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It is recommended that a bump stop be used between the tail gate and the tire carrier. Some folks attach one of the old tire carrier bump stops to the back of the tire carrier. I opted to do what a friend of mine had done. We took a piece of 3/16" flat strap and drilled holes in it to line up with 4 of the holes in the tail gate. One of the old bump stops was made a bit thinner with the help of an angle grinder and a 60 grit sanding disc. I trimed it down until it was thick enough to cause some pressure to be created when the tire carrier latch was secured. Black RTV was used to secure the bump stop into position on the metal strap. With this installed, it keeps the tire carrier snugged up against the tail gate. The ride home from my buddy's place had no sound coming from the tire carrier.
With everything done, I took a picture of the bumper and tire carrier. Between the corner panel protectors and bumper design that has it wrap forward under the rear corner panels, everything is pretty well protected on the back corners.
The next part of this project will be the installation of a
couple of inexpensive lights. A $20 pair of driving lights, controlled by
a power relay and triggered by the back light circuit from the transmission will
serve as backup lights. With an extra switch to function as an override,
the backup lights can be turned on without the transmission being in reverse.