Check your spare BEFORE you need it! - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 39 Old 07-26-2010, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Check your spare BEFORE you need it!


I went through this issue a couple of years ago, but it has been brought up by a couple of members recently and I thought it was worth making a sticky thread about it to prevent people from getting stranded on the side of the road

As you may or may not know already, the 99-03 Superduties(I'm going to have check on the 04+ SD) come with a lock on the spare tire. If you are the second owner of the truck the key may be lost or the lock may have already been removed. Hopefully the later.
You can tell if the lock has been removed by looking down the tube next to your license plate with a flashlight. If the lock has been removed, you'll see a rectangular shaped slot. If the lock is still there, you'll see something that looks similar to a torx head or a star shaped pattern.
The tools to remove the spare tire from under the truck are under the hood on top of the fan. IF you still have your key for the spare tire lock, it should be in the glovebox somewhere. That is where they were stored from the factory.
Now, if you have a spare tire lock installed and no special key to remove it, you have a couple options. First, the best thing to do is to go to a dealership that has a master set of keys. I had to call around and find one. They don't all have all these keys. There are 15 different keys and yours will probably not fit your buddies truck and visa-versa(sp?) Get them to let down your tire and figure out which key they used. My dealership did this for me for free. Mine was #250. Now when you get this number then you can call McGaurd. That is the company that manufactures these locks for Ford. You can order a new key through them for $20. what I did

Get the dealership to let the tire down and throw it in the back of the truck. Go home and remove the winch from under the truck. Remove the lock from the end of the winch. It just prys out of the end of the winch with a flathead screwdriver, or you can pull it out with a pair of pliers. Re-install the winch back under the truck. Reinstall the tire and never worry about it again. Now the tire is easily removed with just the tools under the hood

Here is a pic of what the lock looks like when it is removed.

I know this is a little long winded for something so simple, but hopefully it prevents a few guys from being stuck on the side of the road with no access to their spare tire.

I know this is not the only way to skin this cat, so i'll leave the reply option on so others can post the way they handled it


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Last edited by Southpaw; 07-26-2010 at 03:45 PM.
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post #2 of 39 Old 07-26-2010, 05:49 PM

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Just wanted to add on that folks with aftermarket rims MAY be using acorn lug nuts which WILL NOT work with the factory spare. I keep a set of flat lug nuts in the glove box in the event I have to use the spare.

Shawn Carlson

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post #3 of 39 Old 07-27-2010, 12:01 AM
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Spare tire? I always called it a beer belly? If you do have a spare check it once a year. When I needed mine it was so checked and dry rotted from non use I was almost afraid to use it. Luckily it made it home and had it replaced also.

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post #4 of 39 Old 08-02-2010, 11:55 AM
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I was able to remove the lock without removing the winch. Tire must be down but you can just reach up there and pop it out. The tough part was lowering the spare without the key! I used the method where you drive a socket over the outside of the lock and then lower your spare with a ratchet.
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post #5 of 39 Old 08-02-2010, 11:59 AM
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or have a cab-chassis and have to find a spot to put the spare

What this nation needs is cleaner thoughts and dirtier fingernails...
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post #6 of 39 Old 08-12-2010, 11:12 AM
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That's some good info, and something I definitely wouldn't have thought about, and I certainly don't have a key for it.

Thanks Southpaw.

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post #7 of 39 Old 08-22-2010, 08:36 AM
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This is a great sticky. I was one of those members who posted one of those stuck on the side of the road stories. Mine was the day after Christmas this year and I ended up having to cut the cable with the tiny side cutters I had in my truck to get my family home safe. I bought my truck used, had no idea it would need a key and there was nothing in the glovebox. When I lived back east in the snow belt it was important to make sure the winch wasn't rusted up, but living out west I assumed it would be ok. Lesson learned - Thanks for looking out for the others!


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post #8 of 39 Old 09-24-2010, 02:38 PM Rookie
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Hey thanks for the info on this. I bought an 02 F350 7.3L just 2 days ago. After perusing the forums I saw this thread. I verified that my vehicle requires the key for the winch but I didn't receive a winch key with the vehicle. After popping the offending part out, I'm good to go.

Many thanks from a new forum member.

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post #9 of 39 Old 09-26-2010, 07:14 PM
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Yeah, I need to get a new winch. The lock was removed, but it is all seized up so it does not turn, and the hole is rounded out. $115 for a new one too...

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post #10 of 39 Old 10-10-2010, 06:16 AM Rookie
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I wish I had read this article a couple of months ago because I ended up finding out the hard way. I guess I just assumed that getting the spare down was as simple as sticking the rod in by the license plate and winching it down, but after first finding out that I needed a key and then finding out that I didn't have this key made for a long evening and I ended up having to cut the cable to get the spare down. Now I guess I should start looking for a replacement cable and key.
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