TESTED: MCC REAR WHEEL CAR­RIER

MCC REAR WHEEL CAR­RIER MAKES THIS TROOPY THE UL­TI­MATE PACK­HORSE.

4 x 4 Australia - - Contents -

MCC 4x4 Ac­ces­sories is no stranger to sup­ply­ing Aus­tralia and the world with af­ter­mar­ket bull­bars, rear bars, roof racks, side steps and drawer sys­tems. Given they are no flash-in-the-pan mob, I gave them the nod for one of their rear bar wheel car­ri­ers – I’d even have a go at fit­ting it my­self to save a few bucks.

The mighty Troopy al­ready hangs its spare wheel off the rear barn door, but I wanted to re­lo­cate that heavy rim-and-tyre combo to a ded­i­cated arm to help pre­vent door crack­ing. I also wanted the op­tion of a sec­ond spare or a cou­ple of jerry cans.

MCC pro­vides rear bar op­tions with just one spare wheel car­rier, dual wheel car­ri­ers or, as I wanted, a spare wheel car­rier plus a dou­ble jerry holder. Each bar in­cludes four high-lift jack­ing points (one each side and two at the rear). Each bar also in­cor­po­rates ad­justable heads; easy-to-use latches to hold the arms closed and self-lock­ing pins to keep them open; pre-drilled park­ing sen­sor holes with rub­ber caps; and neat, round LED park­ing, brak­ing and re­vers­ing lights.

Each arm can han­dle up to a 35-inch tyre and is eas­ily re­moved. And while some MCC models of­fer an in­clu­sive tow­bar, my set-up utilises the stan­dard Toy­ota tow­bar, so the new bar fits above it.

There is no way this stuff could get dam­aged in tran­sit, given the pile of plas­tic and card­board left over. I was a lit­tle put off by the bags of nuts, bolts, wash­ers and brack­ets with no step-by-step in­struc­tions; rather, there was just one ex­ploded di­a­gram.

All welds seemed to be neat and tidy, pow­der­coat­ing even, and all holes, slots and pat­terns first class. Then I spot­ted the bends in the carry arms. While I’m sure they will take the weight of a wheel and a cou­ple of jer­ries, they looked as if they’d been bent over Arnie’s knee. None­the­less, I re­moved the orig­i­nal rear bumper bar and door­mounted wheel car­rier and tipped all those new nuts and bolts onto the shed floor.

Be­ing a first-time fit­ter of a rear bar, let alone an MCC rear bar, the job was a lot slower than you’d ex­pect. One prob­lem was that the al­ready fit­ted tow­bar brack­ets and larger di­am­e­ter Taipan ex­haust sys­tem pre­vented some MCC brack­ets fit­ting eas­ily. That would be the same deal re­gard­less of what brand of rear bar you’re us­ing, but it’s worth not­ing by any­one con­tem­plat­ing do­ing this sort of stuff at home.

An­other hur­dle was the dif­fer­ent plugs MCC pro­vide for the in-built LED lights – they dif­fer from stan­dard Toy­ota of­fer­ings. I also needed ex­tra wiring for the ex­tra pair of MCC re­vers­ing lights. Tak­ing the easy route, I had my lo­cal sparky re­wire and pro­vide wa­ter­proof con­nec­tors and load re­sis­tors to en­sure the LED blink­ers blink at the cor­rect rate – a ne­ces­sity given they place less load than tra­di­tional halo­gen bulbs.

I could have spent a month of Sun­days man­u­fac­tur­ing cus­tom brack­ets to get around the afore­men­tioned cus­tom ex­haust and tow­bar mounts, but I took the easy route and palmed the job to my lo­cal me­chan­ic­cum-parts fit­ter.

As I loaded the dual arms onto the main bar, I greased the bear­ings, spun the cas­tle nuts on, and locked it all into place via the fi­nal split pin. With the right spare wheel in place, the left-side dual jerry holder bolted to the arm, and all lock­ing levers and weightrest­ing pads ad­justed, I couldn’t help try­ing the high-lift jack points – just to be sure it all worked as planned.

The re­cessed round holes on the sides (in­stead of square) help the jack tongue slot in eas­ily. My jack wouldn’t slot all the way through, but it went in far enough to do the job.

There is some movement in the right-side arm, so time and cor­ru­ga­tions will tell how well it holds up un­der all that weight. But so far I’m stoked with the MCC bar.

RATED

AVAIL­ABLE FROM: www.mc­c4x4.com RRP: $1950 sin­gle wheel car­rier and dual jerry holder; fit­ting $400. WE SAY: Con­ve­nient, in­no­va­tive.

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