MCC 4x4 Accessories is no stranger to supplying Australia and the world with aftermarket bullbars, rear bars, roof racks, side steps and drawer systems.
Given they are no flash-in-the-pan mob, I gave them the nod for one of their rear bar wheel carriers – I’d even have a go at fitting it myself to save a few bucks.
The mighty Troopy already hangs its spare wheel off the rear barn door, but I wanted to relocate that heavy rim-and-tyre combo to a dedicated arm to help prevent door cracking. I also wanted the option of a second spare or a couple of jerry cans.
MCC provides rear bar options with just one spare wheel carrier, dual wheel carriers or, as I wanted, a spare wheel carrier plus a double jerry holder. Each bar includes four high-lift jacking points (one each side and two at the rear). Each bar also incorporates adjustable heads; easy-to-use latches to hold the arms closed and self-locking pins to keep them open; pre-drilled parking sensor holes with rubber caps; and neat, round LED parking, braking and reversing lights.
Each arm can handle up to a 35-inch tyre and is easily removed. And while some MCC models offer an inclusive towbar, my set-up utilises the standard Toyota towbar, so the new bar fits above it.
There is no way this stuff could get damaged in transit, given the pile of plastic and cardboard left over. I was a little put off by the bags of nuts, bolts, washers and brackets with no step-by-step instructions; rather, there was just one exploded diagram.
All welds seemed to be neat and tidy, powdercoating even, and all holes, slots and patterns first class. Then I spotted the bends in the carry arms. While I’m sure they will take the weight of a wheel and a couple of jerries, they looked as if they’d been bent over Arnie’s knee. Nonetheless, I removed the original rear bumper bar and door-mounted wheel carrier and tipped all those new nuts and bolts onto the shed floor.
Being a first-time fitter of a rear bar, let alone an MCC rear bar, the job was a lot slower than you’d expect. One problem was that the already fitted towbar brackets and larger diameter Taipan exhaust system prevented some MCC brackets fitting easily. That would be the same deal regardless of what brand of rear bar you’re using, but it’s worth noting by anyone contemplating doing this sort of stuff at home.
Another hurdle was the different plugs MCC provide for the in-built LED lights – they differ from standard Toyota offerings. I also needed extra wiring for the extra pair of MCC reversing lights. Taking the easy route, I had my local sparky rewire and provide waterproof connectors and load resistors to ensure the LED blinkers blink at the correct rate – a necessity given they place less load than traditional halogen bulbs.
I could have spent a month of Sundays manufacturing custom brackets to get around the aforementioned custom exhaust and towbar mounts, but I took the easy route and palmed the job to my local mechanic-cum-parts fitter.
As I loaded the dual arms onto the main bar, I greased the bearings, spun the castle nuts on, and locked it all into place via the final split pin. With the right spare wheel in place, the left-side dual jerry holder bolted to the arm, and all locking levers and weight-resting pads adjusted, I couldn’t help trying the high-lift jack points – just to be sure it all worked as planned.
The recessed round holes on the sides (instead of square) help the jack tongue slot in easily. My jack wouldn’t slot all the way through, but it went in far enough to do the job.
There is some movement in the right-side arm, so time and corrugations will tell how well it holds up under all that weight. But so far I’m stoked with the MCC bar.
Available from: www.mcc4x4.com
RRP: $1950 single wheel carrier and dual jerry holder; fitting $400.
We say: Convenient, innovative.