User avatar
gbshaun
Posts: 250
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:09 pm
Delivery Date: 15 Jun 2011
Leaf Number: 4390
Location: Encinitas, CA

Re: Bike Rack

Fri May 25, 2012 11:23 am

Thought I'd send some pictures of how I've been making use of Bill's hitch and a Thule rack.
IMAG0215.jpg
IMAG0217.jpg
IMAG0219m.jpg
Shaun
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Res: 4/23/10, took delivery June 2011
Red SL-e - Mossy Nissan Kearny Mesa
Warranty replacement battery Feb 2016
60,000mi in 7 years

User avatar
gbshaun
Posts: 250
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:09 pm
Delivery Date: 15 Jun 2011
Leaf Number: 4390
Location: Encinitas, CA

Re: Bike Rack

Fri May 25, 2012 11:33 am

Fully loaded:
IMAG0224m.jpg
And here's what i do with the rack when not in use:
2012-04-16_17-18-09_642.jpg
The rack is quite heavy so I felt more comfortable with wire cables rather than rope, but that meant I needed a winch.
Electric ones were quite expensive and meant getting power to them.
The manual ones are cheap but take forever to crank. So my solution was to remove the handle and leave my drill there. Now it just takes a few seconds.
2012-04-16_17-16-56_596m.jpg
I have marked where I need to stop the Leaf, halfway in and out of the garage, so I can drop the rack and slip it straight into the Hitch's socket. The rack never touches the ground, nor do I ever have to lift it.

Shaun
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Res: 4/23/10, took delivery June 2011
Red SL-e - Mossy Nissan Kearny Mesa
Warranty replacement battery Feb 2016
60,000mi in 7 years

kubel
Posts: 1609
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:38 am
Leaf Number: 19628
Location: Southeast Michigan

Re: Bike Rack

Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:32 pm

DarkStar wrote:For a cheaper solution, I went with the Torklift Central hitch for $250 with free shipping and picked up a bike rack from Harbor Freight for $32 with a 60% off coupon. The advantage also being that I can now tow other things with the Leaf.
Any pics post installation?
2012 Nissan LEAF SV
20% degradation in 42k miles
Leased 5-17-2012, Returned 1-15-2016


2017 Chevy Volt LT
Siren Red Tintcoat
Leased 10-21-2016

CWO4Mann
Gold Member
Posts: 461
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:12 am
Delivery Date: 11 Dec 2011
Leaf Number: 1567
Location: Brentwood, TN
Contact: Facebook

Re: Bike Rack

Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:53 am

EVDrive wrote:I just installed my receiver hitch today from Torklift Central today as welll and It looks great. It is an amazingly well engineered piece of hardware. Fishing the installation bolts through the frame was a bit challenging for me as well. You can't mess up installing the bolts or you would have a needed bolt sliding around in the frame. I had to strengthen the included bolt fisher as it broke through the 1st bolt of 6. They use exiting holes in the frame to mount the receiver so there is no drilling.

For those of you who were wondering, I got the 1 1/4" receiver and it has a rated tow capacity of 2,000lbs. I dead lifted mine into position from underneath whith the back tires up on a few 2x8 pieces of wood. It took about 3 hours to install and put the car back together. It is awesome.

LeafPowerIsIxE wrote:Installed my Torklift 2" hitch over the past two weekends. End result - superb. Well designed, solid, and perfect fit to spec. This is a great upgrade.

Ordered it 12/24; they shipped it 1/25. Well packaged with shrink wrap. The hitch looks very custom, and very professionally build. Solid and clean.

Disassembly of the underside cover is not remarkable. Locate the center frame support, jack up the rear end (be sure to chock the front wheels), set a couple jack stands to the far right and left frame supports, and go to work. Don't put the jack stands in the center - you'll need space to slide off the cover.

Mark the cover "clips" with a wax pencil - identify the bolts vs push pins. Or take a pix. Makes it easier when you reassemble.

Mark the holes Torklift identifies for the bolt fish. It will save you some aggrevation later if you pull the wrong holes.

This is the point in the install that challenged my common sense - how to fit the bolt-washer-brace into that little frame hole. I am an electrical engineer (maybe the problem) - couldn't figure it out, and gave up. A quick call to Jonny Couture at Torklift straightened me out. Assemble the bolt setup and fish it piece by piece. Common sense. The bolt fish technique works like magic – bolt, washer, and brace fell right into place. It can be a bit frustrating “fishing” the wire. Don't give up.

Once the bolts are set up, I put the hitch on the jack and lifted it into place. Fit like a glove. I added 5 "double bolts" to ensure nothing loosened up. Be sure to put the bolt back into the assembly you dropped to do the bolt fishing on the driver side.

The cut diagram on the instructions is accurate - do not cut out the bolt clip. Cut only a flap (do not remove) - then slide the cover back into place. Easier said than done, but nothing that a little time and positioning doesn't fix. The "flap" sits perfectly under the hitch receiver box.

This hitch looks great – tomorrow I am off the Mira Mar Lake to test it out with a 68mph run down the I-15 express lanes.

Hats off to Torklift for this creative solution.

Thanks for great info. I went to the Torklift web site but it seems like the hitches there are for huge loads, can you tell us exactly what model hitch, receiver and ball you installed? I'm ready to give it a go. Need to tow my 40's Airstream ...

Dave
Ira est potens et pertinax.
Study History - Know the Future
CWO4 US Army (Ret.)
N4CVX; ex-VP2EHF; ex-DA1BB; ex-KR6DEM
2012 SL Glacier Pearl VIN: 1567 Delivered 12-11-2011
Cool Springs Nissan, Franklin, TN

CWO4Mann
Gold Member
Posts: 461
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:12 am
Delivery Date: 11 Dec 2011
Leaf Number: 1567
Location: Brentwood, TN
Contact: Facebook

Re: Bike Rack

Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:54 am

gbshaun wrote:Fully loaded:
IMAG0224m.jpg
And here's what i do with the rack when not in use:
2012-04-16_17-18-09_642.jpg
The rack is quite heavy so I felt more comfortable with wire cables rather than rope, but that meant I needed a winch.
Electric ones were quite expensive and meant getting power to them.
The manual ones are cheap but take forever to crank. So my solution was to remove the handle and leave my drill there. Now it just takes a few seconds.
2012-04-16_17-16-56_596m.jpg
I have marked where I need to stop the Leaf, halfway in and out of the garage, so I can drop the rack and slip it straight into the Hitch's socket. The rack never touches the ground, nor do I ever have to lift it.

Shaun

Wow! what a great job and idea. I'll be duplicating it .. will need to use it for my mother-in-law when she comes to visit.

Seriously, good idea and will do the same.

Dave
Ira est potens et pertinax.
Study History - Know the Future
CWO4 US Army (Ret.)
N4CVX; ex-VP2EHF; ex-DA1BB; ex-KR6DEM
2012 SL Glacier Pearl VIN: 1567 Delivered 12-11-2011
Cool Springs Nissan, Franklin, TN

DarkStar
Posts: 2066
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 10:06 am
Delivery Date: 25 Mar 2011
Leaf Number: 568
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon, USA
Contact: Website

Re: Bike Rack

Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:25 pm

CWO4Mann wrote:Thanks for great info. I went to the Torklift web site but it seems like the hitches there are for huge loads, can you tell us exactly what model hitch, receiver and ball you installed? I'm ready to give it a go. Need to tow my 40's Airstream ...
You want the EcoHitch: http://shop.tlcentral.com/store/pc/viewCategories.asp?idCategory=157
Mikiko (2011 Nissan LEAF ETEC) Status:
Reserved: 04/20/10 | Ordered: 10/01/10 | EV Project Blink Installed: 03/22/11 | Delivered: 03/25/11 | VIN: 568

Oregon Electric Vehicle Association | Electric Auto Association

surfsnow
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:16 am

Re: Bike Rack

Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:47 pm

Question for Leaf owners who have installed Torklift EcoHitch:

Do any of you noticed any difference with the range of the car?

Seems like if I need to install this hitch, there will be some sort of cut out from the plastic cover at the underside of the rear part of the car.
I assume that plastic cover suppose to keep the aerodynamic of the car, I wonder if that will cause any drag, hence lower the range?

Or, my worry is just unnecessary?
________________________________________
White SL with L3 charger
Home L2 Charger installed
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User avatar
gbshaun
Posts: 250
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:09 pm
Delivery Date: 15 Jun 2011
Leaf Number: 4390
Location: Encinitas, CA

Re: Bike Rack

Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:28 pm

CWO4Mann wrote:
gbshaun wrote:Fully loaded:
IMAG0224m.jpg
And here's what i do with the rack when not in use:
2012-04-16_17-18-09_642.jpg
The rack is quite heavy so I felt more comfortable with wire cables rather than rope, but that meant I needed a winch.
Electric ones were quite expensive and meant getting power to them.
The manual ones are cheap but take forever to crank. So my solution was to remove the handle and leave my drill there. Now it just takes a few seconds.
2012-04-16_17-16-56_596m.jpg
I have marked where I need to stop the Leaf, halfway in and out of the garage, so I can drop the rack and slip it straight into the Hitch's socket. The rack never touches the ground, nor do I ever have to lift it.

Shaun

Wow! what a great job and idea. I'll be duplicating it .. will need to use it for my mother-in-law when she comes to visit.

Seriously, good idea and will do the same.

Dave
Here are a couple of videos of the bike rack and winch set-up.
video 1 http://youtu.be/ikTNKnNPy3s" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
video 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EN20vvQZ2Lk" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Res: 4/23/10, took delivery June 2011
Red SL-e - Mossy Nissan Kearny Mesa
Warranty replacement battery Feb 2016
60,000mi in 7 years

User avatar
elmobob
Posts: 95
Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 7:18 pm
Delivery Date: 26 May 2012
Leaf Number: 020011
Location: Yonkers, NY

Re: Bike Rack

Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:10 am

Purchased mines from Bill, installation was easy, so far I loaded 3 bikes on a Thule bike rack , I tested the strength by hanging on it- im 200lbs, rack felt very solid.
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User avatar
TonyWilliams
Posts: 10091
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:48 am
Location: San Diego
Contact: Website

Re: Bike Rack

Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:51 am

surfsnow wrote:Question for Leaf owners who have installed Torklift EcoHitch:

Do any of you noticed any difference with the range of the car?

Seems like if I need to install this hitch, there will be some sort of cut out from the plastic cover at the underside of the rear part of the car.
I assume that plastic cover suppose to keep the aerodynamic of the car, I wonder if that will cause any drag, hence lower the range?

Or, my worry is just unnecessary?
There's probably not a measurable difference, unless you can accelerate the car to several hundred mph.

I drove my red LEAF with and without the rear diffuser, and also with a mounted spare tire and modified diffuser. None made any difference. This is a low pressure area, so drag effects are minimized.

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