Ahead of FINALLY installing the lift kit and getting a roof top tent, I decided to perform some changes to the African Outback on the 100. The rack came from a friend of mine, Sean; he had it on his truck and we transferred it to mine as he was retiring his from being his main overland truck (he built a J7 Cruiser pickup).
The rack came to me with a basket portion and mounts for a shovel, Hi-Lift, and jerry cans. I had the basket portion on the front of the rack while the shovel and Hi-Lift were on the back on either side. Pretty simple.
I decided to move my spare tire to the rack now. Why? Because Toyota slung the spare tire under the rear cargo area… Now that I run LT285/75R16s, I bounce, drag, and smack the spare on all kinds of obstacles; I really don’t need to damage a tire. Plus, in snow or mud, it’s just something extra to get packed with stuff and kill my momentum. Just look how far it hangs down from my hitch reviver:
I wont be putting a rear bumper with a swing-out carrier on it (expensive, heavy, puts the weight super far back). Mounting the spare to the rack keeps the weight in the right spot, but unfortunately puts it above the center of gravity. I do think because I’m putting a TJM lift on it, and I run tires with a good footprint, my stability will be fine.
While in South Africa, I stopped by the Big Country/African Outback showroom and grabbed a spare tire mount. I didn’t open it until I got home, it came with no directions or mounting bolts. And as you can see from the top pic, it’s a threaded rod with a welded single tab on the bottom (with one bolt hole). But, African Outback uses a system where there are two grooves in the rails, you slide their custom nuts into the rail and use that to bolt whatever accessory on:
It’s a strong set up and allows different configurations of the rack’s brackets. But this mount looks like it was designed to go under the rack on one of the support rails.
I didn’t know the rack had mounts there; you can see the groove in this photo as well as how tight of a fit it is:
Yes, you have to remove the rack to reach this groove (it’s okay, I used it as an excuse to give the truck a bath). In this shot you can see the wide section of the groove where you insert the square nut; I found the best way to slide them where you want is to run a bolt into them and use a wrench to pull them into position:
To figure out which rail to mount it on, decide where you want the tire, and measure. I placed mine on the rear of the rack and more on the right side of the truck. I measured 17in (a little over half my tire’s radius). from the back and another 17in from the side. After that, just bolt the mount with the threads pointed up through the top of the rack:
Getting it back one was easy; I did take off the basket portion of the rack, but I left the shovel and axe holder where they were. The tire sits with the threaded bar through the center hole, then the bar slides on, and finally the threaded wing-nut (you can see these two pieces in the top photo). It is a sturdy mount. Everything feels very secure up there.
If you do have, or plan to purchase an African Outback rack and accessories, make sure that you get extra mounting bolts and nuts from them for various brackets. Most of the installation of their products look self explanatory, so I wouldn’t worry about instructions: a simple test fit will show you how it goes.
Now, the truck looks a bit more overland: