Spare tire lift chain binding

slowmachine

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Where I live, winter road treatment is salt and/or sand. When I lowered the spare for rotation (5 tires) it would go just to the garage floor before binding. Working the mechanism back and forth with the tire tools made no improvement. I had to lift the tire off the garage floor to remove the cross-piece that holds the wheel center. I pulled on the chain from both directions, and it still would go no farther. When rotating the next wheel into the spare carrier, I also had trouble with binding while lifting into the stored position. Working the chain back and forth, with the weight of the spare on the chain, got it to move somewhat smoothly into the stored position. This is very bad news for a roadside tire change.

To complicate things, I recently had undercoating applied which has a fairly hard waxy consistency, and it was applied to the lift chain. Before the salt/sand regimen began, the spare lift worked fine with the wax on the chain.

Every other vehicle I have owned with a spare lift mechanism has had a steel cable, and has not been affected by the winter road treatment. I have always wiped the extended cable with a greased rag before reeling the spare back into the stored position.

I can only guess that the chain lift mechanism is fouled with sand and undercoating wax. How can I clean it out, and what can I do to keep it working through the winter?. Moving the spare to the truck bed until spring is not an option.





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HenryMac

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Where I live, winter road treatment is salt and/or sand. When I lowered the spare for rotation (5 tires) it would go just to the garage floor before binding. Working the mechanism back and forth with the tire tools made no improvement. I had to lift the tire off the garage floor to remove the cross-piece that holds the wheel center. I pulled on the chain from both directions, and it still would go no farther. When rotating the next wheel into the spare carrier, I also had trouble with binding while lifting into the stored position. Working the chain back and forth, with the weight of the spare on the chain, got it to move somewhat smoothly into the stored position. This is very bad news for a roadside tire change.

To complicate things, I recently had undercoating applied which has a fairly hard waxy consistency, and it was applied to the lift chain. Before the salt/sand regimen began, the spare lift worked fine with the wax on the chain.

Every other vehicle I have owned with a spare lift mechanism has had a steel cable, and has not been affected by the winter road treatment. I have always wiped the extended cable with a greased rag before reeling the spare back into the stored position.

I can only guess that the chain lift mechanism is fouled with sand and undercoating wax. How can I clean it out, and what can I do to keep it working through the winter?. Moving the spare to the truck bed until spring is not an option.
Take it to the dealership, it's still under warranty, right?
 
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slowmachine

slowmachine

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Take it to the dealership, it's still under warranty, right?
Not the first thing I think of, but a good suggestion. I'll be due for 10,000 mile service in a couple months, which I intend to let the dealer handle. If I haven't figured it out by then, I can add it to the list.
 

HenryMac

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Not the first thing I think of, but a good suggestion. I'll be due for 10,000 mile service in a couple months, which I intend to let the dealer handle. If I haven't figured it out by then, I can add it to the list.
-or-

Take it back to the undercoater. They should at least be able to tell you what solvent to use to clean the chain and mechanism.

They really shouldn't have sprayed undercoat on the chain.

Toyota had a recall in 2014 due to corrosion of the carrier cable, maybe that's why Ford is using chains?
 
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RANGER PRIDE

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yup...failed cables yay!!1

a falling tire will do one of two things...just skip out the back and slide off the highway....or break loose as all hell and f*ck everyone's day up as it gets wedged under your frame.

I hate both systems, but they are convenient. back in the day you had to lay on your back in the mud and undo them. now you don't even get your Birkenstocks dirty.

to solve your problem, i would get a small pressure sprayer, use varsol first, maybe something like acetone, work it up and down flushing it as you go, wipe it, scrub with a brush, whatever works....and then go with a light weight corrosion spray. nothing thick and sticky like under spray coating.
add this process to your twice yearly maintenance. in the spring and again before winter starts.
 

HenryMac

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yup...failed cables yay!!1

a falling tire will do one of two things...just skip out the back and slide off the highway....or break loose as all hell and f*ck everyone's day up as it gets wedged under your frame.

I hate both systems, but they are convenient. back in the day you had to lay on your back in the mud and undo them. now you don't even get your Birkenstocks dirty.

to solve your problem, i would get a small pressure sprayer, use varsol first, maybe something like acetone, work it up and down flushing it as you go, wipe it, scrub with a brush, whatever works....and then go with a light weight corrosion spray. nothing thick and sticky like under spray coating.
add this process to your twice yearly maintenance. in the spring and again before winter starts.
Varsol and acetone are both paint thinners. The chain is painted. Ask the undercoating folks what they recommend. The last thing the OP wants is to do further damage.
 

DukeCanBuildit

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yup...failed cables yay!!1

a falling tire will do one of two things...just skip out the back and slide off the highway....or break loose as all hell and f*ck everyone's day up as it gets wedged under your frame.

I hate both systems, but they are convenient. back in the day you had to lay on your back in the mud and undo them. now you don't even get your Birkenstocks dirty.

to solve your problem, i would get a small pressure sprayer, use varsol first, maybe something like acetone, work it up and down flushing it as you go, wipe it, scrub with a brush, whatever works....and then go with a light weight corrosion spray. nothing thick and sticky like under spray coating.
add this process to your twice yearly maintenance. in the spring and again before winter starts.
I jacked up my ‘01 Ranger to replace a leaky brake line (corrosion) and noticed my spare was missing. I cursed the thieves who stole it and then realized there was no chain, no hanger and no mechanism - the only thing that was there was part of a rusty, flaky bracket. At some point, it rusted out and dropped. Where it dropped is anyone’s guess. Yikes - I drive the countries busiest freeways all the time. I shudder to think about what might have happened.

So, what’s the lesson?

Check your spare’s mounting system for wear and corrosion. While not a necessity, having a matching spare and rotating it in and out will help you stay on top of that.
 

HenryMac

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I jacked up my ‘01 Ranger to replace a leaky brake line (corrosion) and noticed my spare was missing. I cursed the thieves who stole it and then realized there was no chain, no hanger and no mechanism - the only thing that was there was part of a rusty, flaky bracket. At some point, it rusted out and dropped. Where it dropped is anyone’s guess. Yikes - I drive the countries busiest freeways all the time. I shudder to think about what might have happened.

So, what’s the lesson?

Check your spare’s mounting system for wear and corrosion. While not a necessity, having a matching spare and rotating it in and out will help you stay on top of that.
I check the spare air tire pressure every time I rotate tires. I guess I'll give it the old 5 lb hammer test now too!
 

RANGER PRIDE

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Varsol and acetone are both paint thinners. The chain is painted. Ask the undercoating folks what they recommend. The last thing the OP wants is to do further damage.
maybe when dealing with a laquer paint.
i use acetone and varsol on the daily on many painted parts and dont have issues. its when i start dipping into the MEK bottle is when things can go awry fast.
 

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