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Burley High Clearance Hitch for Metal Bumper
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joet
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:21 am    Post subject: Burley High Clearance Hitch for Metal Bumper Reply with quote

For the original post and installation on a fiberglass bumper see this thread:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=439045

I just finished installing a Burley High Clearance trailer hitch on my van. I have steel / metal bumpers and called Burley to make sure the right hitch was shipped ($22 shipping to my door). The hitch fits great, though the effort is more involved than installing a hitch that attaches to the tow hooks. It's a really stout product, it takes the place of the bumper mounts and it is further supported by attaching to the frame at a third hole:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Here are a few more pics of the install process:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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

You need a hack saw to cut out the notch, and a bastard file helps to smooth the edges.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Also, I had some chrome chip off the bumper all around the notch, so I will probably rustoleum the bumper at some point.
Used a drill to put two holes in both bumper mounts of the hitch:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Had to add two new holes to the bumper itself (upper holes), the bottom holes lined up perfectly with the hitch bumper mounts.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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

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

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


I definitely recommend the Burley Hitch if you are interested in a super strong hitch while maintaining your stock bumpers. Plus, the rear bumper is really secure after mounting to the hitch at four bolt points instead of two.
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SWEET!
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work!

I've had mine installed for a few months now. Very happy with it and I see that Burley incorporated some of the ideas and comments generated in the old thread. (larger chain bracket with two holes)

I see Burley also added the "heavy duty" version for up to 350lb tongue weight / cargo capacity.
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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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presslab
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a very nice setup, thanks for the pics.
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joet
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should note that in the pictures the hitch does not look parallel to the ground. In fact it's perfectly level:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Must be my poor photography skills...
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iliketowalk
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey guys, just got mine and working on installing it as we speak...

I have about 1/4" of clearance between the sheet metal and the hitch arm on the first (nearest the back of the van) set of bolts. (Inside the frame rail) Put another way, there is about 1/2" of play side to side with no bolts tightened. Did you have the same tolerances? Going to try and tighten the bolts to spread the arms but worried about putting too much stress on the sheet metal.

Also did you guys use / get washers for the 6 big bolts? Finally did you have to drill both holes in the bumper mount? Mine has no holes.

It's a really nice looking / burley hitch, excited to get it all mounted up just a bit more drilling and blasting than I'm used too.
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joet
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iliketowalk wrote:
I have about 1/4" of clearance between the sheet metal and the hitch arm on the first (nearest the back of the van) set of bolts. (Inside the frame rail) Put another way, there is about 1/2" of play side to side with no bolts tightened. Did you have the same tolerances? Going to try and tighten the bolts to spread the arms but worried about putting too much stress on the sheet metal.

I don't recall a lot of clearance between the arms and the frame...

iliketowalk wrote:
Also did you guys use / get washers for the 6 big bolts? Finally did you have to drill both holes in the bumper mount? Mine has no holes.

I don't think there were any washers with mine, I reused washers from the original brackets and the third bolt went straight to frame without a washer. Yes, I had to drill two holes in the bumper mount, per side. And, I also had to add a hole on my bumper but was able to use one preexisting hole (per side).
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iliketowalk
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just an update- spoke with the man himself (Burley) and he leaves 3/16" on either side deliberately because of the variable tolerances between vans. He offered to weld in some shims if I wanted to send it back, but that he's never had any problems running it like this. Tightened it up and showing about one thread on either side- it feels... burley.
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cmvan
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the same issue. I sent mine back and had him weld on the shims. It fit much better and I feel way more comfortable with the snug fit. Burly is a great guy and easy to work with.
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Farfrumwork
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice.

Have any of you hung a bike rack off the hitch?

My modified hitch (runs between the tow hooks) has a 2" reciever, it works great for towing but the heavy bike rack bobs way too much (flexes the hitch) as it has a couple feet of leverage on the hitch.

I want to use a hitch mount bike rack, and I'll be getting an even bigger/heavier one soon for 4 bikes (if the hitch idea works). It just has to be SOLID.

thanks!
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cmvan
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should not have any problems with burley's hitch. I bought the HD version. It weighs just under 40lbs and bolts where the bumper brackets/tow hooks. Definitely the most solid hitch setup I have seen. I know what you mean about the tow hook mounted receiver hitch and bike racks, I was running that setup on my syncro and the bikes bounced all over the place. Previously i had the GW hitch that integrates with the engine carrier bar... no bouncing with that set up, thought it will not work if you have an engine conversion.
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Farfrumwork wrote:
Nice.

Have any of you hung a bike rack off the hitch?

My modified hitch (runs between the tow hooks) has a 2" reciever, it works great for towing but the heavy bike rack bobs way too much (flexes the hitch) as it has a couple feet of leverage on the hitch.

I want to use a hitch mount bike rack, and I'll be getting an even bigger/heavier one soon for 4 bikes (if the hitch idea works). It just has to be SOLID.

thanks!


Stay tuned, installing a Thule 990XT Doubletrack on the Burley tomorrow.

It's definitely not a plug and play install [Burley] but it's not going anywhere and a seriously nice piece of engineering / welding. Love it.
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Farfrumwork
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great, thanks guys.

I like the "hidden" install of Burleys hitch a lot more than the tow hook setup.
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BillM
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the Burley hitch for the fiberglass bumpers. It's just a little different than the metal version on the ends. A bike rack is no issue at all. The hitch doesn't flex at all.

Bill
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iliketowalk
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Farfrumwork wrote:
great, thanks guys.

I like the "hidden" install of Burleys hitch a lot more than the tow hook setup.


Thule Doubletrack 990xt is solid as with 65+lbs of bikes loaded. If anything the bike rack is going to flex wayyy before the hitch does- I wouldn't hesitate to tow with this thing.
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Farfrumwork wrote:
Nice.

Have any of you hung a bike rack off the hitch?


Yes.

4 bike rack.. rock solid on Burley's hitch (for f/g bumpers).

I'd recommend an anti-rattle pin.
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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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iliketowalk
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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update:

Some pictures of the hitch and rack.

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


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Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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BillWYellowstone
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Need to get the Burley, the tow hook hitch and a carrier are a joke. I am on the fence between the HD and regular, will use a carrier, not sure of the weight to carry. Wondering what the diff is between te HD and reg? WHat i different?
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BillWYellowstone wrote:
Need to get the Burley, the tow hook hitch and a carrier are a joke. I am on the fence between the HD and regular, will use a carrier, not sure of the weight to carry. Wondering what the diff is between te HD and reg? WHat i different?

Email Burley.. He will tell you specifically.
The HD version came about from our interactions and the next customer in line after me who was planning on loading a motorcycle rack on it.
I believe that the rectangular tubing is a larger section on the HD.

I have loaded 350 lbs tongue weight on the Burley's regular hitch and it stood proud.. There is a wee bit of flex.. but nothing like the GW version which works its way around on the mounts.

In my experience, loading more than 150-200lbs of tongue weight (regardless the hitch) means your rear suspension will need help.. so be wary that rabbit hole.

If I was purchasing now.. I'd get the HD.. just cuz thats how I am.. I like "overbuilt".
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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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SCM
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BillWYellowstone wrote:
Need to get the Burley, the tow hook hitch and a carrier are a joke.


Hey Bill, I wouldn't say the tow hook mounted hitch is a joke. Mine works great for carrying 2 mountain bikes around on a fairly heavy rack. It doesn't look as good as a (nicely installed) Burley but it works just fine if you want something less complicated to install.

Oh yeah, in addition to carrying my bikes, my reciever worked just fine when for winching my van onto the back of a flatbed during a "tow of shame" this February. That was actually the first time it was put into use and I did stand waaaaay back - but it worked.
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