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Re: Bike Rack

Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:14 am
by Electric4Me
OldCoot wrote: So - is 25 okay on those bolts? Or should I take it to a mechanic and have him tighten them to 35?
It is likely OK, but I would consult with Torklift.

Bill

Re: Bike Rack

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:15 am
by cracovian
So I got my hitch from Bill and had it installed the next day :-)

Mind you, it didn't take 30-45 min to install - it takes half an hour alone to take the diffuser off and keep track of all the screws but it just might be me...

I really like its design, the instructions, and the care taken to pack it safely. One suggestion I might have is for the fish wire to be threaded on both sides in case it gets disfigured on the first bolt as it did in my case... One small misalignment and you're in big trouble... Having the other side available for the second screw would have saved me many hours...

So again, very cool for carrying the bikes and the quick release feature is great. I've noticed that Curt and the above-referenced Torklift now have their own solutions, all in the same price range. The advantage with those two is theoretical potential for safer towing (obviously not-recommended) but Bill's solution seems to be lighter, more stealthy (especially when released), and easier to work with when attaching and taking off lighter accessories like the bike rack for example. There's no need to mess with screws - just pull the cable, drop everything, and you're done.

Any other pros and cons among different hitch options that you guys can think of?

Here's our pic with four bikes (2+2+1/2) from last week:

Image

Re: Bike Rack

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:05 am
by Electric4Me
cracovian wrote:Mind you, it didn't take 30-45 min to install - it takes half an hour alone to take the diffuser off and keep track of all the screws but it just might be me...
Oh no!
I really like its design, the instructions, and the care taken to pack it safely. One suggestion I might have is for the fish wire to be threaded on both sides in case it gets disfigured on the first bolt as it did in my case... One small misalignment and you're in big trouble... Having the other side available for the second screw would have saved me many hours...
Thanks for the suggestion! Sounds good to me.
Enjoy!

Re: Bike Rack

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:46 pm
by linkim
cracovian wrote:Mind you, it didn't take 30-45 min to install - it takes half an hour alone to take the diffuser off and keep track of all the screws but it just might be me...
It didn't take me any time for the installation of the bike rack on my LEAF. Fortunately, Bill did the job and I watched. When Bill did the install, we had a visitor from Nissan Japan who was very interested in the addition to the LEAF.

I have used the bike rack, but since I don't have a bike, I carry bikes for other people. So far the bike rack works great.

Re: Bike Rack

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:45 pm
by Volusiano
For people who installed the hitch themselves, does it get in the way if there's a need to remove the battery pack for repair or replacement? Does the hitch have to be removed if there's a need to remove the battery pack?

Re: Bike Rack

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:40 am
by OldCoot
Torklift's hitch is not in the way of anything that would need to be removed for servicing. (Well, I'm not sure about the bumper, but I doubt there's a problem there either.) The mounting rails are attached to the two frame members, and the crosspiece is immediately forward of the rear bumper. I should have taken photos when I installed it. Here is a low-res shot from the installation manual.

Image

Note that the shipping tie-down bracket must be removed for installation of this hitch. One of the bolts (and its hole) from the bracket is used as an anchor point for the hitch - I've circled it in the photo.

Re: Bike Rack

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:37 am
by cracovian
Yep, the hitches are not in a way of anything; it's like Nissan had designed the LEAF for towing from ground up :) The battery pack is way forward and there are emergency brake cables nearby though not even close...

I could probably install it much faster on the second try but taking the weird rivets off and fishing bolts were new concepts to me. However, it's done and very satisfying. A six pack should come standard with the package as it speeds things up.

Re: Bike Rack

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:35 pm
by OldCoot
A six pack should come standard with the package as it speeds things up.
Nah. I don't have anywhere near a six-pack, and I didn't have any trouble at all. :lol:

Re: Bike Rack

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:11 am
by defiancecp
I just realized I never posted to this - I got one of the very early ones from bill (when you still needed to drill :) ) and it's worked brilliantly for me. I think it actually took me less than an hour for the install even with the drilling, but I'm quite familiar with mechanical work.

Re: Bike Rack

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:05 pm
by cracovian
I just want to make clear that I wasn't implying that Bill's solution is any different in terms of installation time. Just because it took me longer, it doesn't mean it'd be any different with other hitches. You still have to take the diffuser off (easy task after all) and do the rest. It's probably easier to handle once you're on your back since it comes in two parts and it's lighter.