WJ Kratos - The Tire Carrier
Lead time is 21 business days.
ATTENTION!!! Placing your rear tire on the back (hatch) of your vehicle causing an obstruction of rear-view may not meet your local State Vehicle Codes along with blocking your third brake light. Please check your local vehicle codes before placing an order. Buyer assumes all financial responsibility. It would be wise to purchase a 3rd brake light which mounts in the wheel well. Companies such as 4 Wheel Parts sell third brake lights.
Kratos - The Tire Carrier.
Our tire carrier involves brute strength, power and force from the custom built struts providing 375 lbs of force on each side of the hatch to raise that heavy offroad tire into the air. There for, with all that brute strength, power and force, we call our tire carrier "Kratos - The Tire Carrier".
In Greek Mythology. Cratos was a son of the Titan Pallas (not to be confused with PallasAthena) and the goddess Styx. He was the personification of strength and power. The name is derived from the common noun Κράτος, meaning "force", "strength", or "power". The spellings "Cratus" and "Kratos" are also used.
Kratos is built using 1/2" thick x 4" wide steel, hydraulic bent and welded to 3/16" x 1.5" steel flat bars which mount to the top of the hatch using four (grade-8) nuts and bolts and mounts to the center of the hatch using eight (grade-8) nuts and bolts. The actual tire carrier itself is constructed on 2 x 2 square tube and welded to the 1/2" plate. The Heavy Duty Struts which replace the stock struts on the hatch are custom built in Canada specifically for this application and are rated at 375lbs of force for each strut. You have 750lbs of force lifting your hatch and spare tire. The struts come with heavy duty mounting ball studs as a replacement to the stock studs.All hardware is included in the kit.
Confirmed Parts in the Tire Carrier Kit.
1 - Tire carrier
3 - All backing plates
12 - serrated flang nuts and bolts grade-8 size 3/8-16 x 1"
3 - 1/2"-20 x 1.5" Bolts for mounting wheel (welded to plate)
3 - lug nuts.
Replacement clips for Rear Hatch Panel (the clips break when removing panel).
2 - heavy duty lift-gate supports (struts) rated at 375 pounds lift force each.
4 - heavy duty replacement ball stud mounts for the struts.
PACKAGING: Kratos ships in two separate packages.
Uncle Joe, weighing in at 184 pounds sits on top of his 97-lbs 35" tire all mounted to the Kratos. Excellent location to fish in the river from if we may say so...
REVIEWS FROM WJ OWNERS WHO INSTALLED KRATOS
Kratos review with 36" Tire
1.) Instructions are detailed enough and good, descriptive, to the point.
The recommended drill hole sizes require bit sizes that where not included in either of my 2 drill bit sets. I went with a 3/8 instead of 7/16, and used a step drill bit for the 9/16. If you pre drill the top of the hatch while its open, you can then close the hatch and finish the holes from the top with the step bit.
2.) difficulty level: 5
It is easy to mark the holes based on the brackets. However, it is intimidating to drill holes into your hatch. There is no turning back once you start.
3.) built quality is very good. Solid welds and oversized parts.
4.) mounting hardware is of good quality
5.) this is an absolutely solid mounting solution. I watched the tire when turning and hitting potholes, I did not see even the slightest motion of the tire/flex of the carrier.
6.) the struts have no problem lifting my 90lbs tire up by themselves. Once the hatch is open, my 5 year old can hang from the hatch and it won't come down. I would like to see the tire mount further down towards the license plate. The struts can take the shift of weight. Getting the assembly closer to the glass would also be a nice touch. Those two points are no big deal and totally personal preference.
An honest review of the Kratos tire carrier:
Install: Pretty straightforward and the instructions are clear. I highly recommend getting a friend to help you. Pro tip, strap your hatch to the roof rails when installing the struts. (I royally messed this up) I second the previous post about using a step drill bit, it made things a bit easier, no pun intended.
Quality: Definitely heavy duty. If I had one complaint it would be the "precision" in which these were fabricated. I requested mine to come only primered with half the mind to paint it to match the body, after receiving it and seeing the welds I thought it would be best to cover it with bed liner. Some of the mounting plates took some convincing to line up, the metal plate that holds the tire is slightly crooked, and the studs were very tight on a 5x5 wheel. I understand this was a preorder so I didn't expect that everything would be prefect.
Use: The lift gate is very heavy for the first foot before the struts can kick in. (Prior to that they cannot get enough leverage on the gate) Once they kick in they do their job and lift the hatch. I have no fear of the it coming down on me.
Costumer service: This is where HK Off-road shines. It's kick ass to have the owner of the company only a text or phone call away. When I accidentally broke one of the stud mounts during install they had a new one out to me the next day. I applaud them for solving problems WJ owners face with a limited aftermarket. I couldn't be happier to have an empty trunk and this is by far the most weight efficient way to get the spare out of your trunk and on the back of your jeep. I'm happy to buy from a small home grown American company and would buy from them again.