How to Remove a Ford Explorer Spare Retainerby Leonardo R. Grabkowski
The spare tire in your Explorer is mounted beneath the rear of the vehicle, just in front of the rear bumper. The spare is held in place by a retainer and a retainer cable. The Explorer comes from the factory with a special tool to lower the cable and remove the retainer. If your Explorer does not have this tool, then you'll need to contact a Ford dealer, as the retainer cable cannot be lowered with a standard socket wrench.
Apply your parking brake and turn your engine off before removing the spare tire. This will prevent your Explorer from rolling backwards. Make sure that you are away from traffic.
Open the rear liftgate and remove the jack. This is mounted underneath the second cargo cover; remove the cover and the wing nut to access the jack and tool bag. Locate the winch wrench in the tool bag (looks like a standard socket wrench).
Open the first (closest to the rear of the vehicle) cargo cover to expose the spare tire retainer winch. Use the winch wrench to loosen the winch and lower the spare tire. Examine the position of the spare tire after a few turns. Don't stop turning until the tire is on the ground and the retainer cable has slack in it.
Pull the tire from underneath the Explorer. Lift one side of the tire, and then position the retainer vertically to slide it through the center wheel space. Use the winch wrench to raise the retainer and cable to its original position.
- check If changing a flat tire, remember to "break" the lugnuts from the flat tire before jacking the vehicle.
- close Do not operate your Explorer without raising the retainer and cable; this could cause damage to your vehicle or others on the road.
Items you will need
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