DIY Hitch Mount hanging rack- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    DIY Hitch Mount hanging rack: UPDATED W/ Finished PICS

    Hey guys. I am planning on building my own hitch mount hanging style rack.
    Most decent options seem to be in the 2-400 range to carry 2-4 bikes.

    I am thinking I can build one much cheaper. I ordered a hitch for my ford fusion to start.

    my plan is to use a typical ball mount to slide into the hitch and a piece of tube straight up from where the hitch ball would typically screw into.

    A couple of arms off the the upright tube and I am basically done. Ill just have to make sure everything clears the bumper and trunk lid properly. no big deal. Ill add appropriate gussetting and support where needed and some other bells and whistles but it seems like a simple project.

    I ordered 4 thule t3 cradles and straps to add to the arms to secure the bikes. The arms themselves will be 3/4" schedule 80 pipe(~1" outer diameter) Should be way overkill and plenty strong.

    What do you guys think? any tips? anyone else done this?

    I will post up some pictures once I get the project going.



    UPDATE:

    Finished product...



    pics of the build below...
    Last edited by steetyj; 09-04-2010 at 01:58 PM.

  2. #2
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    That sounds like a recipe for bikes on the highway. Just buy a hitch rack off Craigslist. They are usually less than 100 bucks.

  3. #3
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    care to give any reasoning?

    I doubt that 2" x 1/4" wall tubing welded to ball mount is going to fail. I have faith in my welding skills.

    All the materials that I plan on using are at LEAST as strong as anything available on the market

    With that said...if there are, in fact, reasons that this is a bad idea I will reconsider? Any opinions? I do appreciate members looking out for me as I am a noob lol
    Last edited by steetyj; 08-25-2010 at 02:17 PM.

  4. #4
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    1/4" wall is way overkill and will be pretty heavy. I'd go 1/8" for the main tube.

    Also, I don't see the reason to weld directly to an existing hitch. Why not just fabricate that part too?

    Post up a sketch so I can see the concept. It's hard to visualize what you're doing.

  5. #5
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    only chose the materials based on what I have on hand.

    I am a jeep guy so most of the stuff i have fabbed has been pretty heavy duty.

    hopefully the whole thing will weigh less than 30 pounds. I'd rather have it heavy and strong than the bikes falling off on the highway and possibly causing an accident.

    ill snap some pics this weekend when I get started.

  6. #6
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    good luck..i'd like to see what you come up with

  7. #7
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    Ah, I should have picked up the "YJ" part of your name.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by resonance4x4
    Ah, I should have picked up the "YJ" part of your name.

    lol actually the yj part of my name isnt referrring to the jeep. I never thought of that either. I had been working on a YJ trail rig but it is now for sale and I am going to start biking until I start the next jeep build(when time and money allow)

  9. #9
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    Update

    ok..ditching the 2" x 1/4" square tube and using 1.75" .120 wall DOM tubing for the upright.

    should lighten the load some and be plenty strong.

  10. #10
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    The build begins...

    Okay guys, update time. Finished the rack today. Tomorrow Ill paint it up and be ready to go. Still waiting on one of the cradles though.

    Got the hitch installed and you can see the ball mount im building of of...



    Then i got the pieces cut for the upper mount. The bent tube and upright are 1.75" .120 wall DOM tubing. The bend was done on my hydraulic tubing bender. The arms to hold the bikes are 3/4" schedule 40 pipe{~1" outer diameter)




    Last edited by steetyj; 08-28-2010 at 05:41 PM.

  11. #11
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    Got the arms welded up. They are welded to the rear of the DOM then the ends are capped with 3/16" plate with the arms again welded to the cap.




    Then got the upright cut to length and notched and finshed welding everything up


    added a gusset at the bottom for piece of mind...1/4" plate



    and the cradles...


    The ends of the arms are capped and tapped for a bolt with a washer to ensure the cradles do not slide off the arms.

    Ill put up some finished pics tomorrow after its painted. let me know what you think!
    Last edited by steetyj; 08-28-2010 at 05:51 PM.

  12. #12
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    Nice workmanship! I got a welder and should start using it.

  13. #13
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    Thanks. The paint is drying now so ill get some more pics up after I get it all installed.

    Ya if you have a welder def start fabbing up some stuff. You can sometimes save money and custom fit/add your own touches to a lot of stuff. Just dont tell your friends you can weld cuz all of a sudden you have people lining up to "have something welded real quick" lol

  14. #14
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    ok so i hit a small snag. After waiting for the paint to dry for 24 hours I attempted to slide on the thule cradles.

    Now I knew the diameter of the holes in the cradles were avout 1/16" smaller than the outer diameter of my racks arms. I figured a little force and some grease would do the trick.

    Well i didnt have any luck. My only other option seems to be to attempt to open up the holes a bit in the cradles. Gonna have to wait til the weekend though when I get some time in the garage.

    Oh and I dont even have a bike yet to hang on the rack soo i guess it doesnt matter haha
    (Picking up my 2010 hardrock sport 29er in a couple weeks though)

  15. #15
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    And the finished product as promised...


  16. #16
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    that's a pretty stout bike rack! lol

    i use 1.75 .120w DOM for the upper control arms on my rock buggy. i'm sure that will be plenty strong to carry 60lbs of bike. i think the receiver itself is now the weak point of that setup.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexrex20
    that's a pretty stout bike rack! lol

    i use 1.75 .120w DOM for the upper control arms on my rock buggy. i'm sure that will be plenty strong to carry 60lbs of bike. i think the receiver itself is now the weak point of that setup.

    I hope so. Seems plenty strong. the tube is left over from the rollcage im building for my jeep project. Ill just have to keep a close eye on everything but i cant imagine racks from the bigger companies use heavier materials than this.

    One other note:

    The rack did rattle around a fair amount inside the reciever(I assume this is a problem with most racks) so I drilled a 1/2" hole in the reciever and welded on a 1/2" grade 8 nut. A bolt tightented up snug against the "ball mount" keeps everything very solid.

    No vibrations or rattles at all and the bolt hasnt come loose yet with probably close to 300 miles on it.

    I am picking up my first mountain bike this week so I am excited to test the rack....oh and the bike too

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