Re: spare tire carrier
Pull the tail light out and see if there is the support bracket. I added one to my 88, but it was abit of work. Well worth it though.
The "nut backing plate" in 88 is about 8 inches taller than the tail light so it won't fit in whole. Mebbe its different in earlier years, but in 87+ they are welded in, so getting one from a junkyard isn't too feasible.
I was able to order the support from the dealer. Look under replacement body parts. It took the dealer a couple of tries on the order to get it right.
Anyway, it was too big to fit inside the quarter panel (sound of homer simpson saying "doaah" ) so I cut it in 2 pieces and stuffed it in that way. I glued it in place using body sealant and drilled small holes to line things up, then drilled larger holes that matched the size of the bolts.
I got a used swing away carrier from a wrecking yard (about $125). and the rest was easy. The piece inside the tailgate I was able to get from the wrecker, but it was one of the things that showed up in the special order so I kept it
When you look for a carrier, keep in mind the corners of the vary depending on which body style (78-79, 80-86,87+) . I think 80-86 all have the same corners. Good luck, be sure to seal all of the holes with flexible weather stripping sealant (not silicon) to avoid leaks and rust.
99 4Runner (wifes grocery getter)
My Bronco is sold.
What trail rig will be next...