Space Saver Spare
March 19, 2017
 

 

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This project started in early 2012 from some inspiration from my good friend Bob Danielson, aka "BobbyD"
who also owns a modern fuel injected TR6 and makes great upholstery panels and fender blankets to protect your car.

BobbyD's TR6 Triumph Site

Anyhow, the object here is to save space in the trunk, especially if you have changed over to the 205/70/15 or any 16" tire
and wheel combination.  Bobby pioneered the idea and gave us all the sizes that would work, so I got a small and a larger
version of the space saver spares and decided to try them both out on the car and in the trunk.

The second part of this is the construction of a new floor pan to get rid of the heavy and raised up original panel.  That
was an inspiration from another fellow 6-Pack member who is known as Litespud and I appreciate him getting me started on this.

**** Viewers are warned that if they attempt any mechanical repairs or modifications,
or follow procedures referred to here, they do so at their own risk, and no liability will attach either to me or to Bobby D.****


I'm going to start with the bigger of the two tires, because Bobby had already tested the smaller version. 

You can see the height of the T135/90/D15 matches my 205/60/16 tires and wheels perfectly, but is much narrower.

Don't let this throw you off, as the height of all of the tires from the 185R15 stock tires is within 1/4 inch of the other,
so this will work with a stock wheel and tire or a P205/70/R15, but will allow a lot more room in the trunk.

It looks a little small in there, but the car is jacked up and the suspension is hanging.

Don't do this without a jack stand to support the car in case there is a problem with your jack.

Full turn both ways, clearing all of the suspension parts.

This tire will still give one a good tread for driving, but remember these are for emergency use only.  Stay under 55
and only use this until you can get your full time tire and wheel back on the car.

The reason that either of the spares  will clear the front suspension is because I use a 1/4" spacer between the wheel and the hub.

The rear wheels don't need this spacer, only on the front. 

Here is a shot of the two options for space saver spares.  The smaller is a T125/70/D15 and that is what Bobby and I use.

This is why.  Look at the room in here using this tire.

When compared to this.

Or worse yet, when compared to this monster.

So let's get started on the trunk space saving program by cleaning out everything and getting rid of the old hold down clamp.

The new threaded rod sent up from the bottom and with a nut on both sides to hold it secure.

I used a Nyloc nut on both sides to avoid worrying about it coming loose when taking the spare out.

This allows the use of the old round wheel clamp down and the wing nut to hold everything in place.

(Yes I did repaint all of these before I was done)

Time to make that well a little nicer and quieter.  This is auto carpet available from Walmart online.  Cuts easy and works well.

You also may be able to find in in some stores in the auto aisle right next to the floor mats.



Just a little bit of 3M Trim Adhesive on the floor pan to hold this in place, as it is not that thick of a material.

There is a round dip in the well and if you don't cut slits in the center, to allow this to fit down, it will never lay flat.

This is a circular cut out of the same material that will fit over the slits above to make this nice and neat looking.

That looks better and it's ready for the spare to be laid in place.

See, I did paint that flat spacer and I did clean the chalk line from this later too.

Time to get around to making a new cover so we can get more space above.

Now you don't need that big raised up factory unit.

The first cardboard template that I made for the replacement spare tire cover. 

Now to transfer the cardboard dimensions to the plywood.

First cuts and subject to fit and sanding, as well as smoothing of sharp edges.

That's a pretty good fit and just some back and forth movement allows it to lift right out or set down in easily.

1/4" birch plywood works great, won't warp and fits perfectly at the same height as the ribs shown on the floor, so it won't move.

I bought the channel at Lowes and the numbers are here for it.  The plywood came from Lowes cut bin and cost $5.00.

These are the rivets that I used to hold the plywood and rails together.

I drilled them on my drill press to get them straight and through both sides.  Then you can easily drill down through the plywood.

This is from the bottom side, showing the inset of the channels to allow it to fit down inside the trunk floor opening.

I have a color dimensional coming up that will show all of the needed dimensions on the top and the bottom.

This is how it's laid out and then you can drill the holes through the plywood for the rivets.

I never trust anything not to move so I clamped it while it was all square and in the proper location.

After the holes were drilled, I flipped it over and set the rivets into place for the entire length, so that that if there is any twist,
they are in place and will not be a problem to line up after the fact.

Once it's done, it should look like this..

That rail is done so now we move on to the next one.

I use the square to make sure that these go in place like they should.  Measure twice, cut and drill once.

The third side is ready and the Arrow Staple gun makes this a very easy job.

1All set and ready for a trial fitting.

I did trim the outer edges and the smoothed everything with my sander before painting, but it fits well and is strong.

After painting, the last thing to do was to protect the paint with the carpet trim glued where the plywood meets the trunk floor.

Good old 3M Weatherstrip Adhesive again.

I got this little heat gun for melting solder, but it will also dry glue fast with it's variable speed blower.

These are for the four square edges of the channels and will protect the paint even more

Some adhesive and the heat gun and we're ready.

Here are the dimensions for the channel placement from the bottom side.

And the link to a downloadable pdf:

Dimensions for the Bottom Side Support Rail Placement

And these are the overall dimensions of the top after all trimming, sanding and adding of radii to make it smooth.

And the link to a downloadable pdf:

Outer Dimensions for Trunk Floor Panel

This what now fits easily under the floor pan cover.

 

I finally got around to getting the carpet cut to fit, as the original carpet is raised in the center to allow for the higher panel for the spare.

Eddie of JT Leddy Upholstery put a binding on it for me and glued a 3/8" pad to the back to give it some additional body.

Here is the padding.

The fits is really nice in all of the corners and under the rear cover.  Now I really have to get the black
panels covered with the carpet material when the new aluminum gas tank is installed.

This space may go away with a new panel.  No need for the gap with the original higher trunk panel out of there.

It looks like I should close up that gap on the trunk weatherstrip as well.  Cameras see everything.

Now that looks much better!

Now Bobby can't rag on me about my messy trunk every time that I see him at a show.

 

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This site was last updated 03/19/17