bracket to the rear tailgate.

Wiring up the third brake light was super easy. If you open the rear tailgate and look at the stock third brake light riser from the inside of the gate, there are four Torx head screws that hold the third brake light assembly to the riser mount. Remove those four screws and the assembly practically falls off. Tap into the white wire of the factory third brake light harness with a wiring tap of your choice, and connect it to the wire going to the CW license frame.

Wiring up the running light on the CW frame is almost as easy. Pull back the carpet on the passenger side that is between the rear of the Jeep and where the roll bar disappears into the carpet. You will see a wiring harness that splits and runs several directions. One of the bundles that splits off runs through a grommet and goes to the passenger rear tail light. Using a 12V light probe, find the wire in that bundle that comes on when you turn on the parking lights. Tap into that wire. Run a wire from there through the factory loom that goes to the tailgate. You will have to remove the plastic cover on the tailgate. Continue running that wire out through one of the tailgate grommets and on to the CW license frame, and connect it there.

NOTE: Be sure and put easily accessible wiring connectors right behind the license plate. That will ensure if you need the spare tire, you can simply unplug the connectors and remove the mount easily. Otherwise you would have to cut the wires to remove the mount.

Here are a couple of pictures of the finished product. I'm not too thrilled with the chrome look of the CW piece, but I'll probably keep it that way until it starts looking bad. I also bought a spray can of factory paint to spray the Euro body plug with, but I may just leave it black and see how it grows on me. I plan on taking some additional pictures of where I tapped into the wiring, and I'll update this post with them when I do.




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Very nice install! Is it difficult to get at the lug nuts that secure the spare tire?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Very nice install! Is it difficult to get at the lug nuts that secure the spare tire?
The license plate mount has a setup kind of like a receiver hitch. You loosen one nut and the outer plate mount assembly slides right off.
 

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Looks good RedRockJK. I relocated my stock brake light by cutting it off and attaching it to the carrier where it shines through the wheel. I will eventually move the tag, but I need my bumper first, because I mounted my cb antenna throught the tag mount, kind of like the cool tech, but home made.

Here's a picture. I'll get a closeup later.

 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Yeah I like what you did and started to do that.
 

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Nice write up and nice find on the blanking plug :smokin:

I like the plate mount, not sure I could resist the temptation to rattle can it black though ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Nice write up and nice find on the blanking plug :smokin:

I like the plate mount, not sure I could resist the temptation to rattle can it black though ;)
Thanks Phil. Yeah like I said the chrome is a bit much. That being said I may spray it next time I get a chance. I still need to paint my lower body seam below the tailgate and on the sides of the Jeep black, that would be a good time to do the plate mount too.
 

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Its hard to tell from your pics, but do you have that 37" spare some how hung on the stock rear tire carrier?
Sorry to answer for you RedRock, but yes he does. I do also. RedRockJK has a 1" body lift so I don't think he had to use an adapter. I don't have a body lift, so I'm using the Rugged Ridge Spare Tire Relocation Adapter. It raised the tire up a couple of inches and out a couple of inches. So far, I haven't experienced any problems or distortion of the tail gate and I've been offroad quite a bit with it. In my case, It is only temporary until I buy a bumper and carrier, but I feel confident that the tail gate can handle it.

One thing you may want to watch out for is the distance between the bumper and the tire. I have a friend that has his 35" tire mounted on the tail gate and it almost rests on the bumper. He has a dimple in his tail gate by the hinge. I suspect this if from flexing off road. The bumper moves with the frame and the tire is attached to the body.
 
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Sorry to answer for you RedRock, but yes he does. I do also. RedRockJK has a 1" body lift so I don't think he had to use an adapter. I don't have a body lift, so I'm using the Rugged Ridge Spare Tire Relocation Adapter. It raised the tire up a couple of inches and out a couple of inches. So far, I haven't experienced any problems or distortion of the tail gate and I've been offroad quite a bit with it. In my case, It is only temporary until I buy a bumper and carrier, but I feel confident that the tail gate can handle it.
I have the same temporary problem so I'm glad I read this.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes my 37" spare is on the stock mount. I do have a 1" body lift, but I'm pretty sure it would still fit even if I didn't. The backspacing on my wheels (3.5") has the tire pushed away from the body quite a bit so I think it would still clear the bumper.
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Yes my 37" spare is on the stock mount. I do have a 1" body lift, but I'm pretty sure it would still fit even if I didn't. The backspacing on my wheels (3.5") has the tire pushed away from the body quite a bit so I think it would still clear the bumper.
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Yeah, the backspacing will help. In my case I'm running stock Rubi wheels, so I needed to move it out also.
 

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The license plate mount has a setup kind of like a receiver hitch. You loosen one nut and the outer plate mount assembly slides right off.
I hoping to do this mod - thank you for the information.

How is the inner mount attached? Is it between your spare and the lug nuts or something else????

I don't need the 3rd brakelight so I'm looking at this for plate illumination:

https://secure48.mysecureorder.net/offroadonly/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=55&products_id=220&osCsid=8e850eb16ad19f38cb082a30f5cdd08c

Thanks again,
 
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