I posted earlier about how the '94 Caravan ES I'd just bought came
with no spare tire, and the butterfly-shaped piece was missing from the
end of the cable on the carrier.
Upon going to the salvage yard I discovered many of them to be
similarly broken. I don't know if rust played much of a part in that or
not. The frayed cable ends that remained didn't seem to have a lot of
rust on them.
But I can see how it would be VERY easy to overtighten it and put
the stress on that piece than it should have, i.e. hundreds
of pounds versus merely the weight of the spare tire.
I finally found one with cable intact and installed it, and I think
the only way to operate it with minimal chance of breakage is to raise
(crank) the spare tire up until it just contacts the floor pan, and NO
Otherwise, it's no wonder they're all breaking and dropping the spare,
which could be a potential disaster if it hit someone, which has
Anyway, just a FYI to mention to your guys in the shop.