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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had to remove the spare for my after-market trailer hitch install. I couldn't get the spare tire retaining winch yellow dot to appear. It was rubbing against the new hitch so today I lowered the hitch and shifted it to the limit of its slotted bolt holes. Better, though still some rubbing.

However, the spare now went back even worse than before. So I increased clearance and the spare tire stows worse? I pursued and discovered that apparently the spare tire holder has to have a certain orientation or it hangs up leaving the spare tire hanging below being secured.

I lowered the spare and using a flash light, observed the require orientation through the wheel rim. I rotated the spare and held it in place while cranking the winch. Voila! The yellow indicator filled the window as well as the spare was now secure.

One more point, I read "Yellow DOT" as being a yellow D-O-T, as in Dept. of Transportation. So I was looking for the letters D, O, T, in yellow to appear. But what you get is a solid yellow oval filling the oval window. Is this an Italian thing, saying DOT when you mean dot (which it still isn't).
 

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Its the same puzzle even with out a hitch. Ya have to keep rotating the tire and holding it as you winch it up, or you'll never get that yellow painted dot to appear in the sight hole.
 

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'16 2500 159 HT Granite Window - OH(io)
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The dot is a little hard to see in this picture, but it is there.
Also, when you are cranking the tire up, it will kind of snap when you reach the dot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well not quite and that's part of the problem. The winch snap/click/slip is when suitable resistance is met by the winch. This can be because the spare is fully seated and therefore corresponds with the yellow indicator being shown. But it will also occur when the spare is hung up/not seated/no indicator.

When I first re-installed the spare after the first hitch install attempt, it went fully up, seemed secure, and clicked (the manual says crank up until three clicks). But no yellow indicator. So I spent another day where I lowered the hitch, shifted it for more clearance, and then experienced the spare dangling much worse when the clicks were experienced.

Once the clicks start, the spare won't go up any more regardless of how unseated it is. At that point I persisted as something just wasn't right and found how unless it is in a certain orientation, the top of the spare tire wheel mount jams on a hanging portion of the winch pulley assembly. Forcing it wasn't getting me anywhere except for a concern that at some point the loud strong clicks of the winch skipping would lead to permanent winch damage.

Now it could be in my case that the spare tire-trailer hitch rub impedes the spare from finding this required orientation on its own, i.e. as you raise if the two parts jam they slide on each other rotating the tire into the required orientation. Still, as another post pointed out, this jamming can occur regardless of hitch rub and my observation supports this. Just that it may be less likely to occur.

If I had stopped after the first install the spare would have been seated good enough I suspect though the yellow indicator was absent. But after the re-install the spare was far too loose to let it lay for what, 100k miles perhaps. Just thought it would be good for people to know about this issue. In this day and age where a company will make a nut thinner than standard to save $0.05 per 1,000 that the factory spends the money to paint the dial, install a window, and print this info in several places shows how important a deal it must be. Hitting a spare tire dropped on the road is a bad bad thing. And my old Econoline had a spare tire winch but it had no such indicator. Also, I can add, no such jamming problem.
 

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Had to remove the spare for my after-market trailer hitch install. I couldn't get the spare tire retaining winch yellow dot to appear. It was rubbing against the new hitch so today I lowered the hitch and shifted it to the limit of its slotted bolt holes. Better, though still some rubbing.

However, the spare now went back even worse than before. So I increased clearance and the spare tire stows worse? I pursued and discovered that apparently the spare tire holder has to have a certain orientation or it hangs up leaving the spare tire hanging below being secured.

I lowered the spare and using a flash light, observed the require orientation through the wheel rim. I rotated the spare and held it in place while cranking the winch. Voila! The yellow indicator filled the window as well as the spare was now secure.

One more point, I read "Yellow DOT" as being a yellow D-O-T, as in Dept. of Transportation. So I was looking for the letters D, O, T, in yellow to appear. But what you get is a solid yellow oval filling the oval window. Is this an Italian thing, saying DOT when you mean dot (which it still isn't).
Mine stuck also but I freed it off a bite and then pried it down with a bar and it freed off, first design fault I've found in five years. Have Dodge done anything to improve the winch ?
 

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2016 3500 ext-ht
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557 Posts
Following a Promaster on I-70, we witnessed and ran over a spare coming off the underneath of a Promaster. Damned near destroyed our cargo and sent us 2 lanes over.
 

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Many years ago I went to rotate the tires on my Chevy Astro and discovered the spare had "dissapeared". No clue when or where.
 

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2021 118 low, Black
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193 Posts
I removed my spare the other day as a diagnostic tool to see if it was causing my squeak from the rear end (it wasn't the cause). I had no issues getting it back up in the well, and getting the yellow dot to appear. The crank action had a definate click and feeling of finality when it got to the top. I believe I even got the tire home and then went and learned about the dot, went back and sure enough it was showing.
 
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