I didn't even realize this but I've been working towards this for at least 5 months and prototyping it for even longer. If you have an AWD Juke and run larger than a 27"~ ish tire, then you can't keep a full size spare in the usual spot. Then what do you do? Most normal people would just say "why don't you just get a hitch installed and then just do a hitch mounted tire carrier?" to which I say THAT'S ABSURD, why should a sacrifice any of my already ridiculously OP departure angle? Why should I compromise the overall length of my compact hatchback by making it way longer than it needs to be by installing a poorly optimized generic tire carrier?
So I decided to do the really hard thing and design my own tire carrier from scratch! ME, the guy who's never fabricated anything in his life and has maybe bent a tiny piece of sheet metal a handful of times before working on this project.
My life changed forever when I realized you could just buy metal online and have it shipped to an apartment-- so to my own detriment, and most likely to all my neighbor's dismay, I cut out all the pieces with an angle grinder and bent everything to shape with a sledgehammer all on my second story back porch, and made friends with someone who had a welder who I bothered on multiple occasions to help me work on this thing.
Many rounds of test-fitting later, and I was finally confident to get the mounts finalized so that I could finally plug the holes in the body and keep rainwater from pooling in the back of my car, which has been kind of annoying to look back and see every day after it rains. Did I mention I had to take the back seats out just to remove the interior quarter panels to access the bolt holes? I'VE BEEN DRIVING WITH NO INTERIOR FOR THE PAST 5 MONTHS.
I got halfway through the final paint before I decided to do a quick test drive, and I'm glad I did because at first the weight of the tire created some unexpected movement, but with a few shims against the bar pivot point and torqueing the bolts down fully I can report that the bar is every bit as strong and as sturdy as I could have hoped. I can full-on kick the bottom of the tire and it barely deflects a quarter of an inch. This bar is definitely stronger than the body it's mounted to, which may or may not prove to be a problem in the distant future, but hopefully it shouldn't be too difficult to spot fatigue in those areas. For now, it's sufficiently sturdy in the closed position and only has a tiny bit of give with the leverage of being fully open (with the tire + my full body weight)
Totally usable in its current state once it gets primed and painted. The only improvement on this design so far is to make custom polyurethane bushings for all the corners, to help with shock absorption and isolation to reduce fatigue in the metal and help it last as long as possible off-road. Also wiring in the new light for the license plate mount so that it'll look nice and clean and be 100% street legal.
I believe that's what they call "Hella flush". Literally impossible to get the tire closer to the body than this