Earlier, I posted as a new owner to the Introductions section and mentioned I would post a couple of mods I've just completed, so here goes:
After taking delivery of our new 320 S Max, I soon realized the need for a better spare wheel solution and a decent tongue cargo platform. Trying to mount the heavy and cumbersome full spare to the rear Tab bracket, I could not believe how totally impractical a solution that is and at first thought a skinny donut would work better. I did some research and identified a GM spare with the correct bolt pattern and an overall tire diameter within 3% of the Tab wheels. Having purchased a nice unused example inexpensively on Ebay, I soon decided that was going to be only moderately better than the full spare under the back. So I then decided to mount the donut under the tongue with a hoist that I also sourced from GM and adapted to work under the new platform.
I constructed the platform from 5/8" pressure treated plywood laminated with 16 gauge diamond plate aluminum using construction adhesive and countersunk stainless oval head screws. The platform edges are finished with folded 1.5" aluminum diamond plate. The back edge is reinforced with a strip of galvanized slotted angle steel. The front of the platform is hinged with piano hinges and lifts to provide access to a storage compartment for dump hose, rhino hook up and stabilizer crank, etc. The spare wheel fits nicely underneath with good clearance and is easily lowered or raised from within the Tab tongue box with a 12mm socket and extension. I also mounted two 12" stainless steel marine deck grab handles to the platform.
After the inevitable trial and error that accompanies a project of this kind I am extremely happy with how things turned out. To me, everything looks oem which is what I was hoping to achieve. I am a big fan of the Tab design aesthetic, including the tongue box, and this does not detract, while adding a lot more practicality.
I've finished with the platform for the time being, but also plan to build two additional storage compartments from diamond plate, to fit the curve of the Tab either side of the tongue box, plus a tool compartment under the platform along the right side tongue rail. I also have a wireless rearview camera to fit and will probably add a couple of led reversing lights. All this and we have not yet been anywhere with the Tab!
Hopefully the pictures are self-explainatory. They were taken after some rain so the polished aluminum may look as though it has some blemishes...