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Trouble with Big Bumpers and hitch mount bike carrier
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SyncroPedro
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:26 pm    Post subject: Trouble with Big Bumpers and hitch mount bike carrier Reply with quote

Greetings,

Well, the gas tank seal project and fuel line replacement job is complete! Thanks to all who contributed so much to those instructional threads which allowed the noob to complete both jobs without much heartburn.

We're getting ready to make our first roadtrip in the new '86 Westy and I wanted to give a test fit of my Kuat hitch mount bike rack to the Van Cafe big bumper I have in the rear.

Well... the male 2" tang on the bike rack that fits into the female receiver went in perfectly, except for one thing! I need about another 1/2" of forward travel in that tang to get the holes to line up in both the rack and hitch mount so I can use the pin/lock to secure the rack to the bumper.

I'll try to upload the 3 photos I took showing how the FRONT of the hitch receiver is butted against the metal shroud that covers the muffler, below the license plate holder.

I think I'm going to need to "snip" that metal shroud on both sides of the receiver and bend the little 2" piece of metal forward so the bike rack tang will slide another 1/2" forward to get the holes to line up in the rack and mount. Then I'll be able to use the locking pin to secure the rack to the bumper.

All of this to say: I really don't WANT to cut that metal shroud! Any other thoughts about how I can get this to work? I hope the pictures load so you can see what I'm battling...

Thanks for your thoughts!
Pedro

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

In the picture above, you can see the receiver butting up against the metal shroud and the shroud is what stops the bike rack from sliding forward fully.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Above, you see the side view and holes in the receiver for locking pin.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cut the square tubing by 1/2" instead of snipping the sheet metal
And use an anti-rattle pin to secure the bike rack.
_________________
-89 GL Westy, still humming along under the power of a used "WBXer of mystery"
-57 pan f/g buggy with a 67 pancake Type 3 "S"

"Jimi Hendrix owned one. Richard Nixon did not"
-Grand Tour, Season 1, episodes 4 and 5

danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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SyncroPedro
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

j_dirge wrote:
Cut the square tubing by 1/2" instead of snipping the sheet metal
And use an anti-rattle pin to secure the bike rack.


Well, I had hoped to avoid doing that as well, but I just spoke with a welder-friend of mine who has done precisely this thing on another bike rack. He just used an angle grinder and cut right thru it, so that may be the direction I go. Better than cutting up that shrouding! Thanks...
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SyncroPedro wrote:
j_dirge wrote:
Cut the square tubing by 1/2" instead of snipping the sheet metal
And use an anti-rattle pin to secure the bike rack.


Well, I had hoped to avoid doing that as well, but I just spoke with a welder-friend of mine who has done precisely this thing on another bike rack. He just used an angle grinder and cut right thru it, so that may be the direction I go. Better than cutting up that shrouding! Thanks...

It certainly is less than perfect, but you have lots of structure left in that tubing.
I have cut down a couple of hitch type receivers in different applications. and my current Vanagon receiver is maybe 4" long.
No signs of distress with a 4 bike rack on it.
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-89 GL Westy, still humming along under the power of a used "WBXer of mystery"
-57 pan f/g buggy with a 67 pancake Type 3 "S"

"Jimi Hendrix owned one. Richard Nixon did not"
-Grand Tour, Season 1, episodes 4 and 5

danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oops..
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-89 GL Westy, still humming along under the power of a used "WBXer of mystery"
-57 pan f/g buggy with a 67 pancake Type 3 "S"

"Jimi Hendrix owned one. Richard Nixon did not"
-Grand Tour, Season 1, episodes 4 and 5

danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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SyncroPedro
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wait!

I think I'm confused about your recommendation... I thought you were saying to cut off 1/2" of the end of the bike rack's male square tube so it would slide another 1/2" into the bumper receiver?

But I just looked into the open end of my bike rack tube and there's a long screw/nut device on the inside that acts as a cramming device to secure the bike rack to the inside of the receiver hitch. So shortening that bike rack tube is NOT going to work!

Back to the drawing board...
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SyncroPedro wrote:
Wait!

I think I'm confused about your recommendation... I thought you were saying to cut off 1/2" of the end of the bike rack's male square tube so it would slide another 1/2" into the bumper receiver?

But I just looked into the open end of my bike rack tube and there's a long screw/nut device on the inside that acts as a cramming device to secure the bike rack to the inside of the receiver hitch. So shortening that bike rack tube is NOT going to work!

Back to the drawing board...

Can you post a picture of this jamming device?
Is it something that can be supplanted with an anti-rattle pine?..

The problem is that the cutting the sheet metal does not buy much space.. the muffler is right behind that sheet metal.. no?

Other option is for welder to cut off receiver and move it out 1/2 to 1"
That's not a big deal at all.. maybe one hrs labor.
_________________
-89 GL Westy, still humming along under the power of a used "WBXer of mystery"
-57 pan f/g buggy with a 67 pancake Type 3 "S"

"Jimi Hendrix owned one. Richard Nixon did not"
-Grand Tour, Season 1, episodes 4 and 5

danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..


Last edited by j_dirge on Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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SyncroPedro
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

J_dirge,

Now that I re-read your post I think you're talking about shortening the female receiver that's part of the bumper by 1/2"?

I don't see how that helps my cause? The male part of my bike rack is bumping into the body-colored shrouding in FRONT of the female receiver. Either the shrouding or the bike rack is the culprit, not the receiver.

Thx!
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SyncroPedro wrote:
J_dirge,

Now that I re-read your post I think you're talking about shortening the female receiver that's part of the bumper by 1/2"?

I don't see how that helps my cause? The male part of my bike rack is bumping into the body-colored shrouding in FRONT of the female receiver. Either the shrouding or the bike rack is the culprit, not the receiver.

Thx!

If cutting the male tube on the rack does not work.. can you drill a new keeper pin hole?.. In either male rack tube or female receiver tube, so that new aligns with old (or vice versa)?
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-89 GL Westy, still humming along under the power of a used "WBXer of mystery"
-57 pan f/g buggy with a 67 pancake Type 3 "S"

"Jimi Hendrix owned one. Richard Nixon did not"
-Grand Tour, Season 1, episodes 4 and 5

danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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SyncroPedro
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

j_dirge wrote:


The problem is that the cutting the sheet metal does not buy much space.. the muffler is right behind that sheet metal.. no?

Other option is for welder to cut off receiver and move it out 1/2 to 1"
That's not a big deal at all.. maybe one hrs labor.


This is one of those situations where the photos were meant to help, but apparently they aren't doing the job.

If you look at the first photo, you can see where the front of the receiver bumps into the shrouding. Then, if you look to the front of that location (UP in the photo) you'll see metal and then 3 vent holes. Look thru the holes and you see my garage floor. I say all of this to indicate that there's plenty of room to trim that metal and allow the bike rack to slide fully into the receiver to the proper point.

It looks like that's where I'm headed, was just hoping to avoid cutting that metal shrouding. I can't see how else to accomplish it.

Thanks,
Pedro
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

j_dirge wrote:
can you drill a new keeper pin hole?.. In either male rack tube or female receiver tube, so that new aligns with old (or vice versa)?


^That's what was done to my GoWesty hitch because Dad didn't like how far out my Thule rack stuck (i.e. opposite problem OP has). Not too big of a deal, but a good drill and bit is needed. Surely that would work for the OP's situation too, instead of -yikes- cutting part of the van out.

Edit: I should note that my Thule's lock pin is a screw-in type, hence drilling the holes into the hitch rather than the rack.
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Last edited by kamzcab86 on Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:04 am; edited 1 time in total
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SyncroPedro
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kamzcab86 wrote:
Surely that would work for the OP's situation too, instead of -yikes- cutting part of the van out.


Agreed, this is a better option than cutting that metal shroud, which is what I've been hoping to avoid all along! Looks like we'll be searching out one burly drill bit...
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had precisely that situation on another vehicle with a bike rack. Drilled new holes in the bike rack's male portion, and moved the inner clip/tension thing. I brought my rack to a machine shop as that is tough hitch steel and you will spend more time trying to drill than driving over and back and you will wear out even a good bit and need a powerful drill. Push the rack in as far as it will go, take a nail and scratch the needed hole location through the hitch's hole, drop off the rack at a welder/shop. I think they charged me $15 to drill it.

Touch up with black paint to prevent rust.

DougM
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep.
My 4 bike rack has three draw-pin holes drilled for different placement "settings" depending on which of two vehicles it is installed on.. and if either vehicle may be carrying a trash bag on the rear mounted spare.

Having some adjustability is great.

I drilled these holes myself using a corded drill.. a newer bit and running it slow with some cutting oil. It did not take long (much less time than making the run to the shop) and doing it yourself allows one to set the rack to your liking and get it positively right. No guess work.
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-89 GL Westy, still humming along under the power of a used "WBXer of mystery"
-57 pan f/g buggy with a 67 pancake Type 3 "S"

"Jimi Hendrix owned one. Richard Nixon did not"
-Grand Tour, Season 1, episodes 4 and 5

danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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chatski
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:42 am    Post subject: Re: Trouble with Big Bumpers and hitch mount bike carrier Reply with quote

I ran into this same problem with the VC Big Bumpers and a Kuat bike rack. I ended up just pushing the rack in, and there was some 'give' to the body behind the bumper. It fit, scratched the paint a little, but I'm not incredibly concerned. If I had to, I would cut the body to allow space for the rack.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Trouble with Big Bumpers and hitch mount bike carrier Reply with quote

That pin hole is about 1/2" in diameter so moving it only 1/2 an inch and you will have a very small web of metal between or overlapping holes. Overlapping will cause your drill bit to catch. You might have to drill it 3/4 or a full inch back.
That will put you close to the support plate so make sure you have clearance for the type of pin you are using.
Pilot drill it.

-d
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Trouble with Big Bumpers and hitch mount bike carrier Reply with quote

chatski wrote:
I ran into this same problem with the VC Big Bumpers and a Kuat bike rack. I ended up just pushing the rack in, and there was some 'give' to the body behind the bumper. It fit, scratched the paint a little, but I'm not incredibly concerned. If I had to, I would cut the body to allow space for the rack.

Grab a beer.. and a hacksaw and a finish file

Cut 1/4" off the end of the male part of the hitch accessory. The part that sticks in to the receiver.

Dinging up the sheetmetal behind may not concern you now.. But its a lot harder to repair it than it is to protect it.
_________________
-89 GL Westy, still humming along under the power of a used "WBXer of mystery"
-57 pan f/g buggy with a 67 pancake Type 3 "S"

"Jimi Hendrix owned one. Richard Nixon did not"
-Grand Tour, Season 1, episodes 4 and 5

danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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0to60in6min
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Trouble with Big Bumpers and hitch mount bike carrier Reply with quote

as suggested you have 2 options

- trim/cut the hitch

- drill new pin holes

have you consider a 3rd option?

- bend the metal shroud forward about 1/2"
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Trouble with Big Bumpers and hitch mount bike carrier Reply with quote

Boy, a lot of Merry go Rounding here.

Take the bumper off, cut the damned inside of the receiver off so it doesn't beat on the lower valance panel.

Then adjust the length of the hitch bar to fit the hole.

That does look like a horses ass set up.

Try loosing the bumper bolts and yank out on the bumper to see if it will slide out a hair to get it off of the body panel.

Somebody wasn't watching what they they were doing prior to mounting the bumper--maybe.

No drilling the pin holes required.

Want to drill them anyway?
Try a drill press.
The hole will be dead nuts straight & true.
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