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Spare Wheel

Len Salisbury

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I did wonder if the plate you mentioned was to hold a removed alloy wheel as there are drawings of it in the “Replacing a wheel” instructions in Ducato manuals and its purpose is fully described. Obviously the plate has no direct relevance to lowering the spare-wheel (which is what you’ve been asking about) and appears not to be mentioned in Boxer handbooks.


What does it actually say in your Peugeot Boxer handbook about replacing a wheel?


I have two on-line English-language Peugeot Boxer van handbooks on screen.


The first handbook is said to cover vans registered from 01/02/2008 to 31/08/2008 and the method of lowering/raising the spare-wheel involves following the instructions I quoted in my posting of 19 August 2015 9:31 AM where a tool is inserting horizontally through a hole at the rear of the vehicle after the rear doors have been opened.


The other handbook is said to be for Boxer vans registered from 01/09/2008 to 28/02/2010, so ought to be more appropriate to your 59-plate Autocruise unless it was not UK-registered until a good while after the base-vehicle was manufactured (not uncommon with motorhomes). This handbook has different instructions to the earlier handbook and the later instructions say



The spare wheel retaining bolt is located on the rear right side.

- Turn the bolt using the socket A and the ratchet wrench B to release the wheel.

- Turn to the locking point, indicated by an increase in the force required for the manoeuvre.

- Take out the spare wheel using the wrench.

- Unscrew the handle G and remove the support H.

- Release the spare wheel and place it near the wheel to be changed.”


There is a drawing of the ‘winder’ and its position (between the back of the rear wheel and the back of the van) but that’s it!


The Fiat Ducato handbook for similar vintage X250 Ducatos is more forthcoming. There is a drawing showing the winder in a similar position (between the rear wheel and the van’s back). And (as I understand the instructions and drawings that follow) to lower the spare-wheel involves accessing the winder through the vehicle’s right rear wheel arch and then screwing a hexagon-headed bolt (provided in the vehicle’s toolkit) into the winder. The bolt is then turned (using a spanner from the toolkit) until the winder’s locking mechanism frees up. The wheel wrench is then turned anti-clockwise to lower the spare-wheel.


The Ducato instructions say


"After lifting the vehicle:

- for all versions, when gaining access through the vehicle’s right rear wheel arch fig. 156, adjust the screw for the wheel retaining device, using the spanner provided with the extension/adaptor A-fig. 157;

- introduce the wheel wrench and turn anti-clockwise to allow the lowering of the spare wheel;

- continue turning anti-clockwise until the stop point, signaled by the hardening of the manoeuvre or a click from the clutch present in the device.”


When the wheel is raised a reverse procedure is used with the final task being to remove the hexagon-headed ‘key’ bolt from the winder. There’s WARNING box relating to this that says:


"At the end of the operation of raising/locking the spare wheel, the key must be extracted, taking care not to turn it in the wrong direction when trying to facilitate the extraction of the actual key, to prevent the attachment device from being released and the wheel assembly not being securely retained fig. 162.”


I’m not sure if any of the above will help you, but if you want to look at the on-line Fiat Ducato X250 handbooks you can display/download them from here




It may well be that one needs to grovel on the ground to insert/remove the ‘key’, but I can’t imagine winding the wheel down and back up involves someone doing this from beneath the vehicle.

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This is the box and as I have already mentioned the allen screw is very small and the allen key in the tool kit would not fit as it is too large,. None of my allen keys fit this one so may have to borrow one, but even if I find one I don't think that it may be man enough for the job.

I have some more pis to put on here but I have to re-size them including the gas locker one with doors open showing the false flooring.

Who would be responsible for replacing the large allen key if it the incorrect one, Swift or the dealer that we bought it from?

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I could speculate that the fitting in the centre of the ‘box’ in your photo is a safety ‘key’ that is unscrewed using an allen-key and the spare-wheel is then lowered using a different tool, but I can’t believe the spare-wheel is lowered/raised just using a small allen-key inserted in the fitting.


Received wisdom (on the Auto-Sleeper Owners Forum) seems to be that the spare-wheel lowering/raising mecanism was accessed on early Boxer-based X250 panel-vans via a tool inserted horizontally through the rear floor (as described above) but on later Boxer vans access was through the right wheel-arch (also described above). It is also suggested on the ASOF that, when a Boxer van was modified as a consequence of the X250 spare-wheel-carrier safety-recall, the original accessed-from-the rear lowering/raising mechanism was changed to the later one where access was through the wheel-arch.


I don’t think posting more photos will necessarily progress this issue. Your photo of the ‘box’ is not what I had anticipated seeng and looks much more like some sort of support bracket than a winding mechanism. It seems to me that either your Pace has one of the two spare-wheel lowering/raising systems described in the Boxer handbooks or it has an Autocruise ‘special’. If it has an Autocruise ‘special’ then only another Pace owner might be able to advise (which is what you hoped for earlier).


There’s no point asking about who is responsible for you not having the correct tools until it has been established that you do not have the correct tools! What you should do is re-contact the dealership you bought from, explain that you still cannot work out how to lower the spare-wheel and ask them to give you detailed step-by-step instructions on how to carry out that task. Get them to do this by e-mail if you can and I also suggest you provide the dealership with a link to this forum thread to demonstrate the difficulty you are experiencing obtaining useful advice.


(I can’t find anything on-line to suggest that Swift fitted a ‘special’ spare-wheel lowering/raising mechanism to Autocruise panel-van conversions or to “Pace” models specifically. Swift might have done, of course, but if that were the case, and other Pace owners were having the same trouble as you, I would have thought the problem would have been mentioned by now. Perhaps other Pace owners have never explored removing the spare-wheel?)

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I have spoken to a Citroen owner today and he showed me where the box was and sure enough I could see it behind the rear wheel drivers side. I have had a look and cannot see one in that location on my MH so it has to be the one that I posted yesterday. I am having a chap who is going to look at it on Monday and he says with confidence that he will find it.
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Len Salisbury - 2015-08-22 7:21 PM


I have spoken to a Citroen owner today and he showed me where the box was and sure enough I could see it behind the rear wheel drivers side. I have had a look and cannot see one in that location on my MH so it has to be the one that I posted yesterday. I am having a chap who is going to look at it on Monday and he says with confidence that he will find it.


The Pace was built on a 5.99m-long Boxer/Ducato panel-van and there’s no particular reason to expect Swift to have altered the original manner in which the spare-wheel was carried. In fact the opposite would be true - that one would expect the original spare-wheel-carrying method to be retained.


Motorhome manufacturers do (occasionally) use a different method (Hymer did this on their Transit-based “Van”) but there has to be a very good reason for this. It’s far more likely that the designer of the Pace model would retain the original Fiat/Peugeot spare-wheel mechanism and install (say) water tanks elsewhere, than install the water tanks and then need to reposition/re-jig/replace the original spare-wheel mechanism.


There’s a long 2011 MHFacts forum-thread here




that discusses the VOSA Citroen/Fiat/Peugeot spare-wheel-carrier safety recall.


In the 16-11-2011, 10:25 PM posting on Page 4 of the thread Hilary O'Rourke provides a link to photos of the original and modified winder mechanisms









I have provided a separate link to each photo as Hilary’s comments are educational.


The original ‘box’ (Photo 2) is described as


"Spare wheel release winding gear box

original winding gear box to release spare wheel located on the driver's side next to the rear bumper”


while the Photo 3 comment is


"Spare wheel winding gear box showing location

Another picture showing the box for the winding gear. The wheel was released via access to the box inside the driver's side rear door above the bumper.”


The final picture (Photo 6) has the comment


"Empty fitting from original mechanism

Whilst I was happy with the job, you can see a small amount of damage caused by the mechanic."


The photos strongly suggest that (as I speculated above) your ‘box’ is actually a metal support-bracket welded to the vehicle’s floor-pan and the winder mechanism itself is riveted to the upper side of the bracket.


There’s a 2008 MMM-magazine review of a 2008 Fiat Ducato-based Autocruise “Pace” here




On Page 142 of the review is a photo of the rear of the vehicle with the rear doors open and (as I understand the handbooks and the photos/comments in the MHFacts thread) lowering/raising the spare-wheel of this vintage of Ducato/Boxer would involve removing the right-hand grey ‘plug’ visible at floor-level and inserting a tool horizontally through the hole that resulted. The tool would connect to the winding gear-box (riveted to the support-bracket) beneath the vehicle and would be rotated to lower/raise the spare-wheel.


Based on your photo of the ‘box (and the fact that there’s no sign of your Pace having the later side-accessed winder) everything points to your motorhome still having the earlier mechanism that - quite possibly - should have been replaced as part of the safety-recall.


(I’m confident the chap who is going to inspect your Pace on Monday will find the winder riveted to the other side of your ‘box’. Whether your motorhome’s tool-kit includes the tools required to access and operate the winder is another matter.)

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I just wonder if it might be wiser to explore whether the winding mechanism can still be replaced under the recall, and to get that done as a priority? As the mechanism Len has was prone to fail, and as it seems possibly not to have been used previously, I'd be a bit uneasy as to how it may react to being activated now. Judging from the state of the mounting plate, I'd guess the mechanism may by now be quite rusty, and have accumulated a fair amount of road grit etc, so may not respond well to suddenly being asked to perform.


It is a bit worrying that the recall was never carried out. Could this be a consequence of having the van serviced at a non-franchised garage, who didn't get notified that it should be done? It seems clear from the pictures that this is the un-modified original mechanism, as one can see the attachment rivets in Len's picture, and the holes where they have been drilled out, in Hilary's.

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I agree.


A search of the VOSA recalls website




reveals three “spare wheel may detach” Peugeot Boxer entries all with the same Recalls Number and dated 21/07/2011. However, although the start VIN is the same for each entry, the end VIN differs in one case. Two of the entries indicate that the Boxers involved would have been manufactured from 18/02/2006 to 10/10/2008, whereas the 3rd entry indicates a longer build-period from 18/02/2006 to 21/04/2010 that should include Len’s Pace.


It’s apparent from motorhome-forum discussions about this recall that some owners of Boxer-based motorhomes were notified about it while others needed to be proactive. If Len checks his Pace’s VIN and finds it is within the recalls VIN range (as is likely to be the case) it would certainly be wise for him to contact a Peugeot dealership about this and ask for the vehicle to be checked. Even if the present winder mechanism were judged to be OK and not requiring replacement, at least it would then be confirmed that it’s working properly and safely, and a demonstration should prove a) how it is supposed to be used, b) whether or not he has the appropriate tools to use it, or c) whether Swift has fitted a ’special’ mechanism.

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I have this evening before it got dark to have a final check myself to find this winding mechanism and have succeeded on how it is done.

With the back doors open the long black plastic bumper is exposed showing several plastic plugs for cosmetic use. I had originally taken this particular one off in the beginning of the search but when I had inserted the Allen Key into it, it came into contact with what I thought was a chassis member so did not pursue it any further until tonight.

The key was inserted and I just twirled it until it made contact with the hole of the Allen Screw/Bolt.. I then got the large socket extension and tommy bar and just put pressure on the tommy bat but have not undone the mechanism as I am going to contact local dealer on Tuesday about it as I have hospital appt tomorrow.

It has been frustrating from all the advice that has been posted on this Forum for you the in-putters for advice especially Derek and Brian. Thank you.

I shall post my VIN plate number in the morning. I wonder how many more of us MH owners who may have not been notified.

It was just curiosity that made me start this thread and although it may seem a large waste of time and effort something has certainly come out of it.


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The VOSA recalls database has the following relevant records. The data are represented by the following fields


Recalls Launch Date

Recalls Number




VIN Start


Build Start

Build End





21/07/2011 R/2011/093 CITROEN Relay spare wheel may detach

VF7******110325432 to VF7******11788870 18/07/2006 to 21/04/2010





02/09/2011 R/2011/098 FIAT Ducato Van spare wheel may detach

ZFA25000001000371 to ZFA25000001789440 01/04/2006 to 31/03/2010





21/07/2011 R/2011/092 PEUGEOT Boxer spare wheel may detach

VF3******11000648 to VF3******11790123 18/02/2006 to 21/04/2010



As I said earlier the VOSA database can have several records relating to the same issue. This is the case here so I’ve shown above the records with the widest VIN range/longest Build Period.


I would suggest that, if anyone has an X250-based motorhome (coachbuilt or PVC) with a VIN in the Recalls range and the spare-wheel mechanism looks like Len’s, they have the vehicle checked by a Citroen, Fiat or Peugeot dealership as appropriate. As a 4-year time-period is involved and motorhomes often change ownership within that length of time, and are often serviced by non-franchised garages, it’s near certain some X250s that should have been checked under the recall have not been.

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As you seem to be getting to the bottom of this, may I add another point?

Many moho's were sold with no spare wheel or carrier, possibly to save payload, and the carriers can be bought on eBay for a variety of prices.

These may or may not be the "improved" x250 version, so a check of the actual carrier may be needed. I checked by comparing diagrams of the old and the new before buying and fitting mine.

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I contacted the dealer who sold us the MH today but they did not seem interested saying more or less that it would be up to the previous owners. I think that it might be an idea that once the vehicle is in their hands as the seller that the onus should be on them to see if there are any "Recalls" on the vehicle as a safety check that they are selling.
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Len Salisbury - 2015-08-25 2:54 PM


I contacted the dealer who sold us the MH today but they did not seem interested saying more or less that it would be up to the previous owners. I think that it might be an idea that once the vehicle is in their hands as the seller that the onus should be on them to see if there are any "Recalls" on the vehicle as a safety check that they are selling.

Len, your VIN seems to me well within the Peugeot range to have been rectified. I think the supplying dealer might have some liability for the consequences if the spare fell off while the van was being driven. But, for that to be the case, I suspect that there would have to have been a consequence: i.e. damage to the vehicle itself, or damage to other persons or vehicles. If only damage to property resulted, the most likely outcome would be settlement through insurance claims. For any real liability to attach to the dealer, I think loss of life would have to have been involved. The police would then probably try to establish exactly who was responsible for the recall not being actioned, to do which there would have to be an examination of the service history of the vehicle. Were that to happen, I somehow doubt your dealer would be held to have significant responsibility.


The primary responsibility following the recall was upon Peugeot to have the defect rectified and, assuming it was an official recall, and not a notification of some lesser import, to advise the registered owner that the vehicle should be taken to a dealer for rectification and, I would have thought, to instruct Peugeot franchised workshops to carry out the work required FoC whenever relevant vehicles were in for service.


Clearly your van somehow slipped through the net. The service record should give you some clue as to how that may have happened, but a previous owner at the time the recall was issued would seem to have ignored the notification, plus possibly a non-franchised workshop carried out the servicing or, for whatever reason, a franchised workshop carried out the servicing but failed to carry out the modification.


Be all that is it may, surely the main thing now is to get the modification carried out, and to make sure the correct tool is provided to operate the mechanism after the fix is done?

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Derek Uzzell - 2015-08-26 9:37 AM


It may be worth ploughing through the relevant OutandAboutLive threads retrieved by this GOOGLE search




The comments in the Sep 7, 2011 discussion should give an idea of how easy it would be for a vehicle to be overlooked where the recall was concerned.


True. It was a bit of a shambles, wasn't it? It seems to make Len's desire to pin the onus on the dealer even more improbable.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The winding mechanism has now been replaced this morning under warranty.The info I received from Peugeot dealer was that water ingressed into the winding box from off the bodywork/sill causing the rust to attack the mechanism and possible failure.

I was in Porthmadoc for a couple of days last week and there was an A/S Warwick 58 plate close by so I mentioned to the owner about the re-call He was unaware about it but would follow it up. His was Peugeot based.

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I have had a look at the new mechanism and at first noticed that it is in a new position with the winder facing the side wall of the rear tyre and the wheel arch. There was something missing. So rang Peugeot and they admitted that a member of staff (not the chap who did the job) did not know that there was a black Allen type key to work it so rang them and they apologized. I've picked up the part and all is now done and dusted.

The part that was missing is black with a nut on the end which fits into the large socket bar for the jack.

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