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Car rack hitch bolt

Old 04-25-17, 07:02 AM
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Car rack hitch bolt

Hello all,
I'm not sure if this is the right forum, but I have a car rack question. I got a Rhode Gear car rack for free, because the threads for the hitch bolt are gone. The bolt seized in, and someone drilled ot out.
Should I re-tap the threads, or just hold it in with a bolt and nut? I imagine without threads, the rack might rattle around inside my hitch receiver right?
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Old 04-25-17, 07:15 AM
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I'd ask at a trailer hitch place for their professional advice. But taking a belt and suspenders approach why not do both. Rethread the rack's hole and use a longer through bolt with a lock nut on it's end. As to the rack rattling about- that's what most do even when best installed. Andy.
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Old 04-25-17, 07:22 AM
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Most hitches aren't threaded. You can buy a threaded anti -sway hitch pin, but that's removable. My guess is that you can simply pull the old nut out and use a new one.
Pictures would be helpful.
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Old 04-25-17, 07:49 AM
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Don't even mess with it.

Use this. Master Lock 1469DAT 5/8" Heavy Duty Receiver Lock
I use it, and there is no rattle or movement from anything that is hitch mounted.
There is also no room to get a saw-z-all or angle grinder near the bolt, so it's incredibly hard for a thief to get it out.

It's great, I've recommended it to many friends and they all love it.

Last edited by Fett2oo5; 04-25-17 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 04-25-17, 08:33 AM
  #5  
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There are anti-rattle clamps that straddle the rack's draw bar and clamp onto the hitch receiver. Here is an inexpensive one:https://www.amazon.com/Hitch-Tighten...WX5NGTW47PEA9Y

Use it along with a plain or locking hitch pin.
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Old 04-25-17, 08:37 AM
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What size is the part that goes into the hitch? 1 1/4 or 2 inches?
I would try to re-tap the nut, and use a bolt that you can put a lock washer and a nut on the outside of the hitch. This will do two thing, the internal nut will help keep the rack from moving around, swaying while driving. It will if it's not secure. The nut on the outside will keep the rack on your car if the threads on the internal nut fail. The down side is that it will probably take two wrenches to get the hitch off, a good theft deterrent.
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Old 04-25-17, 08:44 AM
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I have a hitch with a threaded insert for the hitch pin. The insert is a rectangular prism with a threaded hole that slides into the hollow hitch tube on the bike rack itself. It is a fairly snug fit but you can slide it back and forth to get the threaded part to line up with the hole in the rack tube. If yours is of similar construction, you could remove the insert and fashion a new one.
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Old 04-25-17, 08:48 AM
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Here is a picture of the insert and pin on my Swagman hitch

insert.jpg

Pin.jpg
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Old 04-25-17, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by IrishBrewer View Post
Here is a picture of the insert and pin on my Swagman hitch

Attachment 560720

Attachment 560721
I've got exactly the same rack. As a further theft deterrent, you can drill out the hole for the hairpin cotter a bit larger and put a small combination or key lock through it.
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Old 04-25-17, 11:42 AM
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I ended up just buying a non-threaded hitch pin and cotter pin, it fits in the hole perfectly. Now I need to get a hitch extension. The rack hits my bumper cover before it's inserted into the hitch.
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Old 04-25-17, 12:00 PM
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Warning - about to rant & rave. ....... The lawyers have made it nearly impossible to put a bike on the back of an automobile without going through a dozen safety steps. Whoever invented the bolt on receiver for bike carriers was a sadistic a-hole. Just drill the whole mess out w/5/8" bit and, put a good old fashioned hitch pin in there & be done with it. It takes about 20,000 lbs/sq inch force before steel starts to bend so quit worrying about it. It might rattle a little bit too. Boo hoo. If your too stupid to remember to put the hitch pin in & your bikes fly off the back you shouldn't be allowed to drive in the first place.
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Old 04-25-17, 12:26 PM
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That's exactly what I'm doing, thanks again for the input. I do still need that extension though.
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Old 04-25-17, 01:26 PM
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I don't think it has anything to do with safety or they would have gone after the 5000+ lb trailers too. It's more about making them wobble free which is a desirable feature for someone mounting multiple high-dollar bikes on a rack. If you're not concerned about that, by all means, drill it out - no worries and not any more or less safe.
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Old 04-25-17, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
If your too stupid to remember to put the hitch pin in & your bikes fly off the back you shouldn't be allowed to drive in the first place.
I was driving down the road in my car the other day and there was a ball holder with a 2.5 inch square shank, and a 2 5/16 ball lying in the middle of the road. Rated for 12,000 lbs GTW. Would have damaged a car to hit. Would have ruined a bike rider's day.

As an engineer, I'd want to know how big the shank of your bike rack is, and what the current hole diameter is. Also, how well it was drilled out. A small shank, and a relatively large (that is, not a lot of metal left in the shank), rough (that is, with stress concentrators) hole would concern me a bit. Dont want to leave your di2 carbon frame bike that costs the amount a house downpayment does lying on the road in front of the oncoming semi, after it and your rack take a quarter mile tumble.

Last edited by WizardOfBoz; 04-25-17 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 04-25-17, 06:26 PM
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Light weight (Class 1) hitches typically have a 1-1/4" square receiver box and take a matching 1-1/4" square shank on the hitch rack or trailer. The cross pin that retains the shank in the receiver is 1/2" diameter and always solid steel. The pins are cross drilled at the far end, where they are clear of the receiver and there is no load, for a hairpin cotter as a retainer. Or, as with the Swagman cross pin shown above, it is threaded into a nut inside the shank and then the hairpin cotter is just a redundant safety.

These hitches are rated for a 2000 pound towing load and a 200 pound tongue weight if the car they are mounted on is rated to tow that much.
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