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Posts Tagged ‘side mount spare tire’

1934-1936 Side Mount Spare Tire Mounting

Friday, December 17th, 2010



During the early years, most roads were not paved and the quality of tires was far from that of today. Thus, tire repair was very big business. It was necessary for vehicle manufacturers to provide the easiest access to the often needed spare tire. Part of driving a car or truck was knowing how to change a tire.

On the 1936 and older pickups, the tire storage space was limited. GM chose to place a dip in the front fender and a 29″ vertical rod from the frame rail to the cowl for the tire and wheel support clamp. A long nut is threaded to the top of the rod and tightens a curved metal over the tire.  No the pickup did not use the chrome “T” handle on the car.

In viewing restored ½ ton pickups at shows it is amazing that most use the chrome die-cast “T” handle that came new on passenger cars. Not correct!  The pickup uses a hexagon securing nut.  It is designed to be turned by the lug nut tire tool usually stored under the seat cushion.

Why the difference is unknown. We assume the “T” handle nut is more convenience to turn.  The car driver would get less dirt or grease on clothes or hands during a tire change, plus the car was usually on smoother roads, not on the rough surfaces of a farm field or back roads that might loosen the securing nut.

Replacement hard parts for most of this side mount system are not being reproduced. Originals usually must be restored. The rubber grommet that protects the cowl and fender metal from the side mount hardware the securing nut and 29″ support rod are available from Jim Carter Truck Parts along with a few other older GM truck full stocking dealers.

INTERESTING: The Chevrolet 1/2 ton (1934-1936) placed the support well in the right front fender. The 1936 GMC (first year for their 1/2 ton) it was in the left front fender. The support hardware is the same. Just another way of the two marquis showing their individuality with limited expense.

1934 1936 side mount spare tire
Pickup inside view. Not quite like a Chevy car.

1934 1936 side mount spare tire

1934 1936 side mount spare tire
The 29″ vertical rod is at an angle, too far through the cab mounted support.  Shown is the top dark threads where this retaining nut fits.

1936 Side Mount Spare Differences

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The 1934-36 half ton Chevrolet truck body style always placed their 17′ spare in the right fender. Even the Chevrolet car normally used the right side when only one side mount was added.

In mid 1936, GMC entered the ½ ton market for the first time. This light truck shared most all sheet metal and chassis components with Chevrolet except for the engine, hub caps, grille and tailgate lettering.

One of the more visual differences between the 1936 Chevrolet and the new GMC 1/2 ton is the location of the side mount spare. The GMC is on the left, not the right as with Chevrolet. This was done with little expense as the mounting brackets will fit the right or left side.

Why did GMC place their spare on the opposite side? The answer 70 years later is not known. We only assume it kept the two marques more individual with no extra expense.

1936 side 1

1936 Chevrolet (above)

1936 side 2

1936 GMC

1936 side 3

1936 GMC

1936 side 4

Mounting Hardware

1953-1955 Side Mount Spare

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

side mount spare 1

During the Advance Design truck era, 1947-1955, most all spare tire assemblies were under the bed. Though not always convenient, this kept the extra tire away from the bed box and out of the way.

With encouragement to provide a more easy to reach spare tire, General Motors began offering a side mount unit in 1953. This continued, as an option, even through the later years of the GM step bed trucks.

This new option was added at the factory (not by the dealer) and included a steel frame attached to the left bed side. On the 1/2 ton, not the longer bed 3/4 ton, it was necessary to also have the rear fender with an indention at its front. This indention allowed the tire to be away from the cab and fit parallel to the bedside.

The indention on the 1/2 ton left fender was made no larger than necessary to allow for the mounting of the 6.00 x 16″ original tire. This spacing is so close that the current replacement 6.50 x 16″eplacement tire will sometimes not fit without touching either the cab or fender indention. This contact of the tire against the metal body and fender is not acceptable. The rubbing of a larger tire against the body or fender results in a squeaking noise and finally will wear through the paint. To prevent this, using a 6.00×16 tire may be necessary.

After the 1953 introductory year, it was discovered, the weight of the tire and mount could cause bed side and front bed panel separation (metal fatigue) on rough terrain. Therefore, in 1954 with the introduction of a redesigned stepbed, a small factory bracket was included with the spare tire option. This better held the left front of the bed side to the front bed panel.

An additional item of interest is found in the 1954 Chevrolet truck factory assembly manual. Due to the extra pounds of the added side spare tire and carrier weight, GM added a spacer (left side only) below the rear spring assembly. This helped keep the bed level even though the truck weighed more on the left. See the following Tire Carrier Instructions sheets.

side mount spare 2

side mount spare 3

Bedside Bracket (above)

side mount spare 4

Bedside Bracket Top (above)

side mount spare 5

Bedside Bracket in Place (above)

side mount spare 6

side mount spare 7

Rear Spring spacers for 1954-1959 side mount (above)

We also have two PDF files showing details of the side mounted wheel carrier.

Sheet 2 Model 3104 Click Here for PDF

Sheet 3 Models 3204, 3604, 3804 Click Here for PDF