Outback Tire Carrier Build

Tire carrier build for the 2015 Subaru Outback

Parts list:

AtoZ Fabrication Builders kit
2×2″ Steel, 1/8 thick ( I think I got a 20ft stick and had a little left over)
3 wheel studs and lug nuts (to hold the wheel on)
Gas Shock (you will need to see what your local auto parts store has, just play with it)

Tire Carrier Process

It all starts with a single piece.  I started the tire carrier by making the bar that would be what all the items would be mounted to.  I put an angle in it to decently match the hatch so the ends would sit where I want it to.

Tire Carrier

Cutting the first piece.



I welded it together, made it pretty and moved on to cutting in the bearing side.  I used a hole saw to make the cut resulting in a pretty perfect cut.


The next step in this endeavour was to figure out how to mount the frame into the car. I decided against building a whole rear end, and decided to basically french it into the existing rear support.  Its already there, It is relatively strong and it works out all right.

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The next step was to final in the bearing carrier and the screw down point that retains it in.  In this pic you see the tire mount that i mocked up and thought was right….but it wasn’t.  The tire was too high and angled, the hatch would hit it.  I ended up having to move it a bit, shit happens.



I know I make it sound all nice and easy.  I have about 8 hours into this at the current point.  Another 2 or 3 to fix the messed up location.

The next HUGE thing was trimming the bumper to fit.  This was literally 4 or 5 hours of putting it on and taking it off over and over and over and over.  It was a VERY annoying process trimming a little at a time and making it pretty much perfect as I feel that I could.

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The final part was to put the water can carrier from my awesome sponsor CBI Offroad Fab onto the tire carrier.  I did this by first welding the bottom of the carrier to the crossbar where I wanted it, then I made some supports that went from the lower bar forward on the bottom of the water can holder to keep forward and back rocking down.  It eliminated all the movement that I was having an issue with.  At first i just put some beads where the holder met the crossbar.

I also put in additional supports welded to the back of the car and bolted through the tire carrier.  This also shored up the whole assembly and made it that much more rigid.

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And the final result?



This isn’t really a super simple build.  All told I have about 30-40 hours into it.  it was a bunch of 2-3 hours here and there as I had time.  I have a large assortment of tools and am a bit insane to cut into a brand new car with nothing more than a vision in my head of what I wanted.  Attempt this at your own risk.  But please, try it! It’s fun!

4 thoughts on “Outback Tire Carrier Build”

  1. Any chance of licensing out your design so that the masses may enjoy the fruits of your design? Id love one of these on my Outback but I know absolutely shit-nothing about welding/fabrication.

    • Since i built it on car, i dont have any plans. I typically don’t ever have plans. If someone is near me, I can build one for them, but its not cheap

  2. Is there a hinge to move wheel so back can open?

    Why not use aluminum for build, lighter .. rust free .. strong .. ?

    Awesome work! Inspiring, just got an outback .. got a metal shop to start tinkering with some ideas.


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