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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have an '01 Santa Fe. I was out vacuuming the back yesterday when I remembered a couple years ago the guy from Les Schwab said he couldn't get the spare tire put all the way back up. I had forgotten about that and haven't had a flat tire since then. The tire did not appear to be raised all the way up, it was easily visible from the rear and slanted down a little. So I assumed I needed to raise it up.

Of course, the bolt mechanism that raises the spare tire carrier cage was very rusty and didn't want to turn. I got some old WD-40 and sprayed it up onto the bolt to get things moving. I got my X-shaped tire iron (instead of the cheesy little one that comes with the car) and started cranking. Apply elbow grease, and pretty soon the tire was up where it should be.

But, I noticed the crank bolt for the mechanism looked like it was deeper in the hole than when I started. Sure enough, tried to shut the rear boot lid and it clunked down all the way but wouldn't latch. The boot lid won't latch anymore. The latch itself was slightly rotated and bent down toward the spare tire mechanism bolt head!

It looks like when I was cranking the tire up, I was sucking the frame together - bending the top sheet metal surface down toward the spare tire. I guess the tire was up as far as it was supposed to go.

1. Has anyone experienced this?
2. Can I fix it? Maybe putting a jack under the J-bolt and cranking in the opposite direction? Or simply jacking the bolt up slowly...?
 

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Hello Pauvre,
You are talking about a 2001 Santa, about rusty bolts, about bended latch.
In my opinion the backside iron beam which holds the latch and the bolt for the spare has buckled in. Maybe because of rust has eaten it away internally somewhere, so the strength of the metal is gone a bit.
You applied heavy force by the X tire iron but maybe that was enough to buckle the beam.
You could try jacking up the bolt again but it will not take the top plate of the beam with it.
You could try to remove the tire bolt and hammer the plate from underneath up again through the bolt hole with some heavy bolt or iron stick, or try pulling it up again by the latch (so adjusting the latch to function). However, maybe you could break the latch with that.
Otherwise you could leave it as is and try to adjust the location of the latch so it will come together with the boot lid again, maybe by applying several extra washers underneath.
Good luck,
Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Paul. Sounds like you understand exactly what my problem is. I can try adjusting the latch with washers, or something similar. That would be the easiest solution.

If I could understand what the parts look like, and how they connect to the frame/beam, then I might be able to determine if using a jack could somehow bend it back. Does anyone know of a good diagram? My usual parts stores do not seem to have the spare tire carrier parts.
 

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Hi Pauvre,
The bolt simply runs entirely through the hollow square tube/beam.
So it is not in any way held by it or is "connected" to the beam.
However, only the top plate of the hollow tube is bent downwards. So you need to hammer it back from underneath through the bottom hole of the beam.
You cannot jack it up because then you would also bend the bottom plate of the beam, i.e. the beam itself would be bent.
Then you're left with a bent chassis beam which is not good.
The simplest solution still is to put extra washers underneath the latch assembly to get it aligned with the boot lid.
Good luck,
Paul
 
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