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F150 spare tire carrier

I tried to modify my spare tire carrier on my 2002 F150 by grinding a slot where the useless key fits in. It was not a great solution, but the key was not working anymore. I read that the new ones don’t use a key, but will they fit my 2002 without major (like any) modification, or should I buy an oem carrier and new key?

My spare tire carrier was a bust on a 1997 Ford F150. The cable wouldn’t retract, and the repair was so expensive that I just had it cut and tucked up in the underbody and now carry my spare in the bed of the pickup.

All you need to do is…
remove the boss that the key fit into.

That’s all, then the long rod will work your spare winch. ( as will everyone elses )

The ‘key’ with the sqiggly channel fit into a negative mate inside.
That is just an insert which will come out of the winch.
you will need to unbolt the winch to free thr guide tube to get to the end of the winch.

You should be able to replace the parts you tore up at a salvage yard…